Writer: Bryan Hill / Artist: Dexter Soy / DC Comics
There is something extremely satisfying to see a new series find its footing and start showcasing the incredible potential bristling behind the pages. Batman and the Outsiders #3 manages to jump to an entirely different level from its predecessors. All of the staging Hill and Soy did in the previous issues has led to an engaging dual narrative of Batman and Ra’s al Ghul teaching their respective proteges in a perfect encapsulation of their diverging philosophies and mentalities.
“Lesser Gods” pt. 3 opens with Batman holding council with the Outsiders after their failure to keep Sofia safe from Ishmael. Soy’s incredible artistry gives us a staggering beautiful shot of a solemn Batman as he prepares to test his team. And then there is the pivot from the pure superhero genre to a more fantastical setting, with a dragon symbolizing Sofia’s descent into the darkness. And it’s wonderfully dynamic and unexpected from a Batman book, which makes it that much more entrancing.
Hill’s shown a deep love for these characters since his original run on Detective Comics, but Batman and the Outsiders #3 bridges the gap and his dedication to Signal, Orphan, Black Lightning, and Katana comes out in full. Even though these four characters are sharing screen time with one of the biggest names in fandom, they get crystalizing moments that set the stage for future installments perfectly. Couple that with Hill’s handling of Sofia and al Ghul, you can see all the pieces of the picture align and can’t get help but be exciting about this Year of Villain for the entire DC universe.
This issue is transformative. It’s a realization of what this cast of the characters were always capable of producing in the capable hands of Hill and Soy. This is where things get exciting. This is where things get oh so much more fun.
9.5 “Training Montages” out of 10