Red Hood and the Outlaws, Bizarro and Artemis, take up crimefighting residence in Gotham City. With Bizarro's intelligence and motives fluctuating, he puts out a challenge to the Batman Family…unbeknownst to his teammates in the Outlaws.
This brings Batwoman, Batwing, Clayface, Orphan, and Azrael to their doorstep, and the two groups duke it out for the fate of Bizarro and crimefighting dominance in Gotham.
This is a good setup for a hero v. hero fight scenario. Batwoman has a lot to prove; Red Hood and Bizarro have a checkered past at best. The two teams are pretty volatile when near one another.
Red Hood has always been one of my more preferred members of the Bat Family. He's badly scarred by his childhood, his resurrection, and his time with the Bat. Batman isn't really a good father figure; despite how many young boys he takes in, no one seems to figure this one out (both within continuity and outside of it). This guy really shouldn't be allowed to raise children, and Jason's current status as a borderline-Punisher really shows that.
Nightwing is still the best Bat Family member, though.
Unfortunately, for all the fun parts of the comic, it does feel a bit infantile at times. The characters seem really immature, the one-liners are often bad, and pseudo-scientific facts are spouted out like they were just discovered.
The premise holds water though, and that is what keeps the comic readable. Plus, for my dislike of Batman, his associated tend to be awesome. Red Hood, Batwoman, Orphan, Azrael, Batwing, Clayface; all these people are really interesting and likable. I want to read about them, even if they feel slightly off in this book.
Bizarro's current mental status is pitiable and interesting. It's pretty reminiscent of the Banner/Hulk situation, but the current Bizarro's tendency towards compassion in a Lennie from Of Mice and Men kind of way keeps him especially endearing.
The fight is cool, with axes being slung, Clayface doing Clayface things, and Red Hood just being a jerk to all involved.
Dexter Soy's artwork really helps proceedings a lot. Everything just looks really good, and the fight is drawn well. Combine this with Veronica Gandini's stellar color work, and you have a damn fine comic.
I do recommend this comic in spite of its flaws. It's not brilliant, but it is an enjoyable read. Pick this one up if you're a Red Hood or Bat Family fan.
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