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Red Hood and the Outlaws #6 - Take me Down to Paradise City -- Where the Sea Runs Red & the Girls are Pretty Review

5

What's the full story of Starfire? Who is she in the "New 52"? How did she and Jason meet? All that and more is answered in this issue.

For a comic that has been accused of not showing much in terms of characterization, we're discovering more and more about Jason Todd and now we're getting some answers about Starfire.

The Good

The very first issue of this series was controversial in some ways. Many reacted immediately without letting things play out. They didn't wait to see what was being set up. Of course I'm talking about Starfire. For those that have had questions about her character being such a departure from who she was pre-New 52, you won't want to miss this issue. When did Starfire arrive on Earth? Why doesn't she remember Dick Grayson? Did she and Jason sleep together? These questions are addressed as we see more of why Jason, Kori and Roy have a connection.

One of the problems with the "New 52" is the feeling that we've been thrown into the middle of a story. We saw that Jason and Starfire had some sort of history that didn't exist before and Jason had some reason to risk everything to free Roy. We didn't know what things were playing out this way but now we get to find out. The very first page has an editor's note that this issue takes place one month before issue #1. Normally flashback issues can feel a little like filler but the fact that we're seeing Jason and Kori's first encounter is great. That being said, yes, they've only known each other for a month. What happens in that month's time is worth seeing. Scott Lobdell lays it all out just right.

Adding to the story is Josh Williamson. I actually missed his name in the credits until after I read the issue. The plot is by Lobdell but Williamson puts the words on the page. Williamson is always eager and excited when it comes to the projects he works on and you can almost feel that he really digs the characters as well when reading the dialogue.

We don't just find out about Starfire. There's been questions about Jason's motivation. Is he a hero, villain or an anti-hero? He may not be the perfect hero willing to go all out and sacrifice his life for everyone but we do see what makes him tick. He does have some serious anger issues but getting killed by the Joker with a crowbar is enough to make anyone angry. Deep down, there is still traces of being a hero. After all, it was Batman that decided Jason could be a hero and had what it took to be Robin.

Kenneth Rocafort and Blond continue to dazzle us with their art and colors. The book almost comes across as too pretty. Seeing the island again that we saw in the first issue was a welcome treat (and yes, Starfire will be wearing a bikini again if that's what you're wondering).

The combination of building up the characters' backstory a little more and seeing flashbacks (Jason in the Robin suit and Dick in the blue Nightwing outfit was awesome) along with giving us answers made this a great read. There might not be huge levels of action but this issue serves to further establish why these characters are bound to each other. This is something Lobdell has been slowly building up since the first issue.

The Bad

I can't really say that there was anything I didn't like.

The Verdict

I've been enjoying this series more and more with each issue. We've seen some minor difference with the characters since the "New 52" happened but the explanations we're being given makes a lot of sense. I'm sure there might be some that won't agree with my score. What everyone needs to understand is we don't have half stars. To me, a five out of five can mean different things for different issues. This issue gets a five because of the characters' portrayal and the fact that it doesn't feel like we're being insulted. Lobdell and Williamson give a feeling that they are committed to the characters. Seeing the flashback was wonderful in that it further acknowledges that the past history hasn't been erased or is being ignored. As great as some of the "New 52" titles are, there's a lot of feeling like we still don't know what has and hasn't happened. With this issue, there simply is respect for the characters which should make new and old fans happy.

109 Comments Refresh
Edited by Jonny_Anonymous

Take that every one that jump straight on the band wagon

Posted by jsphsmth

Scott has needed co-writers a lot lately. I wonder if he is going to need to drop one of his three comics eventually. Maybe he is just a little overloaded because of the impending crossover.

Regardless, it doesn't appear to have adversely affected the quality of this comic.

Posted by The Stegman
@mr.obvious: she never was a slut
Posted by Primmaster64

Nice.

