Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Review: Batman and the Outsiders #3


By Philip Schweier
July 11, 2019 - 08:01

For comic readers who are perhaps a bit older, did you ever have one of those days when you’ve had a lot of work to do, but some well-intentioned but misguided mid-level manager decides it’s a good day for a team-building exercise? Yeah, that’s the latest issue of Batman and the Outsiders.

The team has sworn to protect a young woman, Sofia, who has been taken by Ra’s al Ghul. As Batman says, he is far less interested in pointing finger than he is in making sure they don’t fail her again. So he immediately sets up an exercise for the Outsiders, with himself as the target. Yes, Batman, playing mind games with your team is so very effective in protecting your charge.

BUT… Ra’s al Ghul is not threatening the woman, he is educating her. Usually when I read Ra’s al Ghul’s dialogue, I hear David Warner’s voice in my head. This time I heard Ian McDiarmid speaking. And why Wolverine was featured on the variant cover I’ll never know.

As much as I looked forward to the return of the Outsiders, I think Bryna Hill should examine some of the debut team books of the past. Not the big ones, like Justice League of America or Avengers. Those featured established characters. I refer to smaller, introductory books, like the original Uncanny X-Men (1963) or Alpha Flight (1983). These books took lesser – sometimes new – characters and merged them as a team.

One could argue Batman’s team building exercise tried to do that, but it’s not something that happens in a single issue. It requires several adventures. The characters need to be in the action, the heat of battle, and given the opportunity to succeed or fail on their own merits.

Rating: 4/10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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