RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #12 by Scott Lobdell and Dexter Soy
An incredible, touching entry that succeeds in provoking sympathy for unexpected characters and establishing a story that will stay with you even after you finish reading.
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Beware, potential spoilers for DC Rebirth’s RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #12 below!

Scott Lobdell‘s continuous success in highlighting the chemistry of the main trio (Red Hood, Artemis, and Bizarro) helps signify the poignancy of RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #12. The series thus far has been a surprise hit for the Rebirth launch, and this issue is a perfect exemplification of why.

red hood and the outlaws #12
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #12 page 10. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The issue begins with Jason Todd, Artemis, and Faye Gunn keeping Bizarro company as his health rapidly declines. Soon enough, trouble arises in the form of Solomon Grundy, who is rampaging through the streets of Gotham City. Red Hood and Artemis leave Bizarro in Faye’s care to take on the notorious villain. Bizarro doesn’t remain immobile for long though. He affirms to Faye that he’s aware of his impending death. Yet, this doesn’t stop him from joining his friends in stopping the latest threat in Gotham City.

Born on a Monday…

The narrative in this issue is particularly compelling. It’s certainly satisfying to witness a sympathetic Jason Todd instead of a selfish one. Ultimately, it’s the development of the team’s chemistry that makes Bizarro’s decline so somber. Despite the melancholic tone of this issue, Lobdell continues to employ the humor that’s consistently present in the series. Moments such as Artemis poking fun at Grundy’s rhyme and Bizarro calling Grundy “Cinnamon Grumby” are just a few of the sequences that lighten up the issue and amplify the entertainment factor.

READ: What makes DC Rebirth’s adaptation of RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS better than the New 52’s? Find out here!

Of course, the most significant moment of RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #12 takes place in the final pages of the issue. Without giving too much away, it’s a moment that depicts a growth in Jason Todd’s character as well as Artemis’ fortitude as a warrior. Bizarro’s unwavering loyalty is also emphasized, rendering him a genuine soul that just wants to prove himself as a hero. Perhaps all the emotional aspects of this issue are exemplified in Pup-Pup, Bizarro’s Superman plush toy. Though it is just a toy, Pup-Pup seems to embody Bizarro’s perennial ambition to be a hero.

red hood and the outlaws #12
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #12 page 9. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

…Died on a Saturday

The artwork in this issue is magnificent. The way Taylor Esposito‘s lettering shapes the fight sequences perfectly merges the dialogue with the action. Veronica Gandini‘s palette of colors brings in a vibrancy that lightens the Gotham City setting, paralleling the humor and chemistry of the Outlaws themselves. Dexter Soy‘s illustrations tie all these aspects together through his sharpness and attention to detail.

red hood and the outlaws #12
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #12 page 14. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The collective success of the artists stood out to me during several moments. One of which is when Bizarro stands before Faye. I love the contrast between the hulking Bizarro and the background, emphasizing the vibrancy of his personal red cape. The fight sequence between Bizarro and Grundy is another one of these moments. Bizarro’s speed is perfectly depicted and counters Grundy’s brawn. There’s also a juxtaposition of color, further elevating Bizarro’s heroic moment.

READ: Missed the last issue of DC Rebirth’s BATMAN series? Catch up here!

Ultimately, the artwork of RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #12 is outstanding. It continues to be one of the most impressive aspects of this engaging title. Each contribution to the series’ style plays off each other to truly shape this world.

Final Thoughts on RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #12

The introduction of a new threat in the final page of the issue will certainly leave readers anticipating the upcoming challenge our Outlaws will face. In regards to this conclusion, it will be interesting to see how the events of this installment will affect the team and their dynamic. Yet, with exciting new beginnings to come, future issues will struggle to top this one. It maintains a balance of action and emotion that doesn’t sacrifice the integrity of the narrative or characters. So, if you’ve been pleased with RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS so far, this issue will bring a smile to your face and perhaps a tear to your eye.

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