Batman & The Outsiders #12 Review

Writer: Bryan Hill / Artist: Dexter Soy and Veronica Gandini / DC Comics

Batman & The Outsiders is back like comics weren’t just on hiatus for a month!

In the “A League of Their Own” finale, the Outsiders, featuring Batman for once, is trying to finally face Ra’s Al Ghoul and put a stop to his nefarious shenanigans. They’ve got a new member in Sofia Reyes, who they’ve been trying to track down for the longest after Ra’s had her father killed and brainwashed her to be his new weapon. Well, now she’s on their side, ready to do whatever she can to take down the Lazarus pit’s highest paying customer. Lady Shiva, Orphan’s mom, has also switched sides. It seems maybe the Outsiders might be able to pull this off. 

I think above all, my favorite thing about this book is the way Hill develops his characters. The conflict is one thing, but the conflict, especially right now, is really amplified by the characters’ wants and needs. And at this moment, everyone’s world is upside down. 

Black Lightning is dealing with the burden of being the leader of this team. He’s finally gained their trust, but recently, Ishmael, through Ra’s, attacked BL’s life personally, killing one of his colleagues at work. It’s understandably taken a really huge toll on him emotionally.

Orphan has had to deal with her mom being back in the picture. Her mom who is on a bad day a supervillain and on a good day an anti-hero at best. It’s clouded her judgment and her mother being around has become a big distraction for her.

Signal had his powers switched up by Ishmael. Instead of being a beacon of light, he’s now a bringer of darkness, which is a physical manifestation of his psyche. He also hasn’t been the same since his showdown with Karma. He doesn’t feel like he’s good enough, and he wants to prove that he is at every turn, which has made him rash at best, and irresponsible at worst.

Then, of course, you’ve got Katana’s overarching conflict with her husband being trapped in her sword and constantly calling out to her. Katana and Black Lighting, or Raijin, as she puts it, have some boiling sexual tension as well. There is so much going on in this book, but it’s all carefully taken care of by the creative team.

This issue does a really good job of putting the team together physically for the first time in its entirety but showing us that they aren’t all there emotionally. And if they can’t get it together on that level, it’ll be all for nothing. So far it seems like that may be the case, as Ra’s still has the upper hand on the Outsiders.

If you want a masterclass in character development and how it intertwines with the plot and conflict of a story, this is a comic book you need to be reading. Bryan Hill and Dexter Soy are bringing the fan favorite but often ignored characters out of obscurity and doing the important work to prove why they belong. You truly love to see it.

10 Superhero Sexual Tension Scenes out of 10

Reading Batman & The Outsiders? Find BNP’s other reviews here.

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