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Red Hood and the Outlaws
Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol 1 1.jpg
Cover for Red Hood and the Outlaws #1.
Art by Kenneth Rocafort and Blond.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing
Publication date September 2011 – present
Number of issues 18 & 0 (As of March 2013)
Main character(s)
Creative team
Writer(s) Scott Lobdell
Penciller(s) Kenneth Rocafort
Inker(s) Blond
Colorist(s) Blond
Creator(s) Scott Lobdell
Kenneth Rocafort

Red Hood and the Outlaws is a DC Comics superhero team title launched as part of The New 52 event in 2011. It is a team title featuring Red Hood, Arsenal and Starfire. Its initial writer is Scott Lobdell, with art by Kenneth Rocafort.[1]

Plot

At the beginning of the book, Jason Todd as Red Hood becomes the leader of the Outlaws, a team that includes Princess Koriand'r as Starfire and Roy Harper as Arsenal. When she was a child, Starfire was sold into slavery by her sister to save her home planet. While she was enslaved, she showed violent tendencies by killing a guard in cold blood who had done nothing but offer her help and show remorse towards her. Roy was Green Arrow's side kick and publicly had shares in Queen's Company until a very public falling out, where Roy was left with almost nothing and became a death-seeking alcoholic. Leading up to a run-in with Killer Croc, Roy was talked out of his suicidal ways. Croc became his sponsor in recovery, but that did not keep Roy from getting into trouble.[2] Jason, after coming back from the dead, was trained by an order of warriors known as the All Caste that taught him many things, including a greater sense of humility and respect.[3] Jason was a part of the order for an unknown amount of time before he was exiled, partially of his own will.[4]

After his exile Jason became Red Hood, returning to Gotham where he came to be at odds with Starfire's ex-lover, his predecessor as Robin, Dick Grayson, as well as their mentor Batman. He soon gets tired of Gotham and leaves, gathering the group together, after accidentally meeting with Starfire at her home base, then breaking out Roy from a Middle Eastern prison.[5] The group then goes to a tropical island as Jason catches Roy up to speed on things; the two start on very friendly terms. It is there that Jason learns that the All Caste have been slaughtered by a group of beings known as the Untitled and he is the only one who can rectify this. He is told all this by another All Caste Exile named Essence, all while Roy tries to jog Kori's memory, but ends up boring her and sleeps with her.[6]

Jason, after finding out he is no longer the killer he once was, proceeds to take his group to the All Caste headquarters where they discover the bodies are returning to life as zombies. Jason is forced to destroy the bodies of his teachers and friends, after some encouragement from Roy; he swears revenge for them after the task is complete.[4] The team is led on a wild goose chase across the globe as they come across an Untitled, who was in hiding in the middle of Colorado. Jason is left to fight the creature alone after Starfire is attacked by Crux and Roy leaves to assist her, the Untitled tells Jason that they were set up to cross paths, but still fights him. Jason kills the creature strengthening his resolve to take revenge. At the same time Crux attempted to drain Starfire's power but fails due to experiments performed on her during her slavery. Roy, alone with just a well thought out plan takes down Crux long enough for Starfire to regain her composure and the three leave taking an unconscious Crux with them.[5] An unknown amount of time later, Jason in disguise as a doctor puts Crux into Arkham Asylum, where he says to keep Crux heavily sedated. He leaves to reveal the group has robbed Crux's personal modified War cruiser, which Roy is instantly fallen for. While planning their next move they're confronted by Essence, at first Jason is solely able to see her, knowing she set him up to fight the Untitled, but soon the others are able to see her as well, which causes a fight within the cockpit. During the fight, the source of Essence and Ducra's powers and long life are revealed to be the same as the Untitled's. It is also revealed that they were mother and daughter. The group is able to defeat Essence by using one of Crux's weapons unsure of its results besides simply removing her from the immediate area.[7]

Reception

Controversy

In his review of Red Hood and the Outlaws, Jesse Schedeen of IGN.com notes that Kenneth Rocafort's penciling affords Scott Lobdell the opportunity to emphasize Starfire's sex appeal: "She alone seems to have been completely rebooted for the relaunch. Lobdell's decision to write her as being more cold and hostile is fine, but he does over-emphasize her sexuality a bit. Yes, Starfire is meant to be a sexually liberated character, but in a more positive way than shown here."[8]

An additional review of the comic's first Issue has indicated further criticism for what Mathew Peterson of MajorSpoilers.com calls a "juvenile treatment of sexual matters here renders one of the main characters into nothing more than a punch line, and in a book with only three characters, that’s unforgivable,"[9] referring specifically to its sexualized portrayal of Starfire as a "'perfect-10 love doll imaginary girlfriend'".[9] Andrew Hunsaker of Craveonline.com notes that story writer Lobdell's take on Tamaraneans (Starfire's race) "reduce(s) Princess Koriand'r... into essentially a highly advanced Real Doll...(C)omplete with installing a lack of memory of anything related to humanity.".[10] Hunsaker further opines that it "seems as if Lobdell has taken great pains to strip all the emotional motivation behind Kori's gregarious outlook and reduce her to nothing more than a sex vessel. It is pretty insulting not only to women, but to male intelligence to boot."[10] Hunsaker concludes that it "makes you want to punch the entire comic book industry."[10]

