April 24, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Noteworthy Issues: Outsiders #1 (November, 2023)

Luke Fox, Batwoman, and the Drummer are looking into something kinda familiar.

Hey, the Outsiders!  That band of not-ready-for-prime-time heroes Batman assembled that one time and who keep reuniting for a new series every so often!  I remember those guys!  And a new series with Batwoman?  My interest is piqued!

Issue:  Outsiders #1, November 2023

Writers:  Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing

Artist:  Robert Carey

The Plot:  Luke Fox hires Batwoman and the Drummer to help him explore the unknown!

Commentary:  I had some hopes for a series like this one.  There are a lot of weird pockets in the DC Universe that a team of explorers could look into and make for a good series.  I mean, the Silver Age alone could probably come up with a good 100 or so issues of stand-alone adventures for a team like this one.  OK, the inclusion of a woman known only as “the Drummer” sure did seem familiar, and putting Luke Fox in a white suit is going to remind some readers of a certain other series from a while back, but the series could still stand on its own even with Kate Kane in the “action girl” protector role.

So, anyway, Luke with help from his father Lucius has set up an organization that explores the world and finds the weird corners of it and oh God, this is just someone else riffing on Warren Ellis’s Wildstorm work, isn’t it?

Yeah, that it is.  If the first adventure didn’t completely convince you, what the Drummer finds on the last page should slam that home.  If you’ve never read Ellis’s Planetary or even The Authority, maybe all this stuff is new and cool.  Me, I have read those series.  Heck, I think Planetary may be the best series Ellis ever wrote anywhere as it is a complete and total deconstruction of superhero stories and other forms of pulp literature, where most issues show the Planetary team (that does strongly resemble the Outsiders on the cover) meeting a stand-in for at least one other recognizable knock-off of an existing character with one issue having a scientist theorize that reality is a series of vertical layers that one moves through to get to other planes, i.e. it’s a comic book and characters move “up” to go to the next page or panel.

The ends result is this Outsiders series feels like a warmed-over retread, and not something I am all that keen on continuing.

Oh, and on the subject of this new, female version of the Drummer, I don’t know if it was the artwork or what, but she looks a lot older on the interior of the book than the cover, but that is all I am going to say about that.

Grade:  C