Review: Outlawed #1 is Cool but Nothing New

Outlawed #1 Cover

Writer: Eve Ewing / Artist(s): Kim Jacinto / Marvel Comics

There’s a school of thought that all the stories throughout human history worth telling have been told. Call it another version of the “nothing new under the sun” theory. Therefore, according to that logic, the real skill lies in telling your story in a compelling way. Now, I don’t actually know that every story out there has been told. But I can tell you that as far as telling old stories in compelling ways goes, Outlawed isn’t likely to make that list.

Outlawed #1 sees the Champions taking on their greatest adversary: accountability. I won’t say much about the plot in the interest of spoilers, but honestly, there’s not much to spoil. The Champions do some superheroing, something goes awry, collateral damage ensues, and the people call for them to be held accountable. The dialogue is as charming as we know these young characters to be, the superheroing is fun enough, but it still doesn’t make up for the fact that this book feels like Kids Bop: Civil War on just about every level. It’s an entertaining book, but not entertaining enough to make the reader forget this book retreads old ground that need not be tread again.

Outlawed #1 Inside

Kim Jacinto’s artwork is particularly inspired, invoking manga elements in a few of the facial responses. The action beats are always lively like the storyboard panels of your favorite summer blockbuster. The scale and stakes of this issue long battle feel enormous, unpredictable and insurmountable just like a superpower fight should.

Bottom Line: Fundamentally, the execution of this book is solid. It checks all the boxes, but not enough for “old hat” to not feel like “old hat.” Ultimately, on a narrative level we’ve been here before, and it’s hard to get around that.

7.5 Ironheart hair goals out of 10

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