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Review: Red Hood and the Outlaws #18

blankRed Hood and the Outlaws #18
DC Comics

Written by: Scott Lobdell
Art by: Sergio Sandoval
Inked by: Juan Albarran
Colors by: Michael Atiyeh

Things aren’t looking good for team Red Hood and the Outlaws in “Bizarro Reborn” part five! The H.I.V.E. queen is causing chaos in Gotham, Faye has seemingly disappeared and Bizarro is inviting new recruits to join their team without asking Artemis and Red Hood! On top of that, Artemis is growing suspicious of Bizarro’s actions, is this the beginning of the end of the team…?

Cracks are starting to form in Bizarro’s genius mind; he’s arguing with his imaginary conscious, a baby Superman called Pup Pup, and his speech is quickly reverting back to his early days. During Red Hood’s  fight with the H.I.V.E Queen, she was about to reveal the truth to him before Bizarro conveniently crushes her! He also invites prospective new recruits round to join the team without consulting the other two, but even after all of this, Red Hood still doesn’t understand what’s really going on – but Artemis definitely has her suspicions!

I absolutely love this rag tag bunch of misfits and I genuinely think this is one of the strongest titles since Rebirth, but this issue really has me worried that this could be the end of the team! Ever since Lex Luthor saved a dying Bizarro by imbuing him with kryptonite and incidentally turning him into a genius, Lobdell has teased the fact this might not be a permanent fixture. For me Bizarro was originally the heart of the team, and it’s definitely been an interesting read seeing him as the genius of the team, but what lengths will Bizarro go to keep his intellect?! 

The art from Sandoval and Albarran in this issue is absolutely fantastic, the highlights had to be the action filled panels, in particular Artemis and Creeper’s brawl as well as Bizarro crashing down on the H.I.V.E Queen. The blankdetailing in the character’s facial expressions are also very impressive, especially bringing Bizarro and his internal conflict to life. The colours are particularly darker than usual in this issue, and there’s a lot of shading on Bizarro, symbolising his journey down a darker path. The penultimate panels are also particularly impressive in how ominous and foreboding they are!

There’s plenty of revelations in Red Hood and the Outlaws#18 that will shock readers and lead them to question just what’s next for Bizarro and the team! The closing panels raise a number of questions which I can’t wait to unravel in the next couple of issues, but please don’t break the family up Lobdell!

Rating: 8 out 10