Jason Todd: “The only reason I’m here is ’cause if anything happens to you–that would make me the worst former sidekick ever.”
Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 - To Roy Harper
Red Hood and the Outlaws is a comic book series released as part of DC Comics' New 52. It follows former Batman sidekick Jason Todd as the titular Red Hood, a dual wielding pistol marksman, accompanied by Green Arrow’s rejected sidekick Arsenal (Roy Harper), a damaged soldier of fortune, and the alien Starfire, a former prisoner of intergalactic war who won’t be chained again.
This comic provides examples of:
The Alcoholic: Arsenal is a recovering one. He laments hanging out in a bar in #4 even though he's only drinking soda.
Anti-Hero: Red Hood states that he's become Lighter and Softer in recent years, noting that he no longer enjoys killing people, even criminals.
Beware the Superman: Jason has a respect for Superman as much as a surfer has for sharks. After having worked beside him after all those years ago has more or less taught him to be Properly Paranoid the second that the Kyptonian gets involved.
Blood Magic: Red Hood's All-Swords get extra power from his blood. Or, something like that. It hasn't been explained yet.
Book Safe: Red Hood smuggles a collapsible bow to Arsenal inside a bible in the first issue.
Breather Episode: Only in Red Hood & the Outlaws can the superhero equivalent of the hospital scene of Hardboiled be considered the "Breather Episode", but Issue # 8 fits the description.
Broken Bird: How many readers see Starfire. It's not certain at this point if this was Lobdell's intention. She gets really snippy and hostile whenever anyone tries to talk to her about her past, and we eventually find out that her most precious memory is killing the only Citadel member who showed her sympathy in all her time as a slave. It's even lampshaded how screwed up the team must be.
Brought Down to Normal: What Crux attempts to do to Starfire. It didn't last for long, thanks to the Citadel's experiments on her.
Code Name: Played with: they have them, but generally use their real ones.
Coitus Ensues: Happens in the first issue, when Roy Harper/Arsenal is seeing if Koriand'r/Starfire remembers knowing him when they were younger.
Kori: You are boring me.
Roy: Um, Jason's over there talking to himself.
Kori: And we're here. Do you want to have sex with me?
Continuity Nod: Issue #2, Red Hood gets an air hostess' number. They met in Batman #426, 20 years ago. She still remembers his drink order, although in modern continuity, they probably met 2-3 years ago. And he mentions 'A Death in the Family', although that is a Shout-Out. Her name is Isabel Ardila, by the way.
In issue #6, it's revealed that Red Hood's costume is actually one of Nightwing's old costumes. Though in-universe information is lacking thanks to the recent reboot, it seems to be based on Nightwing's Renegade costume.
The Night of the Owls tie-in nods to the revelation in Batman that Haley's Circus (of which Nightwing was a performer) was a recruitment service for the Court of Owls. It may also be a reference to Red Hood's pre-Crisis history as a circus performer.
The Death of the Family tie-in has the Joker forcing Jason to relive the circumstances of his death in the original A Death In The Family arc.
Cool Airship: The team takes possession of Crux's airship after defeating him. It has enough features and gadget to make Arsenal very happy, including a cloaking device and vertical take-off and landing capacities.
Arsenal: Before anyone asks—yes, I'm in LOVE.
Crazy-Prepared: He's one of the Sons of Batman, so obviously Red Hood is going to be this. A confrontation with gangsters in China shows he hides guns in the potted plants just in case he gets held up without weapons.
Arsenal has a detonation device in his quiver, in case it's ever taken from him.
Dark and Troubled Past: Starfire has spent most of her life as a slave to the Citadel, after being sold into it by her own sister. She mentions some experiments done on her too, which were all likely horrific.
Deadpan Snarker: Red Hood, although Arsenal and Starfire do get their shots in.
Depending on the Artist: Despite the company using the same designs for characters. Killer Croc looks different than to how he was drawn in Batman #1 just a few months before he appeared here. The design for Mr Freeze by the book's artist also appears different from how he looks on the Batman Annual cover.
In more recent issues, Starfire's costume. Is she wearing the same strap across her back she's been wearing since the reboot, a vest that leaves her entire torso bare, or straps that that hook from her collar back around her arms?
Doomed Hometown: What happens to All, which Red Hood feels is his real home and where he truly grew up.
Dysfunction Junction: Frankly, the "team" is a host of issues prior to coming together. And as the comic moves along, they only seem to mount. It should be noticed that all these issues have a common thread between them, Trust is a major theme.
