Friday, May 02, 2014

I was watching some episodes of Batman: the Brave and the Bold that I had inexplicably missed, when I saw the teaser before "Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster!" featuring the Outsiders. I've probably mentioned it before, but I like the idea of the Outsiders far more than any execution of that idea I've seen so far.

Metamorpho is the coolest, but hard to use in that setting since 99% of the problems that show up in an Outsiders comic could be taken care of in three panels. Panel one: an army of goons attacks the Outsiders! Panel two: Metamorpho turns into fluorine gas, carbon monoxide, what have you. Panel three: the Outsiders stack the "unconscious" bodies of the goons...Black Lightning is a great and woefully underused character--although, I remember seeing the promo ads for his first appearance, and I think his afro was part of his mask? Weird. I don't think I mind Katana, although DC keeps trying to make her happen and it hasn't blown up yet; but I don't have much use for Geo-Force or Halo. Looker...y'know, I think most Outsider fans like her, because Alan Davis, even if they don't like any stories with her in the last twenty years.

What I'm getting at, is that Batman may have missed an opportunity, by not giving an Outsiders spot to Nemesis. From 1981, the Brave and the Bold #170, "...If Justice be Blind!" Written by Cary Burkett, art by Jim Aparo. Nemesis had a brother that was an federal agent, who inexplicably went rogue and murdered his superior, then died in the ensuing gunfight. Seeking to clear his brother's name, Nemesis discovered that he had been brainwashed by a former Nazi scientist working for a crime boss called the Head. (Batman isn't sure the Head really exists, but Nemesis points out the Head avoided Gotham City.)

Batman gives Nemesis a bit of hassle about using guns, although Nemesis used "toxin-bullets," not unlike the non-lethal "mercy bullets" the Punisher used to use. But Batman may be more than a little jealous over another kid's toys: a silent helicopter, ultra-thin masks that can duplicate facial expressions and dissolve in an instant, a knife hidden under fake skin. (OK, maybe not so much that last one.) In the end, the heroes discover the Head earned his nom de plume by running his criminal syndicate from an iron lung. The Head makes a pretty good argument for Nemesis killing him, since he figures if he could do his job from an iron lung, he could do it from a jail cell; but ultimately one of his dying flunkies cuts the iron lung's power cord.

Nemesis has appeared here and there since (including a stretch dating Wonder Woman!) but I've always suspected Batman "borrowed" his gadgets.

2 comments:

SallyP said...

I actually rather like Nemesis. It could have worked.

But man, do I abominate Geo-Force!

Dale Bagwell said...

Interesting choice, but yeah I'd have to agree as well. Someone should've used him better in the DCU. He's like the DC's version of James Bond/Ethan Hunt.

As for ol' Rex, if you really think about it, he really doesn't have to be on a team. He's a one-man team himself.