Review: Red Hood and the Outlaws #1

Wow is about all I can say on multiple levels…

SPOILER WARNING!

So we start with Harper being in a Qurac prison and one bad ass escape plan by Jason Todd that soon has bodies piled up everywhere.  And this is just amazing.  And when the tanks come in, Starfire shows up and Jason’s inner monologue does a pretty good job of explaining why she is there.  Oh, and I should mention that if you thought Starfire’s pre-relaunch costume was revealing, well it is nothing compared to this new version.  Things really start to tumbled down into a much other “wow” from here though… Or maybe “WTF” would be better to describe this.

Starfire is soon asking Jason if there is anything else she can do for him.  Literally in such a way that makes me want to strangle Lobdell to make Starfire like that.  Literally he reduces a pretty amazing character like Starfire into a completely mindless bimbo who apparently is a giant slut.  Really, Lobdell makes her seem really dependent on Jason for guidance on what to do except I guess when it comes to who she sleeps with.  In that case she is then (and right now it seems only then) capable of her making up her mind for herself.  And… well just wow.  Despite too having ties to Roy and Jason knowing her, Starfire has no memory of Dick Grayson or anyone and the only explanation is Jason stating “Tamaraneans don’t see humans as much more than sites and smells.  And they have a terribly short attention span about all things Earth.”  I really want to say a lot more on this but I just don’t know how else to go about it than what I already have, so I guess I’ll just leave it at that.

I will at least move onto another bit: Jason Todd.  Though I generally liked how he was portrayed, there are a couple things I want to point out.  First, he is back to having black hair when he at least use to be a natural red head.  I kind of wish he was kept with red hair but I can’t really state if this relaunch changed him to having naturally black hair or if he just went back to dying it.  More so, his outfit has a freaking Bat logo right along the chest!  After reading an interview on Comic Vine with Lobdell, I was under the impression that Jason would have a lot less dealing with Batman and Gotham and a lot more.  I don’t know, maybe I read into things on that, or maybe Jason having a giant bat symbol on his chest somehow doesn’t tie him right to his past life.  Oh, and I somehow innitially missed Batman’s symbol in the Os on “Hood”.

Despite my negative feelings towards this though, I’m still kind of wanting to read more.  In part for I’m hoping like mad that he’ll give some actual explanation to why Starfire turned into a giant sex crazed bimbo.  Mostly though for if things stay the way they are (great banter between Roy and Jason along with lots of violence and tons of images of Starfire being scantily clad and even nude mainly), well I can see this becoming a really guilty pleasure of mine.

Batman #1

Birds of Prey #1

Captain Atom #1

Catwoman #1

Green Lantern Corps #1

Legion of Super-Heroes #1

Nightwing #1

Supergirl #1

Wonder Woman #1

More on DC’s new 52

read/RANT

Is Starfire a Bimbo? Another blogger’s look at Starfire’s portrayal!  I recommend reading it as well as the comments for a full view of our different takes on Lobdell’s portrayal of her.

Starfire in Red Hood and the Outlaws #1  Me taking a closer look at Starfire’s portrayal after a slight talk from one of my college professors.

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About xxadverbxx

I'm a fan of comics. I use to love DC, but events pretty much starting with the New 52 had pushed me off of them for years. Lately though titles like Gotham Academy and We Are Robin have brought me back to them. I'm much more still a Marvel fan though at this moment who I moved to since New 52 slowly kept pushing me away from DC. Often a fan of X-Men titles while I've really been loving Spider-Gwen series. Film wise I'm upset at DC though I really really want them to do good. At least their TV series are mostly enjoyable (though Arrow has dipped in quality), while I'm a huge fan of the Marvel films. Also, I still really hate Dan Didio and still view him as at least most of what has been going wrong with DC comic wise lately.

17 thoughts on “Review: Red Hood and the Outlaws #1

  1. I know Starfire has always been rather open about herself and sex for that matter, but I still feel that Lobdell went too far with it. I’ve never seen her just right up ask someone if they want to have sex. Even more so, having her just forget everyone that has meant a lot to her in the past seems really odd. She forgot Dick whom she nearly married (unless that is erased but signs point to most of Dick’s run in the Titans is the same), she forgot Victor and Raven and Gar… Not to mention before that Starfire has (to me at least) generally been rather strong willed and up for stating her opinion. To have her asking Jason what she should be doing next and in the manner she did came off to me as her being a dumb female who couldn’t think for herself (except later when it came to sex). After reading this I started to think maybe serialreviews2 wasn’t as off in his first rant than I initially thought.

