Red and Orange
Like last Issue, The reigning consensus I can give Red Hood and The Outlaws as a whole is: emotional, yet dumb. There's no getting around it when Red Hood stops nuclear arms smugglers in a submarine, and blows it up while he's swimming away. That's right, he EXPLODES a sub full of NUCLEAR DEVICES, and all he has is a headache and a busted arm. Wow I think I got stupider just writing that. In fact how could he possibly have gotten out without be crushed by the water pressure? But I digress. The story does have some strong characterization, except for one thing... STARFIRE CANNOT REMEMBER DICK GRAYSON'S NAME. She says it herself. And that angers me to no end, especially since issue 4 looked like they were going to fix that problem brought up in the now infamous issue 1 with Starfires terrible characterization.
I sound like a broken record, but Jason Todd really shines in this one. The issue is mostly a flashback to how he and Kori meet, something that never seemed to make much sense, and besides the raging stupidity, it's done pretty well. The moments of him with Nightwing are very interesting, since that's not something usually touched on when you think of Red Hood, and it's fairly well done, and really show him for what he was: kind of an asshole with a lot to prove. And you see a bit of his struggle, as well as his actions as Red Hood and where he stands with Batman. No problems there. And I'm not going to stress myself with the memory thing, but it's such an elephant in the room that I really don't see how people can ignore it. To be fair, there are a few moments that call back to the original teen titans stories, and Starfire is not nearly as promiscuous as before, and her friendship with Jason feels natural, plus her interactions might explain why Jason is calmer than the batshit insane one we saw in Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin. the dialogue's a bit clunky, a problem in past issues, but really this issue only truly suffers from those 2 moments I keep mentioning, but I think they're big enough to drag this issue down a few notches in my eyes.
The art is fine, I can't really form an opinion about it but it works alright I guess. There's a few scenes that border on cheesecake, and most of the time Starfire is in a Bikini but there's no spine-breaking poses or anything. A bit of skin but not an offensive amount, which is what I prefer.
This issue wasn't bad, and I guess comparing it to that god-awful first issue it's a masterpiece, but still, I think Scott Lobdell really blemished subsequent issues with how he portrays Starfire as not being able to properly remember her friends. I remember in the original teen titans where her boyfriend died and she missed him for months, so the fact that she can't recall the name of someone alive who she clearly still loves is just something I can't get over. Judging this issue on it's own merits though, I guess I'd recommend it, there's still something that makes this issue worth buying, and I hope it sticks around. Just please, come up with a quick retcon to explain this.