Sunday, August 14, 2016

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1

Basically, Artemis will probably act exactly like Starfire and Bizarro will act like Arsenal but with better grammar.

The Review!
I feel relieved. This comic book isn't as bad as every other comic book series Scott Lobdell has begun but I see all the frayed threads of warning that this will become the train wreck everybody expected. I think that's why the issue ends in a train wreck. It's a prophetic warning! But until then, fans of Red Hood will probably be happy with this issue. At least I think they will. I have no idea what Red Hood fans actually want. I suppose some of them want somebody other than Scott Lobdell writing him. But there seem to be a minority group who think Lobdell writes a great Red Hood. I wonder if we could gather up those people and do a scientific study to determine what is wrong with their brains? I feel like maybe I could replicate what they're seeing in Scott Lobdell's Red Hood if I chose to jerk off while reading the comic book. Then I'd at least have the ecstatic feeling of impending sexual release while reading the story and understand what they feel. But I don't dare try it because who needs to suddenly associate orgasms with Scott Lobdell's writing. I'd never have sex with myself again!

The Commentary!
I don't think Scott Lobdell has the chops to pull off this book (or any book, really). Rebirth was fine because it probably had so much editorial control over it that it could argued that Lobdell didn't have much to do with it. Editors are usually the worst because they want to be writers so badly that they'll tell writers we're not as good as we actually are. They'll be all, "Grunion Guy. None of these sentences make much sense. I think I get the gist of what you're trying to say but it's confusing and muddled. Clean it up." Then I'll say, "Who's paying who, buddy?! Just do your job and tell me if I spelled something incorrectly!" Then my editor will sigh and be all, "Most of these words are spelled incorrectly." Then I'll blow up at my editor and yell, "ARTISTIC LICENSE!" So, don't tell me I don't know a little bit about usurpers. I mean editors.

I forget what I was trying to say in the last paragraph. I wish my editor hadn't quit!

When Lobdell begins a comic book, I try to suppress my reaction (which is 85% gag reflex) and try to imagine I'm a fan of Red Hood and/or Scott Lobdell. But I never know how because it's hard to put myself in the shoes of total morons.

Am I supposed to cheer when I see this? Laugh uproariously? Feel aroused? Or is my reaction the proper one: rolling my eyes so aggressively that my eye muscles cramp and thinking, "I was just saying to a bunch of other super nerdy comic book guys the other day, 'You know who needs Rebirthing?! FAY GUNN!' And they were all, 'Genius!'"?

Ma Gunn's School for Wayward Boys! Fay Gunn is an important figure in the history of Jason Todd so I shouldn't be surprised to see her in the first issue. What I also shouldn't be surprised by is that this opening image was definitely sourced from her Who's Who entry in the 1987 Who's Who Update. It even has the pull down gun reference shade!

See, years ago, Batman was all, "What do I do with this kid who thinks stealing hubcaps is fun? I know! Fay Gunn has a school to help set boys on the right track! I should be suspicious of her because she's Australian but I don't want to have to deal with another teenager in the Batcave!" But then Jason Todd found out most of the lessons were word problems about how many bills can fit in a sack with a dollar sign on it, or how many cops you can potentially kill with one pistol clip, and he snitched to Batman. That's probably what this flashback is going to reveal, right?

Ma Gunn is shooting Batman in the chest and not one of her boys. I suppose in this day and age, the villain has to engage in the physical confrontation themselves but Ma Gunn is a teacher, not a fighter! She should have Batman swarmed by her students! Although I guess she is the gun expert, so why not shoot the shit out of Batman? It's a good thing the story started at this point so I don't have to roll my eyes over how Ma Gunn got the drop on Batman, especially since my eyes still hurt from the first eye roll.

Ha ha! Instead of giving her a distinct personality, Lobdell chooses to make her aware of her roll as a villain and a fan of Tim Burton's Batman! So funny!

Ma Gunn did send her crime kids after Batman and he dutifully beat the shit out of every one of them. That's why he now needs to be taught a crime! But Jason Todd saves the day by tackling the old lady through a window. It's okay if she breaks all of her hips and dies from future complications because she's a bad guy.

