Batman and the Outsiders #9
Written by Bryan Hill
Art by Dexter Soy
Colors by Veronica Gandini
Letters by Clayton Cowles
The Rundown: In the aftermath of the death of a friend, more cracks in the team appear as Jefferson falls deeper into his rage.
Ras Al Ghul has had a friend of Black Lightning killed and the hero is filled with grief and rage. When Batman arrives at the morgue, the two have a testy conversation that will challenge Batman’s philosophy. When Jefferson leaves, he is confronted by Tatsu who is concerned about his spirit and wants to help him, but Jefferson is determined to work things out alone. Unfortunately, a late night visitor will offer him the revenge he wants.
At the same time, Signal and Orphan are on patrol in Gotham City so Duke can test his new powers. When Batman arrives, he decides to have a talk with the young heroes about why they are being targeted by Ras and Shiva. When Superman appears, the two heroes leave and decide to dedicate themselves to fighting back against forces neither are prepared to face.
The Story: Hill raises the tension between the members of the team and the leaders well and the interactions between Jefferson/ Batman and Jefferson/ Katana are well done. The side story with Duke and Orphan was compelling as well and the appearance by Superman was fun, but the pace of the story felt a little too slow. I understand the story is taking a step back to concentrate on Jefferson’s trauma, but the story itself felt a little flat and ultimately unsatisfying in what it was trying to accomplish. There are some great moments in this issue and I liked the ending of it quite a bit, but the overall story is forgettable in comparison to what’s come before and what has been teased to come after.
The Art: Dexter Soy brings some beautiful visuals to the issue and the art has an understated feel which matches the plot. The art focuses more on character than action as most of the story consists of conversations and the characters look amazing.