Red Hood and the Outlaws

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Red Hood and the Outlaws
Cover for Red Hood and the Outlaws #1.
Art by Kenneth Rocafort and Blond.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing
Genre
Publication date September 2011 – present
Number of issues 29 & 0 (As of May 2014)
Main character(s)
Creative team
Writer(s) Scott Lobdell
Penciller(s) Kenneth Rocafort
Inker(s) Blond
Colorist(s) Blond
Creator(s) Scott Lobdell
Kenneth Rocafort

Red Hood and the Outlaws is a DC Comics superhero team launched in 2011 as part of The New 52 event. It is a team title featuring Red Hood, Arsenal and Starfire. Its initial writer was Scott Lobdell, with art by Kenneth Rocafort.[1]

Plot[edit]

At the beginning of the book, Jason Todd (Red Hood) becomes the leader of the Outlaws, a team that includes Princess Koriand'r as Starfire and Roy Harper as Arsenal. As a child, Starfire was sold into slavery by her sister to save her home planet. While she was enslaved, she showed violent tendencies by killing a guard who had offered her help and showed remorse towards her. Roy was Green Arrow's side kick and publicly had shares in Queen's Company until a public falling out, leaving Roy with almost nothing and a death-seeking alcoholic.

Leading up to a run-in with Killer Croc, Roy was talked out of suicide. Croc became his sponsor in recovery, but that did not keep Roy from getting into trouble.[2] Jason, after coming back from the dead, was trained by an order of warriors known as the All Caste that taught him humility and respect.[3] Jason was a part of the order for an unknown amount of time before he was exiled, partially by choice.[4]

After his exile Jason became Red Hood, returning to Gotham where he was at odds with Starfire's ex-lover, his predecessor as Robin, Dick Grayson, as well as their mentor Batman. He soon gets tired of Gotham and leaves, organizing the group, after accidentally encountering Starfire at her home base, then breaking out Roy from a Middle Eastern prison.[5] The group travels to a tropical island as Jason catches Roy up; the two start on friendly terms. Jason learns that the All Caste have been slaughtered by a group known as the Untitled. He learns about the events from another All Caste exile named Essence, while Roy tries to jog Kori's memory. He ends up boring her and sleeps with her.[6]

After finding out that he is no longer a killer, Jason takes his group to All Caste headquarters where they discover that the bodies are becoming zombies. Jason destroys the bodies of his teachers and friends, after some encouragement from Roy; he swears revenge for them after the task is complete.[4] The team is led on a wild goose chase across the globe as they come across an Untitled, who was in hiding in the middle of Colorado. Jason fights the creature alone after Starfire is attacked by Crux and Roy leaves to assist her. The Untitled tells Jason that they were set up to cross paths, but still fight him. Jason kills the creature, strengthening his resolve to take revenge. Crux's attempt to drain Starfire's power fails due to procedures performed on her during her slavery.

Roy takes down Crux long enough for Starfire to regain her composure and the three leave taking an unconscious Crux with them.[5] Later disguised as a doctor, Jason puts Crux into Arkham Asylum, where he says to keep Crux heavily sedated. The group has appropriated Crux's personal modified War cruiser, which Roy instantly falls for. Essence confronts them. At first only Jason is able to see her, knowing she set him up to fight the Untitled. When the others see her, it causes a fight within the cockpit. During the fight, the source of Essence and Ducra's powers and long life are revealed to be the same as the Untitled's. It is also revealed that they were mother and daughter. The group is able to defeat Essence by using one of Crux's weapons.[7]

Reception[edit]

Jesse Schedeen of IGN.com remarked that Kenneth Rocafort's penciling affords Scott Lobdell the opportunity to emphasize Starfire's sex appeal: "She alone seems to have been completely rebooted for the relaunch."[8]

Mathew Peterson of MajorSpoilers.com stated that a "juvenile treatment of sexual matters here renders one of the main characters into nothing more than a punch line, and in a book with only three characters, that’s unforgivable,"[9] referring specifically to its sexualized portrayal of Starfire as a "'perfect-10 love doll imaginary girlfriend'".[9] Andrew Hunsaker of Craveonline.com said that writer Lobdell's take on Tamaraneans (Starfire's race) "has reduced Princess Koriand'r of Tamaran into essentially a highly advanced Real Doll. Complete with installing a lack of memory of anything related to humanity."[10] Hunsaker further opined that it "seems as if Lobdell has taken great pains to strip all the emotional motivation behind Kori's gregarious outlook and reduce her to nothing more than a sex vessel. It is pretty insulting not only to women, but to male intelligence to boot."[10] Hunsaker concluded that it "makes you want to punch the entire comic book industry."[10]

