Sunday, October 23, 2016

Red Hood and the Outlaws #3

I bet Scott Lobdell would sell his soul for a time machine so he could go back in time and introduce a fresh audience to his old jokes.

The Commentary!
• The issue begins with Jason Todd remembering his first night as Robin. He doesn't know why he's remembering it but I think it might have something to do with looking up at a huge glass tube containing Bizarro. In his memory, he's looking at a huge glass tube containing the costume of Robin. Except Dick Grayson's Robin costume was never retired and put on display, no matter how much Bruce Wayne insisted Dick was dead to him for abandoning him to go off with the Teen Titans. I suppose this is now the Post-Crisis Flashbirth 52 Universe, so whatever Scott Lobdell wants to pretend happened in the past, happened. That's not an encouraging thought. Remember how Scott Lobdell tried to make The Joker completely responsible for Jason Todd becoming Robin? And remember how Scott Lobdell changed history so that Tim Drake didn't figure out Batman was Bruce Wayne but then the fans reacted so strongly against that idea that it ate at him for months until he was able to tell that story again but with Tim Drake thinking, "I know Batman's secret identity but I don't want to hurt his feelings by revealing how easy it was to figure out! So instead I'll act like I didn't know!" He also did some terrible things to Superman that we don't speak about anymore.

• Black Mask crawls out of the helicopter and into the train car so he can be present as Artemis and Red Hood are gassed. I would expect one of his henchmen to do something that dangerous but maybe they all refused. And Black Mask respected them for refusing because he likes henchmen who don't follow his orders if they go against the henchman's ethics, beliefs, and safety protocols.

• Jason Todd wakes up in a strange place the next morning and exposes his terrible powers of observation.

Actually, you still have your pants on and you aren't tucked in.

• Jason Todd wakes up wondering if Black Mask is playing him better than he thought he was playing Black Mask. Let me answer this for you, Jaybird: OF COURSE HE IS! Why the hell would he hire you when you wouldn't even kill a coworker for him?! And why would he see everything you did to betray him during the Artemis Encounter and still think you're his Number Two?! Get the fuck out of here! No wonder Batman didn't take revenge on the Joker when you died. I bet Batman actually sucked the Joker's dick for getting you out of his hair!

"Oh! Thanks for waiting until I was awake to show me this, Boss!"

• Up until now I've been mostly trying to ignore how much I can't stand Scott Lobdell's writing. But after Black Fetish Mask takes Jason Todd downstairs to view the hatching of Bizarro, I can't help remember all of the pain Scott Lobdell has put me through for the last five years. It's just a simple trigger that brings it all rushing back: omnium. Black Mask calls the glass securing Bizarro "omnium glass." Why is he so fucking in love with the prefix "omni"?! It doesn't even make sense in this context!

• Jason Todd bonds with Bizarro because Jason Todd knows what it's like to come back to life. Not that Bizarro was dead and has now come back to life. But it's a close enough fit that it doesn't take a lot of pounding to wedge it in thematically.

• Things really take a turn for the worse when I remembered how much I loathed Scott Lobdell's writing. I rushed through the rest of the comic book because there was a scene where Jason Todd reached out to Bizarro and I was all, "WHO FUCKING CARES?!" And then there was a scene where Jason Todd goes to buy Bizarro a toy and I'm all, "OH MY GOD JUST GET IT OVER WITH!" And then there was a scene where the Black Mask had dinner with Jason Todd so that he could tell Jason Todd that he loved him so much he was like family and I was all, "WHAT DID I JUST DO?! I HAVE NO MEMORY OF SLITTING MY WRISTS?! OH MY GOD!"

• Anyway, Bizarro ends the comic book saying, "ME AM BIZARRO!" I think that means he's not Bizarro. I guess he thinks he's Superman then!

The Ranking
-1! Look, I can't be fair to this comic book because it is attached to five years of Lobdell mentally torturing the fuck out of me. I should probably read some reviews of this comic book from people who like Scott Lobdell. I bet they were able to concentrate on the story. Maybe they can clear up all of the questions I have. Like why does Black Mask want Bizarro? Or why doesn't Black Mask retire if he's got the kind of wealth that allows him to furnish a cutting edge laboratory staffed with the best scientific minds in the world? And why didn't Artemis use one of her terrible metaphors that was undoubtedly going to be one of her trademark personality quirks? I bet Lobdell simply forgot he was doing that!

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