Outsiders 38-40

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #38
Written by Keith Giffen and Dan Didio
Art by Giffen

Keith Giffen joins Didio in this issue of the Outsiders and it vastly improves the dialogue…I would assume…I did not go back and re-read the previous issues but I do remember horrible dialogue. What is clear about Didio is he and I both have a common interest in the history of this team. If Didio loves these obscure characters and brings them back for his run, why can’t he understand the love for characters like Cassandra Cain, Linda Danvers, Kyle Rayner, and Wally West?! But I digress, this was actually a cool issue as we see the return of a lot of former Outsiders as they battle it out in Markovia. Hell, even Technocrat shows up. I loved it. I hate to say that, but Didio and Giffren did a good job here.

outsiders_vol_4_39Outsiders (Volume 4) #39
Written by Keith Giffen and Dan Didio
Art by Giffen

The big villain manupulating things behind the scenes is revealed to be Veritas whose motivations are not explained and Geo-Force becomes one with the land of Markovia erecting huge walls of earth around the country’s borders for some reason. It was not as good as the last issue and left me very confused. It looks like Batman will be showing up for the final issue though.

 

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Batman and the Outsiders (Volume 2) #40
Written by Dan Didio and Phillip Tan
Art by Tan

This is the final issue of this series and truly a finale to the Outsiders’s long history in the DC Universe which is beautifully recapped in the pages of this comic. One day I want to go through this again and see if every Outsider appears in the flashbacks because it sure seems like they covered it all! I am actually very proud of Didio for this. I know I can’t stand the decisions he has made as head of DC but he sure does love the Outsiders. So why in the hell did he restart the continuity of the DC Universe with the new 52 if he loves the Outsiders so much! Geo-Force is left here a broken person and it is sad we will probably never see this resolved. I actually even liked Tan’s art in this. We even get to see him draw Cassandra Cain in a flashback! Didio included Cassandra in a book he wrote! Or…I bet it was Tan.

 

 

Batman Incorporated 5-8

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Batman Incorporated #5
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Yanick Paquette

In this issue we are introduced to “The Hood” who I immediately mistook for being Azrael at first and Batwing who is the Batman of Africa. I did not realize it but Bruce and Kate aka Batman and Batwoman had never met before this issue. At least since Kate has become Batwoman. How did I not notice that? Paquette draws a great Batwoman. Anyways, like usual Morrison’s story doesn’t make sense until the very end when the clues will come together. We still don’t know what Doctor Dedalus’s plan is or what exactly Leviathan is but there a ton of interesting clues in this issue. Can’t wait to see where this goes!

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Batman Incorporated #6
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Burnham

Wow Grant Morrison is amazing! Of course the Outsiders would be part of Batman Incorporated! Anyways I loved this issue up until Bruce Wayne tells a group that includes pretty much everyone he cares about that they are his closest associates except Cassandra Cain is not there! But then a few pages later my dreams came true! Cassandra Cain was back with a new identity! She is now the Black Bat – the Batman of Hong Kong! Seriously this is the best thing Grant Morrison has ever wrote. I love the character so much and to see her back in action is incredible. I definitely prefer the Black Bat costume over her present Orphan costume. I sincerely hope Rebirth ends up having Cassandra remember her time as Batgirl and as Black Bat and retaking up the mantle of the bat where she belongs. The best thing about this is it redeems Bryan Q. Miller having Cassandra leave Gotham because Morrison is writing Batman here as trusting Cassandra enough to be her own Batwoman of Hong Kong. She is not a sidekick. She is an equal to him. And that is how it should be. Best issue of this series hands down.

Batman Incorporated #7
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Burnham

This issue focused on Man-of-Bats and his sidekick Little Raven and I expected it to be dull as shit but I was pleasantly blown away. First of all, Burnham’s art is gorgeous. Second of all, Morrison wrote a really inspiring story about a hero standing up for his community on a low budget. It was really good.

 

 


Batman_Incorporated_Vol_1_8Batman Incorporated #8

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Scott Clark

This issue is one of those brilliant Duh comic books that you think wow that’s genius but why hasn’t somebody already of that. There is no reason why this couldn’t be a whole series of virtual Barbara Gordon fighting. We didn’t need to stop her from being Oracle to see her in action. This issue even makes more sense today with virtual reality. I say make Cassandra Cain a bat again and put Barbara back as Oracle and if you need to have her in action use this virtual reality. Anyways, we learn Jezebel Jet is behind Leviathan which I didn’t see coming at all.

Eradicated By Doomsday

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #37
Written by Dan Didio and Phillip Tan
Art by Tan

 

This is the second part of the Reign of Doomsday storyline that began in the Steel One-Shot. It was okay. Didio’s dialogue is of course horrible and everything, but Tan’s art has improved tremendously even if I did not know what was going on with the fight half the time. It looks like Eradicator is dead but I doubt it. At least we get to see Halo back in action.

