Or – “Thank Whatever Supreme Being There Is This Series Isn’t Weekly Anymore…”


So. Batman has chosen his team, leaning heavily on experienced and powerful heroes, the ones with the most seasoning, but also those who have worked with him previously. Katana, the Martian Manhunter, Metamorpho and Grace have jumped through his hoops, but Grace and I think that he made at least one mistake in his selection process, and she’s more likely than I am to twist off his World’s Greatest Detective Limbs and beat him about his pointy-cowled head. Batman may be a smart man, but I’m seriously starting to question his wisdom…

Out1.jpgPreviously, on Outsiders: Richard Grayson has lived his entire life in fear of becoming his old man, but when he and Arsenal formed the new Outsiders, he made a conscious choice to emulate his spiritual father, treating his teammates as coworkers rather than family or friends. This new incarnation of the Outsiders still bonded tightly as a family, and the deaths of Jade and Indigo as well as the loss of Starfire changed the whole team dynamic. After a prison break (to free the falsely imprisoned Black Lightning and the not-so-falsely accused Captain Boomerang, Jr.) went horribly awry, the team went underground, but things got darker and darker. But, it’s always darkest just before it gets completely pitch black, and so the team was apprehended by Checkmate, forced into a mission on Oolong Island, and two members tortured. Batman stepped in at Nightwing’s request to take over leadership, but his apparent assumption was that the rest of the team needed torturing as well… Now, Grace Choi, half-Amazon powerhouse, has a few angry words for the big bad Bat about breaking up “her” team and firing her girlfriend… “YOU KILLED THE OUTSIDERS!”


“…and that I never, ever do ANYTHING without good reason.” And if you weren’t so afraid of intimacy (a condition created by an early childhood trauma and fear of death) you wouldn’t have to manipulate your supposed teammates rather than just tell them what’s going on, Bruce. Bygones… Batman explains that the climate regarding metahumans is worse than it’s ever been, that Luthor’s Everyman project, Black Adam’s reign of terror, the silliness of Amazons Attack, even the death of Bart Allen have led to an air of mistrust. All the big name teams have a gargoyle looking over their shoulder to make sure that they don’t do anything not approved by the Comics Code Authority, and Batman needs a team that can work under the radar. Grace, amazingly, sees his point, and they prepare to set up some “villain cred” for her and the others. But being on board with Batman’s plan doesn’t mean that she is 100% convinced that all his decisions are right…


Awww… poor Thunder. But, you have to think that she’s lucky to have such an awesome significant other. Some time later, we see Batman’s plan put in motion, as an exclusive club for villains in Gotham sees some new visitors, four young’ns who really aren’t all that welcome. Met at the door by all-around punching bag Bolt, the kids are a little nonplussed to find that a club that lets in Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee wants nothing to do with them.


Daisycutter? Seriously? DAISYCUTTER? What in the name of all that’s holy kinda name is Daisycutter? As for the others, I’ve decided to name them Supercharge, Alien Autopsy, and Wish-Fulfillment Slut. The fearsome foursome gets shown the door, as Bolt (obviously enjoying having the whip hand for once) explains why they suck. “Top-notch pros in our line of work come here to meet and make deals. Even the KOOKS are legendary. These are people who walk the walk. YOU kids are nothing but wannabees…” Wow. That’s pretty harsh… But it’s some nice dialogue from writer Tony Bedard, and establishes Bolt as somebody to be wary of in just a few words. Nice. Suddenly, they’re interrupted by the appearance of legendary Gotham City underworld figure ‘Matches’ Malone…


The only thing that isn’t awesome in this scene (and it’s a minor pick) is the toothpick in his mouth. Matches, y’see, chews on a match, and has for about 35 years. He’s also Bruce Wayne, though you certainly figured that one up already. The kids are thrilled to make the big time at last, and they’re stunned to see an Amazon standing at the bar, big as life and twice as busty. I was certain that these kids WERE the Outsiders in disguise, strangely enough, but it seems they’re just lame (and Wish-Fulfillment Slut’s true name is Boom Baby. Mine’s better.) Bat-Matches calls out to his invisible, flying, telepathic pal for a situational analysis, and J’Onn tells him that “they” seem to be approaching. Everyone checks in, and Katana grouses at being once again stuck as the getaway driver. Suddenly, J’Onn tells Bats that an old friend is present, which Batman mistakes as an indication that Catwoman is on the scene. “No,” replies J’Onn…


Grace forcefully explains to Matches that he screwed up on this one, that either Thunder is in, or they’re BOTH out. But before they can start a fight, the doors bust open, and in rushes… the Suicide Squad! Oh, crap That ain’t good. Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Plastique, Multiplex, The General start cracking skulls, and the four club kids run for the door. Unfortunately, the Squad has backup, as BANE plows them all down and Rick Flag starts shooting up the place. Daisycutter (Ugh) starts firing back, but her weapons are taken from her by a pair of boomerangs… Reunion, anyone?


