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Looking In on The Outsiders
By Philip Schweier
Sep 25, 2003 - 8:47




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Any first issue needs to hit the ground running. If you were to ask me if The Outsiders #1 did that, I couldn't tell you. The first issue is only part of a three-issue story arc, and to judge the story based on 33 per cent of it is irresponsible.

When it comes to multi-issue stories, I wait until I have all the chapters, and then sit down for a nice enjoyable read. Before you roll your eyes at me, consider this: would you enjoy a movie as much if you sat through half of it one day, and returned for the other half 3 or 4 weeks later?

Now, all three chapters are out. As in sold out. But for those who missed it, issues one and two have just been reprinted in the Outsiders double feature. I feel the book is off to an admirable start. It shows promise, and it makes sense to build up to things a bit more.

When The Titans was launched, it seemed as though much of the focus was on members who were original Teen Titans. As Nightwing and Arsenal launch a new supergroup, there have been postings on message boards calling for a return of the team originally formed by Batman. The Teen Titans and the Outsiders have always shared a kinship. Terra of the Teen Titans and The Outsiders' Geo-Force were literally brother and sister.

I don't think I mind, but hopefully it won't happen too soon. Despite the new Outsiders connections to the original team, it is my hope the title will develop its own voice, free from being overshadowed by either of the earlier titles.

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The best part of the book for me is the interplay between Nightwing and Arsenal. They have a long history together, and comprise one of those unofficial partnerships we have seen before, such as with Hal Jordan and Ollie Queen. Adding other vets such as Jade and Metamorpho (with whom they don't have a history), while allowing for newcomers to freshen the DCU, will hopefully provide avenues for the team we haven't seen in previous books.

At Dragon Con in Atlanta, writer Judd Winick offered a taste of what we can look forward to in the second story arc. "We are a month into the newly-formed Outsiders who have been chasing down incredibly lame villains and they're tired of it. And Brother Blood returns, so it's the Outsiders taking on Brother Blood in a very neat and interesting way."

Artist Chris Cross will be stepping in for Outsiders 4-6. "When Tom Raney signed on to do the book he had walking pneumonia, so he was working very slowly," Winick explained. "So we immediately had someone else working on the next three issues." Issue six will feature guest star Arsenal's former mentor, Green Arrow.

Green Arrow #32 will then play host to Arsenal, when he takes Connor, Green Arrow's son, out for a night on the town. It will feature guest artists Manuel Garcia and Steve Bird, and a cover by Brian Bolland. In the aftermath of "Straight Shooter," Oliver Queen is forced to ponder the momentous events that have befallen him while he heals. That means Roy (a.k.a. Arsenal) has to get Connor (a.k.a. Green Arrow II, Oliver's ever-questioning son) out of Ollie's hair. And that means a night out on the town for the boys - with a bevy of strippers and gun-toting hoodlums.

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Also there will be a combined Secret Files special featuring the Teen Titans as well as The Outsiders in October. It takes place between the events of Graduation Day and the first issues of Outsiders and Teen Titans. In addition to featuring a pin-up of Kid Flash by Judd Winick. It is co-written by Winick and Teen Titans writer Geoff Johns.

"Questions are answered, more questions are asked," Winick says. "For those who don't know, Outsiders and Teen Titans are kind of like our little corner of the universe. The books will have a lot of ties, things come up in Teen Titans will go on to Outsiders and vice versa.

"Thank you everyone whoever's been buying Outsiders. Those that aren't reading the book, it's a different hero team book. It's a little more mature. It's a little more violent, language is little rougher. It's a fun book, we have a great time doing it, and we're glad people are coming out for it and there's plenty more to come."

Praise and adulation? Scorn and ridicule? Email me at philip@comicbookbin.com


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Looking In on the Outsiders, pt. 2
The Outsiders # 39
The Outsiders # 38
Dan DiDio's The Outsiders
Outsiders #19
Batman and the Outsiders Special #1
Outsiders: Five of a Kind: Week 5: Grace/Wonder Woman # 5 (of 5)
Outsiders: Five of a Kind: Week 4: Metamorpho/Aquaman #4 (of 5)
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