After a break in the action for last month’s #0, Jason Todd’s only origin story , we are back into the action right where we left off in Red Hood and the Outlaws #12. We are in the middle of the climatic final battle between Lord Blight and Kori and friends. Roy and Jason are involved but the real action takes place between Kori, Komi (her sister), and the crew of the orbiting ship that is justly named Starfire. The ground action takes a turn for the good guys when those freed from the Blight join in on the fight and Kori finishes off the Lord Blight with an explosive kiss. Our friends up in orbit pull the “set the auto destruct and invite the enemy to come over” routine and the battle on both ground and in space is over. We get a wrap up with the Kori and Komi on Tamaran where the sisters make up and then our team is back on its way to earth. On earth we get a final scene showing the Joker opening up a storage container which contains one of Jason’s masks. The final blurb promises us that Superman will be in the next issue and just as fast as it started, #13 is over.
This issue is narrated by Roy and actually has some great fun with misleading the reader and poking fun of the situation. Getting to hear his inner monologue as the action unfolds, particularly his feelings and thoughts for Kori, is insightful. However, this is the closing chapter of the first major story in this title to put Kori in the starring role and on some level it feels like a checklist was being ticked off more than a story told. Beat Bad Guy, Make up with Sister, Go back to earth, introduce Joker… all are accomplished but they do not really stand out. I get the feeling that the crossover event, “Death of the Family,” may have cut this story back by an issue and there was some squeezing to get it all wrapped up.
The other thing that was handled badly is the character arc of Isabel. She gets brought along on the trip and never gets to make an impact in the story. The idea of one of Jason’s girlfriends getting zapped off on a wild space adventure could have been a very fun idea, but in this she is no more than someone for him to lean on (literally) as the book finishes up.
Kori does shine in this book as a hero with real power, though. Some of the thoughts of her sister during the wrap-up scene let us know that we may be making a return trip to Tamaran soon as the “gathering of the thirteen” seems to be fast approaching. By the end of this book we get the feeling that this has become a close team. Kori admits to Komi that she may have found love with the humans and turns down a chance to rule her home planet to return back to earth. Roy’s closing narration also reaffirms this in the closing pages by letting us know that no force could tear them apart.
The last few pages are what we might expect as the Joker’s return is right around the corner. The mention of Superman in the next issue comes as a minor surprise and I am looking forward to his appearance and for the team to arrive back on earth.
From storyline to art, the cover centers on Kori and Komi as does the rest of the issue. It is all well done but I get the sense that a few scenes of Jason and Roy are rushed, both story-wise and aesthetically. I do think that the costume that Kori wears at the end of the book is very well done and would make an interesting alternative to her traditional purple look. I hope this not the last we have seen of it.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #13:
Reviewed by Ed Grause