Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Batman and the Outsiders #8 Review

Cash Me Outsiders

Writer: Bryan Hill
Artist: Dexter Soy, Veronica Gandini, and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 11, 2019

Recently, I had become a bit critical in my reviews for this book because of its lack of overall momentum and Bryan Hill's reliance on repeated character moments to push things in a forced direction.  I needed a little of the boom-boom and bang-bang with my Yakety-Yak and the last issue gave me just that.  Hill showed the purpose of the slow-building story and the double and triple crosses played out well because of the character's work leading to them.  It was one of my favorite issues of the run and has me pumped for this issue this week.  So, is this another kick-ass issue?  Let's see...

The issue opens with the crazy set piece we ended the last issue with...Black Lightning, Katana, Sofia, and Kaliber in a burning jet plane heading straight for Gotham.  Where's Sully when you need him?  Probably hitting some birds or something, am I right????  I wish my reviews had the rim shot sound effect!

While Gotham City relies on Batman, Black Lightning reacts to save Katana and Jefferson has himself a new ability.  The scene ends with Batman fishing Sofia out of the harbor and Black Lightning resting up a bit with the wreckage of the plane sinking around him.  

We continue with Hill giving one of the better references to Alfred's death in a book yet, and while Jefferson has had his issues with Batman throughout this whole series, I liked seeing him reach out to Bruce and try to help...even if there isn't really anything he can do.  We cut over to Katana welcoming Sofia into the Batcave and Katana made me laugh when she told her not to worry about Batman hating her since there is such a long line ahead of her in that department. 

I think that Hill is slowly expanding Katana's role and character in this issue and that's something I have been eager to see.  I love how she flips in and out of being a caring mother-type and a cold, calculating warrior in this scene.

We then go off to see Cassandra and Duke and I am glad that we see a bit of Duke's new powers and while I need to see more (especially them in action), it seems like we're already up to speed with the old ones which I struggled to understand even before this series.  Again, I liked the dialogue between these two because it isn't the same whining and complaining we had been getting from them, especially Duke.  He is strong and assertive here and I love it.  Plus, he finally pays Cass back for all the support she's been giving him lately.

The issue ends with a brutal scene that immediately makes you think of something Bruce told Jefferson earlier..."They come for what you love".  Ra's seems to be going a crazy route to get everyone on his side, but with Batman so down right now, I wonder if he will be able to fight for everyone if they do go to the Dark Side.  We will have to wait until the next issue to see.

The action gets switched off, for the most part, this issue and while we got back to the character moments, these were different.  Jefferson showed more empathy towards Bruce than he has in the seven previous issues, Katana showed a caring side she seemed to try to hide before, and Duke stepped up and felt like a real hero for the first time as well.  Of course, we end with things about to fall apart, but the team feels like they are more up to the task right now than ever before and that's what I like!

I also really like Dexter Soy's art.  He draws a lot of big panels so the book just flies by, but it looks so good that you never feel cheated at all.  He is one of my favorite artists and I am glad he is back.

Bits and Pieces:

This is a slower-paced issue than the last one, but the character moments show a progression that hasn't been there before.  Duke, especially, seems more confident and I can't wait to see his new power set in action.  Dexter Soy is back and the book looks great and the story is ramping up to be an epic battle between Ra's and the Outsiders.  I am back on the Batman and the Outsiders trolley and can't wait to see what happens at the next stop.


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