If there ever was a series I was hot and cold on from DC, it has been Red Hood and the Outlaws. Don't get me wrong... I love the Dark Trinity angle... The stories haven't been as compelling as the rest of Rebirth. I mean... who would ever believe anything about Russian's having operations inside the United States. Hopefully the Annual can help move us away from a back story?
Long story short. Russian circus in town. Jason has his crew hired on as "local flavor." Jason call's Dick because of his circus background and not because he totally needs Nightwing's help. Dick and Artemis hit it off (if you know what I mean). Dick tell's Jason to make nice with other performers so they can get some inside info as to what is going on. That's when this happened...
This is all I am interested in now. I mean, can he... you know? How would it?
But the story takes a hard turn, and the ringmaster has a job for them as Outlaws. Turns out, it was all a trap. Beast (no longer KGBeast), has lured them to a room of explosives so he can kill them... for money. Amazing fight scene then ensues. Nightwing swoops in to save the day. Dick and Jason don't say goodbye. That's the story.
Which brings me to the writing. Sure Lobdell gives us some fine dialog with some cute twists and turns, but the overall narrative felt kinda strung together. That might not be his fault; the nature of DC Annuals makes it hard to fit a single shot inside a year long narrative. However, it seems to me this was just a vehicle to get Bizarro some action.
AND I AM OK WITH THAT!
One thing that has always stood out with Red Hood and the Outlaws is the artist holding the pencil. Tyler Kirkham is great at depicting action sequences... like Jim Lee level good. I mean just look at the panel above... Mmmwhah! Beautiful!
But the important thing is that Bizarro has a girlfriend now, right?