Comic Vine Review

Comments

Red Hood and the Outlaws #21 - Dissolution Review

4

Who is behind the bounty on Jason's head and why?

This review contains spoilers!

The Good

When it comes to writer James Tynion IV's take on RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS, I've been mostly down the middle. There's a lot of potential in the story he's building, but up until this issue, I felt like I was waiting and waiting for something to truly reel me in. Well, #21 accomplishes this and it's a super exciting build-up for something that's clearly massive.

If you're a fan of lethal DC characters, this issue should have you cheering. Bronze Tiger? Cheshire? Lady Shiva? Ra's al Ghul (kind of)? And even a few new ones? Oh yes, it's quite delightful. Now we just need David Cain (and therefore opening up speculation about Cassie) and I think some fans out there would pass out from joy. And best of all, Bronze Tiger can indeed change to a human form. Although, if being in the animal form takes away from his soul, I can't help but wonder why he was like that in the annual's cliffhanger (I'm going to assume it was just to look cool and tease him, yeah?).

Also, it's revealed Jason Todd received training from Lady Shiva awhile ago. This is something I really hope Tynion showcases because training under her would definitely step up someone's game. I know he may not recall it, but it would be neat to see him display some awesomeness through muscle memory. Hell, it even made Shrike better. Remember him? No? It's okay, he's probably best left in the past anyway.

This issue opens with a draw-joppingly good splash page. The detail, the colors, the cinematic feel... it's phenomenal. While we never get quite that level of quality in the rest of the book, it's definitely able for a good chunk of the reading experience. I noticed at least once Starfire appeared two dimensional when there's an aura around her, her eyebrows are still absurd and some facial expressions felt awkward, but despite those complaints, it was still a mostly solid looking chapter.

The Bad

The split between Arsenal and Starfire felt super abrupt. The past two issues have clearly made a strong effort to grow the connection between them, so to have them go their separate ways so easily felt off to me. Now, I'm sure we'll see them join forces sooner or later (or at least I think so), but this felt like a rushed move. Also, as stated above, I thought the artwork had some inconsistencies.

I'm also left wondering what the point of Hugo Strange was if that's the last we'll see of him. I really hope a potentially interesting villain wasn't added just as a tool for Roy to elaborate on what's going on. So yeah, it goes without saying that the cover is quite misleading. That's a totally common thing, but I figured I'd throw it out there in case there's a handful of Hugo Strange fans out there who jumped for joy upon seeing it.

The Verdict

Tynion does a fine job giving Roy a relatable voice and the issue moves at a thoroughly entertaining pace. He's now moving all of the mystical and deadly pieces into place and establishing the basics --why there's a hit on their heads, who the two key sides are and what they allegedly want. The momentum is growing and finally, I'm legitimately excited for the next issue.

27 Comments
Posted by ULTRAstarkiller

Great

Edited by gorillazman2012

One thing that really annoyed my about this issue was Roy's seriously Axel Rose'ish look.

Don't even know why it annoyed me, it was a cool issue, but why did they decide for him to wear 'civilian' clothes constituting his hero outfit with a sleeveless shirt. It makes no sense!

Posted by Scarlet_Spider_Forever

Only issue with Outlaws right now is the covers. Thats all.

Posted by Nightwing_Beyond

I kinda liked Shiva as a Nightwing rival instead of her being Assassin #3 in RHATO. The mystery of her age and identity was interesting but, I have a feeling that aspect of her character has been shelved. The more I see of this New 52 Lady Shiva, the more I fear the Cassandra Cain I know doesn't exist :(

Posted by akbogert

I kind of expected this issue to make me give up the series but ultimately I was pleasantly surprised. This issue really did feel like things were starting to finally go somewhere.

Oh, I thought the thing with Starfire and Essence was pretty random and sudden. Really, everything in this issue with Starfire was random and sudden.

Edited by dondave

Loved this issue, I like the Direction James is taking Jason into

Online
Posted by Sleepbutnodream15

I wish Rocafort was back on the art. Feels like they put a new artist on this series every week. None of them have really worked for me.

Posted by TenEyedMen

Why does Hugo Strange keep getting screwed over? First Arkham City, now this.

Posted by Sammo21

I really wish I could enjoy this book but I think it has been on a downward spiral since the arc where the crew went to space. I think I am going to give this another issue or two before finally dropping it. I'll be picking this issue up tomorrow so I hope I can enjoy more the last several.

Edited by Saren

I was scratching my head over Hugo's role in this by the end of the issue. Is that really all he got up to? Essence still feels like this random character that randomly shows up at random moments......

Excited to see Bronze Tiger, Shiva and Cheshire all in the same place, though.

Moderator Online
Posted by UrbanChill

im just so detached from this book now its crazy. every week i used to look forward to reading this and now im contemplating on if i should drop this book or not with the next issue. DC made a huge mistake taking/letting lobdell off this title

Posted by Crazy_Wilhelm

I kinda liked Shiva as a Nightwing rival instead of her being Assassin #3 in RHATO. The mystery of her age and identity was interesting but, I have a feeling that aspect of her character has been shelved. The more I see of this New 52 Lady Shiva, the more I fear the Cassandra Cain I know doesn't exist :(

New 52 Shiva IS the Cassandra Cain you don't know. Problem (not even) solved.

Edited by XSpectreGreyX

@crazy_wilhelm: Well, DC does hate her with a passion, so who knows.

Posted by entropy_aegis

Eh I dont really like this whole new "mysticism" angle they've given the League.Bronze Tiger is a completely different person here.

