Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Batman and the Outsiders #11 Review

Choose Your Own Adventure

Writer: Bryan Hill
Artist: Dexter Soy
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 11, 2020

It seems that this is the story that Bryan Hill wanted to tell from the get-go on this book.  It lines right up with his Detective Comics run, and while it still has some of the trappings remaining from the Year of the Villain stuff, the focus has changed a bit to Markovia and the alien tech that had me excited for this book in the first place.  Plus, the last issue's cliffhanger was a badass setup to an epic battle royale!  Did Edge come out of retirement for this one as well?  Let's find out...

The issue opens up with Sofia convincing Batman to make her into something like him, even though he said "no" to that exact thing the last issue.  I am not saying it's a bad thing since watching her punch walls each issue doesn't seem like much fun, it's just the ease with which Batman agrees to it.  It's the type of thing that gets kids killed!

We then get to the big fight.  I am going to call it "The War at the Shore!" mainly because I am not very imaginative.  The Outsiders pick their opponents, and it's the matchups you'd figure, and luckily, the bad guys are okay with their draft positions...unlike Tom Brady!  Zinger!!  The Outsiders do end up "cheating" a bit (just like...), and I loved it.  It's all about teamwork, and really, it's Kaliber and crews fault for not figuring out the numbers game before shooting off their mouths and guns. 

Cass and Katana steal the show in my mind, especially Katana!  She is so badass here, but in the end, Bryan Hill wants to show that the biggest badass is the one who doesn't go all the way, but who lives by their own rules.  If you agree, then Black Lightning is your man.

The problem is, this whole fight was just a distraction, and Hill continues with something that he has done well in this series, and that makes the bad guys even worse by not seeing them, but instead watching the destruction they have meticulously planned out.

Meanwhile, Batman has taken Sofia to an old Court of the Owls hangout for her to decide on what she will become.  I am expecting an "I shall become a Bat" moment soon. Still, with their surroundings, I hope we don't get "I shall become a grenade" or a sewer rat or a...what I'm saying is maybe Batman could have taken her somewhere better than an abandoned weapons cache in the Gotham sewers!

The issue ends with Batman continuing to talk to Sofia, but we are watching Ra's, and by the cliffhanger, it looks like he's about to go up a couple of power levels with what he has found.

I liked this issue because it is the right combination of action and character moments in a book that usually picks between the two in each issue.  The Outsider's team is expanding, and I am not just talking about Sofia, and I want to see how Batman reacts to that.  Dexter Soy's art is so good, and I think that it's evident that Hill is a bit more inspired by what's going on here than some of the past issues.  To his credit, though, this was all set up very well, and I am glad to see a lot of it finally paying off.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman and the Outsiders #11 is a good combination of action and story and what I've wanted from this book from the get-go.  Dexter Soy's art is the icing on the cake, and this is a quick read, but for all the right reasons.  It's not perfect...Batman seems out of character, even from the last issue, but I had a good time watching the Outsiders kick butt, and that's a lot of what I want from this book.  Recommended.


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