Story: Scott Lobdell
Art: Dexter Soy
***NON-SPOILERS and SUMMARY AT THE BOTTOM***
Previously in Red Hood and the Outlaws: Red Hood, Artemis, and Bizarro have traveled to Quarc in an attempt to recover the Bow of Ra. Red Hood was captured and imprisoned in the same place where he was murdered by the Joker many years ago, Artemis was captured by her former and once dead friend Akila, and Bizarro is currently trying to help a group of refugees from the war-torn country.
Artemis is from a tribe of Amazons who split from the Themysciran Amazons centuries ago and fled to Egypt. There, they built their own city, developed their own culture, and even gave rise to their own champion they call the Shim’tar. The book opens with the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall having a feast in honor of their returned sister Artemis, but Artemis knows things are amiss. Artemis herself killed Akila after she went mad with power from the Bow of Ra.
Death in the Family
Meanwhile, Jason Todd, former Robin and current Outlaw, is literally losing his mind. He relives the tragic moment that ended his life over and over and over. Jason Todd as Robin, bound and bloody. The Joker, murderous and maniacal, laughing as he delivers fatal blows with his crowbar. Jason reveals he relives this every night and it never gets easier. He can also rise above the nightmares in his own head and silence the Joker that lives there.
Bizarro is leading the refugees from Quarc to safety, but the group ran into a mountain of a problem … literally, as Bizarro lead the group to an impassable mountain. To make the situation even worse, General Heinle’s army threatens Bizarro and the refugees. Bizarro may not be smart, but he’s also not dumb. He takes down the helicopters by attacking them and punches a hole in mountain so the group can pass.
To Me, Mistress
Red Hood outsmarts one of the guards and gets a weapon. During a stand-off with General Heinle himself, Red Hood makes a trouble discovery: General Heinle is not the one who shot down their plane, nor is he in possession of the Bow of Ra. The bow was too powerful for him to control himself, so General Heinle made a grave mistake. He resurrected the Shim’tar, which means Artemis is in big trouble as we see Akila on the final page, her face warped and possessed, clutching the Bow of Ra and vowing “soon, all will kneel … or they will BURN!”
Next: Outlaws at War
1988’s “Death in the Family” ranks as one of the worst moments in comic book history, just below the “The Killing Joke” and “Green Lantern #54”, so to read about Jason Todd dealing with the emotional aftermath of that trauma was cathartic and empowering. Scott Lobdell’s “Who is Artemis” storyline keeps you guessing from issue to issue through clever plot twists, and Dexter Soy hits it out of the park with the art. And as always, Bizarro adds just enough camp and comedy to make this book one of my favorite titles each month.
Noah O’Toole | NCR