Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Batman and the Outsiders #1 Review


Written by: Bryan Hill
Art by: Dexter Soy, Veronica Gandini and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 8, 2019

It feels like I've been waiting for this book for forever and a day.  It's finally here and while I don't know if we will ever find out all the reasons it was redone a bit and shelved for a while, I have my theories.  However, that's not the concern now that it is in my hands!  So, was it worth the wait?  Let's find out...



Instead of opening with the known factor of the Outsiders team, Bryan Hill gives the reader a very cold open that gets hotter as it progresses.  You could even say it gets explosive by the end.  Yep, it looks like there is a new character in the mix and while we don't get much of here yet, Hill does enough to peak my interest big time.

Boy, I am so glad Dexter Soy is back on a book!  He is easily one of my top five artists and I don't think he has it in him to draw anything that doesn't look stellar.  A shout out to Veronica Gandini on colors as well...this extended first scene really pops!



We do get to some Outsiders as we head off to see what Duke and Cass are up to.  If I didn't know better, I'd think they are fighting Cain Marko, but we know that would just be silly.  Actually, that would be so awesome, but I don't think Eric Shea would survive the continuity shock! 

While Cass is cool as a cucumber, Duke seems to be off his game a bit and while he doesn't want to wait for backup, it's probably a good thing that it arrives in the form of Black Lightning and Katana.  We get some really good looking action, but the scene is set up to get Black Lightning and the Signal talking about the team and before it ends, Hill gives up the plot point that will push Duke ahead...Karma.  If you don't know who Karma is and what he did to Duke, it's explained a bit, but I suggest going back and reading Hill's Detective Comics arc to get the full deets.



Hill continues with Bruce telling Jeff that the Outsiders are his team, but Black Lightning seems to think it's more of a dumping ground for Bat castoffs.  I like the interaction here and really love seeing Bruce out of the cape and cowl since we get so little of that these days.  I also loved seeing Bruce counting on Black Lightning to lead the team, not because of his fighting skills, but because he is a good man and can help Duke and Cass grow as people.  It's a continuation of Hill's Detective run and I really like it.

The story continues with Batman filling us and the Outsiders in a little more about the girl who started the issue before going off and seeing first hand where it all happened and what is going on now.  She (and the man hunting her) is the Outsiders first mission, but I am glad that Batman still mentions the troubles in Markovia which seemed to be the original set up for this series. The issue ends with the Outsiders not really trusting Batman and a cool cliffhanger that may be a bit too Cable-y at first glance, but still has me pretty excited to see what happens next.



I liked this as a first issue.  Bryan Hill has something for everyone to do and the idea that their distrust of Batman will be the initial glue makes sense.  The reliance on Karma as far as Duke went felt a bit over forced and I worry that newcomers may not get much impact with it, but if you've read Hill's Detective run, it is a nice bridge between books.  I really want more of the new girl, Sofia, and can't wait for that.  Overall, a good setup #1 issue that I think most DC fans will be able to enjoy.

I said it already, but the art is a big highlight for me here.  The whole art team kicks major butt and it looks great from cover to cover.

Bits and Pieces:

Bryan Hill and Dexter Soy give readers a #1 that sets up the team, the mission, but more importantly, gives me confidence that there is something for everyone to do.  We are still in the team building phase of the Outsiders, but there is enough here to have me excited for what's to come.

8.0/10


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