Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Outsiders #3 Review



Written by: Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly
Art by: Robert Carey
Colors by: Valentina Taddeo
Letters by: Tom Napolitano
Cover art by: Roger Cruz (cover A)
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: January 9, 2023

Outsiders #3 takes a trip to a space between the layers of the Metaverse where all the Batmen gather to meet. Unfortunately, uninvited guests aren't welcome.
Is Outsiders #3 Good?

It's rare to find a creative team that tries so hard, so desperately, to mimic another creator's style and vision yet falls so completely short. In Outsiders #3, Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly try their darndest to pull off a passable Grant Morrison writing impersonation but fail spectacularly.

When last we left the Outsiders, they coincidentally found themselves in a race against the new Challengers of the Unknown to stop a gigantic sea monster living underneath an unceasing storm in an isolated corner of the ocean. Ultimately, Kat figured out that the sea monster just needed to be left alone.

Now, Drummer has a vision about multiversal coordinates. Luke Fox uses very expensive tech to open a gateway to the coordinates from Drummer's vision, leading Luke and Kate, aka Batwoman, to a space between dimensions where the consciousness of all Batmen meet to do something. Kate and Luke soon find uninvited guests aren't welcome, but before things get ugly, medieval Duke Thomas shows up in Death Metal Signal gear to slice and dice his way through the Batmen. Kate knocks out Duke with an uppercut, and the Batmen/Batwomen send Luke and Kate home.

You might wonder what if any point are Lanzing and Kelly trying to make. That would be a good question with no clear answer. The ending suggests Drummer was sent the coordinates with the intention of opening Luke and Kate's minds to preparation for some greater truth and future development. Does that point come across clearly and in a way that gets readers excited for what comes next? No, not really.

What's great about Outsiders #3? Not much. Throughout Kate and Luke's journey, they encounter several variations of Batman and Batwoman to stoke your imagination about what could be, what might be. At least Lanzing and Kelly inspire a bit of novelty.

What's not so great about Outsiders #3? Besides the one positive mentioned above and the art, everything else is a mess.

Luke's mission increasingly relies on happenstance, instead of finding out what oddities or threats infect Earth. How did Luke know Drummer's numbers are multiversal coordinates, and why did he go through the trouble of getting to that location without any intel? Nobody knows.

The narration/dialog is a ponderous slog. Half of what the Batmen say is gobbledygook nonsense that tries to sound high-concept and smart but ultimately says nothing. There's a time and a place for high-concept storytelling, and high-concept stories require a certain set of skills to deliver the concept within an engaging story. Lanzing and Kelly fall short on every one of these levels in this issue.

How's the art? Unfortunately for Robert Carey, the art is good to great. It's unfortunate because Carey's work is wasted in this nonsense script.

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

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Bits and Pieces:

Outsiders #3 goes out of its way to sound high-concept and smart but fails spectacularly. Except for Robert Carey's wasted art, this was a random adventure that wasn't enjoyable to read, accomplished nothing, and said nothing.


1 comment:

  1. That’s a very fair review, this issue was frustrating, tedious gobbledegook. I kept hoping it was satire. Perhaps it was.