Monday, June 24, 2013

Red Hood and the Outlaws #21

I bet this issue takes place after Red Hood and the Outlaws #25.

That was a joke pointing out how DC often publishes comic books with editorial notes telling the reader that the story within the comic book takes place after a comic book that has yet to be published. That was an unnecessary sentence explaining another sentence which wasn't really much of a joke in the first place if I decided I needed to explain it. Perhaps I should just explain why I say everything that I say? I'm afraid if I do that, I'll never finish the commentary. I might not ever even open up the comic book! Which wouldn't be a bad thing considering Red Hood and the Outlaws has, historically, not been very good. That was me being charitable because what I really want to say is that Red Hood and the Outlaws has been a fucking miscarriage every month. And not a sad, human miscarriage which would be a sad and hurtful thing to say, but a doggy miscarriage where all the puppies weren't even puppy shaped yet and the mother ate them. Oh fuck, that's even worse! Pretend I just said miscarriage of justice and let's move on to other descriptions of how bad this comic book has been! I'm so sorry!

If I was really sorry, I would have edited myself and taken out the previous couple of lines. In fact, I just went back and edited what I had typed earlier and made it fucking worse! I'm a Goddamned monster! But speaking of miscarriages, I once had a daughter for about two days. We named her Astird after Jan's baby on The Office because that episode was on the night after my girlfriend's pregnancy test betrayed the fuck out of us and tried to shit all over our lives! Thankfully, Jesus and/or Mother Nature (but not Medical Science! It wasn't the bad guy this time!) decided to abort the baby a day later like a gigantic dickhead that supports abortion. I know that when things happen to religious people that they didn't expect to happen but they were really thankful that it did happen, they call it a miracle. So I went around claiming this was a miracle which may or may not have been tacky and offensive to religious people. But since they all secretly believe I'm going to Hell, I don't give a fuck what they think of my words!

Being less facetious in this paragraph, my girlfriend was concerned when she began menstruating after having just tested positive for being pregnant on approximately thirty-four separate pregnancy tests. So I did what most people do when you have medical concerns: I consulted with Doctor Lord Google! And I found many, many, many forums where sad and weeping women were having the same problem. I was concerned that I was feeling happy while all of these other people were terribly distraught but then I remembered that I'm a Goddamned monster and continued to read. It seems that all of these really, super-duper early pregnancy test kits give out a stunning amount of false positives if women happen to take them at exactly the right time. I suppose an egg is impregnated and the body begins producing hormones but the egg never actually picks a nice cozy spot of uterine wall with a picturesque view of the fallopian tubes. I probably have all of my sex information wrong because I had American Sex Ed. If I remember correctly, they combined it with Driver's Ed and Square Dancing.

I'm not sure I've even told my mother that story! So why am I telling a bunch of strangers who just want to hear about how poorly Jason Todd continues to be written?! Well, whoever waded through all those words to get to these words, I'll begin now with a picture to reward your patience.

Also Roy Harper Narration Boxing which is a fucking punishment. So, you know, sorry again!

With apology after apology, I think I'm going to get a reputation for being insincere! Unless all of my lying, facetiousness, and hyperbole have already sunk that ship.

Roy Harper isn't doing his normal Narration Boxing where he's speaking from a future place to some unknown audience. This time, he's speaking to Hugo Strange! It's so fucking weird to see Narration Boxing fitting within the context of the story instead of being a strange amorphous out-of-sync director's cut full of explication and over-explication! That sentence courtesy of my nonsense filter that desperately needed to say something.

Roy is wearing a new hat because Cheshire stole his hat. Or made it say loser. Maybe she did both of those things. His new hat says "Taco Robot." Is there a Taco Robot in Seattle? There's a Robo Taco here in Portland which I always thought was Robotaco but apparently is not that.

Roy Harper belly aches to Hugo about how he's losing his friends even though they were having so much fun. Were they really having fun? Were they really his friends? Those are the kinds of questions Hugo Strange should be asking! But he's not asking questions at all which is why I would be suspicious that he's not a real therapist! Instead he's telling Roy what Roy wants to hear! That he trusts too easily and he wears his heart on his sleeve and he's such a great shot with a bow and arrow. Well, maybe not that last one. But I'm sure Roy would love to hear it.

Meanwhile Kory is outside the therapist's office eavesdropping. I'm not sure that's how that's supposed to work! Shouldn't Hugo Strange have a secretary telling Kori to get the fuck away from the door? Even Dr. Katz had a secretary even though she was a worthless jerk. A super cute worthless jerk with an adorable attitude. Between my crush on Dr. Katz's Laura and Parks and Recreation's April, I think I might have a thing for sarcastic women that hate doing their jobs.

Essence appears outside the window simply to pass some relevant plot information on to Kori about how Hugo is selling Roy and Kori out to whoever is offering the half a million dollar bounty and that they're all just pawns in a much larger game and how they've arrived! Maybe these people arriving will be The Thirteen that Scott Lobdell made up as another Omniverse ending threat in a few throwaway lines during the Star Wars issues.

How come people always have time to say things like, "It's too late! No time to explain!"? Can't they at least try to explain using the sentences they just wasted saying how there's no more time and fuck you?

