red hood and the outlaws #17
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #17 by Scott Lobdell, Dexter Soy, and Veronica Gandini
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Though RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #17 has its moments, it ultimately fails to satisfy like previous issues have.
79 %
An underwhelming team-up
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Beware: spoilers for RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #17 abound!

When Amanda Waller tasks the Suicide Squad with traveling to the Arctic to investigate a place known as the Colony, the squad enlists the Outlaws for assistance. Because of this unexpected alliance, RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #17 features a unique narrative shift from previous issues. Now that the story includes new characters, new revelations emerge from our titular team of antiheroes.

So, how do the Outlaws fare in cold and perilous conditions while working with a notorious group of characters? Find out below!

red hood and the outlaws #17
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #17 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Just Another Day at the Office

The Colony is a subterranean structure that’s about to explode and potentially cause devastating, massive damage to the rest of the world. So, Bizarro devises a plan to find information on those responsible for its creation. Also, he instructs the rest of his teammates and new allies that the key to preventing this mass explosion is to shut down the complex’s energy core. Members of the Suicide Squad, specifically Deadshot, respond negatively to Bizarro’s initiative. Deadshot makes the claim that he doesn’t have to take orders from someone he’s never worked with before. So, the tension grows amongst these two teams, resulting in an awkward dynamic between them.

Ultimately though, everyone agrees to follow Bizarro’s plan. Red Hood and Killer Croc locate Harvest, the one in charge of the Colony. However, Harvest has been murdered for reasons unconfirmed in this issue. The duo decides to forego investigating his death further, in favor of acquiring some unique weaponry left behind in the Colony.

In regards to the interaction between Red Hood and Killer Croc, perhaps the most interesting sequences of this issue were the private dialogues between characters. Specifically, the best conversations were amongst Artemis and Harley Quinn as well as Red Hood and Killer Croc.

Overall, the issue was slower and not as engaging as Scott Lobdell’s previous installments. However, the more personal sequences between the aforementioned partnered characters did contribute to some important development.

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The Price of Freedom

Red Hood asks Killer Croc about his former teammates, Arsenal and Starfire. Killer Croc believes that Red Hood is putting up a façade — that Jason isn’t as cold-hearted as he makes himself out to be. This façade has resulted in a distance from his former teammates, therefore isolating Red Hood from people who used to be his friends. So, Killer Croc warns Red Hood, telling him to veer from the lonely path he’s currently on in order to avoid a life in prison, or worse.

To parallel this, Artemis and Harley Quinn engage in a similar conversation. As Artemis grows tired of Harley Quinn’s continuous comments, they engage in a scuffle. Harley Quinn reminds Artemis that despite her seemingly positive attitude, she envies Artemis’ freedom.

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RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #17 provides some unique juxtaposition between two different team dynamics. Additionally, the ending features some poignant dialogue between Red Hood and Artemis. The two acknowledge that Bizarro is no longer dependent on them. With this, the two express uncertainty regarding how they feel about this new distance between their former teammate. They also express doubt in their acceptance of Bizarro’s stark change of character.

So, though this issue falters in its entertainment and narrative value, it manages to draw us into the plight of its characters and their struggles in accepting change.

red hood and the outlaws #17
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #17 page 17. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #17

Per usual, Dexter Soy’s illustrations are superb. As you can see in the first image of this review, Soy incorporates impeccable detail in his character designs. Additionally, his backgrounds are intricate and consistent. As a result, the imagery of RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #17 feels very cohesive.

Colorist Veronica Gandini wonderfully parallels Soy’s illustrations with an excellent color palette. The tone of the issue tends to be dark, but it never feels dull.

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In my opinion, the final page of the issue is the most interesting. It’s just an image of Bizarro, but it’s ominous. His face is obscured, and the hues of his costume are faded. With this, we as readers are left feeling apprehensive. We don’t know what to expect from Bizarro now that he’s experienced such a significant change. So, because that simple image conveys so much, I believe it may, in fact, be the stand-out aspect of RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #17.

What Lies Beyond

Compared to previous entries, RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #17 underwhelms. Overall, the events of the issue feel rushed. Also, the dynamic between the Outlaws and the Suicide Squad reads a little underwhelming. Sure, there were poignant moments of character development, but overall, there was more that could be desired from those moments.

With this, however, there are many questions that the issue leaves readers with. Primarily, said questions revolve around the state of Bizarro. Something ominous lies ahead, and it’s only a matter of time before that entity reveals itself to the Outlaws.

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