Batman and the Outsiders #1 - Review
Lesser Gods, Part 1
Bryan Hill builds off his very strong run in Detective Comics [see issues 983-987]. That run is worth picking up and reading on its own merit as well as to provide context for this new title. Batman has assembled a side team, as he is wont to do, to run missions when he cannot be directly involved. The catch for The Outsiders is that Batman has picked Black Lightning to lead this team specifically to challenge his decision making, where appropriate, and to train The Signal [Duke Thomas] and Orphan [Cassandra Cain]. Joining Black Lightning to help the missions is Katana, coming off a run with the Suicide Squad. Immediately, we have the seeds for conflict sown. When will Black Lightning come to loggerheads with Batman? How will his handing of other members of the Bat Family change those characters? Those are the things I am looking forward to seeing unfold.
This opening issue makes spare use of Batman, focusing more on The Outsiders team. Hopefully, the other issues in the series follow suit. Sometimes, there is too much of a good thing [Batman], and giving some attention to other characters is always welcomed. The Signal and Orphan had some good exposure under their respective creators in the Rebirth era [Scott Snyder and James Tyrion IV] but they haven’t been used too much outside of those writers. Seeing them under Hill will be quite exciting as he knows how to write well-balanced comics.
Art chores are handled by Dexter Soy with Veronica Gandini on colors. They are a good team. The art is clean, all the faces are well defined and are distinct from each other. The book is quite vibrant in color and well lit for a book that takes place in Gotham. Panels are not marred with overshadowing or darkness in general. There is a time and place for that and not every Bat-book has to look super dark; I appreciate Soy and Gandini for delivering a different feel.