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

Superman Annual 1

Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Superman Annual 1, originally released August 29th, 2012.

Patrick: DC Comics has a Superman problem. Supes is the quintessential American comic book superhero. Batman, Wolverine and the Hulk have all proven to be more bankable than ol’ Kal-El, but there’s no escaping the simple mythology and iconography of Superman. Remember when they killed Superman? Of course you do — everyone knew about it — it was a news item. When your grandmother knows the name ‘Clark Kent,’ it’s clear that the character — for whatever reason — has immeasurable appeal. But when you try to pick up a comic and read about the adventures of the last son of Krypton, you are never rewarded with that same simplicity. In fact, Superman has his feet in both the superhero-nonsense AND the outer-space-nonsense aspects of the DC Universe. At this point, I’m starting to fancy myself a bit of a comic book nerd and I am still off-put by the sheer volume of aliens, heroes, villains and history (both secret and otherwise).

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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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Red Hood and the Outlaws 10

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.

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Red Hood and the Outlaws 9

Today, Patrick and Peter are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 9 originally released May 16th, 2012. This issue is part of the Night of the Owls crossover event. Click here for complete NotO coverage. Not caught up on Red Hood and the Outlaws? No problem! Get up to speed with our video Cram Session.

Patrick: Being that the Retcon Punchers and obsessive-nerd-completionists, we feel the need to know as much as we can about a subject. The Night of the Owls presents an interesting challenge to us – and to many comic readers: what do you read and what do you ignore? I suppose it’s a question we all face every day, and it applies to a far broader band than “what comic books should I read?” We decide which foods we eat, which concerts we attend, which causes we champion, which people we befriend. There’s literally no way to shake the nagging feeling that (no matter what choices we’re making) we’re missing something. This is compounded by the all-too-frequent experience of discovering something that you had previously blown off is really good. That has been my experience with Red Hood and the Outlaws. Continue reading

Cram Session: Red Hood and the Outlaws 1-8

It can be hard to keep up with all the comics you love. But it’s damn near impossible to keep up with all the comics you’re interested in.

Retcon Punch got you covered.

You may have dismissed Red Hood and the Outlaws as an overly violent pubescent sexual fantasy. But that assessment is too limited. Write Scott Lobdell mines a surprising amount of pathos from Jason Todd’s past. The characters are also really exciting and funny – Jason, Roy and Kori are essentially the Dukes of Hazard of the DC Universe. And artist Kenneth Rocafort delivers excellent, innovative layouts on literally every page. Look, it’s fun, that’s what I’m saying. We’ve got a video recap right here so you can jump right in to their Night of the Owls adventure!