Updated: Jan 24
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #1
Writer: Bryan Hill
Artist: Dexter Soy
Colorist: Veronica Gandini
Publisher: DC Comics
After months of waiting, this book was originally slated to be released in December, we finally get to read Bryan Hill's BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS. Teamed up with the awesome art of Dexter Soy, this book is off to a great start with a ton of potential.
Fans of Hill's DETECTIVE COMICS run, will absolutely love that this picks up on threads from that arc. If you haven't read that story, I wouldn't say it's required reading but it definitely serves as a "pilot" for this book. The Outsiders have always been more of a covert team, dealing with stuff that the Justice League can't. This black-ops team has been sorely missed in the DCU and this iteration is
poised to be pretty special. Hill's take on Batman is one of the major draws of this book. He writes a Batman that can admit that maybe he doesn't have all the answers, and that's not something you read very often.
Black Lightning is leading this new team, hand picked by Batman, and I can't think of anybody more suited for that role. He's such an underutilized character and it's about time he got thrust into the spotlight again. Rounding out the team is Batman, of course, and Katana. As for the newcomers, we have Orphan/Cassandra Cain and The Signal/Duke Thomas. The team was brought together so that Black Lightning could help guide the younger heroes and give them the time and care that Batman doesn't feel equipped to give them right now. It makes for an great dynamic, it will be interesting to see how this team builds and comes together to be the most effective unit they can.
This first story has them going to rescue a girl, Sophia, that had been saved by Batman years ago. Her parents had been the victims of metahuman testing and as a result she too had developed powers. I like that their first mission deals with a past case of Bruce's. With the team not fully buying into Batman, nor trusting him that much. The fact that this is an old case of his, only further causes distrust as to the true motives behind the mission.
Hill's script was full of action and all of his signature character moments. I said it before, during his Detective run, this is a book he was meant to write. While this first issue had a lot going on, and at times felt a little all over the place, it was a really strong debut. Soy's artwork perfectly suits this book, with his grittier style and use of shadows.
All in all, this book is off to a great start and is gearing up to be a worthy successor to previous Outsiders books. Great team lineup, with maybe room for more members, and an intriguing plot as well. Definitely a book worth checking out.