Edited by XSpectreGreyX

I only got into the series after the end of Death of the Family. It's decent to bad, and while this issue has decent set up, it still feels iffy. Hugo Strange was there to allow Roy to recite his life story, and yet, look at the cover. I know covers can lie, but there was potential there.

The importance placed on Jason feels incredibly forced. It's like writer is just pulling this stuff out of his a*s. I really don't like this route they're going with the League of Assassins. After Death of the Family, I'd like some time to slow down and let the characters recover with some adventures. Like Batman's run-in with Clayface. You can still have Jason develop with that.

Also, the League of Assassins seems unbeatable. Cheshire alone schooled the team, with Starfire's unexplained recovery being the only reason she didn't outright win.

This is a series I only have a passing interest in, and while this issue makes me want to read the next, I don't really like this issue. After this story arc, I'll likely drop this series for Batman/Superman or Superman/Wonder Woman.

Posted by HushoftheWind

is it me or does Arsenal feels a lot more like Red Arrow than Arsenal right now. I think if he would have lost his arm somewhere in the future and replaced with a bionic arm(like in the young justice cartoon and that god forsaken Justice League: Cry for Justice), then it would be cool to have the Arsenal name.

Also, great issue, hopefully when Todd gets him memory back we can some his skill explored since and hopefully boosts his votes up in the Moon Knight vs Red Hood debate ^^b

Posted by BatWatch

Yeah, I actually went the opposite way on this one than you in some ways. I've been giving Tynion the benefit of a doubt on his run just because I've liked his previous work, but I've been hoping and praying things will pick up. This issue, things sort of did, but meh... I mean, none of the action made sense. As you said, the Kori and Roy and Doctor Strange situations were mishandled. Dealing with Spoilers, how does the end make any sense? Why were the assassins ever trying to kill Jason if he is their new leader? Why would they make him the new leader? How can Jason fight if everything "tied to the darkness" has been wiped from him.

Nope. Not working for me. I still think its okay overall, but I'm growing tired of this run.

The BatWatch Review is up.

Eh I dont really like this whole new "mysticism" angle they've given the League.Bronze Tiger is a completely different person here.

Agreed as are lots of characters. Did anyone else notice this Lady Shiva is a new character? Jade? Who the crap is Jade?

I only got into the series after the end of Death of the Family. It's decent to bad, and while this issue has decent set up, it still feels iffy. Hugo Strange was there to allow Roy to recite his life story, and yet, look at the cover. I know covers can lie, but there was potential there.

The importance placed on Jason feels incredibly forced. It's like writer is just pulling this stuff out of his a*s. I really don't like this route they're going with the League of Assassins. After Death of the Family, I'd like some time to slow down and let the characters recover with some adventures. Like Batman's run-in with Clayface. You can still have Jason develop with that.

Also, the League of Assassins seems unbeatable. Cheshire alone schooled the team, with Starfire's unexplained recovery being the only reason she didn't outright win.

This is a series I only have a passing interest in, and while this issue makes me want to read the next, I don't really like this issue. After this story arc, I'll likely drop this series for Batman/Superman or Superman/Wonder Woman.

If you like full throttle action adventures that occasionally have plot holes but are not overly full of them, RHATO's run under Lobdell is worth checking out. As much as I love Tynion and dislike Lobdell's Teen Titans, I've got to say his run was better than Tynion's or at least more fun.

Posted by akbogert

@xspectregreyx: I'm not positive, but if by "got into this series" you mean started reading -- and therefore haven't read Lobdell's run -- you absolutely should. A lot of folks who were fans of it have been underwhelmed by the series since Tynion's started, so it makes sense that you're not thrilled.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@batwatch: All are perfectly legitimate questions.

Why were the assassins ever trying to kill Jason if he is their new leader?

I was wondering the same, but then I assumed it was simply an effort to break apart the group and perhaps Cheshire was just toying with Jason and wouldn't have actually followed through. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself because otherwise, SENSE IS DOES NOT MAKE.

Why would they make him the new leader?

Yet to be revealed. I'm hoping Tynion has something worthy for that one. Otherwise...

How can Jason fight if everything "tied to the darkness" has been wiped from him.

To be fair, he hasn't been exactly impressive in that regard yet. Aside from that, perhaps muscle memory?

Edited by victorcheenoanleu

Everyone here is so damn picky. I've honestly never been a fan of Shiva or Bronze Tiger. Shiva has had her moments but we've seen time & time again writers totally depict differently from previous incarnations. I love Chesire though which is the only reason I'm going to stick around for the rest of this arc. Who knows Cassandra was at one point the leader of the League & might make an appearance here(crossing my fingers). The only thing that bothered me bout this issue was the fact that all three of them went separate ways, this issue pulled me out of the story three times, once when Essence shows up then, we're back to Roy & then back to Jason, too many changes & none of them were fluid.

Edited by XSpectreGreyX

@batwatch @akbogert

I read the first eight or so issues and was just bored. They were too wordy with little substance. I just cringed the whole way through and ditched it. Nothing appealed to me at all. But the issue after Death of the Family was decent, so I thought I'd try it out again. So far, not impressed. But I'll stick with it until the end of this storyline. My pull list is getting big, and at best, this issue is only slightly above average to me.

Edited by Jake Fury

Eh I dont really like this whole new "mysticism" angle they've given the League.Bronze Tiger is a completely different person here.

I didn't care for that either. I was hoping they'd be a bit grittier and stay closer to their roots.

right now I'm still preferring Lobdell's take on the team.

Posted by Solomonwreath

I need the art to change since I had a hard time dealing with Bronze Tiger's human face (it seemed long and flat to me)

Posted by entropy_aegis

@batwatch: Cheshires real name is Jade Nguyen.