The events of Blackest Night have taken their toll on the members of the pariah super-group the Outsiders. With the mental stability of Geo-Force in question, Black Lightning, Katana, Metamorpho, and Owlman are still reeling from their emotionally charged battle with the Black Lanterns when sh*t really hits the fan!
Implanted to Geo-Force's native and subservient European nation of Markovia, the literal Outsiders begin to question the very nature of their role in this foreign country as Prince Brion (Geo-Force) exploits their abilities to accomplish his own self-gratifying ends. Things only get worse when a Markovian press release reveals that Brion has initiated a treaty with Earth's perceived anathema, the world of New Krypton. Sent as a New Kryptonian ambassador to the people of Markovia, a carbon copy of the original Eradicator joins Geo-Force's side at the dawn of a new era of amiable relations between our world and theirs. The only problem is the rest of Earth is rattled by Markovia's agreement with the vilified aliens.
Meanwhile, the D-list villains the Masters of Disaster are up to no good, attempting to retrieve something (or someone) within a sequestered Markovian bunker. With a confrontation between the peeved Black Lightning and the petulant Geo-Force imminent, the attack on Markovia soil serves a brief distraction from the growing tensions amongst the Outsiders.
But, things boil over during the conflict with the disastrous "Masters," and, after an epic clash of the Outsiders' most powerful members, Black Lightning and Geo-Force, an irreparable rift forms between members of the team.
Notorious DC writer/editor Dan DiDio's Outsiders may not be the definitive vision of the misfit heroes, but it certainly has been entertaining. The dialogue has bordered on juvenile at times, and sometimes lacks the fluidity needed to carry the story. And, is it just me, or is "Prince Brion" just kind of a laughable title? Overall, though, DiDio's storytelling is just plain fun and hearkens back to the comic industry's days of yore, when fisticuffs prevailed and general badass-ery dominated a comic book's panels. That's not to say there isn't plenty of genuine emoting within the pages of The Outsiders. In fact, the first three issues of Dan's run are rife with testosterone- and estrogen-imbued attitude and paroxysm.
As for the artwork on The Outsiders, I find myself wishing that the interiors had the same esthetic as Philip Tan's handsome cover for #27. Tan has proven in the past that he's an accomplished and distinct artist (see Batman & Robin), but he's also established that he may be one the most inconsistent artists on the market today. His interiors on #26 are strangely haphazard, and the varying finishes don't help make these pages any prettier. By issue 27, it's a relief to see Don Kramer at work, but, again, the finishes seem to serve as more of a hindrance than an enhancement. By #28, The Outsiders team has finally hit the mark, albeit not a bulls-eye. Phil Tan's artwork, though still wavering in some panels, is right on the money, and Jonathan Glapion and Brian Reber seem to have found their comfort zone.
All in all, this new installment of the Outsiders saga has been satisfyingly enjoyable, but it hasn't proved to be the must-read I'd hoped Dan DiDio would offer readers. Here's to hoping things continue to pick up in the next issue!