Batman and the Outsiders #5, written by Bryan Edward Hill, illustrated by Dexter Soy, colored by Veronica Gandini, and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, is published by DC Comics. The conclusion to the “Lesser Gods” story arc sees Black Lightning and Katana posing as arms dealers so that they can infiltrate Khadym and rescue Sofia. Elsewhere, Ishmael comes to Duke with a startling revelation concerning Batman.
I’ve spoken about how Hill, Soy, and Gandini are one of the rare creative teams that always seem in sync with each other, and that continues to be the case here. Hill’s script brings depth to the characters, Soy’s fluid, anime-inspired artwork continues to impress, and Gandini’s colors highlight the moody, gripping vibe that the story and the art give off.
The highlight of this book has been the character dynamics, and Hill continues to showcase that with Black Lightning and Katana. Jefferson Pierce and Tatsu Yamashiro couldn’t be more different, yet they find a kindred soul in each other. They can be honest with each other in a way that they can’t with their other teammates, and that comes in handy during their rescue mission. The gunslinging Kaliber also gets a chance to shine; I’m interested to see how he continues to operate with the rest of the team.
Apart from stellar character work, Hill understands the economy of storytelling better than most writers. Not a page is wasted, whether it concerns Jefferson and Katana’s excursion into Khadym or the ending. It’s just enough to keep the story moving and to keep the audience invested.
Soy’s artwork leaps off the page, especially in the action sequences. As I mentioned before, there is a strong anime influence in his artwork and it shows during his fight scenes. There’s one scene where Black Lightning charges up to battle Ra’s Al Ghul’s disciples, his eyes glowing as lightning crackles between his knuckles and surrounds his body. Gandini’s colors make the lightning glow bright blue, which makes the final scene extremely reminiscent of Dragon Ball Super.
The most shocking part of the issue, other than the fact that Batman is entirely absent, is the ending. Not only does it set up the next arc, but it spins out of story threads Hill has been pursuing since the series began. In fact, it even stretches back to his brief tenure on Detective Comics. I am eager to see where this leads, especially since I’m a huge fan of Duke Thomas.
Batman and the Outsiders #5 closes its first story arc with plenty of character development, hard-hitting action, and a jaw-dropping ending. I am extremely excited for what Hill, Soy, and Gandini have in store for the next story arc, and I know they’ll continue to turn in issue after amazing issue.
Batman and the Outsiders #5 is available wherever comics are sold.
Batman and the Outsiders #5
Batman and the Outsiders #5 closes its first story arc with plenty of character development, hard-hitting action, and a jaw-dropping ending.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.