I was a huge fan of Red Hood back when Artemis and Bizarro were on the team trying to work together for the greater good. The book had an edge that kept teetering over disaster thanks to the interesting coupling of the members. Scott Lobdell has got them fighting the literal damned from Hell in the latest arc entitled “Unspoken Truths.” It’s all-out war and Red Hood is in the middle of it. Check out the preview to get a taste of the issue.
This is all fight comics with little in the way of character development and plot development, but there’s always a time and a place for that, so why the hell not? Paolo Pantalena draws a good superhero with bulbous muscles and plenty of detail in the many enemies strewn across the background. Some of the coolest aspects of this issue lie in the strange fantasy ideas on the page. Pantalena draws a fantastic MC Escher style, topsy-turvy playland as the Chamber of All is depicted quite well. It’s a double-page splash that’s worth a look even if you’re not reading the book. Muscles can sometimes look so chiseled they’re more like stone than flesh, but given the subject of the book, that gets an easy pass.
Unfortunately, I can’t say I loved this issue. It’s a lot of brainless shooting and swordplay, some rather baseless twists in the story, and even the action is unsatisfying and sort of pointless. A lot of what occurs feels like fight-comics filler to get the characters from point A to point B with much of what occurs in between forgettable at best. There’s an interesting cut to Ma Gunn’s home for Wayward children that offers some interesting details on some super-powered kiddos, but it’s a blip near the end of the book.
The entire book rests on three different twist reveals and the Ma Gunn cut away. Aside from that, it’s a quick read that could have been more interesting if the characters had more to do and say. Not a lot of what happens feels like it matters or is earned, though there are some visually interesting moments to cling to.