Pinoy artist Dexter Soy draws DC Comics’ “Red Hood & the Outlaws”
by rick olivares
It’s an exciting time for Filipino comic book creators.
Last Saturday, July 30, comic book fans gathered at Comic Odyssey at FullyBooked at Bonifacio Global City for an for the book signing of DC Comics’ "Red Hood and the Outlaws” that Pangasinan-based Dexter Soy drew.
“Red Hood and the Outlaws” isn’t Soy’s first work on American comic books. He got his start four years ago illustrating Captain Marvel for Marvel Comics. The character of Captain Marvel generated some buzz a week ago when it was announced that American actress Brie Larson will be playing Carol Danvers’ alter ego in an upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film.
Incidentally, Soy was the second Filipino artist to illustrate Danvers in its own title. During the first run of Danvers, then known as Ms. Marvel (as Captain Marvel as an alien male hero in the comics), trailblazer Tony De Zuniga inked penciller Jim Mooney’s work on a few issues. Soy, however, both pencilled and inked the character also for six issues.
Working on “Red Hood and the Outlaws” is a special experience for Soy as it pairs him with writer Scott Lobdell.
“I hardly buy comics,” he shockingly says in the vernacular for someone in his profession. “We don’t have comic book shops in Pangasinan so I had to make do with what there was… hand-me-downs, second hand copies.”
“And that first comic I got was Uncanny X-Men that featured the art of Joe Madureira who is such a big influence on me (along with Humberto Ramos),” said Soy. Madureira drew the then popular comic for three years before opting to do his own creator work, “Battle Chasers” for the Cliffhanger imprint of Wildstorm Studios in Image Comics. “The writer of those X-Men stories that Joe drew was Scott Lobdell.”
The two got to work together on a couple of issues of Red Hood/Arsenal for DC last year and when both learned they’d be working together at least for six issues of the new title, it was a welcome development. “So working on the character of Red Hood isn’t difficult because I previously worked on him. The challenge for both of us is elevating the character to a bigger platform.”
The character of Red Hood was a petty thief who incidentally was initially the Joker before he became deranged and psychotic. The persona was later adopted by Jason Todd, the former Robin who was controversially “killed off” in the now classic “Death in the Family” story that ran in “Batman” #426-429 in 1988-89. The story was controversial because DC Comics gave readers a chance to have a say in the fate of the character through a special phone-in 1-900 number that cost 50 cents. The finally tally of 5,343 versus 5,271 saw a thumbs down for the character. The “comics death” received a lot of media attention especially from the mainstream press.
“Hopefully, we can tell some really good stories,” underscored Soy about Todd.
Soy stated that the two characters he would love to sink his teeth into are Marvel’s Daredevil and DC’ John Constantine. “That would be a dream job. And of course, working on a project with Joe Madureira."