Scott Lobdell and Dexter Soy continue to create an emotionally rich story for Jason Todd and in his companions in Red Hood And The Outlaws #13. In the last issue, Bizarro sacrificed himself to stop a rampaging Solomon Grundy, dying in Red Hood and Artemis’ arms. Before the Outlaws could fully take in their friend’s sacrifice, Lex Luthor appeared on the scene. What are Luthor’s intentions and does he plan to use Bizarro for his own agenda?
The issue kicks off with Bizarro as the narrator, recalling his memories of how he came to Earth. The art is cute and toy-like to reflect how the memories are false. Bizarro’s real memories take over and he remembers how ‘God’ said he should die. Bizarro comparing Luthor to God is a great touch because it fits with the man’s god complex.
Meanwhile, Red Hood is suspicious of Luthor, while Artemis insists they should see how it plays out. They discuss their past and admit that Bizarro is a link that binds them together. For Artemis, she can be in the moment and be herself. For Jason, Bizarro is his best friend and the one he feels most connected to. They come across as worried parents who want their child to get better and it’s a touching sequence.
Bizarro’s narration trickles in and out of the story as he thinks about his friends and contemplates what it means to be alive. Even though his speech is limited, there’s a profound self-awareness that makes him the breakout star of the comic. Luthor’s characterisation is spot on as well. He’s the right amount of arrogant, but also genuinely cares about his creation and wants to save his life.
As always, Soy’s art is incredible. It’s amazing that he can draw cartoony panels for Bizarro’s memories and then shift to gritty realism later. There’s two panels where Jason and Artemis are talking about the past and their memories are drawn as a backdrop. The attention to detail is beautiful, making Red Hood And The Outlaws one of the best looking comics out today.
The ending is unexpected and should create some interesting stories for the Outlaws going forward. If you haven’t picked up an issue of Red Hood And The Outlaws yet then I couldn’t recommend the series enough. Lobdell and Soy have given fans the Jason Todd we’ve always wanted and that shows no sign of stopping.