Posted by Roldan

So why wasn't Williamson credit on the cover? i defiantly would've picked it up if he is on it.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@The Stegman said:
@mr.obvious: she never was a slut
Its crazy the kind of damage one little scan can do.
Posted by ChaosAgentLoki

I'm glad to be seeing that there are more and more people who are enjoying this series. I've liked it since the first issue and it, alongside The Flash, are the only ones that I am currently still getting monthly from the new 52 (granted that will probably start shuffling around a bit once I can get a few of the trades and more work...). Anyways, I'm glad to see that it's picking up in its fanbase.

Posted by movieartman

@spiderbat87: no its the over zelous (nothing personal) idiots that take single scans out of context and label characters with out ever letting the story or explinations come out

SPOILER:

star did NOT sleep with Jason she is not a slut and that is FINAL

Edited by fodigg
Many reacted immediately without letting things play out. They didn't wait to see what was being set up.

Are you implying we were wrong to read an offensive rewrite of a beloved character and not assure ourselves, "Well that's no problem, I'm sure this will be sorted by issue six"?

  • Issue one: Offensive "I embody the male gaze" Starfire
  • Issue two: Almost no Starfire
  • Issue three: Starfire at least seems to snipe back at the boys, but still no serious characterization or personal motivation
  • Issue four: Didn't read it, I wouldn't know

If you like her presentation in the later issues, that's perfectly valid, but I think it's silly to imply that those who were upset at her presentation in 1-5 issues were somehow being unreasonable. A relaunch #1 is an important issue, and the onus is on the writer to put the best (or at least, the most interesting) foot forward for the book's protagonists.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@movieartman said:

@spiderbat87: no its the over zelous (nothing personal) idiots that take single scans out of context and label characters with out ever letting the story or explinations come out

SPOILER:

star did NOT sleep with Jason she is not a slut and that is FINAL

Are you aiming that at me because I've been saying from the start that she's not a slut 
Posted by movieartman

@spiderbat87: no i wasent just towards the general bashers that didnt read past the first issue dew to the starfire stuff

Posted by movieartman

@fodigg: issue 4-5 gave us some strong stuff with her showed she does still rememmber dick and cares about him. her and roy have some nice emotional momments

Posted by Bestostero

i thought people were mad that she slept with roy at the drop of a dime?

either way, the art is still amazing, but i didnt think it was that good.

Posted by feargalr

@mr.obvious: No she just dressed like one! By your logic comic con would infact be full of real life super heroes har har har..

Really though.. I liked this issue and Im liking the book as a whole, though I thought the art stood out more then anything else in this issue.. especially the two page spread of kori's ship.. it was sweeeet

Posted by fodigg

@movieartman:

Regarding sleeping or not sleeping with Jason, does that matter? The complaints regarding Starfire were not about "boo, now she's promiscuous," because she was always promiscuous. The complaints were about a personality rewrite from "extremes of passion/free love" to "cold, male-fantasy hedonist-bot."

I don't deny there were haters throwing around the "slut" label, but no true fan they, obviously, or they'd be more aware of how the character was portrayed as sexually active previously. The problem was context, characterization, and presentation, not general promiscuity.

Edited by fodigg

@Bestostero said:

i thought people were mad that she slept with roy at the drop of a dime?

either way, the art is still amazing, but i didnt think it was that good.

Again, not necessarily. The way she was like "fun sucks, have sex with me loser or I'll find another warm body" was a complete reversal of her "free love" form of promiscuity pre-revamp. But she pretty much did the same thing to Captain Comet before the relaunch and there was no fan outcry then, because it was handled in a way that fit the character.

@movieartman said:

@fodigg: issue 4-5 gave us some strong stuff with her showed she does still rememmber dick and cares about him. her and roy have some nice emotional momments

That's great to hear, and maybe I'll check it out, but man it should not take that long. I know Lobdell can put out a good product cause Superboy is awesome, so I don't know how he dropped the ball on this.

Have they given Starfire a personal quest/goal yet? She doesn't just need personality, she needs something she's motivated to chase, and the general "some dude wants to hunt down the alien" subplot they were setting up seemed too reactive to fit the bill.

