From the very first pages we see subtle touches that show us the characters aren't as shallow as many would like to assume they are. Many objected to Starfire and Roy's hook up in the first issue but we see there is a little more to that encounter. Jason also gets a little more humanizing as we see him actually follow through with a situation that came up in an earlier issue (hint, it had to do with when he was on a plane trip).
The focus in this issue is Starfire. More and more I'm reminded why I enjoyed her character in the early days of the NEW TEEN TITANS. Lobdell is showing that she is more than what she appears to be. When a situation involving her home world arises, it's the chance to see her take charge as well as for Jason and Roy to find themselves pulled into being a 'team.' We know they've never officially declared themselves an actual team but they can't help but be there for each other when needed. This is what makes reading this series so enjoyable. They might never admit it but there is a bond they cannot ignore.
I also have to say that seeing Kori in her leadership role is pretty amazing. Critics of the earlier issues might be pretty surprised that her command outfit consists of being fully clothed. But seeing how easily and comfortably she takes command over the situation is clear evidence that she is not a brainless tart just meant to be eye candy for readers.
Those wanting to see more of Essence of the Untitled are in for a treat as well.
The story with Jason, Kori and Roy isn't a full-length feature. It's only 14 pages and we have a six page back up with Essence. If it was mentioned that this was going to be the case, I missed it (I often try to avoid solicit info so I can be surprised when reading the issues). I am curious to see where the Essence story will go but I'm reading this series for Jason, Kori and Roy. If Rocafort needed time or something and could only do 14 pages here, I can accept and understand that. It's just unfortunate to not get a complete issue when the page count has already been reduced to twenty pages of content.
Get ready for Red Hood and the Outlaws to go out in space. Despite Starfire's background, this isn't something I expected to see the series to do. It's great in that it completely changes the pace and direction of the title. It also gives Starfire a chance to really kick butt and take charge of the situation that is calling her off Earth. Lobdell continues to build up this cast of misfits and shows us there is more to them than we thought we knew. They have formed a bond and they might not be completely aware how strong it is themselves. Rocafort does a great job giving us the pretty visuals but unfortunately this story only lasts fourteen pages. We get a pretty cool six page back up that is setting up delivering more information on what Essence has been up to and how it might possibly affect the Outlaws in future issues. I enjoy reading this series each month but I could do without a reduction in the main story just to get more on a minor character. It feels like it's going to be a long month in waiting for the next issue.