Bane isn’t anywhere near as strong as Grace, so I’m not worried. Catwoman gets involved, facing down Bronze Tiger (who is, honestly and for true, TEN times the fighter Selina would ever be) and is only saved by the interference of Matches himself. The General (from Morrison’s old JLA stories) suddenly cries out that Matches can’t be just a normal guy if he took down the Tiger… Before he can out Bats, though, Metamorpho attacks, turning to acid and splashing into General’s EYES. Yeoowtch. The Squad takes it on the run, only to confront Thunder. One good kick from her super-legs, and Flag, Boomerang and Bane are stuck in a cave-in. Deadshot and Multiplex fish them out, just in time for a warning from the caped crusader…


Heh. Deadshot has long had a complex about the Batman, and tries to kill him every couple years or so. Thunder and the Outsiders enter the Out-submarine, while Batman sends the Martian Manhunter on a mysterious mission. But when the team enters, they’re surprised to find that Black Lightning’s beautiful daughter isn’t the only party crasher…


Oy. Still, I’m not going to complain too much, since Catwoman is a new face (and one that’s at least interesting, though her post-OYL outings have been a little weird) in a team consisting mostly of people who’ve been in the Outsiders (or, in the case of Manhunter, in the JLA) with Bats before. And, honestly, she brings something to the team that they DIDN’T have before: established villain street cred.

Overall, it’s an interesting start, though I wonder why they chose to do this as the LAST issue of the current series rather than as the FIRST issue of the new one. Tony Bedard has done some good work here, keeping the characterization of Grace, Metamorpho, and Katana from the previous run, while easing back on the angry young J’Onn J’Onzz from the not-so-very-impressive miniseries of last year. This issue’s art is by the outgoing team of Matt Clark & Ron Randall, with inks by Art Thibert. I’m thinking that, depending on how I feel about Koi Turnbull’s art, that the new ongoing series might just keep the warm place in my heart established by Winick’s Outsiders run. Though I’ll miss Judd, at least we’re not in “everything you know is wrong” land, and Outsiders #50 ranks a well-done 3 out of 5 stars.


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. Mark I.
    September 14, 2007 at 12:57 pm — Reply

    Daisy. Cutter.

    Well, hey, so someone flipped through the first run of SUPREME POWER before writing this up, no biggy.

    Wasn’t “Wish-Fulfillment Slut” the original concept for Looker? Well, if I remember correctly, Looker bought it in Infinite Crisis anyway…

  2. Aexia
    September 14, 2007 at 1:04 pm — Reply

    Daisycutters are one of the largest conventional bombs. Very large area effect.

  3. davek
    September 14, 2007 at 1:25 pm — Reply

    Actually. a “daisy cutter” was a type of air-dropped bomb during Vietnam – the BLU-82.

    Even in the DC universe, people like Matches Malone better than Batman. This should say something. I know not what.

  4. Mark I.
    September 14, 2007 at 1:48 pm — Reply

    Well, you can’t blame Batman for being paranoid. Obviously, he’s preparing the Outsiders to go underground when Tony Stark pushes the Registration Act and the Skrulls attack again. Duh.

  5. September 14, 2007 at 2:44 pm — Reply

    Also, Daisy Cutter is a pretty smooth comic that has ben out for several years. http://www.boltcity.com/daisy.htm

    Hey, look up ahead, is that a big old trainwreck I see coming? Yeah, I think it is.

    This one was done as the last issue because they want regular OUTSIDERS readers to pick up the new series to see what happens. The only reason for the new title and new numbering is because a 1st issue sell better than 51st issue. Nice to know they have such confidence.