Posted by KainScion

@mr.obvious: @The Stegman: yes she was and still is.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@KainScion said:

@mr.obvious: @The Stegman: yes she was and still is.

no she is not
Posted by fodigg

@spiderbat87 said:

@KainScion said:

@mr.obvious: @The Stegman: yes she was and still is.

no she is not

Depends on what he means. If his definition of "slut" is just "promiscuous," then I'd say he's correct but is needlessly judgmental toward sexually active women.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@fodigg said:

@spiderbat87 said:

@KainScion said:

@mr.obvious: @The Stegman: yes she was and still is.

no she is not

Depends on what he means. If his definition of "slut" is just "promiscuous," then I'd say he's correct but is needlessly judgmental toward sexually active women.

I dont see how wearing a bikini and having sex with one guy = slut unless you live in a convent 
Posted by fodigg

@spiderbat87 said:

@fodigg said:

@spiderbat87 said:

@KainScion said:

@mr.obvious: @The Stegman: yes she was and still is.

no she is not

Depends on what he means. If his definition of "slut" is just "promiscuous," then I'd say he's correct but is needlessly judgmental toward sexually active women.

I dont see how wearing a bikini and having sex with one guy = slut unless you live in a convent

Me neither, but the way that encounter was portrayed showed her as sexually forward/promiscuous--which is appropriate for her character archetype--although with a totally alien (pun intended) personality from the one her fans were used to. And to clarify I would not call her a slut in either case, I'm merely suggesting that may have been using that label to ungracefully make the argument that she is and always has been sexually forward, which would be correct.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@fodigg said:

@spiderbat87 said:

@fodigg said:

@spiderbat87 said:

@KainScion said:

@mr.obvious: @The Stegman: yes she was and still is.

no she is not

Depends on what he means. If his definition of "slut" is just "promiscuous," then I'd say he's correct but is needlessly judgmental toward sexually active women.

I dont see how wearing a bikini and having sex with one guy = slut unless you live in a convent

Me neither, but the way that encounter was portrayed showed her as sexually forward/promiscuous--which is appropriate for her character archetype--although with a totally alien (pun intended) personality from the one her fans were used to. And to clarify I would not call her a slut in either case, I'm merely suggesting that @KainScion may have been using that label to ungracefully make the argument that she is and always has been sexually forward, which would be correct.

I dont see whats wrong with the different personalty either, she starts off uncaring then her character develops throughout the series. Having the character start out all happy and nice would not fit the tone of the book and would leave no room for character development    
Edited by fodigg

@spiderbat87 said:

I dont see whats wrong with the different personalty either, she starts off uncaring then her character develops throughout the series. Having the character start out all happy and nice would not fit the tone of the book and would leave no room for character development

That may be, but my response to that is:

  • It was a big alteration to her character and one that, understandably I think, upset her fans
  • They failed to offer anything compelling for the character in the first three issues and her presentation in the first issue was outright sexist (compare to Voodoo, which presents a main character stripping who is still a complete and compelling character, right from issue one)
  • They could have done different arcs with a happy & nice Starfire, or they could have done a non-happy & nice Starfire with a consistent personality to her core character

Again, the Captain Comet arc is a good example. She was hardly happy & nice but it was consistent with her character and was setting up for a new arc/direction (away from Grayson). It sounds like this is what Lobdell is doing in Red Hood as well, but the way he went about it seems pretty ass-backward (this pun less intended).

Edit: Also, I'd say that we had enough cold, non-character sex-bots in comics. The old Kory was a much more interesting (if common in sci-fi) archetype. If the Kory in Red Hood #4-6 is getting to the point where it's more like old Kory (or at least, more interesting than what we got in issue 1), great, but it's poor writing that they chose not to present a compelling version of Starfire in issue #1-3, especially since what we got was so stereotypically male fantasy.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@fodigg said:

@spiderbat87 said:

I dont see whats wrong with the different personalty either, she starts off uncaring then her character develops throughout the series. Having the character start out all happy and nice would not fit the tone of the book and would leave no room for character development

That may be, but my response to that is:

  • It was a big alteration to her character and one that, understandably I think, upset her fans
  • They failed to offer anything compelling for the character in the first three issues and her presentation in the first issue was outright sexist (compare to Voodoo, which presents a main character stripping who is still a complete and compelling character, right from issue one)
  • They could have done different arcs with a happy & nice Starfire, or they could have done a non-happy & nice Starfire with a consistent personality to her core character

Again, the Captain Comet arc is a good example. She was hardly happy & nice but it was consistent with her character and was setting up for a new arc/direction (away from Grayson). It sounds like this is what Lobdell is doing in Red Hood as well, but the way he went about it seems pretty ass-backward (this pun less intended).

