Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Outsiders #2 Review


Written by: Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly
Art by: Robert Carey
Colors by: Valentina Taddeo
Letters by: Tom Napolitano
Cover art by: Roger Cruz, Adriano Lucas
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: December 12, 2023

Outsiders #2 takes the newly formed team to the bottom of the ocean to investigate a sea monster sighting, but their research runs afoul of the Challengers of the Unknown.
Is Outsiders #2 Good?

There's a seed of a decent idea buried somewhere inside Outsiders #2, but you have to work hard to find it, and you may not conclude the effort was worth the result. Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly are trying to tap into the X-Files-ish corner of the DC Universe, but the final result falls well short.

When last we left the Outsiders, Batwoman was brought onto the newly-formed team with Drummer and Luke Fox for a mission to investigate all things weird. Their first mission involved making peace with the AI onboard a multiverse-traveling ship buried under the Antarctic ice. Now, the team heads out to the Enil Islands to investigate an unceasing storm and the sea monster Batwoman witnessed when she was a West Point cadet.

When the team arrives, they're rudely blocked and shooed away by the Challengers of the Unknown, who just so happen to be there at the same time for the same reason. After the teams fight each other, they decide to fight the sea monster until they learn he's just a lonely pup.

What a weird and wonky issue. So many things happen out of the blue or by coincidence, and little of what happens makes sense in the context of the DC Universe of heroes and characters.

What's great about Outsiders #2? By far, the highlight of this issue is the creative designs and art by Robert Carey. The ships, the mech suits, and the monsters look fantastic. The story may be junk, but the visuals are cool.

What's not so great about Outsiders #2? It's hard to know where to begin. Honestly, it boils down to the natural questions that come up that never receive an answer because Kelly and Lanzing try to piece together a thoughtful or thought-provoking tale without putting in the work to make it believable.

Why is a storm raging over the Enlil Islands for more than twenty years, and nobody knew about it or addressed it?

Why was a group of West Point cadets sent out on a dangerous research mission in the middle of the ocean?

How is it that the Challengers of the Unknown just so happened to arrive at the same spot at the same time for the same reasons as the Outsiders? What was their goal? What was the Outsiders' goal?

Why did the Challengers try to kill the Outsiders? To prevent them from finding the sea monster first?

Why didn't anyone bother to contact Aquaman (he's referenced in this issue)?

The list goes on and on. Lanzing and Kelly don't explain anything or set up the scenario in a way that makes sense, so the issue feels like a mishmash of contrivances and random happenstance. If the goal was to create the DC version of the X-Files, Kelly and Lanzing are failing badly.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Outsiders #2 has great art and the seed of an interesting story, but the plot's a poorly executed mess. Lanzing and Kelly manufacture conflicts without doing the work to set them up properly, and the resolution relies heavily on assumptions and guesswork.


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