The scene shifts to the present where Red Hood is diving away from an explosion with Ma Gunn in his hands. Okay, so I guess she didn't die from complications arising from having all of her hips broken. Or maybe Jason Todd is just rescuing the stuffed corpse of Ma Gunn that's kept on display at her new and improved School for Wayward Boys. You know, for nostalgic reasons.

Jason Todd uses his Narration Boxing to catch up all of the readers who did not pick up Rebirth because it probably sold out so quickly. I need to figure out an algorithm for how many Red Hood issues I actually need to purchase to follow the entire story. Would every other one do because Lobdell usually spends three or four pages explaining everything that happened in the previous issue? Or could I maybe get by with only every third issue?

Jason Todd is investigating a thing that happened in Rebirth. He's doing it by going undercover as a bad guy which was totally hard to do because most of the heroes were all, "What? Not Red Hood! He'd never walk the other side of the line! If by other side I mean the law side so yeah, I meant I believe he's a dick. Sorry for the confusion." And all of the villains were all, "That hero who murders us all constantly! Sure! Why not embrace him as one of us! Cool!" Jason saved Ma Gunn not because he has fond memories of her but because she has information he needs. Information about The Black Mask!

I know it's Rebirth but didn't we have all we could stand of Black Mask already? I don't see what makes him so captivating a villain. Is it because you don't know if he's going to shoot you or tie you up and stick a billy club in your ass?

Just in case you had any doubts that Black Mask's mask wasn't some kind of sexual fetish, let the zippered mouth oliterate them.

I suppose Scott Lobdell chose the Black Mask as the enemy because he and Jason Todd have so much in common. They're names are practically identical in that they share the same pattern: color and type of covering for the face and head. Maybe they can sing some Les Mis in the climactic battle! "Red! The color of my hood! Black! The color of my mask! Red! Blood leaking from my ass! Black! Sodomy feels so good!"

Black Mask has decided being a Batman villain wasn't good enough. He has decided to go all in on being a Scooby Doo villain. He's got the mask and now he's stealing real estate via the tactic of fear. Plus he's taking out Ma Gunn early so that his plans won't be ruined by any pesky kids.

Jason Todd wants to kill the Black Mask because that's Jason's usual solution to problems. "What? There's a criminal in Gotham doing criminal stuff? And a criminal told me they were going to do even more criminally criminal stuff! Boy oh boy! That means I should do the ultimate criminally criminal crime on them! That'll show them!" But instead, he's all, "Stupid Bruce made me promise not to kill anybody. He never lets me have any fun. He's worse than Ma Gunn!"

So now Jason Todd has to figure out another way to stop Black Mask. Like maybe find evidence that he was behind the bombing, give it to the police, and let the police and District Attorney deal with it? I mean, as long as the crazy District Attorney isn't on the case. And as long as he gives it to one of the five Gotham cops that aren't dirty. And as long as he makes sure Blackgate's guards aren't going to help Roman escape. And as long know what? Fuck Bruce. Just kill the asshole.

This is the most disturbing image in the book.

I can't stand messy food. I mean, I'll eat messy food. But I eat it carefully and with a lot of napkins to wipe my lips and hands after every bite. But this carefree attitude some people have where they make a huge mess while eating? It drives me crazy. I hate Carls Jr commercials as much as the next feminist. Although I don't really care that they're making immature jokes about lesbian three way fist merry go rounds. I just can't stand that they always have shit dripping out of the burger being eaten. Be more careful! Don't you care about staining your clothes?! Don't you care about having sauce smeared all over your face and vagina?!

What's odd is that this aversion to mess doesn't extend to anything other than food. I will lay in the mess of sex and just roll over and go to sleep. Maybe I need Batman to kidnap me and take me back to my childhood home so I can confront my issue with messy food!

Jason Todd remembers some spectacular advice Batman once gave him about crime fighting: "It isn't enough to know your enemy. You have to know everything about them." Um. Hunh? You just said it wasn't enough to know your enemy! Why would you then tell me to know my enemy?! Give me some advice that takes a turn if you're going to start "It isn't enough," you ass-bat. Maybe he meant "know" in the Biblical sense. That's why he not only fucks Catwoman but he constantly gaslights her too! "It isn't enough to just fuck your enemy! You have to know how to totally fuck your enemy!" Hmm, this advice stuff is hard!

