Monday, March 19, 2018

After three years building them up, let's quit the team in the most dickish way possible.

I've mentioned before that I like the idea of the Outsiders, much more than any Outsiders comic I've actually read; but I didn't read the book when it was first on the stands. So I remember ads for this, but hadn't read this last issue: from 1986, Batman and the Outsiders #32, "A New War's Winning!" Written and edited by Mike W. Barr, art by Alan Davis.

The first four-and-a-half pages of this one are recurring bad guys the Masters of Disaster in Markovia, kidnapping a princess on her way to her wedding; but the Outsiders are busy in Gotham, as a mob boss holds a meeting to unite since Batman had been gone for a few days. "Matches" Malone shows up to see if the boss is serious, and verifies the heist of plasma from the hospital; "Matches" of course being a longtime alias of Batman! Signaling the team, the mobsters are wrapped up quickly, and with the mission complete Geo-Storm takes the opportunity to break radio silence, and finds his country has been at war for two days! Moreover, Batman knew!

Batman claims he needed the Outsiders in Gotham, and didn't want to be running all over the world like the Justice League: " busy saving the world, we lose sight of individuals." It kind of reads more like Bats was mad he hadn't got to punch a junkie, mobster, or homicidal clown for a minute and was pitching a fit; as he disbands the team. Halo protests, and a smirking Batman seems to think they were going to cave, but she suggests they stay together themselves, without Batman! Batman leaves in a huff, noting Dick had already quit and Jason probably would someday: "...soldiers come and go, but my war never ends." He does not handle rejection well, does he?

The Outsiders would go on to face Baron Bedlam and the Masters of Disaster in Markovia; but the rest of this issue was a Looker story: formerly "mousy" Lia Briggs was now Looker, who had super-powers but was mostly just thrilled to be staggeringly hot. Her husband Greg was still adjusting, and may have missed his old wife and been uncomfortable with the attention Lia now got, but she showed no interest in the person she used to be. Yeah, I got a feeling Greg is not going to be in this book for too long.


Dale Bagwell said...

I'm sure he probably didn't. Same for the guy who's wife was taken over by Valkyrie in Defenders.

See this is why Miller's Batman might not have been the best thing to ever
to happen to Batman in the 80's; ever since then, especially in late 90's, he became a huge dick to anyone and everyone whenever he felt like it.
Fuck you Frank!

Barbecue17 said...

I'm a big fan of Batman and the Outsiders. I've purchased the first two volumes DC has released over the past year in the nice Omnibus editions and hope they release a third volume to complete the first series.

H said...

The first version of Batman and The Outsiders might be the most underrated book out there. It's fun, it's funny, and it has a decent amount of action and character moments. Highly recommend reading it.

Oh, and Greg actually was in the Outsiders solo book quite a bit the first half of the run- in just about the same role as here, but still. Also, I second Dale's notion.