Laura Hudson, editor-in-chief of ComicsAlliance notes that "There's a difference between writing a female character as sexually liberated, and writing her as wish-fulfillment sex object, but Starfire sure is making a case for the latter in (a) charmless scene"[11] wherein Starfire defends her offer to have sex with one of the characters by noting that "love has nothing to do with it".[6] Hudson further notes in a later article that portrayals of women as sexual objects "don't support sexually liberated women; they undermine them".[12] Hudson also notes "If you really want to support Starfire's "liberated sexuality" like she's somehow a person with real agency, what people should really be campaigning for is more half-clothed dudes in suggestive poses to get drawn around her, since I'm sure that's what she'd like to see. But people don't really want that, do they? Because it's not about what Starfire wants. It's about what straight male readers want. And they want to see Starfire with her clothes falling off." [12]

Houston Press writer Jef With One F counters that the criticism was premature.[13] The story imagines "the point of view of someone who (did not grow) up here with our Western social norms." "Aliens not understanding nudity taboos is at least as old as Heinlein's Stranger and a Strange Land (sic)…(and) Doctor Manhattan in Watchmen... humans are little more than passing sights and smells, but for Starfire Todd and Harper somehow stand out and matter to her." Far from being "a sex toy, she's someone from a very different culture attracted to two specific men."

Collected editions

  • Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 1: REDemption (Red Hood and the Outlaws #1-7)
  • Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 2: The Starfire (Red Hood and the Outlaws #8-14)
  • Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 3: Death of the Family (Red Hood and the Outlaws #0, #15-17; Teen Titans vol. 4 #15-16)
  • Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 4 (Red Hood and the Outlaws #19-25, Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #1)

References

  1. Rogers, Vaneta (June 8, 2011). "LOBDELL Goes for Redemption in DCnU RED HOOD & the OUTLAWS". Newsarama. http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dcnu-scott-lobdell-talks-red-hood-110608.html. Retrieved February 20, 2012. 
  2. Lobdell, Scott (w), Rocafort, Kenneth (p), Blond (i), Blond (col), Brosseau, Pat (let), Bobbie Chase, Katie Kubert (ed). "Come Fly With Me--Come Die, Just Die Away!" Red Hood and the Outlaws 4 (February, 2012), New York: DC Comics
  3. Lobdell, Scott (w), Rocafort, Kenneth (p), Blond (i), Blond (col), Brosseau, Pat (let), Bobbie Chase, Katie Kubert (ed). "Cherish Is The Word I Use-- To Destroy You!" Red Hood and the Outlaws 3 (January, 2012), New York: DC Comics
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lobdell, Scott (w), Rocafort, Kenneth (a), Blond (col), Mangual, Carlos (let), Kubert, Katie (ed). "Shot Through The Heart-- And Who's To Blame?" Red Hood and the Outlaws 2 (December, 2011), New York: DC Comics
  5. 5.0 5.1 Lobdell, Scott (w), Rocafort, Kenneth (a), Blond (col), Mangual, Carlos (let), Bobbie Chase, Katie Kubert (ed). "I'm Free as a Bird -- And This Bird You Cannot Kill!" Red Hood and the Outlaws 5 (March, 2012), New York: DC Comics
  6. 6.0 6.1 Lobdell, Scott (w), Rocafort, Kenneth (p), Blond (i), Blond (col), Mangual, Carlos (let), Bobbie Chase, Katie Kubert (ed). "I Fought the Law and Kicked Its Butt!" Red Hood and the Outlaws 1 (November, 2011), New York: DC Comics
  7. Lobdell, Scott (w), Rocafort, Kenneth (a), Blond (col), Mangual, Carlos (let), Bobbie Chase, Katie Kubert (ed). "???" Red Hood and the Outlaws 7 (May, 2012), New York: DC Comics
  8. Schedeen, Jesse. "Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 Review Jason Todd assembles his own team of rogue heroes.". Comics/Reviews. IGN.com. http://comics.ign.com/articles/119/1195666p1.html. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Peterson, Matthew. ""New 52" Review". Reviews. MajorSpoilers.com. http://www.majorspoilers.com/new-52-review-red-hood-the-outlaws-1. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Hunsacker, Andrew. "New 52 Review: Red Hood and the Outlaws #1". Comics/Reviews. Craveonline.com. http://www.craveonline.com/comics/reviews/174866-new-52-review-red-hood-and-the-outlaws-1. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  11. Hudson, Laura. "Parting Shot: DC's New Starfire, WTF". Opinion. ComicsAlliance.com. http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/09/21/dc-firestar-sex/. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Hudson, Laura. "The Big Sexy Problem with Superheroines and Their 'Liberated Sexuality'". Opinion. ComicsAlliance.com. http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/09/22/starfire-catwoman-sex-superheroine/. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  13. With One F, Jef (February 6, 2012). "Hellfire and Sweater Meat: In Defense of DC's Starfire Reboot". Opinion. Houston Press. http://blogs.houstonpress.com/artattack/2012/02/hellfire_and_sweater_meat_in_d.php. Retrieved February 14, 2012. 
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