The first issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws Rebirth was the perfect example of how DC needs to reboot comics for its new Rebirth event. The issue gave a clear origin story for Jason Todd’s Red Hood character, while setting up an interesting new plot. Turns out however, there are going to be big plans for Red Hood.
As Dick Grayson aka Nightwing is off gallivanting around as a secret agent, it’s interesting to note that the heir to Bruce Wayne is almost nothing like his adoptive father anymore. Instead, it’s Jason Todd who appears to be most interested in following Batman’s footsteps as the Dark Knight. This revelation comes as Red Hood begins his mission of taking down Black Mask’s new criminal organization.
After years of being the “edgy” Bruce Wayne apprentice, Red Hood is finally starting to resemble a character who should be taken seriously. As the backstories continue into this week’s issue, it’s clear that Jason Todd has every intention of proving to Batman that he is a serious and worthy replacement for Wayne if the situation ever calls for it. Whereas Todd used to be characterized for his impatience and aggression, Rebirth’s Red Hood is channeling those characteristics into a character worthy of awe. In other words, Red Hood is becoming a serious character to pay attention to, even as the other former Robins have fallen by the wayside.
While the full extent of the changes in Rebirth have yet to unfold, it’s pretty clear from the first two issues of Red Hood that this comic is meant to be a complete redemption for Jason Todd’s character. The former dark horse in the Wayne family is finally reforming his ways to become a proper Batman heir, and so far Todd is killing it. Red Hood is setting himself up to be a perfect Batman, and it appears that readers won’t actually have to wait long for Red Hood to take a Batman-like role.
The big reveal at the end of the issue reveals Artemis, a more sinister Amazonian compared to Wonder Woman. Her entrance is practically flawless, but it’s her reveal, and the knowledge that she and Bizarro will fill the Outlaw portions of Red Hood and the Outlaws that the book’s intentions are clear. Whereas the previous Red Hood and the Outlaws comic run placed Todd, Speedy, and Starfire in the context of mercurial guns-for-hire; the new Rebirth series looks to be setting up a sort of anti-Justice League with Todd, Artemis, and Bizarro as Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman, respectively.
There really is no better DC comic than Red Hood that captures the sort of exciting character reimagining an event like Rebirth is attempting. Decades of character history is being re-written in a new and exciting way. It also helps that the book itself continues to be gorgeous. Dexter Soy’s art along with Veronica Gandini’s rich colors help make Red Hood and the Outlaws one of the best looking DC comics currently. A fitting package for a truly exemplary series out of DC’s Rebirth project.