Comic Vine Review


Red Hood and the Outlaws #20 - Confessions Review


Arsenal and Kori dive into Red Hood's memories as they try to reverse his decision.

The Good

If there's one thing I loved about writer James Tynion IV's second issue on RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS, it's the huge boost in momentum that hits us in the final scene. Tynion's certainly a talented writer, but in all honesty, I really wasn't digging the issue all that much up until that point. But when we finally reach that moment, it mostly countered the mundane feelings I had for everything else in the issue. Maybe it's my love for DC's assassins and lesser known villains, but the concept of everyone gunning for the trio has me super excited. It's by no means the most original idea around and -- perhaps it's eluding my memory -- the detailed reasoning behind it hasn't really been elaborated on all that much, but when it comes to this premise, I'm totally game.

Julius Gopez's art is definitely a mixed bag for me, but there's one panel that really won me over. Roy fires an arrow and it's just so amazingly cinematic. There's excellent use of blur to let us fully appreciate the momentum behind the projectile and, compared to the rest of the issue, this was easily the most engaging panel for me. Additionally, I liked the way Gopez illustrated the issue's surprise cameo at the conclusion.

The Bad

A trip into Jason's head to justify his drastic choice to his allies should feel emotional and powerful, yet I wasn't hooked. Personally, it felt like covering too much familiar territory without really attempting to showing it in a different light. Yes, we saw his time with the League of Assassins, but it was rather short and didn't do anything other than showing Todd's not a terrible person -- and that's something we all know. It's almost as if they knew this argument over his choice had to happen, so from there they went through the motions simply to lead us to the bigger story that's hinted in the end. It essentially feels like trying to quickly acknowledge Todd's new origin before allegedly leaving it in the dust. It was implied Todd can reverse the memory-wipe, so there's always potential for these elements to come crashing back into the series.

Gopez's art definitely isn't bad, but I'm not a fan of the facial expressions. I can't quite put my finger on it... they basically feel overly dramatic or painfully awkward. Also, we took a stroll down memory lane and saw Jason Todd as Robin, though he was every bit as physically fit as current Todd. He's shorter, but he by no means looks young, so having Starfire say, "He's so small" definitely felt off because... well, he wasn't. He was quite ripped. Minor gripe: Batman's cape. It felt slightly organic and way too large in a standing position. I wouldn't be surprised if he tripped over it.

Covers are notorious for being misleading, but it would be nice if this one didn't give away the fact S'aru had an ulterior motive. Sure, it was fair to assume it, but it would have made the reveal more effective if the cover's dialogue didn't make him so blatantly suspicious.

The Verdict

I'm very curious to see where Tynion will go from here. While the action-packed plot has me stoked (can we please see the return of Drakon?), I'm even more interested to see how he'll handle Todd's future. Like I said above, it's implied this memory-wipe can be reversed, but there's no guarantee he was being honest or that Todd will indeed change his mind. As someone who feels like Scott Lobdell overcomplicated Todd's origin with new elements (his elaborate training, Joker's connection to everything), my interest is certainly piqued. With these dark elements allegedly erased, will we see him become a hero with morals similar to Nightwing instead of an anti-hero? We've already had a small taste of Todd being quite optimistic in this issue, so I'm anxious to see how that will unfold as he's tested in more dire situations and what this could mean for his relationship for the rest of the Bat-family. The poor guy has been through hell and back in The New 52, so giving him some happiness (even if it's just for an arc or two while he's being hunted) is something I'd love to see. Is this a permanent change and a new direction for Todd... or will his memories come rushing back when all is said and done? Only time will tell and, while I thought this issue was just okay, I'm fairly excited to see how this will all play out.

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Edited By akbogert

I'd concur that this issue was "just okay," but the thing that made me "love it" was the thing that perhaps you and others will most dislike: the blatant suggestion that this memory erasure is temporary. As one of the many who clearly loved Lobdell's run (I say clearly because it obviously has sold well enough under his watch), the idea of erasing 18 issues of development is, to me, rather insulting. Gone for an arc? Cool. Gone, period? That might "erase" this book from my pull list.

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Posted By daredevil21134

Good review.I'm really not digging this book anymore.

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Posted By theTimeStreamer

just a matter of time before this gets cancelled.

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Posted By soumya

As a matter of fact this seems even worse than Lobdell's run on this series.I know he complicated things for Jason.Then again this book had it's moments on his watch.Tynion made it worse.I like his other book "Talon",but this seems kinda' 'meh' to me.This book deserves more "fun" elements,instead we got all the melodrama in the previous two issues.

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Edited By akbogert

@soumya: I'd agree that fun is the element I'm missing. That's what made the book so attractive to me: it didn't take itself seriously, despite the horrible things these three have dealt with. And in spite of the fun they were still having moments and growing.