Outsiders 34 and 35

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #34
Written by Dan Didio and Keith Giffen
Art by Giffen

I like the idea of The Olympian getting involved with the Outsiders – but I don’t know how I feel about him actually calling his men Manazons. That is just dumb. I think we know why that Wonder Woman arc was called Rise of the Olympian despite its focus being on Genocide – Didio. He loves this character I guess. It is great to see Giffen joining the book as artist and co-plotter as it will probably gain some quality.

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #35
Written by Dan Didio and Phillip Tan
Art by Tan

Ahh and Tan comes back for one more issue! He is not such a bad artist but he never draws backgrounds and I never know what the hell is going on when he draws this comic. Not to mention the dialogue is pathetically bad once again. Ugh at least Giffen is coming back next issue. Oh and since when does Black Lightning contain Black Lantern energy??

Bringing In History

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #33
Written by Dan Didio and Phillip Tan
Art by Tan

The art is still awful…I have no idea what has happened to Halo and why she is a coma – and I see no reason for Geo-Force acting the way he is still, but I got to at least hand it to Didio for his use of continuity – even pulling from the nineties Outsiders series. I like that Didio at least respects the history of the team. But this is still awful storytelling.

Outsiders 30 and 31

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #30
Written by Dan Didio
Art by Phillip Tan

 

Metamorpho, Owlman, and Black Lightning must turn to Simon Stagg for help after being deemed enemies of Earth because of Markovia’s alliance with New Krypton. It is an interesting thing this alliance with New Krypton and I love having the Eradicator around but Didio still has yet to explain why Geo-Force is acting like a nutjob and this Freight Train character is about as generic as they come. Wasn’t a bad issue which is saying something because it has been all pretty bad since Didio took over the book.

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #31
Written by Dan Didio
Art by Phillip Tan

Okay Halo is back in this issue! Thanks Didio! But she never even went missing, she just wasn’t mentioned. If you are going to make her return a big deal – how about maybe writing people actually wondering where the hell she is? Anyways the Ray shows up and so does a weird succubus lady. This book is way random but at least it has become interesting.

I Wish I Could Say That Didio Proved Me Wrong

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #26
Written by Dan Didio
Art by Phillip Tan and Don Kramer

You know…I started this telling myself to keep an open mind. That even though Dan Didio is the man who thought Countdown was better then 52 and many other idiotic opinions, he could be a good writer and I shouldn’t prejudge. One issue in and I have little hope. This isn’t a very good comic. All of the characters are off and are not acting like themselves. Katana just stabbed a guy in the chest and Geo-Force is calling for extreme violence and acting like a completely different character then well…Geo-Force. What the hell? I am hoping this is explained through mind control or something but so far it is just bad characterization. Halo is nowhere to be found except for one panel. The art is just awful and Tan’s anatomy changes from page to page. The only good thing was the Eradicator – a former member of the Outsiders. I do like the acknowledgement of that history and he is a character that has been gone for a long time but… Please, Didio, prove me wrong and show me that you can write a good comic.

Halo Kicks Ass

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #25
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin and Derec Donovan

Tomasi’s run comes to an end with this issue and it was a good issue. Yes, Tomasi had Halo being called Violet again (Ugh she never went by that name!) but he lets her be the big hero and kick serious ass in this issue so I forgive him. I love when Halo kicks ass. I think this was a good way to end Tomasi’s run and this Blackest Night tie-in was definitely successful. Do I think Tomasi’s run was that great? No it could have been a lot better but it wasn’t awful either. I am more afraid of what the Didio-Tan run will be like. I hope they pleasantly surprise me. Oh and it was nice to see Thunder again!

Blackest Night Descends Upon The Outsiders

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #24
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin

The penultimate issue of Tomasi’s run may be the strongest issue of his run yet. That could be due to the strength of the Blackest Night concept or because Tomasi get the character of Terra – the evil girl who infiltrated the Teen Titans and betrayed them. She was not duped or drugged by Deathstroke – she was a bad person. It’s pure and simple. I love that Krul and Tomasi are acknowledging this as for a while DC seem to be heading in the direction of ignoring the intent of Marv Wolfman when he created her and pretending that she was this sweet girl who got corrupted. I love how Black Lantern Terra is just as manipulative as she was in life. She acts all sweet and kind to her brother even with that horrible zombie look – and he believes her! It was awesome. You know she is setting a trap for the Outsiders. It was great to see Katana and Halo’s close friendship acknowledged (Although she calls her Violet again ahh!) and Katana’s family who I hadn’t even predicted would show up as black lanterns.

Her Name is Gabrielle!

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #23
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin

Pasarin is such a good artist why doesn’t DC ever use him as a regular artist? Although his Creeper is a little more normal looking then the Creeper usually is. But at the same time Tomasi writes him as more “normal” then he usually does too. It was great to see Katana and Halo’s relationship acknowledged, even if it is annoying that they keep calling Halo Violet instead of Gabrielle. This is going to be Tomasi’s last arc on this book before Didio takes over. I guess we shall see if Tomasi’s run is considered a sucessful one or not.

