The Red Hood and the Outlaws is labeled a Night of the Owls crossover, however, much of the plot centers upon the conclusion the first Red Hood and the Outlaws story arc rather than tying into Snyder’s Batman event. Personally, I think that this issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws would have been better without the tacked on Night of the Owls tie-in, but at the end of the day it does serve its purpose and manages to bridge the entire Bat Family together.
The issue starts off with the Red Hood telling Starfire and Arsenal about how he blackmailed and threatened the seven crime families in Hong Kong to bankroll his operations. After several turnovers the Red Hood finally grew bored and on his way out of town he slaughtered most of the members of the foremost crime family leaving only Suzie Su and her father alive.
The clock then winds forward tying the Red Hood’s story of fortune to the current task at hand. In an effort to bait the Red Hood into a trap to enact revenge, Suzie Su has taken hostages in a Gotham City hospital, and it’s up to the Red Hood and the Outlaws to rescue the hostages and to stop Suzie Su once and for all. From here till the Night of the Owls tie-in, the pace gets knocked up a notch and leads to an action-packed conclusion to the core Red Hood and the Outlaws canon.
The issue the segues to Alfred’s emergency broadcast being received by the infamous trio and the Red Hood making the uncharacteristic decision to help Alfred and Batman stop the Court of Owl’s Talons from assassinating the movers and shakers of Gotham. The issue does conclude nicely by having the Red Hood and Red Robin sharing breakfast together and conversing about their relationship as surrogate brothers and the Court of Owls.
As mentioned, I personally think that the Red Hood and the Outlaws should have cut the Night of the Owls crossover entirely and focused on their own story arc, and then somewhere along the core issues of Scott Snyder’s Night of the Owls event they could have introduced the Red Hood’s role with a brief explanation and a couple of panels. With this in mind, I’ll be rating the eighth issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws with three-and-a-half-stars out of five.
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