Written by Mark Henely
There is nothing new in Red Hood and the Outlaws #2. The basic structure is as follows:
Phase 1: Two heroes meet. They mistake each other for enemies and get into a fight
Phase 2: Their fight is interrupted by a real villain and the two star crossed heroes have to team up to take him/her/it on.
Writer Scott Lobdell is essentially running the Marvel Team-Up playbook. This is what should be called a “standard.”
But, everyone loves the standards. Jazz musicians base entire careers on playing the standards. It’s all about putting your own spin on the classic and doing something fun.
And the dynamic between Red Hood and his unlikely ally, Artemis, is fun. Red Hood is a dirty pig of a man with a heart of gold and a dark past, while Artemis is a literal Amazon Goddess who is so far above him in terms of power and status that he is forced to respect her. Again, none of this is new, but it doesn’t have to be because it is a standard.
The relationship they have is actually very charming. There is a clear mutual attraction, but because Red Hood is much farther below her in terms of status, anything that could happen between them will be a real slow burn. That way, anything small that does happen, will feel large and satisfying.
As for the art, I was really impressed by the Dexter Soy’s ability to make Red Hood look like a badass. Every panel shows Red Hood posing like mid-action with his coat in the wind. Soy treats drawing Red Hood like he has the opportunity to draw Spawn in the 90s. Sure, it is a little distracting, but sometimes a distraction can be excused if it looks cool.