Red Hood and the Outlaws sneaked up on me in the last 4 months to become one of my favorite titles of The New 52. I dig it. The uproar about hypersexualizing Starfire didn't bother me. Actually, that only made her more appealing. But seriously, the best way I can describe Red Hood and the Outlaws is that it feels like the rollicking comic book version of 2006 Rated R Superstar Edge. Like his shirt: Sex and Violence.
In 4 issues, Red Hood quickly turned into a fun series. For one thing, I think the characterizations are very strong. For the first time ever, I like Jason Todd. He's actually interesting and formidable. To illustrate how much I loathed Jason Todd: I am one of his executioners. I was one of the people who called DC Comics in 1988 and voted: Robin Must Die. Joker beating him with the crowbar and exploding him was something I asked for, and enjoyed. I hated Jason Todd. I hated his comeback by Judd Winnick. But now, I like him. I get Jason. He's now more interesting to me than any other ex-Robin. The series has also done a very good job, better than lots of the other New 52 series, in quickly building a mythology and giving a ton of backstory to Jason Todd.
Roy Harper still hasn't grown on me, but Starfire is much more than meets the eye. Especially in issue 4 where she faces a new enemy and we get to see half the issue from her point of view. She has surprising depth of character to go with the eye-popping eye candy.
As a reader projecting himself into the comics he reads, I wouldn't want to hang out with the simpletons in Justice League or Suicide Squad, for instance, but I would certainly hang out with Red Hood, Arsenal, and Starfire. Blaze around the world, get into trouble, have some sex, fight some evil. They're a swell bunch, those three. They're a couple of bad ass skilled humans hanging out with the single hottest woman in the universe who flies and has superpowers, and she's both an alien princess and a former slave girl, and they fight evil together. What a concept! What's not to like?
Finally, and I'm just stabbing in the dark here, take the first initials of Red Hood, Arsenal and Starfire, and you get R'AS. Considering Jason Todd came back from the dead via Lazarus Pit, I wonder if a confrontation with The Demon's Head is in the cards?
The other day Grant Morrison told Kevin Smith that Batman killed The Joker at the end of The Killing Joke. (bleedingcool.com) This was corroborated by a couple of other people, one of whom wrote a book saying so. Bleeding Cool (bleedingcool.com)