Red Hood decides to have a chat with Black Mask. Although I don't think he knows the dictionary definition of chat because it usually doesn't involve falling on one's head onto the hood of a moving car while emptying two pistols worth of bullets into guys with masks specifically designed to stick penises in.

This would be an exciting dictionary entry though, wouldn't it?

Black Mask's reaction to Todd's attack is to applaud and come in his pants. I think he wants to hire him!

Black Mask takes Red Hood out onto a ledge of a building to talk about his past relationships. He's all, "You might not realize it by the mask, but I have challenges concerning intimacy! That's why I fuck Gotham! I fuck her hard! In every dark corner! In every abandoned building! In every children's theater! I'll be there! Fucking and fucking until I'm totally disgusted with myself. It's probably why Batman doesn't like me. Because I bitch slap his woman on a nightly basis and call her a whore. That's the way she wants to be treated, and I'm the man to treat her that way! None of this slow caressing like The Penguin, or the intellectual thrill of The Riddler, or the hot, passionate quick fuck on a level surface before the apartment door can even shut of The Joker! No, Gotham likes it rough. That's did get that's what the mask is about, right?"

Oh, Black Mask actually does point out the way other villains have treated her. It's not as accurate or entertaining as mine since Black Mask kind of slips away from his relationship metaphor. Unless what he means to say about Bane treating Gotham like a never-ending boxing match is that he's an abusive boyfriend. I suppose that's possible. This whole treating Gotham thing like a lover was what Scott Snyder used to make the Court of Owls so devastating to Batman. Batman hated the idea that somebody out there knew his lover more intimately than he did. I'm not suggesting Lobdell stole that theme for his Black Mask story! I'm just saying it's been done recently (and probably before that. I bet Alan Grant wrote a Zsasz story with that theme. I also won't bring up that the whole Red Hood undercover thing was taken from Grayson because that would be too much mayonnaise.

Oh, go on the date. At least five people are clamoring for a bisexual latino Jason Todd! And who better to write that than Scott wait. I just heard in my head what I was typing. Bad idea.

Sure, Black Mask! This makes sense! Why not take on a Bat-kid as your criminal heir! Hiring from outside the company never pissed off any of the people working their way up from the bottom before. I'm sure they'll all be totally cool with it. Especially since you headhunted a guy with a Bat-symbol on his chest. What could go wrong?! He may constantly be working for justice but did you see the footage where he shot the mayor in the head? He tried to kill one supposed good guy so I guess he can be trusted. Although how good really is the mayor of Gotham? I mean, if it was Hady, he fucking deserved it.

Black Mask puts Red Hood through a test. He asks him to kill some henchmen who failed him and Red Hood refuses. So Black Mask kills them anyway. Christ. Why would anybody be a henchman for Black Mask? Not only does he hire outside the company for the top positions, he kills you if you make a mistake! He must give great dental. If you know what I mean!

Red Hood fails the test by refusing to kill the henchmen. But it turns out failing the test is passing the test because Black Mask likes an employee who has a moral code! In other words, if the henchmen Black Mask just killed had said they refused to kill Ma Gunn due to their beliefs, Black Mask wouldn't have killed them? That doesn't seem right.

Red Hood's first job is to retrieve something from a train entering Gotham. But he can't go about it the normal way by picking it up when the train arrives at the station. No, he has to derail the train and take it from the crashed cars. Too bad Black Mask didn't tell him he would be picking up an Amazon. I mean, he could have hurt her in the train derailment! I think. Can Amazons get hurt? Anyway, her name is Artemis and she carries an axe so big that manga characters think it's ridiculous. I guess next issue Todd will fight her.


  1. This is the absolute best fucking review I have ever read in all my time XD

    1. Thanks! I just reread it and I have to admit, I was pretty funny here! Stupid editor said it was garbage. But who's having the last laugh now?! Me with one comment from some unknown nobody or him at his high paying gig at Del Rey?!