Yours is a valid opinion and I respect that, unlike some others that see a girl talking about sex and run crying to the message boards.
Posted by fodigg

@spiderbat87 said:

@fodigg said:

@spiderbat87 said:

I dont see whats wrong with the different personalty either, she starts off uncaring then her character develops throughout the series. Having the character start out all happy and nice would not fit the tone of the book and would leave no room for character development

That may be, but my response to that is:

  • It was a big alteration to her character and one that, understandably I think, upset her fans
  • They failed to offer anything compelling for the character in the first three issues and her presentation in the first issue was outright sexist (compare to Voodoo, which presents a main character stripping who is still a complete and compelling character, right from issue one)
  • They could have done different arcs with a happy & nice Starfire, or they could have done a non-happy & nice Starfire with a consistent personality to her core character

Again, the Captain Comet arc is a good example. She was hardly happy & nice but it was consistent with her character and was setting up for a new arc/direction (away from Grayson). It sounds like this is what Lobdell is doing in Red Hood as well, but the way he went about it seems pretty ass-backward (this pun less intended).

Yours is a valid opinion and I respect that, unlike some others that see a girl talking about sex and run crying to the message boards.

Thanks. I don't deny that those people exist. I dislike the morality police who think women shouldn't have casual sex if they want to, I think the well-intentioned if overzealous feminists who attack any sexuality in a female character (rather than looking at context) are going about it wrong, and I wish the haters who are just attracted to controversy would go away.

Sadly all three were mixed up in the hype surrounding that issue's release, and I think that contributed to Lobdell's defensiveness of his work. Which is a shame because I really wanted to get my concerns--which of course I think are valid, although admittedly that may be just because they're my concerns--across to him and was given the brush-off.

It sounds like things are moving in the right direction but I still think that first issue was a horrible misstep. Starfire's portrayal (and Catwoman's for that matter) deserved criticism, but not for the "moral crime" of being too sexual in nature. They were just poorly presented (again, compare to Voodoo for what I think good presentation is).

Posted by BlackArmor

@spiderbat87 said:

Take that every one that jump straight on the band wagon

Those guys are looking pretty dumb right about now....

Posted by WildValentine

@fodigg: I enjoyed reading your posts on this topic. Well constructed and thought out.

Posted by danhimself

so.....HOW AWESOME WAS DICK'S OLD DISCOWING SUIT IN THIS TIMELINE????????? and I don't think that anyone even noticed that Jason has been running around in one Dick's old costumes either

Posted by zackattack529

im glad i decided to drop this series for ultimate xmen

red hood to me has nothing special to it, youd REALLY have to find things to like about it, and ill admit. there were some things i liked about this series, but just the fact that youd have to reaaallly open your mind to find the qualities dont agree with me having to spend $3 everymonth when it can go to better comics series. i like the characters but i think they could have more rougue personalities, the titl does say outlaws..they should act like it...i know i sound like im nitpicking but my opinion. im SHOCKED this issue got 5/5. read it in the store thought itd recieve 3 at best. but i guess im so close minded i dont see the real beauty of this book..idk :/

Posted by nightlock

yeah it's pretty good. finally solved that big cliff hanger from the previous issues

Posted by daredevil21134

Great issue

Posted by soccersss

@spiderbat87 said:

Take that every one that jump straight on the band wagon

They are all hiding in a corner right now

This was a good recap issue. It answered a lot of questions. The artwork continues to impress

Posted by xkoenig

I'll be honest, I'm still not fully convinced by this title. The main problem I have is with the portrayal of the key main character, Red Hood. Yeah, I get he has 'anger' issues, but the way he's being written right now he is sooo hard to root for, and he just comes off as an asshole, I'm afraid. So he's been trained to dislike hurting people. But he has no problem killing with little or no thought, so now what? Lobdell's writing is just a little too incoherent here IMO. Jason is the lead guy here, we should believe in his journey. Too often I just don't buy that he ever did a good deed without being a grouchy, arrogant jackass while doing it!

