Monday, August 10, 2020

Batman and the Outsiders #15 Review

Writer: BryanHill
Artist: Dexter Soy, Veronica Gandini and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 12, 2020

Batman and the Outsiders is heading to a close, and while that sucks, the biggest shame is that Bryan Hill didn't seem to get to tell his own story until the end. Yea, we got little pieces while DC Comics forced the book into the Year of the Villain, but really, this book seemed to be hijacked by DC since day one.  I do mean when DC canceled it before it came out and forced Hill to retool it before it even saw the light of day!  After all that, I wish I could say that it was the best book on the shelf, but I can't.  The pacing was off for a long stretch, and the story meandered a lot, but I am not convinced that was all Hill's fault, and I give him huge kudos for giving fans a decent character-driven book.  So, how is this issue?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with Ra's al-Ghul telling his minions his plan.  It's not just about immortality anymore; it's about transformation.  Now, the change he's talking about isn't putting a new coat of paint on the buildings downtown. He seems to mean burning everything to the ground and starting anew.  To do that, he has the alien device that has been the big thing in this series; I just wish I could wrap my head around what it is exactly.

Speaking of wrapping my head around things, Duke is up next with his "darkness/shadow powers," and I have no idea what is up with those either.  I know he is fighting Nato, the arms dealer because everyone who takes a shot at the guy has to say his name!  There are also some bad puns since he has mechanical arms as well!

Batman goes with his tried-and-true interrogation method but doesn't find much (just the phrase "Master Group), but of course, that's enough for the World's Greatest Detective.  He eventually gets around to telling the team, and instead of detailed information, we deal with more mystery and catch-phrases.

After Jefferson uses his ill-explained new powers, we see Ra's kick his plan into high gear and take it to the Master Group.  After seeing that his revolution will be televised (I hope everyone can understand English!), he tries to activate his alien device, but there is some interference.  Yep, Black Lightning is saving the world as Katana and Shiva talk some trash, and Ra's and Batman come face-to-face for round, I don't know, 2,456 possibly.

It looks like Bryan Hill is struggling a bit to wrap things up quickly.  We never learned about Duke's darkness powers, Black Lightning's upgrades, and I don't expect to find out what Katana's new elemental powers are at all.  Throwing in a mysterious economic power like the Master Group could have been significant, but they are taken down immediately and are just another thing that wasn't developed enough for anyone to care.  So, we get Batman vs Ra's al-Ghul yet again and that's not enough to get me excited.

I like Dexter Soy's art, but it's not his best work on the series.  There isn't enough going on for him to wow the reader with big, explosive spread pages.  There are a lot of panels with talking heads and not much else going on.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman and the Outsiders is ending soon, and it seems that there isn't enough space to finish the story and explain everything that is going on with the characters in it.  I think most readers were way more interested in the characters in this book than Ra's take-over-the-world plot (that seemed to change a couple of times), so it's a shame that Bryan Hill wasn't given a little more time to wrap it all up.  We still have a couple of issues so maybe that will happen, but this issue is only for those who have stuck it out this long, and they may even be upset with how little we get here.


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