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.
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.
Today, Scott and Shelby are discussing Teen Titans 15, originally released January 2, 2013. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.
Scott: “Joker is a psychopath like you’ve never seen before, but he usually likes to talk a lot before acting.” These are Batgirl’s words of encouragement that there’s still time to save Red Robin from the Joker. I’m not sure her inclusion of the word “but” is necessary; if the suspense thriller genre has taught us anything, it’s that being a psychopathic killer and talking for too long go hand in hand. But the Joker really takes it to a new level in Teen Titans 15. The lasting image of this issue is that of the Joker wheeling out a chalkboard to help explain the complexity of his evil plan to Red Robin.
Today, 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 →
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. Continue reading →
Today, 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 →
Today, 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 →
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.
Today, Patrick and Peter are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 10, originally released June 20th, 2012.
Patrick: Red Hood and the Outlaws is a kitchen sink sort of series. There are aliens, there are mist-women, there are secret races of warrior people – and at the heart of it is a trio of heroes that don’t really make sense in each other’s worlds. Whenever the series teeters on the edge of a metaphysical discovery of the ancient mystical world, a spaceship flies in, or some classic Batman villain makes an appearance. So much of the series’ appeal comes from the way our core group of heroes interacts and adapts to these insanely diverse (diversely insane?) scenarios.