Edited by notarandomguy
Trust me she's not, it is revealed that she did loved Dick, they still had their history, plus we get to see how Jason got his new costume with the Bat symbol, that they didn't slept together but they did kissed, and we get to see an image of Dick, Roy and Kori as the Titans (or something like that).... I think I just ruined the comic u.u I'm sorry

Edited by daredevil21134

@spiderbat87 said:

Take that every one that jump straight on the band wagon

lol,damn right

Posted by BlackArmor

@notarandomguy said:

Trust me she's not, it is revealed that she did loved Dick, they still had their history, plus we get to see how Jason got his new costume with the Bat symbol, that they didn't slept together but they did kissed, and we get to see an image of Dick, Roy and Kori as the Titans (or something like that).... I think I just ruined the comic u.u I'm sorry

Can't read your spoiler

Posted by Dernman

I'm trying to get into this book but I'm just not liking Red Hoods part in this.

Edited by daredevil21134

@spiderbat87: @BlackArmor: Where is all the complaining about Red Hood being damn near naked throughout the whole book?When Starfire was in a bikini it was World War 3 and Scott Lobdell was being sexist.

Posted by NXH

Ah man! I might have to start picking this book up again. Or I might just wait for the trade.

Posted by Dark_Vengeance_

@daredevil21134 said:

@spiderbat87: @BlackArmor: Where is all the complaining about Red Hood being damn near naked throughout the whole book?When Starfire was in a bikini it was World War 3 and Scott Lobdell was being sexist.

couldn't have said it better.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@daredevil21134 said:

@spiderbat87: @BlackArmor: Where is all the complaining about Red Hood being damn near naked throughout the whole book?When Starfire was in a bikini it was World War 3 and Scott Lobdell was being sexist.

It's only sexist if it's a female apparently. A few weeks a go a company had an advertising champaign that featured a woman in a bikini but they where told to remove it because it's sexist so then that same company replaced it with a topless man and were told it was a'ok
Posted by sethysquare

Can everyone stop calling Starfire a slut?

Thats a pretty derogatory term for a women.

Posted by sethysquare

@mr.obvious said:

So is Starfire still a slut in this?

Seriously, shame on you.

Posted by Herx

Seeing as i now i have to pick up all or my oreders up in (due to me living in another city temporarily) i haven't bought the issue yet, though i did take a look through it whilst buying my non-order comics. I thought it was cool and did answer the questions that were being asked after the first issue. I don't like jumping to conclusions after reading a few issues, so even if a series is bad ill keep on ir for a while, but i think we all felt that when the first batch of #1's came out pretty much most of the seriestarted off as if they were either already in the middle of something trying to create that idea that the new 52 wasnt a compleat new start but that there was already some history to it. I knew that the starfire thing was gona be explained but i also knew that red hood has top billing for this series, so his story had to be told first. Plus thanks to his Q&As Scott was nice enough to answer some our quieries. I've been enjoying Red Hood and the outlaws and realy hope that thoes people who shuned and threw this series away after the first issue will think again. Dont judge a series on one issue. Thats all im saying. :)

P.S. OMG this is sooooooo sexist!!! They've got Jason all naked and what not just to please the labidos of thoes girl comic book fans!!!!! This is SoooooooOOOOOOOoooooooooo not like the character that i knEw!!!!!! SEXIST!!!!!!!

LOL :P

Posted by Outside_85

@sethysquare said:

Can everyone stop calling Starfire a slut?

Thats a pretty derogatory term for a women.

It was also a pretty degrading portrayal.

