Red Hood & The Outlaws #19 Review
***SPOILER FREE REVIEW***
When I first heard of the creative changes for Red Hood & the Outlaws (RHatO), I was excited. Previous writer Scott Lobdell's (Teen Titans, Superman) run was a mixed bag, with some issues being genuinely fun, while others were a dud. A new creative team was in order. Unfortunately, the new creative doesn't even live up to the modest level of the previous creative team.
Several of Lobdell's best issues dived into Jason Todd's psyche, and let us understand what is torturing the former Robin and what causes him his inner anguish. Unfortunately, new writer James Tynion IV (Talon) decides to focus on other elements that feel both rushed and poorly developed. In addition, there are several gaps of logic and plot holes in this comic that are rather distracting and deter from the book's enjoyability. I will give Tynion credit, he does a good job of writing Starfire and Roy; in fact, I would say that Starfire is more likable in this issue than in many of Lobdell's issues. Whatever positives I can say about the writing in this issue however, are outweighed by the negatives.
Previous artist Kenneth Rockafort (Superman) made RHatO into one of the most unique looking titles on the shelves with his unique use of perspective and paneling. Unfortunately, the title suffered through several mediocre artists, dropping the overall profile of this title. Originally solicited artist Mico Suayan (Harbinger, Batman: Arkham Unhinged) would have been a boon for this title (as looking at his covers for Issues #16 to #18). Unfortunately, Suayan is not the artist for this title, as he is replaced by artist Julius Gopez (Dragonlance Chronicles). Gopez' art is rather unrefined, especially in the way he draws faces. Characters look different panel to panel, with their faces frozen in awkward and overexaggerated poses. It's very distracting, and takes away from Gopez' strengths (ex. his backgrounds). It's always a sever drawback when the artist's work brings the narrative to a screeching halt as its distractingly unpolished.
This issue of RHatO was a severe disappointment. Both the writing and the art suffer from significant faults, leaving this issue to appear severely rushed. It's a shame, as this title was one of DC's most consistently fun titles. Hopefully, this creative team is able to come together and make this series fun again.