  2. I don’t think this a case of fans being prudish or even objecting to the changing of a favorite character (really, how many hardcore fans does an obscure character like Starfire really have?). To me, the outrageous thing here is the blown chance to redo Starfire. She was a brooding, haunted alien princess with anger management issues and now she’s a bubble-headed bimbo with the worlds worst case of ADD.

    Lobdell had a chance to build a team with rich, complex characters but in every case he seems to be going for the lowest common denominator. Even starring the Red Hood in the book. Remember him? He’s the Robin that got voted off the island for being stupid and poorly written. Now he’s got his own book? Not without some awesome retconing that we seen destined to not get.

    This book just fails all the way round. The bit with Starfire is just offensive, not for the sex, but for the stupidity.

  3. The problem with what they did to starfire is that for those people who liked the classic teen titans it’s a huge freaking insult. (which, given that it was one of dcs most successful comic books and there was a fairly successful cartoon, is a fairly large number despite what you might think.) There’s a difference between saying she’s over dick and is a sexually liberated alien and saying that she doesn’t freaking care about anyone or anything other than sex.

  4. I hate what happend to Starfire in this book. I do like the characters in the book but ……as a huge fan of the New Teen Titans, i feel that Starfire has been wronged as a character. Shes basically a mindless sex bot at this point, that can still point and explode things. How did Starfire go from the full but not much used character from years before into this soulless person.

    • So for Starfire to become the person she once was she has to sleep around first? An argument can be made for a “relaunched character” but its a rather murky area when half the books are continuing on as the relaunch never happened and the others are starting from scratch.

      At this rate maybe Lobdell will have Roy and Jason high five each other while eiffel towering her. Shes sure in control at that point. I know this is a rather knee jerk response, but seriously go torrent the recently released New Teen Titans Games hardcover. That is a Starfire that is written like a person, someone whom you wouldn’t expect to just forget about these teammates shes formed bonds with and loves. Not just “sights and smells”,

    • “At this rate maybe Lobdell will have Roy and Jason high five each other while eiffel towering her.” I reward you 9,001 internets for that comment alone. I think that is the funniest comment I’ve read on here.

  5. Maybe I am prudish. I just didn’t enjoy seeing a “liberated woman” defined in a comic book as primarily concerned with sex. It’s not that it’s inherently wrong … it’s just that with Samantha on Sex and the City and other similar depictions, I just don’t need it in my comics. It really does come across as just fantasy-fulfillment in this issue. I don’t mind the tone of RHatO (pushing things a bit beyond where the Outsiders were positioned) but elements of this comic felt botched and characterisation is top of that list for me.

  6. I would also like to point out that in my mind there is a big difference between Catwoman and Starfire. A lot of people are throwing them into the same boat, and with the general exploitative nature of the DC re-launch I can’t say I blame them too much. What happened to pants for the ladies? Seems to have been lost along the way…But for me, Catwoman and indeed Wonderwoman are in and entirely different category than Starfire and to a lesser extent Supergirl.

    In Red Hood and the Outlaws, we find that Kory (Starfire) has no long term memory, not real emotional connection to earthlings, no inhibitions about sex and no need to wear clothing. While all of these things might have in story reasons, the actual effect is to create a sex object with nothing for our readers to connect to except her overhyped sexuality. We are given no choice but to objectify her cause she’s nothing more than an object. About as rewarding as having sex with a blowup doll, except she is warmer and will destroy your annoying neighbors for you as well. There is nothing BUT exploitation in her presentation. We get no access to her mind, her thoughts, her fears and needs. She has no effect on the plot arc, no input into the future, nothing. Her very introduction by Jason as his “pair of .38’s” reduces her to a pair of dangerous breasts.

    In Supergirl we have…miniskirt vs. robots in a strikingly Suckerpunch meets Dragon Ball Z –esk fight in which we learn very little. Basically the whole first issue is Fan service: nearly nonexistent plot, very little character growth, a lot of leg and up skirt shots. It’s not as bad as Starfire, but it ain’t good.