Posted by Skywarpgold

I came into the new 52 thing as a comic fan who hadn't read single issues in over 15 years, and then, not too many DC books. Because of that, I had no preconceived notions of how these characters should be portrayed. I enjoyed the first few issues enough to stick with it until now, and this issue just solidified it as one of my top books of the new 52.

Posted by BlackArmor

@spiderbat87 said:

@daredevil21134 said:

@spiderbat87: @BlackArmor: Where is all the complaining about Red Hood being damn near naked throughout the whole book?When Starfire was in a bikini it was World War 3 and Scott Lobdell was being sexist.

It's only sexist if it's a female apparently. A few weeks a go a company had an advertising champaign that featured a woman in a bikini but they where told to remove it because it's sexist so then that same company replaced it with a topless man and were told it was a'ok

Things are so sensitive now days that in order to avoid double standards a double standard has been created. Not to say this is as bad as sexism towards women that didn't let them vote or anything, but its still not right

Edited by sethysquare

@Outside_85 said:

@sethysquare said:

Can everyone stop calling Starfire a slut?

Thats a pretty derogatory term for a women.

It was also a pretty degrading portrayal.

No it wasn't. At no point of time was Starfire portrayed as degrading, the problem with most people is that she is a character on a popular teen show. Many other female characters have done the same thing, even real women.

Secondly, calling women sluts, isn't just an insult, but its society's way to discriminate women whereby men can get away with having casual sex, but women can't.

That is sexism, something you're guilty of.

Posted by Hacked

@daredevil21134 said:

@spiderbat87: @BlackArmor: Where is all the complaining about Red Hood being damn near naked throughout the whole book?When Starfire was in a bikini it was World War 3 and Scott Lobdell was being sexist.

So many of you are missing the point many fans had with the first issue of this book. The very first panels of it had a male character refer to Starfire as powerful - as in - a pair of 38's. That is objectification. That was a sexist remark. That was provided by the writer (Lobdell). Then - shortly thereafter, there was a pin-up sized drawing of Starfire in her "World War 3" instigating bikini.

Pretty sure Fodigg post earlier in this thread was clear on the majority of fans' take on Starfire's re-introduction in the new 52. To me - Starfire shoud/could be with whomever she chooses, and should/could wear whatever she wants. It was the complete emptying of a previously enjoyed character and how she was presented that caused some discontent.

Looks like its been addressed, but holy cow - six issues to do it? And yes - people should judge a new series based on its first issue - that's the way it works in the comics business. Maybe her character should have been established first and then reveal her to be this free-thinking, female of the universe who indulges her physical wants. Maybe then she wouldn't have been translated into a robot-following blow up doll by such a large amount of fans. It was a failing on the part of the writer - and back then, he chose to focus only on the faction who threw the word "slut" around instead of the real concerns real fans had.

No. Lobdell deserved the criticism and to me, it looks like he paid attention to it. I wish continued success to this comic.

Posted by SC

Take that 12 thousand people who dropped this title, haha, bet you feel like idiots now. You should have waited! Well DC is laughing at you and your $36 000 dollars, you fools, that money could be with DC right now, comics, but you bobo heads blew it. I mean its not like you have 51 other DC comics to choose from, all 100 plus Marvel or DC comics to choose from, all roughly 200 comics all up, or video games, books, Manga, TV, and various other mediums to compete with. I mean all comic fans should just buy every comic out there because I am sure it will get better eventually yes? 
 
By the way I went to a Zoo the other week, and all the animals were naked, was really freaky. Anyway, so they had this lion pole dancing under water in order to be fed, it attracted a huge crowd, but it was okay, because the Elephant was naked too, because thats exactly how logic works, and if anyone wants to use your brain to think about the issue deeper, stop. Right. Now. Your just way too sensitive or possibly a communist. The time for thinking is over, just remember the Elephant is naked too. See? Simple. They'll probably censor the Elephants trunk though if he wants billboard work, so if anything there is a double standard against Elephants!!!! Outrageous!  
 
Personally I am enjoying the book more now, and that automatically makes all my arguments correct! Yey team logic! 

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