The mastermind is revealed. And the fight gets personal for one Outsider… Your Major Spoilers review of Batman and The Outsiders #6 awaits!
Writer: Bryan Hill
Artist: Dexter Soy
Colorist: Veronica Gandini
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Jamie S. Rich
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 9, 2019
Previously in Batman and The Outsiders: While the mission was a success, the Outsiders do not feel like winners. Measures are taken to deprogram Sofia and understand the extent of her abilities, while Ra’s al Ghul’s power and influence grows enough for him to establish a new league in Khadym, unsullied by distractions and temptations of the earthly plane…
THE ADVENTURES OF ORPHAN AND THE SIGNAL
With Black Lightning and Katana out of the country collecting the mysterious Sofia and Batman in Paris. Cassandra “The Orphan” Cain and Duke “The Signal” Thomas are left alone to face Ishmael, a deadly sword-bearing mercenary in the employ of Ra’s Al Ghul. They are quickly overmatched by his cunning, though Orphan’s battle prowess makes a bit of a dent, and he leads them on a chase across the city. Donning cool jetpacks, they follow him, only to find that Ra’s has another ally in his latest schemes to kill his former son-in-law: Cassandra’s mom, Lady Shiva! Shiva shows them the body (?) of former Doom Patrol member Karma, suspended and seemingly kept alive for his probabilty-altering powers, a state she blames on Batman. Orphan gets beaten down by her mother, awakening to find that Duke has not only been beaten by Ishmael, but taken by Ra’s, who intends to teach him the ways of darkness.
SINS OF THE MOTHER
it’s always difficult to argue the need for The Outsiders: They’re traditionally led by and/or part of the legacy of The Batman, but attempts to move them away from him tend to weaken their cache. This team is small and street-level enough to not disbalance the rules of post-Rebirth Batman, but this issue makes it seem almost TOO small, as Black Lightning’s mission leaves the youngest team members right in the sights of Ra’s Al Ghul and Lady Shiva. They make an okay showing for themselves but most of this issue is the youngest Outsiders getting slapped around, something that damages Orphan’s street cred as an incredible combatant even more and makes Duke feel like a complete neophyte. That may be the point, but there are still some bits of this ‘Year Of The Villain’ crossover plan that don’t make a bit of sense, especially as regards Karma, whom I didn’t even realize existed in the New 52. Dexter Soy’s art is a little bit more successful than the story for me, with one standout being a 3/4 page spread of Duke and Cass taking to the air, smashing out of a window in dramatic fashion. He also gives us a truly emotive and interesting Alfred Pennyworth, which also explains the need for a hasty “This takes place before Batman #77” note early in the issue.
BOTTOM LINE: NOT THE BEST PLACE TO JUMP IN
In short, it’s hard to engage in this complicated ongoing story from this point in the book, especially given how many lies and feints and prevarications the villain(s) of the piece seem to be engaging in. Batman and The Outsiders #6 makes the mistake of splitting the party, compounded by some storytelling problems that make it hard to follow, but makes up for some of the issue with exciting art, leading to a still better-than-average 3 out of 5 stars overall. There’s a lot of things here that do work (including Batman delegating to this team rather than micro-managing) and I’m interested in seeing where this all goes, especially once the universal-uber-crossover concludes.
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BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #6
Duke and Cassandra get the worst of this 'Year Of The Villain' crossover, an issue that seeks the definitive answer for "Why would there be Outsiders?" and doesn't quite succeed OR fail.