Review: Red Hood and the Outlaws #19

Spoilers

Cover for Red Hood and the Outlaws #19

 

Writer: James Tynion IV

Penciller: Julius Gopez

 

James Tynion IV steps into the writer’s chair for this title with this issue, following a fantastic and emotional issue from Scott Lobdell. And based on the quality oozing out of this book, I feel comfortable saying that this will be a smooth creative transition that will lead into an epic run.

We pick up after events we haven’t seen yet (but will be seeing next month in Batman and Red Hood #20), focusing on Jason venturing into the Acres of All on his own while seemingly leaving Kori and Roy without a trail to follow. I love that Tynion is picking up on the All-Caste story Lobdell seeded into his issues early in his run, because I don’t think they were ever fully realized. Essence and Ducra are such interesting characters, so I’m glad that it looks like we’ll be seeing them fleshed out in the coming issues. And while I’m talking about the Acres of All, Gopez’s art for the scenes taking place there are breathtaking. I’m still missing Rocafort’s art on this title, but I think Gopez will be able to capture that same gritty/rough feel.

My favorite aspect of this issue is how Tynion seems to have a solid handle on how to write Roy Harper. He seems to effortlessly capture the cocktail of sarcasm, cynicism, self-deprecation and loyalty that makes Roy Harper who he is. These traits can be hard to pull off without making Roy seem like a jerk, but throughout the issue you only ever get the sense that Roy truly cares about Jason and Kori, but uses his sarcasm as a mask. Essence also allows us to see into Roy’s subconscious while he tries to accept the darkness within him, and based on the teases we see there I believe that Tynion will be building towards some really interesting plot points in the future that are related to Roy’s past. I guess these aspects are what I’m most excited about for Tynion’s run on this title; the potential to learn more about what makes these characters tick, while at the same time delving into how close their relationships have become.

Throughout this review, I’m sure I’ve mentioned the word “building” several times, and that is primarily because this is a setup issue. But it is without a doubt a setup issue done right. It looks like we’ll be seeing a more emotional and relationship focused take on these characters with this run, and I have every confidence in Tynion’s ability to accurately capture them and present them to the readers. That’s not to say I’m expecting less action though. On the contrary, if Tynion’s run on Talon is any indication, we can expect some bombastic action to accompany the pathos, and that has me extremely excited.

The excellent Month of Tynion continues, and I’m sure his hot streak will continue well into his obvious future in this industry.

Rating: 5/5

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