Batman and the Outsiders #17
Series finale! The war with Ra's al Ghul reaches its end, and none of the Outsiders will ever be the same. And none of them might ever be a team again! Did Batman choose the wrong allies to assemble to fight Ra's? Or did those allies make a mistake in believing in Batman? The critically acclaimed series comes to its end!
Batman and the Outsiders #17 leaves the team asking, “Where do we go from here?” Every member is questioning or rejecting Batman’s leadership. They aren’t against him, but they don’t want to stay in his shadow. However, none of this is put into motion without the subtle influence of Shiva. It is done in little moments, like asking Signal why his suit is yellow and making him question it himself.
Signal isn’t the only one questioning their identity. Black Lightning struggles with coming to terms with himself. There are three powerful panels of him seeing himself fighting alongside John Stewart, Wonder Woman, and Superman. He doesn’t know what to do, but he knows he can’t stop moving. If there is one takeaway from this series, it’s that Black Lightning is ready to leave the Outsiders name behind him.
There are some other interesting revelations, such as Bruce telling Cassandra why she wasn’t a Robin or Batgirl; he didn’t want her to be a creation of Batman. This run of Batman and the Outsiders made it clear that the Outsiders are a creation of Batman, whether he knows it or not. So, it feels natural for the team to disband. It leaves it open enough for more but offers enough closure to really feel like the end of the Outsiders.
Despite everyone leaving, there seems to be closure for everyone except Bruce. After talking to Shiva, Sofia decides to leave. Whether Bruce wanted to keep her safe or eventually train her to work with him, he does not take her exit lightly. The closing pages of the series are surprising: Bruce sitting in a kitchen that he just destroyed. This image is powerful and gives you a healthy reminder that he is human.
Batman and the Outsiders #17 is a satisfying sendoff that doesn’t feel like a setup of more to come. Despite this, it leaves plenty of opportunities for its characters to grow and move on beyond the Outsiders. This is bittersweet for Bruce Wayne, though maybe more bitter than sweet.
Batman and the Outsiders #17: Beyond Batman
Writing - 8/10
Storyline - 8/10
Art - 8/10
Color - 8/10
Cover Art - 8/10
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