Eating the Eye Candy: After showing off a fancy new pair of Flight Wings Arsenal remarks on how cool Red Hood looks. Starfire thinks he's talking about Red Hood's "buns" and wholeheartedly agrees.
Ethical Slut: What Starfire is supposed to come off as, although she has had sex with only one person off panel in one issue so far.
Even Evil Has Standards: Arsenal's most cherished memory? Hitting Rock Bottom, trying to fight Killer Croc in order to "suicide by Croc" only to have Croc realize this and tell him to get his act together. A scaled up beast told Arsenal he was embarrassing, meaning there was no where to go but up.
Later Waylon Jones, a.k.a. Killer Croc becomes his sponsor in his Alcoholics Anonymous Program.
Executive Veto: The first issue was going to feature Starfire in a semi-transparent bikini, but the editorial response was essentially a very blunt "No."
Facial Horror: In #17's end, a trap the Joker left in Jason's helmet sets off, sending Joker Venom all over him and scarring him deeply. He remains unconscious until the end of #18, and doesn't have his face shown in that time.
Fantastic Racism: The gimmick of Crux, a human bent on killing every alien on Earth. He has a special hatred for Tamaraneans, blaming them for the death of his parents after they were killed by the crash of a Tamaranean war cruiser, directly into their car, as he sat in the backseat.
He just lucked out as his parents were highly respected alien researchers.
Fat Bastard: Suzie Su, a relatively rare female example.
Female Gaze: Red Hood and Arsenal provide a lot of this, at least under Rocafort's pencils. Jason even spends most of issue 6 completly naked.
Genius Ditz: Arsenal. He's a cheery clown, but he's also brilliant at making weapons.
Great Escape: Issue #1 starts with Arsenal being busted out of a Qurac prison by the Red Hood and Starfire. The reason is detailed in this page's quote.
Hand or Object Underwear: Red Hood spends part of Issue 6 completely naked, walking about using his hands and a palm leaf to cover himself, along with bandages on his torso after his clothes get destroyed. Could also double as Naked People Are Funny.
He Who Fights Monsters: The fact that Crux turned himself into exactly the type of monster he's dedicated his life to hunting is called attention to in #5.
Hearing Voices: Arsenal and Starfire believes it's the case with Red Hood. Subverted as he's talking with Essence, who they can't see.
It's Personal : the Joker is really, really irritated that Jason went off-script and basically ruined one of the best jokes he pulled on Batman by coming back to life. So he prepares a little surprise for Jason as an aside from Death of the Family and booby-traps one of Jason's helmets, who receives a face-full of acid.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Red Hood, to some degree. He deeply cares for the All-Caste, considering them his family and hesitating when confronted with their zombie forms, and saved a village.
Knight Templar: Crux. Obsessed with killing aliens? Check. Willing to go to extreme lengths to do it? Check. Honestly thinks he's the good guy, and people should praise and more over side with what he does? Check.
He's so much so that he's literally perplexed when Arsenal attacks him to defend Starfire.
Legal Jailbait: S'aru looks like a preteen and lounges around half-naked, but is in fact over 400 years old.
Limited Wardrobe: Surprisingly averted even in-costume by Arsenal, who has a lot of distinct baseball caps.
So far, no civilian outfit has been used more than once by any of the cast, barring Red Hood's All Robes.
Mafia Princess: Suzie Su, whose father appears to be very well-connected.
Male Gaze: Mostly subdued under Rocafort but started to become more prominent with the different artists than succeded him.
Mercy Kill: The Talon in Night of the Owls asks this, though technically it was more him desiring not to be reanimatednote since a Talon's healing factor is to such a degree that during their invasion of the Batcave, Batman decided to resort to would-have-been-lethal-against-non-metahumans force.
Not So Different: How Red Hood handles his Talon during the Night of the Owls. He relates to being killed and reanimated as a killer, and not being in control of his own life. The Talon asks Red Hood for help, as he cannot self terminate.
Person of Mass Destruction: Starfire, some people are even worried that she may be a radioactive hazard. Made scarier when something designed to drain her powers fails to do so.
She destroyed a group of tanks without even appearing to be winded and then casually asked Jason if there's anything else she can do for him.
Poirot Speak: Starfire's narration slips into Tamaranean when she's attacked in #4. She also pronounces the name "Richard" as though it were Tamaranean at the end of the issue.
Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: A former Robin who came back from the dead and have a strained (if somewhat civil) relationship with the Batfamily, Green Arrow's ex-partner on rehab from his alcoholism and an Alien Princess who as a young child was sold into slavery by her sister, to save her home world, spent much of her life in death camps, and doesn't really remember alot of things concerning earth clearly.
Sad Clown: Arsenal tries to chat and make jokes whenever he can, but it's fairly obvious that he's practically dead on the inside. He admits this in Issue 5 to Starfire, saying he believes that as a team the three of them could help each other.
Christ, the entire team is dead on the inside and trying to cover it up.
Scenery Porn: Even people criticizing the comic have praised Kenneth Rocafort's art, especially the backgrounds. Issue 6 takes scenery, character, and costume design to a whole new level. Well, except Jim Shooter.
Schmuck Bait: A long, empty corridor that leads to the MacGuffin and gives Starfire the creeps is overlooked.
Shadow Archetype: Red Hood, to Batman. After being revived, Red Hood trains with the All-Caste, a secret, somewhat mystical sect of warriors who mirror Batman's League of Assassins. Red Hood is also Crazy-Prepared like Bats, with safehouses around the globe, each one full of weapons and supplies.
You can also apply that with Starfire, to Superman. She's basically the flip side of Clark's coin, both being nearly all powerful aliens that are powered by the yellow sun. Both came from being traumatically removed from home into unfamiliar surroundings, with two every different upbrinings. Starfire's perceptions of humanity, along her tendency to attempt to kill whatever she doesn't like directly contrast Clark's. Star wishes to remain very private, only presenting herself willing to the public eye when it's unavoidable. She doesn't wish to come off as friendly or there for others' protection, she just wants to do what she wishes. if Clark and her were to ever meet it'd a lot of friction between the two. In issue 14, they do meet... and it nearly breaks out into all out brawl involving the "team" and Sups, mostly due to her and Jason's character traits. It takes Jason's date, Isabel, from keeping things from getting out of hand while getting them all to sit down and talk.
Shoo Out the New Guy: According to Word of God, Crux was going to be a member of the team; but fans disliked him and the writer decided he didn't fit in. Crux is last seen being sent to Arkham Asylum.
Stripperiffic: Starfire's already-revealing costume goes Up to Eleven here. She now effectively has only a pair of pasties covering her nipples, and the bikini she wears late in the first issue actually manages to be more modest than her default costume. See also the aforementioned semi-transparent bikini.
So Proud of You: Jason is insanely surprised when Superman tells him that Batman vouches for him and the Outlaws. This touched briefly in #17, and in #18 the reader finally gets to see Bruce, both in Jason's memories and in the present, admit how proud he is of him.
Spy Catsuit: In a flashback in #2, Talia al Ghul is seen in one of these as she goes to the All Caste with Jason, black colored.
Take Your Time: Despite the threat of the Untitled, as well as Red Hood's vow to destroy them all, it doesn't look like he's going to follow up on it anytime soon. Though, mostly because he has no idea where any of them are.
Tagalong Kid: Isabel, the stewardess whom Red Hood takes on a date, is accidentally teleported with the rest of the team onto the Tamaranean space ship. She reacts as well as you'd expect.
Trick Arrow: Though Arsenal has mostly avoided these, he has used a bomb arrow.
Went all out with trick arrows in issue 5, which has him taking down Crux with an electric arrow, and making a fire with a fire arrow. And when he destroyed most of his arrows to stop Crux, we get brief glimpses at a bunch of other trick arrows that haven't been used yet.
Whole Episode Flashback: #6 takes place a month before the events of #1 and details how Red Hood met Starfire in the first place — and there are several other flashbacks within that context.
The TPB takes the novel route of opening with #6 before going on into #1.
Winged Humanoid: Crux can turn into a massive reptilian bat-like creature thanks to his mastery of reverse-engineered alien technology. He can also swim lightning quick in this form.
A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: The Untitled sheriff of a small town. And of course when Red Hood finally kills her/it, the body goes back to its human form, just as the local villagers are able to come out and see.
Word of God: Lobdell himself stated he was very surprised at the amount of controversy the first issue caused. He goes on to say that he doesn't see why people see Starfire as an ADD-stricken Ethical Slut. He also assures disgruntled readers to keep reading, as answers will be revealed later, not that this has stopped some people from dropping the book outright.