Batman and the Outsiders #9
Ra's al Ghul and his army of assassins have turned their attention away from the Dark Knight - and toward Black Lightning! They've done something terrible to him that can never be fixed, and Black Lightning will need the Outsiders to stop him from crossing a line that could change his life forever.
“A League of Their Own” continues in Batman and the Outsiders #9, an issue that once again retains its focus on Jefferson Pierce and his growing anger towards the mastermind behind everything in the series so far, R’as al Ghul.
Many fans are going to take issue with this series because it is essentially a Black Lightning and Katana ongoing that features appearances from other heroes and villains in the DC universe. This is not a usual team-up that features the entire Outsiders team together punching baddies every issue. It’s a multilayered and character-driven story that primarily utilizes the leader of the Outsiders to push the narrative forward. As a Black Lightning fan…this is super exciting!
But Hill is definitely playing the long game. We are now nine issues into the complex plan of R’as al Ghul and while it has felt like a chess game up to this point, the cliffhanger shows that we have reached the tipping point. This will be the arc that brings this conflict to light and finally finds the team on the same page. I can feel it coming. They are all separated more than they have ever been, and a disjointed team like this is primed for an explosive reunion.
At the end of the day, a badass concept like this simply can’t be stretched out for twelve plus issues and be expected to hit all the right notes though. For all of the intriguing character drama and developments, this series struggles to feel like a real Batman and the Outsiders run due to the way it is being told. All the pieces are there, but bringing them together consistently seems to be more difficult than it should.
The artwork is quite difficult to find any complaints about, however. Soy and Gandini bring an awesome flair to the series with vivid visuals and powerful expressions. With solid letters from Clayton Cowles, it’s just a great book to look at. This creates an interesting dynamic with the series because with such consistently great art you end up rooting for the writing to hold up with each new issue. While it can certainly be hit or miss, it does feel like the series is finding its stride with this new arc.
Overall, Batman and the Outsiders #9 is a good book. If you are a fan of character-driven drama series with a lot of different personalities this is a series for you. With fun inclusions like Superman and a twist cliffhanger, the issue does feel worthwhile. But it’s time to kick things up a notch and get this party started…
While Batman and the Outsiders #9 is a great book filled with intriguing character drama, it's time for this series to kick things up a notch. Plain and simple.
Batman and the Outsiders #9: Madness Against Madness
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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