Batman and the Outsiders #17 – Bryan Hill, Writer; Marcio Takara, Artist; Veronica Gandini, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Bryan Hill’s reinvention of the classic Outsiders team started a bit rough with a focus on too many original villains who seemed like they were right out of 90s Wildstorm, but it soon found its footing with a compelling character-driven take in some of DC’s most underrated characters. Now the main battle with Ra’s Al Ghul is done with, and to wrap up the series he makes the bold choice to make the final issue an action-free epilogue set on…a suburban ranch? Bruce has bought the farm and horses for Sofia, as a place for her to recuperate and decide what she wants to do next. As the entire team gathers, including reluctant ally Lady Shiva, it becomes an opportunity for everyone to think about what their next move is and some make dramatic life choices that I’m hoping will be fleshed out elsewhere. It’s a good example of how a book doesn’t need action to be compelling and exciting.
This issue is really a series of vignettes more than anything, some more compelling than others. Black Lightning’s search for his purpose, as he’s torn between going back to his old life and resuming teaching or seeking to become an A-list hero and hone his new powers, is one of the strongest. Duke Thomas didn’t quite seem to have a character arc in this series beyond accompanying Cass on her journey, and this issue only has a brief segment of Shiva manipulating him. The best segment is probably one between Bruce and Cassandra that addresses why she hasn’t been given any of the big legacies yet, and might set up some major developments for her in the coming year. Shiva mostly lurks around the background, manipulating people and ultimately driving Sofia to make a major decision. Even as Batman’s team fulfills his mission, he may have lost control, and that’s a strong hook to end the series on as Hill apparently exits monthly comics.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.