Meanwhile, Jason Todd is being hassled by assassins in the Pacific Northwest. He's in the Pacific Northwest because he stowed away on Green Arrows Heliflipper. The assassins are in the Pacific Northwest because they enjoy the mild weather and the lush forests. The assassins currently chasing him are Rictus (who?!), Lady Shiva, and Cheshire.

But the exciting kicking and punching will have to wait until Hugo Strange's plans come to fruition. I first learned the word fruition from The Police song, "Wrapped Around My Finger." That may have also been the first song that I really like because of the power shift at the end of the song. I first heard that album when I was 11 or 12 while vacationing in Yosetime. During that trip, my mother was reading Interview with a Vampire. This would have been a few years before The Vampire Lestat was published. I wanted to read it because it had vampires but my mom told me I wouldn't be interested in it. I'm pretty sure my eleven year old self would have hated it and completely misunderstood it and would not have even read many pages.

What the fuck was I talking about? Oh yeah! Hugo Strange and the people behind the bounty! I don't know why I guessed The Thirteen when that was a stupid plot thread that I hope everybody forgot about. It should have been obvious to anybody except me that the people behind the bounty were The Untitled! I was hoping they had all died somehow.

Why do The Untitled care about Roy and Kori?

The Untitled may not be the jerks behind the bounty. Dr. Strange looks shocked to see them, so they may have just come back into the plot to add to the chaos. And what about Deathstork Deathstroke? He was hunting The Outlaws for free even though that goes against every fucking thing he believes in. But that scene where he says that was written by Scott Lobdell and Lobdell loves to write about people wanting to prove themselves in combat against other people. It's one of the few motivations Lobdell can come up with to advance a plot.

That would mean Hugo, Deathstroke, The Untitled, The League of Assassins, and whoever put up the bounty are all coming for The Outlaws. And The Thirteen! Can't forget about The Thirteen like everybody else forgot about The Thirteen!

Back to Jason Todd, he's gotten his ass handed to him by Blood Mage and Cheshire and Rictus and Lady Shiva and now Bronze Tiger in his new Weretiger form.

In keeping with The New 52 Theme of making Super Villains more supery, Bronze Tiger is now an actual tiger instead of simply a boring old martial arts expert who is boring and human shaped. BORING! Now he's a tiger! EXCITING! And probably GREEEEEAAAAT!

The League of Assassins take Jason to his new home in 'Eth Alth'eban which sounds like it might house an Elder God or two or three or all of them.

Back in Hugo's office, Hugo scarpers out of there and The Untitled claim they were behind the bounty to keep The Outlaws on their feet. I'm sure it makes some kind of comic book sense if you don't think about it and are simply reading each comic book as they come out and retaining just a vague memory of the plot from month to month. So The Untitled want to destroy the League of Assassins but they can't get inot 'Eth Alth'eban because of some sacred symbols or something. They need Roy and Kori to destroy the symbols to help them get in so they can kill the League and save Jason. Once Jason is back with Roy and Kori and the League is destroyed, the Untitled promise to go away forever. That sounds like a good deal! Rid this book of any Lobdell ideas as quickly as possible!

Roy joins with The Untitled but Starfire won't deal with them. She goes to find Essence in the hopes that with her help, they can save Jason. But Jason doesn't need saving because he's been chosen as the leader of the League of Assassins. I guess this means there is going to be a war or a well-structured debate or something.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #21 Rating: +1 Ranking. This is the first issue that I've actually kind of liked in a long time. A lot of plot threads are coming together and hopefully when this story arc is through, we can get some kind of coherent team structure with an actual reason for these three to be hanging out. I'm still not totally sure why they're outlaws!


  1. At issue 25 they'll probably be Red Hood and the League of Shadows. You know what, I kinda liked this garbage. But not as much as hated looking at mutt miscarriage.

    Did you see how Neo (Jason) didn't believe he is so special even though Morpheus (Bronze Tiger)told him so (vomit). Dude it's hard to believe how bad the storytelling is, Jesus.

    If the human Bronze Tiger was boring the writer made it so. And if this tigerman is super exciting then brain shit is running rampant in readers. I bet the pro-fess-ionals say "fuck em they'll eat anything".

    1. I think the mantra of The New 52 is simply "human is boring." That's why all of The Flash's Rogue's Gallery now have super powers as opposed to gadgets. It seems like they decided everybody needed to be upgraded somehow.

      I think it's also a trend to take as many characters away from the need to physically change costumes as possible. So forget having a Bronze Tiger that wears a Tiger Mask (or just applies some tiger strip makeup). We need one that transforms via a mystical amulet. And forget having a Superman that has to dump his business suit in a garbage can while he fights crime. Now he has a Nanobot suit that does the changing for him. Although it really is about time everybody just used The Flash's Tiny Uniform in a Ring technology. Why didn't Barry ever market that shit?

    2. Hell if I know. One time the Thing had a ring too. The ring thing could of been big.

      Now to the transforming tiger with the bent back legs. You got to admit, the human guy looks super tough. So why is DC resorting to gimmicktry to make a character coool? Oh wait every writer didn't do it. Talon just has kick ass moves and a writer with chops. And why doesn't Cheshire turn into a smiling poisonous cat? I'm off of that though; can I get a Bronze Tiger spin off epic? Morpheus never did get his own movie.

  2. well for what it's worth Lizard thanks for providing this first real look at the "Bronze Tiger" of the New 52. well at least the art work is quite good.