Sunday, October 2, 2011

Review the DCnU: Red Hood and the Outlaws #1

Prior to reading this book I thought hey this seems like it could be an interesting idea, though some of the costume designs I had seen (mainly the hat on Arsenal) left me questioning it.  I had no idea how much I was going to dislike it, not so much from a story perspective but because of what they have done to one of the characters.  The way that Starfire is portrayed in the book has gotten some rather harsh backlash from fans all over.

Red Hood and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
by Scott Lobdell, Kenneth Rocafort, and Blond
Red Hood and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
The premise of this book seemed like it could be promising to me. Jason Todd and Roy Harper have never really gotten a fair shake in the DCU and it was interesting to see if these two would now finally get a chance to shine.  Starfire going into this book was one of my favorite Teen Titan characters.

The plot of the book essentially has Jason Todd breaking Harper out of jail shortly before he was to be executed.  They are aided in this escape by Starfire.  Sounds good and interesting right?

Red Hood and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
Well that is where things take a turn for the worst in the book.  We immediately go to a scene where Starfire is bathing in the water off a beach and Todd and Harper are just hanging out.  We find out that apparently Starfire is a sex crazed alien that really doesn't care who she gets it from and she has no human connection and can care less what has happened to people she once knew.  That is if she could even remember who they were in the first place.

Red Hood and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
While the book goes on setting things up for future issues it is bothersome to me what they did to the character of Starfire for several reasons.  For one we were told that many of the famous outfits were changed so that the characters (particularly the female ones) could dress more modestly. So what do they do instead?  They put Starfire in as little of material as possible and turn her into a slut.

Red Hood and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
I really don't see how they would think this would be OK.  Starfire is a popular character from the Teen Titans and many of her fans watched her on the animated show that was aimed at kids.  Imagine how much of a surprise it may be for some of these fans if they were to pick up the book simply because she is on the cover and inside they find the "character" Starfire that casually asks a guy for sex just because he's there.

Red Hood and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
Controversy aside, I feel the book is OK plotwise, nothing really spectacular going on there.  The art is pretty impressive though.  But unfortunately much like this review all of that is going to be more or less ignored because of the controversy surrounding the character.

Red Hood and all characters
copyrighted by DC Comics
GRADE OF NEW TITLE: This book gets a C from me.  Mainly because of how much dislike I have for what they have done to the character of Starfire.  That aside, the plot didn't do much for me, we get introduced to the characters but knowing as much as I do about how they were in the past I am left not knowing what they are like, particularly Jason Todd in this universe.

WILL IT SUCCEED: Controversy means sales.  That means as long as this creative team can start rolling out some good stories I think that they could use the controversy to their advantage.  The negative being Jason Todd isn't exactly anyone's favorite ex-Robin and the other characters outside of Starfire don't have much appeal to the casual reader.  I think that the book will do OK and should be able to pull in enough sales to keep going for awhile, but at the same time I would not be surprise to see this book get cancelled sometime down the line.

SHOULD IT SUCCEED: In one word NO.  This book was set up like they were anticipating the controversy over the character changes and doesn't have much else going for it.  That is not the way to keep up the interest of new readers.

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