Writer: Bryan Hill / Artist: Dexter Soy / DC Comics
The finale of Batman and the Outsiders‘s inaugural arc, “Lesser Gods,” does not feel like a conclusion. Rather, it acts as a transitional narrative beat. With Sofia secured, one loose thread is wrapped and a whole new set of mysteries are presented to us with a single question: “Who are Cassandra and Duke?”
Hill has rotated through his ensemble cast, and finally moved the spotlight to the newest members of the Bat-family. The two finally get a chance to shine and wow do they shine bright here. Between Hill’s quips and the incredible physicality Soy is able to impart during the fight sequences, it’s like kinetic poetry. It is beautiful and brutal and shows that Hill is able to conceptualize fight choreography well and that Soy is able to execute it beautifully. We see so much about the two characters through their fighting styles that it’s a wonderful spectacle.
But Hill also spends time seeding the next stage for Batman and the rest of the Outsiders. More players are introduced to the field, and even though Sofia has been rescued it doesn’t mean that Ra’s al Ghul still doesn’t have several other machinations in play. It feels like the best combination of Batman aesthetics: the martial artistry, the mystery, the mystique. I’m endeared to Orphan and Signal, so I will gladly eat up any issue that puts them at the forefront.
After six issues, I think Batman and the Outsiders has found its footing in earnest. It’s made it clear that it’s a story that’s happening because of Batman, but very much a story about the Outsiders, about a very different kind of heroism and struggle. This first arc has stumbles, but as a whole opens up the mythology in very interesting ways that I’m excited to see unfold in the future.
9.0 “Chess Pieces” out of 10