Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Batman and the Outsiders #10 Review

Back to the Start

Writer: Bryan Hill
Artist: Dexter Soy, Veronica Gandini and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 12, 2020

I have been up and down with this series, but overall, I do like it.  At times the pacing feels a bit off, but Bryan Hill is giving readers more character moments than most capes and cowls books usually present, and there are moments where they have paid off.  However, there are big chunks of time where I just wanted something to blow up or someone to get punched.  Thankfully, there has been more of a solid mix of character and action in the last bunch of issues, and it's all leading to what should be an epic fight with Ra's al Ghul...if there are any Outsiders left standing when it comes.  So, how was this issue?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with Sofia taking her frustrations out on walls, furniture, her knuckles... she has so many reasons to be pissed, and Batman understands them all and feels responsible for most.  I am glad Batman is there with her since I was afraid he might still be in Metropolis.  I can only imagine the damage she did when he was off with the Outsiders in Metropolis!

I like the conversation Batman has with Sofia.  She wants help to be like him, but he is going to make sure that never happens.  It's a progression that shows Batman is not going to go with the same old same old with her.

We then head off to see what Duke, Cass, and Katana are doing.  We learn that Jefferson is missing (coming from last issue's cliffhanger, that's no surprise), and they are going to find him.  It's a quick scene, but something is off here.  Dexter Soy's art isn't on par with what we usually get in this book, and the dialogue feels clunky as well.  That feeling stuck with me through the rest of the issue, and by the end, I felt that Hill and Soy might have rushed this one a bit.

We continue with Bruce Wayne getting information on Martina Dementieva and Kaliber.  If you were reading Hill's Detective Comics run, you should recognize Martina.  She was the one who sold Karma his mask, and Hill's time on the book ended with it looking like she would be the big bad of this series when it started.  If you remember, DC delayed this book's start, and Hill had to rework his story, probably to fit the Year of the Villain stuff coming down the pike.  Well, now we finally get to Dementieva, and my guess is DC is messing with Hill again, making him rush things with 5G getting closer and closer.

The scene ends with Bruce finding out what he already knew while Jefferson is off having a fancy dinner with Shiva in Cambodia.  I don't trust Shiva one bit, but she seems like she is playing it straight with Jefferson and wants to bring down Ra's.  To that end, they have to protect (capture) Martina, and the issue ends with a fight scene, a chase, and then a cool multi-layered cliffhanger where almost everyone shows up for a battle royale!  One of the characters there is a real shocker...and that is not a pun!

Like I said earlier, this issue felt off.  It felt rushed and had some real pacing problems, especially the middle section with Bruce.  I do like where we end up at the end, and I am looking forward to the next issue.

I love Dexter Soy's art so much, and that is why I was so disappointed with this one.  It's just not up to his usual high standards...there is a lack of detail, and nothing feels as crisp as it usually does.  I have no doubt he will be back kicking ass next issue, though.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman and the Outsiders #10 felt rushed in both story and art.  I liked where we ended up, though, and look forward to an action-packed next issue, but something was just not right here.


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