Thursday, June 20, 2024

Lobdell Does the Damned Thing in Red Hood and the Outlaws

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In this issue of Scott Lobdell rips my heart out of my chest, sorry, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Lobdell did the thing and hurt my precious buttercup, Bizarro.

Let’s recap. After Qurac, Jason and his team are wanted war criminals, hiding out in Gotham and trying to save Bizarro’s life. Jason is practically Nicholas Cage levels of beside himself (well, for Jason anyway), and it’s so freaking satisfying to see how much he’s grown in this run of Red Hood and the Outlaws. Oh, he’s still Jason Todd cool a la Rebel Without a Cause -ish. But this Jason has friends he’s let himself come to rely on and care for, and let in… more so I dare say than we’ve seen him since his shocking return from the dead.

And it’s this Jason that doesn’t want to admit that Bizarro’s time is dwindling rapidly. He’s a science experiment, and Jason was warned that Bizarro wouldn’t have long for the team when he’d first added him on.

But Bizarro has more than earned the right to wear that S (or is it a Z in this case?) with honor, fighting for his friends, sacrificing himself in Qurac, and leading refugees to safety.

Only we don’t have long to ruminate on this because everyone’s favorite poem reciting zombie supervillain is back. Yes, Solomon Grundy has been set loose on Gotham by a mystery man promising him his services will have been paid after tonight. Grundy attacks Gotham and draws Artemis and Jason out of hiding as they try to stop him.

Annnnnnnnnnnd he readily hands them their asses. He beats Jason so hard his helmet cracks and pummels a giant machine into Artemis.

Back at their hideout, Bizarro admits he heard the earlier conversation, just as he can hear that his “Reds” are in trouble now. Knowing that he’ll die if he goes to fight, this big loveable bastard goes anyways. He sasses Solomon Grundy, saves his friends, stops the zombie… and then collapses.

With an emotional goodbye, he bids Artemis and Jason take care of his little Superman doll.

Lobdell, you big jerk.

It’s very sad, and I am not happy.

And then everything sort of pseudo-blows up as yet another mystery man shows up to take in the scene. Artemis and Jason are out cold, but what our mystery guy who is actually Lex freakin’ Luthor is really here for is Bizarro. The issue ends with Luthor surveying Bizarro’s body with an ominous “intriguing.”

Lobdell, I told you not to do the damned thing. Justice League of America already stomped my heart to a pulp this week, did you really need to light the remaining gooey mess on fire?

Obviously, this isn’t over, and we’ll have to wait until freaking August to find out what has Lex Luthor so interested in Bizarro that he’ll deign to come all the way to Gotham himself.

Dexter Soy and Veronica Gandini keep proving why they’re the art team to beat in comics right now, deftly adding visual weight to the emotional walloping of Lobdell’s story telling.

Basically, I just want it to be August so I can find out if my precious is going to be okay.

Fanfinity Rating: 8/10

Red Hood and the Outlaws #12

Writer: Scott Lobdell

Pencils and Inks: Dexter Soy

Colors: Veronica Gandini

Letters: Taylor Esposito

Images courtesy of DC Comics

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