Webtoon has launched a new DC Comics series today, with the first three episodes for free and the next six episodes available if you pay for a Fastpass. The comic is Red Hood: Outlaws featuring the team of DC Comics characters, Red Hood, Artemis and Bizarro.
Originally created by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort, Red Hood & The Outlaws was a New 52 launch book from DC Comics in 2011 commissioned in response to the growing popularity of the character of Jason Todd, a former Robin who was now the murderous vigilante Red Hood, teaming him with Starfire and Arsenal.
In 2016 the book was relaunched by Scott Lobdell and Dextor Soy with a new lineup, Red Hood joined by Superman's failed clone Bizarro and Wonder Woman's friend and rival Artemis. And it is that team which is being reflected in the Webtoon version published today.
The Outlaws try to go legit — and fail spectacularly. The Justice League has issued a challenge to DC's Dark Trinity, forcing Red Hood, Artemis of Bana-Mighdall, and Bizarro to try and replace their goody-two-shoe counterparts as the heroes the world neither deserves nor needs. In this original series, the Outlaws will battle some of DC's biggest Super-Villains and Super Heroes — but their biggest battles are among themselves. Can this team last? And can they find their own identities separate from Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman?
Red Hood: Outlaws is written by Patrick R. Young, drawn by Nico Bascunan, coloured with ink assist by Javier Rodriguez Vejares, background assistance from Sebastian Franchini, produced by Tyler Beckett and Ousman Dukuray, and edited by Katie Kubert and Ben Meares.
Last year, DC Comics made a deal with South Korean online publisher Webtoon, for a new deal with DC Comics characters appearing in Webtoon comic books to "appeal to all fans, without the need to know or read any previous stories."
Former DC Senior Vice President and General Manager and current sneaker salesman Daniel Cherry III, said in a statement that said very little "DC is excited to introduce our iconic characters to a new generation of fans worldwide" and then DC has been "working closely with the Webtoon writers and artists to adapt our characters and stories to Webtoon's mobile format. Our shared goal is to create fun and compelling DC stories that all readers will enjoy." Ken Kim, CEO of Webtoon Entertainment noted that their audience trends to 16-24-year-old readers and says that they value "well-known IP like DC's to develop into content for younger generations – it is going to be beneficial for DC and Webtoon." David Lee, head of content stated "This collaboration is a landmark for us as we work toward a new age of digital comics in the U.S".
Three years ago Webtoon was the most popular comic book publisher in the world, and its size and scope have increased vastly since, with an average of 72 million monthly active users, about ten million of which are in the US, and its serialised webcomics that scroll vertically are available in the free-to-download Webtoon app for Android and iOS, or through the company website. Webtoon also launched in the US and has offices in Los Angeles, currently recruiting editors and talent drivers. Generally, the first few chapters are free, with paid episodes beyond that. While many creators have come to fruition solely on Webtoon, others recognised from other markets include Linda Sejic and Justin Jordan.