Archive for Outsiders

Friday Night Fights: Mixed Nuts!

Awright, people, it’s Friday, it’s pretty much evening, and that means one thing: it’s too blasted hot. No, wait, it also means it’s time for something much more pleasant than the weather — it’s time for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes from October 2004’s Outsiders #15 by Judd Winick and Tom Raney, as Grace Choi is stuck fighting the Fearsome Five’s Mammoth:

Yeah, that’s right. Some things are just more unpleasant than the weather. Chief among them is when a superstrong bouncer punches you in your binkityboos.

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Outsiders Looking In…


Outsiders #50

This seems to be the last issue of this series, though they’re kicking off a new “Batman and the Outsiders” series sometime soon. And like far too many final issues, this one is an absolute mess.

First, Batman decided in the last issue to take over the team and staff it with his heroes of his own choosing. They ran five weekly one-shots over the past month where he picked his team; I skipped those issues, because DC gets enough of my money and didn’t need me to pay them $15 for some ill-considered, corporate-driven slush. So anyway, the new team is Katana, Metamorpho, the Martian Manhunter, and Grace, with Catwoman joining up at the end. They’re still trying to play the “We’re good guys disguised as bad guys” game, which doesn’t seem like it’d be very successful — heck, Batman’s a member, and everyone knows he’s in the Justice League. When you’ve got all these “criminals” associated with a well-connected vigilante like Bats, everyone’s gonna figure they’re running a scam on the underworld.

Anyway, the team hangs around some seedy dive in Gotham City (Well, Grace hangs around the club — everyone else is either in disguise or monitoring from outside). The Suicide Squad appears, including former Outsider Captain Boomerang, along with Thunder, another former Outsider — and Grace’s lover. On top of all that, the current Outsiders are trying to safeguard a bunch of low-rent amateur supervillains for some reason no one is aware of. There’s a lot of fighting and chaos and people doing stuff for no real purpose. It’s a complete muddle.

Verdict: Thumbs down. It’s especially irritating that there’s absolutely no explanation for why Thunder and Captain Boomerang are out, and Martian Manhunter is in. In other words, if you didn’t shell out an extra 15 bones for the weekly “Five of a Kind” one-shots, you didn’t find out the full story. That’s a rotten way to treat customers.

By the way, yes, my reviews are going a lot slower than I want them to. Sorry about that. I haven’t had a lot of spare time to work on them, so I’m stuck writing them in the few non-hectic hours I have. I’ll get the rest written ASAP.

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Rapid-Fire Reviews

I didn’t pick up many comics this week — probably could’ve grabbed a few extras, but I was feeling a bit cheap. So let’s get us a trio of quick reviews out of the way.


PS238 #24

Well, Tyler Marlocke is stuck in an interdimensional wasteland, thanks to teleporting bully Charles Brigman, now a student at the evil Praetorian Academy. Tyler’s in big trouble because he’s the only student at PS238 who doesn’t have any superpowers, and Charles is pretty darn ruthless. Anyway, Charles finds out that Tyler’s parents are some of the most powerful superheroes on the planet, and he panics and runs off. Tyler also meets the other person stranded on this rock — a convenience store clerk who also happens to be a robot.

Meanwhile, half-angel/half-demon Malphast and conspiracy-minded goofball Cecil take up the quest to rescue Tyler, which involves travel through evil dimensions, deals with both of Malphast’s parents, and Cecil picking up far too many funny mutations.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The entire comic is very entertaining, but Cecil turning into a trenchcoated Cthulhoid monster pushed it way, way over the top. If you’re interested in offbeat, funny superheroics, check this series out.


Countdown #43

Well, we’ve got the funeral for Bart Allen, and it’s boring. We’ve got Monarch offering to let Forerunner lead his armies, and it’s boring. We’ve got Holly Robinson hanging out with Amazons, and it’s boring. We’ve got Donna Troy, Jason Todd, and one of the Monitors arguing about going to look for Ray Palmer, the missing Atom, and that’s boring, too.

Verdict: Thumbs down. It’s boring.


Outsiders #49

This one’s the conclusion of a fairly lengthy crossover with the “Checkmate” series. The Outsiders and Checkmate try to save Nightwing, Captain Boomerang, and Sasha Bordeaux. Boomerang apparently spent all last issue getting tortured by the evil Chang Tzu, and Bordeaux is getting tortured this issue. Nightwing pukes up a very small cutting torch he’d swallowed before this whole thing (because you never know when you’ll need a cutting torch, I guess. Or maybe Nightwing likes to swallow cutting torches. Super-people are weird.) and he and Boomerang rescue Bordeaux, with an assist from Batman. Later, Nightwing announces he’s quitting, and Batman is taking over the team.

Verdict: Thumbs down. It didn’t make sense that Nightwing would listen to a teammate getting tortured last issue and not barf up his fancy cutting torch to escape then. It didn’t make sense that Boomerang wouldn’t kick him in the butt for not trying to rescue him before. Plus, there are just too many characters to keep track of, what with all the Outsiders and all the Checkmate crew, too.

Here’s the most interesting thing I found in this issue: a preview for the new Outsiders team.


For the uninitiated, it looks like the team is going to consist of Batman, Katana, Catwoman, Metamorpho, Grace, Martian Manhunter, and Captain Boomerang. Observations: Catwoman and Martian Manhunter are big surprises for this team; Thunder off the team is a big disappointment; I think this will mark the first time that Catwoman has been on a non-supervillain team; Katana is still wearing her painfully ugly new costume — surely I can’t be the only person who hates that completely ridiculous outfit…

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