Outsiders #1 is published by DC Comics, written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, art by Robert Carey, colors by Valentina Taddeo, and letters by Tom Napolitano. Luke Fox comes to Batwoman with a proposition, a team with the idea of investigating the secrets of the DC Universe.
This book takes a different approach than usual comics. It’s not really a superhero team, but it’s more of an exploration and archaeological investigation book that happens to have members of the Bat Family within it. The goal is to find things on the edge of existence and understanding and determining whether they could be a Crisis-level threat in the future. The pacing is slow to begin, as Fox provides the exposition, but this comic is all about adventure.
Their first mission is a huge, unknown ship stuck in the ice with a mysterious power within it. The trepidation is superb, with absolutely no idea what is coming. Once there, it doesn’t take long for events to go awry, showing that a comic does not need villains in order for there to be danger. There is a possibility of a multiversal threat, and what they end up facing creates both confusion and wonder. The first confrontation features things that can’t be hit, but after that it is an ethereal experience that solely looks to explore. This whole issue is barely a glimpse at what actually occurred, with a haunting history simply being teased.
The cast is extremely interesting, especially in this early stage. Outsiders #1 has a depleted roster, with only three field members and one leader that operates from afar. Luke Fox, also known as Batwing, and Batwoman have taken point, but are joined by the Drummer. This is an alternate version of the name and concept, with the original Drummer appearance in the Wildstorm universe. Stephanie has been brought into a setting where she doesn’t know all of the details. The others are still learning but have more of a relationship and connection. The Drummer has a fascinating power, one that makes her the most unique and important inclusion to the team.
Having a smaller group, with Lucious Fox acting as a largely unseen benefactor of the organization, allows for elaborate conversations and particular character development. The dialogue is able to capture the journey into the unknown and potential multiversal threats without being too overly complicated. When there is another voice that joins the mortals, one that is much more ancient, Lazing and Kelly introduce it with a spine-chilling, celestial power. It’s thoughtful and pondering, not angry and posturing.
The art is stunning. The characters have an intriguing new idea with their costumes, as Batwoman’s outfit changes mid-issue. The outfits now have a different purpose and have been retrofitted to match it. They are not used for survival and safety, with less of a need to intimidate enemies. There is a brilliant creativity to the designs, especially when they are often half-formed and not worn fully. It looks like the suits will adapt to the environment, so it is exciting to see how Carey will experiment with all of them. The Drummer doesn’t have the tech that the others have, but she looks just as fantastic. It gives a casual element to her personality.
The real beauty of the issue comes from the surroundings. The locations make the jaw drop. The mundane places on Earth look exceptional, and that is before the crew ventures into a setting that is inhuman and brand new. It blends technology and history, looking both ancient and futuristic. They move in huge hallways, and the details seem to go on forever, drawing the small team. The patterns on the walls far in the distance and the intricate wires that power things are mesmerizing to study. The action, when the art hints at it, shows a style that works perfectly with Batwoman.
The colors are terrific. Varying between warm and cold when they need to, the location calls for adjustments frequently. The iconic, brilliant red of Batwoman’s hair and outfit is not going to last for the whole issue, with the outfit she wears later in the book being more silver and blue. However, whenever she takes off her cowl, the scarlet returns. In the ship, much of the shades are dark and shadowy, hiding much as grey tones take over. This relaxes the eyes until an explosion of bright colors signifies just how much danger the trio are in. The lettering is phenomenal and never difficult to read. The word balloons are huge in the last part, magnifying the volume and highlighting the possible power the owner of the voice possesses.
Outsiders #1 is a brand-new frontier. It’s an alternative approach to what superheroes can and want to do, putting their skills towards the search for knowledge instead of vengeance and justice. It carries a similar concept to The Ultimates by Marrvel, where there was a team set up to face multiversal threats. But that book was not as mysterious as this one. This comic only implies true power, focusing on the adventure. The cast is tiny but filled with personality. This first chapter was only a teaser, but it will leave readers longing for more.
Outsiders #1 is available where comics are sold.
Outsiders #1 is a brand-new frontier. It’s an alternative approach to what superheroes can and want to do, putting their skills towards the search for knowledge instead of vengeance and justice. This first chapter was only a teaser, but it will leave readers longing for more.