Red Hood: Outlaw Annual #3 delves into the fates of Artemis and Bizarro, showing readers what happened after they fell through an interdimensional portal. Red Hood: Outlaw Annual #3 is published by DC Comics, written by Scott Lobdell, illustrated by Adam Pollina, colored by Steve Firchow, with letters by Troy Peteri.
The annual starts off with a prologue, drawn and colored by Pete Woods, depicting Jason Todd trying to confirm the fates of his friends. After speaking to his new student, Caden, who has the ability to reach out to those who have passed, Jason is content with the notion that both Artemis and Bizarro are still alive. The prologue has some fantastic art and Jason’s new outfit looks so much better with his normally longer hair. Perhaps Jason can tell Dick (Ric?) Grayson to follow suit in ditching the buzz cut. Additionally, shadows are used well in the issue, giving Jason a darker and aggressive edge from a distance; while also showing his lighter, kinder nature when up close.
A lot of issues with the main Red Hood: Outlaw book is the breakup of the key Rebirth trinity that worked so well. It seemed as though Lobdell wants to go back to putting Jason through the emotional ringer, but rather than adding another level of the story, the issue feels more like Jason is regressing. Thankfully, one of the best parts about Red Hood: Outlaw Annual #3 the focus on the team in the form of the other two Outlaws, Artemis and Bizarro, and the hints that they may be returning to the forefront soon.
Watching Artemis and Bizarro looking after each other in this book is enjoyable and highlights how great this ragtag friendship is. The use of a different artist really helps present the vibe of a world that is so similar yet slightly off-kilter. It was probably a logistics decision but it actually helps give off the ‘Bizarro’ feel, reflecting the nature of one of the core characters in the Outlaws. Fans of the Rebirth run will enjoy their interactions with each other and their journey in trying to get back home.
The main problem with Red Hood: Outlaw Annual #3 is that there’s a weird time-jump halfway through the book which isn’t really explained through the use of captions. Instead, you would have to base it on the fact that Bizarro has a beard and some of the characters are in a completely different location. It just seems rushed and stops the flow for the reader.
It’s been a rough time for the Bat-Kids in the DC universe, but it looks at though Jason’s life may be back on track soon if his friends manage to find their way back. The core of these characters and their outsider nature works so well for this book. Hopefully, the team will be reunited and will continue adventures for years to come. If you’re not an avid reader of Red Hood and the Outlaws, this annual may not be the best jumping-on point for new readers – but if you are? It’s a great little backstory.
Red Hood: Outlaw Annual #3 is available now.
Red Hood: Outlaw Annual #3
If you’re not an avid reader of Red Hood and the Outlaws, this annual may not be the best jumping-on point for new readers – but if you are? It’s a great little backstory.