This transition has certainly not been what I hoped it would be, though I've not given up on it yet.

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Posted By soumya

@akbogert: Hmm..may be Jason's condition is a temporary thing.Things can be spiced up later when Chesire and Bronze Tiger will appear.So in a matter of speaking I am willing to see what future holds for this book.You see,all I wanted was a change in direction with a new story arc.I don't like all the idea of dragging the "all caste'' nonsense once again.

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Posted By Mucklefluga

Aww man don't mention that stupid Joker origin thing :/

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Posted By kilomac29

I completely agree with this review. The reveal at the end will keep me reading, but the art was just weird overall.

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Posted By BatWatch

Yeah, I'm sorta there with you on most of what you say except I actually ended up enjoying it a lot. It did retread some stuff we already knew, but it also offered insights into parts of his life we never knew, and it drew out the connection between the pain of Jason's life and Roy. This issue also made Starfire something other than a complete moron, so I'm definitely excited about that. I agree the setup for the annual looks pretty cool, and it will hopefully be much more action packed like we expect from this series, but the basic idea of this issue, as I saw it, was about realizing the depths that your your friend has endured that you never realized. I thought that was pretty cool
I do agree that Gopez's art was downright strained at some points. He makes very awkward faces.

The BatWatch Review is up.

@akbogert said:

@soumya: I'd agree that fun is the element I'm missing. That's what made the book so attractive to me: it didn't take itself seriously, despite the horrible things these three have dealt with. And in spite of the fun they were still having moments and growing.

This transition has certainly not been what I hoped it would be, though I've not given up on it yet.

Yeah, I see what you're saying. Clearly, James wanted to start it off with a serious tone, but if it lasts much more than two issues, I agree, it needs to change. I'm okay with a short dive into serious territory, but RHATO should be a light hearted book.

Aww man don't mention that stupid Joker origin thing :/

Scott Lobdell said that Joker's account of what happened might be unreliable, so I wouldn't put too much stock in the Joker created Jason as Robin idea. The fact that is makes no sense and Lobdell rarely ever plans things ahead is condemnation enough of it.

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Posted By UrbanChill

loved this book for the first 18 issues now it just sucks

i wouldnt be surprised if this got canceled soon....i just honestly feel so sad that lobdell left this book but still writes teen titans that makes no sense to me this and superboy were his best books

with superboy he could have even stayed close to the titan storyline but he left the outlaws...

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Posted By KnightRise

I actually liked this issue. But I''m not looking forward to Bronze Tiger's...literaltiger mode...

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Edited By sho3s22

I don't know if I liked the memory of Joker speaking to Jason as if "Under the Red Hood" was all joker's setup, but other than that I really enjoy James Tynion's writing, though I miss Rockafort's art.

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Posted By viin
No Caption Provided

Does anybody have any speculations that Richard Dragon and Lady Shiva are also on this page?

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Edited By percydelta

yeh I have to agree, redhood is a cool guy. but I think it is a shame that redhood and the outlaw is created. I don't think this issues should never be made to draw conclusion of Jason. I think its best that Jason story continue within the batman comic and not have his own story. this comic seem to be more like for younger teen like 14 and down. the story plot is not surprising or twisted as I thought. and seeing Jason associated with other character from metropoli's character make me not take redhood seriously. he seem to be more softer ever since that. he not like a bad ass as he is within the batman comic. the last time I saw him before this comic is made was this one batman comic which ended with Jason accepted himself into a batman's family after a long conflict with batman. that sound be a perfect conclusion for Jason todd bec even though he still doing what he does best at the same time he accepted himself in the batman's family. unfortunely, it has to be dragged into this comic: redood and the outlaw. i'm not much of a fan of this comic one bit, bec it not dark, twisted, tragic, and there no good moral lessons. if you guys read redhood within the batman comic and compared to this you'll the different and have the different feeling. in other word you'll less connected to this redhood and the outlaw just as I did. As much as I want to ignore this whole redhood and the outlaw to as Jason todd timeline I cant since it been recorded, sadly. overall ever since that issues is made I kinda lose interests in redhood and the whole thing about him. THIS COMIC SHOULD NEVER BE MADE.!

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Posted By Teerack

My name is Jason Todd and I had a really nice moment with Dick where I promised to look after Starfire for the rest of my life..... oops I forgot!.

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Edited By percydelta

even though we cant erase this whole redood and the outlaw thing how about in the last issue have Jason left his group behind and head back to gotham where he fit better in. I liked Jason as a solo guy not a team type of person. then maybe mention him again but it going to be within batman comic! redhood will be so much better in the batman comic not in this shit. BUT look at the bright side 3 more issue to go!! hahaha