Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual 1

red hood annual

Today, Mikyzptlk and Patrick are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual 1, originally released May 29th, 2013. 

Mikyzptlk: Our past is a part of who we are. Often enough, it can be something that defines us if we let it. Now, that can either be a good or a bad thing depending on who you are. The last few issues of Red Hood and the Outlaws have focussed on Jason erasing his own past from his memories in an attempt to start fresh. Things haven’t gone as smoothly for Jason as he had hoped it seems as he is finding it harder to escape his past than he thought. Jason’s teammates are no strangers to a past they’d rather forget too, and this issue finds everyone looking back, when all they really want to do is look forward. The Annual is definitely another step in the right direction, even if I do have a bone or two to pick. Continue reading

Red Hood and the Outlaws 20

Red Hood 20 redux

Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 20, originally released May 15th, 2013.

Spencer: Our past can be a burden, but it can also be a gift, and while some things are out of our control, most of what determines how we view our past is how we learn from our mistakes, live with our regrets, and learn to forge on. For Red Hood, Arsenal, and Starfire, their past falls into both camps; a shared history of tragedy is what initially drew these three together and cemented their friendship, but their own inability to reconcile their pasts and find a way to deal might just end up driving the Outlaws apart instead.

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Red Hood and the Outlaws 19

red hood 19

Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 19, originally released April 17th, 2013.

Patrick: Drew and I were pretty big fans of Red Hood and the Outlaws when we marathoned the first 8 issues to prep for the Night of the Owls. We’ve enumerated our reasons for liking it so much in an alarming number of articles since then, always apologizing for the state the series is in currently. It became a slog – that whole arc with Kori’s old spaceship crew and her sister, the Death of the Family – all of it seemingly worked against our good will for the series. We even went so far as to drop it from the Retcon Punch pull. We gave up on Jason Todd. Which makes Roy Harper a much better friend than we are.

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Red Hood and the Outlaws 16

red hood 16 DoF

Today, Mikyzptlk and guest writer Pivitor are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 16, originally released January 23rd, 2013. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.

Mikyzptlk: As we all know, there are A LOT of comics out there competing for our dollars. Books like Scott Snyder’s Batman or Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman attempt to push the boundaries of reader expectation and deliver tales that are legitimately astonishing to behold. I’ve given two examples from one publisher from barely over one year of publishing, but there are even more possibilities just as astounding from publishers such as Marvel, Image, Vertigo, IDW, Oni Press, Archaia, and more! That said, not every comic is great, and with so much out there to consume, it’s getting harder to convince myself to continue to spend the $2.99 a month on a book that lacks the quality of its competitors.

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Red Hood and the Outlaws 15

Alternating Currents: Red Hood and the Outlaws 15, Drew and ShelbyToday, Drew and Shelby are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 15 originally released December 19th, 2012. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.

Drew: Back when I first read Red Hood and the Outlaws 0, I was in awe of the backup revealing the Joker’s role in Jason’s life. I wasn’t sure at the time whether or not I truly believed Joker’s story (he’s not the most reliable narrator), but the thought that it could be true was a fascinating idea. One of the things that struck me about that story is that it more or less confirms that Joker knows who Batman (and by extension, the rest of the bat-family) is, a notion that has been at the forefront of the Death of the Family event. I’ve staunchly defended the possibility that the Joker is bluffing, but this issue’s focus on his relationship with Jason makes that outcome seem as remote as ever. Continue reading

Red Hood and the Outlaws 14

Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 14, originally released November 21st, 2012.

Shelby: I’m in an interesting position reviewing Red Hood and the Outlaws. I didn’t start reading this title until the last arc with Kori and her home planet. I missed out on those first few issues that Drew and Patrick raved about. Even without reading those first issues, I can understand what they liked in this book; these are three very unique characters, and together they form a very unique team. But I feel like all the last handful of issues has done is show me what this book could be instead of just living up to its potential.
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Red Hood and the Outlaws 13

Alternating Currents: Red Hood 13, Drew and ShelbyToday, Drew and Shelby are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 13, originally released October 17th, 2012.

Drew: I hate recommending art. From movies to books to music, I think there’s something really presumptuous about the statement “you’d like this.” Moreover, I hate what recommending that art says about me, especially if the person I recommended it to didn’t like the art in question. This may all stem from a particularly traumatic recommending experience where, while staying overnight at my cousins, I insisted that we all watch the TGIF programming bloc — a mainstay of my Friday nights at home. For whatever reason, this particular Friday aligned with all four shows delivering episodes uncharacteristically romantic in nature. I’m sure it was as tame as a kitten fight, but it struck my young mind as profoundly inappropriate — at least in part because I was acutely aware that my aunt had already banned The Simpsons in her household, which seemed unfathomable to me. As if to intentionally make me feel more devious in my tastes, at the conclusion of the night, she remarked, “well, that’s really not the kind of thing we like to watch around here.” The absurdity of being made to feel TGIF was inappropriate aside, I still get incredibly nervous when someone consumes art on my recommendation. That feeling is only exacerbated in cases of serialized narratives, where the sampled episode/issue may not be indicative of what you actually like about it. That’s more or less the feeling I have introducing Shelby to Red Hood and the Outlaws with issue 13. Continue reading

Red Hood and the Outlaws 0

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 0, originally released September 19, 2012. Red Hood and the Outlaws 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.

Drew: Back when we started reading this title, Patrick and I couldn’t believe how much we liked it. We were wary of this title, famous for it’s leering depiction of Starfire, but Scott Lobdell’s charming characters and Kenneth Rocafort’s distinctive art won us over. The title was a blast, and we couldn’t understand all the ire that was directed at Lobdell — he seemed like a great writer to us. Our love affair started to wane a bit as Rocafort left, and branching out into Lobdell’s other titles left us unimpressed, leading us to question Lobdell’s prowess as a writer (perhaps unfairly). Is Lobdell the clever writer we thought, or the hack so many were making him out to be? In Red Hood and the Outlaws 0, Lobdell seems to address that question head-on, counting on our writing him off as pedestrian in order to better shock us with a earth-shifting twist in the epilogue. Continue reading

Red Hood and the Outlaws 12

Alternating Currents: Red Hood 12, Drew and PeterToday, Drew and Peter are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 12, originally released August 15th, 2012.

Drew: We tend to talk a lot about writers here at Retcon Punch. We certainly pay attention to the art, and have often found rewarding things to discuss when doing so, but we always seem to come back to the writer. Writers have so much control, particularly over the kinds of things we like to talk about here — character development, voice, plotting — but forgetting how much influence the artist has over the final product is a mistake. It’s like valuing a film or playwright’s input over that of the director or actors’; sure, it make sense in theory, but you don’t have to see too many community theater productions of Shakespeare to know that even the best scripts can be muddled in the wrong hands.  It’s unfortunate that it often takes examples like the community theater to emphasize the importance of the other collaborators, and it is also unfortunate that this issue is one such example. Continue reading

Red Hood and the Outlaws 11

Today, Peter and Patrick are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 11, originally released July 18th, 2012.

Peter: Red Hood and the Outlaws is a bit of an odd duck. It has the makings of a Bat Family book: it’s got Jason Todd, once Robin the Boy Wonder, now ultraviolent vigilante. It also has two ex-Teen Titans, one of whom apparently was a bad ass space captain, while the other was addicted to heroin. While the early story arcs really focused on Jason, (and the Night of Owls), this current arc is about Koriand’r/Starfire. Turns out, she used to be (and still is) a badass.

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