We’re back with a new week of comic book reviews, looking at the comics I read on the subway ride home the night before. Today’s edition features a couple of new Rebirth No. 1s from DC Comics – Red Hood and the Outlaws and Superwoman.

Red Hood and the Outlaws 1 
Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by Dexter Soy

Lobdell is really dragging the team’s origin story out, as covers show off all three members of this new “Dark Trinity,” – Red Hood, the Amazon Artemis and a Bizarro (it’s never THE Bizarro anymore, it’s always A Bizarro, just not A. Bizzaro) – but we’re now two issues into the story (counting the “Rebirth” issue from two weeks ago) and Red Hood just barely met up with Artemis at the end of this issue. Bizarro is still nowhere to be found.

After the aforementioned Rebirth issue, there’s practically no new information here. Jason Todd goes back over his new plan to infiltrate the underworld, gets a little more motivation for going after criminal mastermind Black Mask – who is recruiting the Red Hood for his crime family – and finally in the last couple of pages, we get some progress with the story as Hood leads a team of False Facers – Black Mask’s minions, all wearing what seem to be Gimp masks – to intercept a weapon. And this is where we meet Artemis.

The teaser for next issue says we get a battle between Red Hood and Artemis, so anyone hoping for the team to be together in the second issue are probably still out of luck. I wonder how long it will be before we see a full issue with Bizarro. Three? Maybe four? Either way, this drawn out storytelling just makes me feel like I’m being ripped off out of my $2.99. My desire to see how Lobdell deals with Bizarro may be getting drowned out by my common sense hatred of Lobdell’s writing style. I guess we’ll see what happens with the next issue.

Superwoman 1
Written and penciled by Phil Jimenez 
Inks by Phil Jimenez and Matt Santorelli

I feel like I picked two books with completely opposite writing styles to read last night. For as drawn out as Lobdell is making Red Hood and the Outlaws, Phil Jimenez’s more old school style felt like it packed two issues in one.

Playing off the fate of the New 52 Superman, who died as DC Comics headed toward Rebirth, the New 52 versions of Lois Lane and Lana Lang were on the scene when Superman “went nova,” which seems to have imparted some of his power to both Lois and Lana. While Lois got Superman’s more traditional powers – flight, super breath, hearing and vision – Lana is now able to manipulate energy, in the same way as the Superman of 1997-98 could, only the red-headed Lana chooses the red color scheme for her costume instead of the blue.

Lois went to Lana despite the pair apparently not liking each other because New 52 Clark told Lois that Lana helped to teach him to control his powers. So, interspersed throughout the issue, we get Lana and Lois bonding as Lana goes over her history and her present – including taking pills for anxiety since Clark died. Oh, also, Lois comes up with terrible headlines every other page or so, to make sure we don’t forget she’s supposed to be a journalist, although her present employment status is never mentioned. Lana, on the other hand, is working as a science expert for George Taylor at the Daily Star – the paper where Clark Kent and Lois Lane originally worked in the 1930s and 1940s.

While I’m not the biggest fan of Jimenez’s pencils, the writing is top notch, with nary a wasted panel and tons of information thrown at the reader. We get the origins of Lois and Lana’s powers. We get an adventure where they stop a runaway battle carrier commissioned by Lex Luthor to protect the City (while Lex’s battle suit is malfunctioning, in a scene that’s placed after the events of the story in Action Comics). There’s a mysterious entity watching the proceedings – much like in Action Comics. We also have what seems to be a Bizarro Superwoman – SEE? Is that so hard, Lobdell? – and an ending I did not see coming.

Based on this issue, I am definitely on board for Superwoman going forward. I love all the story Jimenez stuffed into 22 pages and I’m looking forward to seeing where he goes with his first arc. I assume Superwoman eventually has to cross over with Action Comics, which is absolutely something else I’m looking forward to.

That’s all for this week. Check out Thursday’s post to see what else I’ll be reading this week by clicking here, and I’ll be back tomorrow with a couple more reviews. Also this week, keep an eye out for a review of the animated movie Batman: The Killing Joke.

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