Laura Hudson, editor-in-chief of ComicsAlliance, wrote that "There's a difference between writing a female character as sexually liberated, and writing her as wish-fulfillment sex object, but Starfire sure is making a case for the latter in [a] charmless scene"[11] wherein Starfire defends her offer to have sex with one of the characters by saying that "love has nothing to do with it".[6] Hudson also cited this characterization of Starfire in a later article, remarking that portrayals of women as sexual objects "don't support sexually liberated women; they undermine them".[12]

Houston Press writer Jef With One F countered that "you're not dealing with the point of view of someone who grew up here with our Western social norms." and contended that Starfire as portrayed in Red Hood and the Outlaws is "not a sex toy, she's someone from a very different culture attracted to two specific men."[13]

Collected editions[edit]

This series has been collected in the following trade paperbacks:

Title Material collected Publication Date ISBN
Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 1: REDemption Red Hood and the Outlaws #1-7 November 2012 1-4012-3712-6
978-1401237127
Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 2: The Starfire Red Hood and the Outlaws #8-14 July 2013 1-4012-4090-9
978-1401240905
Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 3: Death of the Family Red Hood and the Outlaws #15-18; Teen Titans vol. 4 #16, Batman vol. 2 #17 December 2013 1-4012-4412-2
978-1401244125
Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 4: League of Assassins Red Hood and the Outlaws #19-25, Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #1 June 2014 1-4012-4636-2
978-1401246365

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (June 8, 2011). "LOBDELL Goes for Redemption in DCnU RED HOOD & the OUTLAWS". Newsarama. Retrieved February 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ Lobdell, Scott (w), Rocafort, Kenneth (p), Blond (i), Blond (col), Brosseau, Pat (let), Bobbie Chase, Katie Kubert (ed). "Come Fly With Me--Come Die, Just Die Away!" Red Hood and the Outlaws 4 (February, 2012), New York: DC Comics
  3. ^ Lobdell, Scott (w), Rocafort, Kenneth (p), Blond (i), Blond (col), Brosseau, Pat (let), Bobbie Chase, Katie Kubert (ed). "Cherish Is The Word I Use-- To Destroy You!" Red Hood and the Outlaws 3 (January, 2012), New York: DC Comics
  4. ^ a b Lobdell, Scott (w), Rocafort, Kenneth (a), Blond (col), Mangual, Carlos (let), Kubert, Katie (ed). "Shot Through The Heart-- And Who's To Blame?" Red Hood and the Outlaws 2 (December, 2011), New York: DC Comics
  5. ^ a b Lobdell, Scott (w), Rocafort, Kenneth (a), Blond (col), Mangual, Carlos (let), Bobbie Chase, Katie Kubert (ed). "I'm Free as a Bird -- And This Bird You Cannot Kill!" Red Hood and the Outlaws 5 (March, 2012), New York: DC Comics
  6. ^ a b Lobdell, Scott (w), Rocafort, Kenneth (p), Blond (i), Blond (col), Mangual, Carlos (let), Bobbie Chase, Katie Kubert (ed). "I Fought the Law and Kicked Its Butt!" Red Hood and the Outlaws 1 (November, 2011), New York: DC Comics
  7. ^ Lobdell, Scott (w), Rocafort, Kenneth (a), Blond (col), Mangual, Carlos (let), Bobbie Chase, Katie Kubert (ed). "???" Red Hood and the Outlaws 7 (May, 2012), New York: DC Comics
  8. ^ Schedeen, Jesse. "Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 Review Jason Todd assembles his own team of rogue heroes.". Comics/Reviews. IGN.com. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Peterson, Matthew. ""New 52" Review". Reviews. MajorSpoilers.com. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c Hunsacker, Andrew. "New 52 Review: Red Hood and the Outlaws #1". Comics/Reviews. Craveonline.com. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  11. ^ Hudson, Laura. "Parting Shot: DC's New Starfire, WTF". Opinion. ComicsAlliance.com. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  12. ^ Hudson, Laura. "The Big Sexy Problem with Superheroines and Their 'Liberated Sexuality'". Opinion. ComicsAlliance.com. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  13. ^ With One F, Jef (February 6, 2012). "Hellfire and Sweater Meat: In Defense of DC's Starfire Reboot". Opinion. Houston Press. Retrieved February 14, 2012.