By Koppy McFad
April 23, 2011 - 01:46
The civil war among the Outsiders continues with old faces making a return.
The Outsiders have split into two with Black Lightning leading one faction as they invade Markovia to battle Geo-Force and his gang. It is an action-packed tale with old members and foes from the various incarnations of this group making a return, characters like Grace, Looker, the Masters of Disaster and so forth.
This is an action-packed tale even if it does lack a central focus. Too many characters in too little space forces the story to jump around a bit, to the point that it is hard to tell which characters are merely incidental to the story and which characters are crucial.
There isn't any attempt to fill the readers in on what happened earlier so the whole reason for the war is never very clear to newcomers. Some things happen out of the blue like Creeper's new powers or Looker's comeback. Frankly, with the limited page count for most DC books today, it is becoming clear that the DC comics can't afford to waste space for gimmicks like double-page spreads or the "rain of the toilets" joke. They could have used this space more productively, like giving the Masters of Disaster something to do instead of just be used as a joke.
The action is exciting and there is a genuine build-up in the tension as the heroes come to blows. The Jack Kirby-like art helps bring out the excitement of the fight without resorting to gore or excessive brutality. At times however, the art almost looks like a parody of Kirby with the female characters looking especially flat and unattractive.
Perhaps the story was rushed because the title is due to cancellation so the creative team is trying to wrap up all the loose ends. If so, that is sad. For all its faults, this book has a lot of excitement lately which has made it stand out from the pack.
Rating: 7 /10