Monday, October 12, 2020

Batman and the Outsiders #17 Review


Same As It Ever Was

Writer: Bryan Edward Hill
Artist: Marcio Takara, Veronica Gandini, and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 14, 2020

It's Batman and the Outsiders' final issue, and while the Ra's al-Ghul story ended last issue, there are still so many loose ends hanging in this book. The biggest question is, what will happen to the team from now on. I hope for the best, but my guess is the team will just go their separate ways and fade away. Am I right, and is this issue a good ending? Let's find out...

The issue opens up with Katana and Jefferson figuring out what they will do next. Bruce has set up a horse farm for Sofia, but the rest of the team all seem like they are up for hanging out and taking care of some of the loose ends I talked about a moment ago.


Katana wants to figure out her new power-set (which I bet most readers forgot about), Jefferson wants to figure out how much Ra's changed him, Duke is getting back to his light powers, and Sofia is more into revenge than playing My Litle Pony. I like that Bryan Hill is aware of all of this, but throwing it out here to never get resolved (well, probably never) feels so odd. We get Bruce's reactions to the team, mainly Jefferson and Sofia, but not much else.

This final issue seems to point out how little we know about the characters. What were Duke's shadow powers, and why are the fading away now? Wasn't Sofia supposed to get a new name and costume? Why is Bruce still letting Shiva hang out with him and the team?

After Bruce makes his rounds, he decides to have tea with Shiva, and I guess he isn't taking his iocane powder because he gets knocked out by it (since Alfred has died, Bruce has had issues with tea!), and when he wakes, everyone is gone but Shiva. She's only there to tell Bruce where everyone went, even though it's so ambiguous, I'm not sure she needed to stick around.

The big twist is that Sofia is going off with her, which causes Bruce to destroy some furniture and wonder where the girl has gone... even though it seems like she is right outside on the front lawn! I think Bruce is pissed off for wasting money on the horse farm. You can't flip that and make a profit!

Bryan Hill ends his series with the character moments that were a big part of the run, but they feel incomplete. They also feel too much "been there done that" as the same characters team-up and head off together. I liked this series enough, but Hill wasted a lot of time, and this forced ending shows that.

I also wish that Dexter Soy could have finished up the series. I usually like Marcio Takara's art, so I was surprised with how much I didn't like what we got here. I am guessing Takara rushed a bit to get this done, but I don't know for sure.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman and the Outsiders #17 ends Bryan Hill's run, and while he stays true to his character moments that defined the series, they fall flat here. There were too many unanswered questions going into this issue, and unfortunatley, they remain so. I liked more than I didn't in this run, but this ended in a thud.


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