Batman and the Outsiders #8
Queen takes rook in this master's game of chess played by the Demon's Head himself, Ra's al Ghul, as he cultivates more of the Outsiders for his taking. Cassandra Cain is caught in the middle between friendship, family, and her own moral judgments. Meanwhile, Black Lightning continues to make his moves while Batman seems to be away on "Bruce Wayne" business.
Before we dive into part 1 of ‘A League of Their Own’ in Batman and the Outsiders, I’d like to kick things off with a warm welcome for returning artist Dexter Soy and colorist Veronica Gandini. Nothing against the fill-in creative team for last issue, but this creative team really knows how to get to the heart of the series with magnificent visuals!
Now, Batman and the Outsiders #8 is meant to be the beginning of a brand new arc but in reality, it’s a strict continuation of the overarching story. R’as al Ghul’s chess game meant to instill animosity in the Outsiders and turn them against one another slowly comes to fruition in this issue, tying together all the various threads established in issues prior. It’s an example of long term storytelling at play as we find ourselves pouring over the implications of previous events like retracing breadcrumbs.
While the developments with Duke have taken a dark turn rather literally, writer Bryan Hill continues a unique fascination with Tatsu and her budding dynamic with Jefferson. It’s a strange one, but their interactions are incredibly sincere and interesting. They have undoubtedly been the core of the heart in this series, bringing in outliers like Batman with their vivid struggles. But in this issue, we see their “relationship” reach a new level in the form of a trust exercise. This turns out to be the real highlight of the issue, showcasing Black Lightning’s powers and the growing chemistry with Katana amidst the devastation of an airplane mid-flight.
While their continued story is great, it has unfortunately drawn the focus away from where it arguably needs to be for the series. Sofia has slipped into the Batcave under the protection of Batman, and while she believes she must be hated for what has happened, it appears she is going to be introduced as a member of the Outsiders. Unless of course, she betrays them, either knowingly or not! Either way, hers is the story that I’m most interested in and I would love for this series to bring in Batman and the Outsiders as a team to confront the threat R’as al Ghul poses.
Now that we are eight issues in and the overarching plan has come to light, hopefully the narrative begins to focus on providing resolutions without more dangling threads. Batman and the Outsiders #8 is a great step in the right direction for the series, capturing a fundamental sense of heart for the team while entrenching them deeper in a dangerous mystery that is sure to explode at any moment.
If you haven’t been a fan of the series up until this point, issue #8 is a solid opportunity to check back in on the team. It’s got a lot of much needed answers and sets up some exciting developments for the next few issues. Hopefully it can deliver on the potential in a way that is even more satisfying than the first arc!
Batman and the Outsiders #8 is a great step in the right direction for the series, capturing a fundamental sense of heart for the team while entrenching them deeper in a dangerous mystery that is sure to explode at any moment.
Batman and the Outsiders #8: A Vulgar Display of Power
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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