    But there has been something about DC for the last several months that has just made me not give a hoot anymore. I keep thinking back to the DC EXPLOSION in late seventies that turned into the DC IMPLOSION of 1978. Lots of titles came out, a new day was promised, and suddenly all those new titles, and more, where cancelled. Prices went up, story page counts went down, not a good time.

    Marvel isn’t filling me with hope either. My new policy of getting back issues and trades looks better and better all the time.

  6. Brent F.
    September 14, 2007 at 2:53 pm — Reply

    Batman made a good point. It is his team and his operation. They’re black ops so Batman can’t be nice to include your girlfriend in the team just because you like working with her.

  7. Brother129
    September 14, 2007 at 3:56 pm — Reply

    I think you better trademark your new super villain names before DC beats you to the punch:)

  8. Kevin Breen
    September 14, 2007 at 7:54 pm — Reply

    Let me get this straight. People distrust superheroes now, so Batman thinks it will help to have former heroes pretend to be villains? Oh, wait: this is the same Batman who thought starting a gang war would stop crime, then left his big secret plan where a teenaged girl could find it. I’m beginning to think that the real reason he never shares his plans with anybody is because he has no idea what the hell he’s doing.

  9. Brent F.
    September 14, 2007 at 10:52 pm — Reply


    Batman doesn’t want people to mistrust superheroes, so he has recruited heroes that the public already mistrusts to do the dirty work that the Justice League cannot do.

  10. brian
    September 15, 2007 at 2:29 am — Reply

    Shows I’m English-I thought a daisy cutter is a low bowled cricket ball.


  11. September 15, 2007 at 2:44 am — Reply

    Kevin, SSH! You’ll give it away!

  12. September 15, 2007 at 10:09 am — Reply

    Batman doesn’t want people to mistrust superheroes, so he has recruited heroes that the public already mistrusts to do the dirty work that the Justice League cannot do.

    I question how the public mistrusts Metamorpho, Katana, or J’Onn anymore than Black Adam, or even Red Arrow (ugh.)

    I’m beginning to think that the real reason he never shares his plans with anybody is because he has no idea what the hell he’s doing.

    Amen, brotha. The trick with writing Batman is, apparently, to create a situation where the heroes are painted into the corner and have him whip out some magic trick. Back in the day, it was the infinitely filled and perfectly provisioned utility belt (“Quick, Robin! The Bat-Shark-Repellent.”) now it’s the infinite and perfectly provisioned foreknowledge (“I’m quite sure the party will be coming to me…”)

    Same trick, different decade. It’s also why I reject any notion that Batman doesn’t have powers. Perhaps he doesn’t have super-strength, but I’d call peak human strength, a keen mind, a bottomless checkbook, and the complicity of the writer in making you look perfect abilities far beyond mortal men and women… Doesn’t make him any less of an interesting character, but it can make his stories a bit predictable.

  13. davek
    September 15, 2007 at 10:33 am — Reply

    Matthew, you hit it on the head, probably the most powerful superpower of all succinctly described, Complicity of the Writer. I’ve never been a big Wolverine or Punisher fan, because that seems to be both of their main powers, Punisher especially.

    Punisher: “I am a man with a big gun.”
    Dr. Generic Supervillain: “I have the ability to shoot lasers out of my head and teleport from a different dimension!”

    Punisher: “I am a man with a big gun.”

  14. Baal
    September 15, 2007 at 2:58 pm — Reply

    Mark I? Please stop saying Looker died. It was vague, it was nebulous, and if Didio figures out there’s a possibility of a legacy character to be had we’ll have a one legged lesbian albino become Looker II and then I’ll never get my beloved Looker back in print!

  15. Martin
    September 15, 2007 at 4:35 pm — Reply

    Way off topic, but a Kordkia phone on the L-Mobile network? If Lex was still in charge you wouldn’t be able to use anything but a Lexphone handset; things have certainly changed under the new management. And for that matter, should members of a black ops superhero team be making their calls on L-Mobile?

    “Lex Luthor may be a criminal mastermind, but you just can’t argue with the low, low rates and reliable wireless network!”

  16. Brother129
    September 15, 2007 at 8:20 pm — Reply

    Well if we’re going way off topic…then I must recommend to everyone my best read of the weekend (just in case our main man can’t review) was the JLA: Wedding Special/Party Crashers by Dwayne MCDuffie and Mike McKone. Awesome!

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