Best Use Of Clayface Ever

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #22
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin

Pasarin’s art is much better then Garbett’s for this book. And I have to say I am enjoying this rounding up the Gotham villains arc so far. It is much simpler then the last arc and less confusing. Not to mention that this issue contained the best use of Clayface I have EVER read in a comic. Clayface is usually used as a a throw away character disguised as someone else or a background character, but this issue shows how dangerous and powerful he can be. Especially when he shows up and absorbs a whole family into his body so they can mine him! Kudos to Tomasi for making great use of a character and showing me his worth.

Frozen Lightning

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #21
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin

I am not sure why Alfred is acting the way he is in this issue. What situation in Gotham is he referring to? Possibly something that happens in Batman and Robin #3 which hasn’t come out yet? I don’t know. Anyways, this was a definite improvement over the last arc. I like the idea of the Outsiders splitting up to find the villains who have left Gotham and Pasarin’s art is wonderful! Is he the new regular artist? I sure hope so. I like him a lot better then Garbett. It is interesting to learn that the new Black Mask implanted chips into the heads of the villains so he could kill them if they upset him. In this issue, Mr. Freeze is captured by Black Lightning and Owlman and his chip is removed. I look forward to the confrontations with Killer Croc and Clayface.

League Of Executives

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #3
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen
Co-Feature by Marc Andreyko
Art by Georges Jeanty

Now this was a good issue. I liked how Dick and Damian solved the Hush problem, bring in the Justice League and the Outsiders and make them board of exectives that Hush has to listen to as Bruce Wayne! It is brilliant yet a little too easy. I liked it. But I don’t think Dick should turn to the League everytime he has a problem, I just think it worked this time. And damn can Dini write villains, he is really making Zsasz interesting, and I didn’t think he was at all before. I like how he keeps imagining how he will murder people. Nguyen’s art was inconsistent, but never horrible. Oh and you gotta love Damian saying that “Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot” is the stupidest thing he has ever heard. That shows how different he is from his father. The Manhunter Co-Feature still featured the incredibly creepy Jane Doe but was a really quick read that basically consisted of a fight and Huntress saving the day. It was just a little too quick for my tastes. But this was a good issue overall.

Let’s Hope The Next Arc Is Less Confusing

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #20
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Lee Garbett

Hmmm….I can’t say I completely understand what just happened in this issue. Who exactly were the Insiders? Just immortals? I am going to have to reread this story arc and I bet this thing reads a lot better in trades then in monthlies. So I am not going to judge it and say it was bad but I was rather confused. It was nice to see the Creeper in action and I liked the conversation between Ra’s and Vandal Savage but ya I am not sure what happened. Hopefully Tomasi’s next arc will be less confusing.

Outsiders 18 and 19

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #18
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Lee Garbett

Wow did Alfred really just punch Deathstroke in the face! That is one butler with balls let me tell you! This was a decent issue. For some reason Slade wants to kill the immortals. I suppose we will find out why soon. Or am I just forgetting and they explained it in the last issue? The Outsiders show up just in time to save Alfred luckily.

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #19
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin and Jeremy Haun

Now this was more like it. This issue really kicked things into gear. There was action, fighting, and character moments. Not to mention I like Pasarin’s art much better then Garbett’s. The Creeper sneaking up on the guys on the ship was a great moment (and realy his first great moment since joining the team), as was Black Lightning calling out Geo-Force on his poor leadership skills. It looks like Slade is corrupting another young girl. I like that idea. It seems to be a habit of his. The slicing in half of the one guy was pretty gross. I am not sure where any of this is going but I am enjoying the ride.

Naked Immortals

Outsiders (Volume 4) #17
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Lee Garbett

I am happy to say that I guessed that the Insiders were immortal in the same way as Vandal Savage (the meteorite) before it was revealed! Go me! And have the Insiders always been standing around naked? How did I not notice this before? Deathstoke’s involvement I did not expect at all and I am not sure that I am excited about it. He is one of the most overused villain. But I think this is at least the first time we have seen Tomasi’s take on him so it’s not so bad. The action sequences were great and I like how Tomasi really utilizes each of the Outsiders respective powers. They are making a really effective team so far. Katana’s hair seemed to change in the middle of the battle though which is pretty bad art continuity but that’s jsut a nitpick. So far this new direction is still going strong.

Hair And Shape-Shifting

Outsiders (Volume 4) #16
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Lee Garbett

The Outsiders new direction truly begins as the “new” team goes into action. I really enjoyed this. Tomasi really knows how to write these characters and I love the banter between them. I think he is a worthy successor to Mike Barr when it comes to writing the original Outsiders. I loved Metamorpho’s speech at the beginning of this issue and that is saying a lot considering how I feel about Metamorpho. His shapeshifting really made me miss having Plastic Man in the JLA though.Garbett’s art is great in this issue, I love Halo’s new costume, I am not sure how I feel about Katana’s long hair though, it doesn’t really fit her character. The immortals in this issue I assume are the “Ultimate Outsiders Villains” Alfred talked about last issue. I am interested to learn more about them. I am loving this new direction!