    Now let’s contrast that to Catwoman and Wonder woman. In Catwoman we again have a blatantly sexual heroine. Only this time, she is totally and absolutely in control. From the beginning where she makes the awesome and haphazard escape from her apartment, to the conversation with her fence Lola to her James Bondian infiltration of the club to her…er…em…encounter with Batman. I mean look at all the plot points there! How many ploy points does Kory get? Selina is going places, doing stuff, following clues, having flashbacks. She is acting in and upon her world. Now sure, it’s sexy, but let’s be honest here, a non-sexy Catwman would be stupid. Her powerful sexuality is part of her charm. She s the only weakness of the Bat, his one giant hypocrisy. Yeah, I am not ashamed to admit that the Michelle Pfifer Catwoman was (and still is) one of my fantasies. But while Catwoman is sexy, she is no one’s mindless sex toy.

    With Wonderwoman we have much the same thing, though tone down the sexy a bit and add a helping of powerful. Sure our first shot of her is naked in bed, covered only (but tastefully I might add) with a sheet. But after that, she is a stone cold bad ass. And the comic itself is littered with interesting Greek mythological plot points, has not one but three powerful and active women (Hera, Diana and Blonde mother of Zeus who ‘s name I can’t remember) in it and never suggests that Wonder Woman would be better off if she just got laid. Would Wonder Woman have sex? Not sure, but I think so. Is she reduced to having sex because everything else on planet earth is boring and totally transient and unimportant? Er…no. And Wonder Woman is immortal!

    In conclusion I would just say that while I am bang on in favor of sex and expressing sexuality in the comic medium, since is such a powerful and prevalent feature of our day to day life, I am absolutely against pointless objectification. Kory deserves a heart and a brain and Supergirl deserves a plot. And if the point of this whole 52 reboot experiment was to bring in new readers, how could they have possibly thought that they would attract women with such titles? My roommate loved Wonder Woman and Catwoman but was embarrassed to read Redhood on the train.

    Sex yes, exploitation no.

  7. Did any of you actually read this issue? I’m speaking to those who are so against this “new” Starfire. She is obviously toying with two humans that she can barely tell apart. She even says this. She also describes her love for Earth and hints at the freedom she has here. A chance to kill some soldiers? Hell yeah she’ll take it and pretend to be a puppet. I think we should wait a bit longer than issue #1 to give up on Starfire and label her a “bimbo.”

    Secondly, to those who are complaining about Todd’s new back story…What new back story?! We have no idea what is going on right now, and this can be confirmed with the final words of the book: “To be explained…” So just calm down everyone. Enjoy the awesome violence, the sex (This is happening. Get over it.), and the fact that this book isn’t about three gingers.

    • I saw the black hair. The comment I made was in reference to an earlier comment against the depiction of Todd with black hair. Personally, I laughed when I first saw the cover art with Arsenal, Starfire and ‘Hood. An all ginger cast would have been awesome. I completely understand all of the arguments against Kori right now, but again, I think there is a lot more to this rebooted character that we haven’t seen yet.

    • Yeah, I kind of liked Jason having been a red head. After all, all the other male Robins all have the same general appearance.

      And I’m hoping too there is more to it than we’ve seen as well, but if there is it may be a while before we actually see it in comic.

  8. I just started getting into comics and it seems that now is the best time. Since DC did a restart I decided to pickup the new justice league and redhood. Thanks for the review. It really helped out. You have a nice here. Check mine out too. Thanks again

  9. I agree with most of what you said, bro, but ironically that’s not my biggest gripes with the book so to speak. First off, why would Roy and Khori be throwing in with Jason in the first place given the fact that Jason beat Tim within an inch of his life in the Titans tower, tormented Dick and Ollie, kidnapped Mia and blew up her high school and was a total jerk-off to Donna and Kyle during the Countdown saga? Not to mention that Jason is a remorseless killer and sociopath so I don’t see these two cozying up to him-especially Roy. If anything I can see these two being foils to him by trying to hunt him down and bring him to justice for all his crimes. This book would have been better if some other characters had thrown in with Jason instead such as Azrael( Jean-Paul), Harley Quinn, Grace, Thunder or Freight Train( A character that’s ironically more hated than Jason). Or better yet, why not have a new Outsiders book instead? Those are just my thoughts

    • Me and a friend thought Jason could have done well with the Outsiders. As for Roy, he worked for Deathstroke in the past and has had his own share of problems. I don’t know fully of what he did when he wasn’t really being a hero, but Roy is not a perfect guy either. Kori though is a sort of ‘huh’, that is assuming we look at how she was pre-relaunch as still being canon.

      Speaking of canon, we also don’t know really what part is and isn’t canon in this new universe from the pre-relaunch one. -walks off muttering under breath about DC-

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