Batman and the Outsiders #7, published by DC Comics, is written by Bryan Edward Hill, illustrated by Cian Tormey, colored by Adriano Lucas, and lettered by Clayton Cowles. After the Outsiders successfully rescued Sofia Ramos from the clutches of Ra’s al Ghul, Black Lightning, Katana and Kaliber decide to take her back to Batman so that he can help her break free of Ra’s brainwashing. Elsewhere, Ra’s disciple Ishmael has abducted Duke Thomas and intends to awaken a new power within him, transforming Duke into an acolyte of the Demon. And to make things worse, the effects of the Legion of Doom’s victory are beginning to stretch out across the world.
Batman and the Outsiders #7, while starting a new story arc, continues to push the ongoing narrative forward, while also tying into the events currently happening in Justice League. Hill expertly manages to balance all of the separate plot threads and gives each character a standout moment. Cassandra Cain engages in fierce hand to hand combat with Ishmael while Katana and Lightning hold their own in an ambush and Duke discovers a new ability.
The only member of the team who gets the proverbial short stick is Batman, who is relegated to handing the team their marching orders. While I appreciate that the other characters are getting a chance to shine, it does start to feel weird that a Batman-related book has very little Batman in it. I do hope that future issues manage to find a way to have the Dark Knight working more closely with the Outsiders, especially since they’re fighting one of his deadliest enemies.
Tormey handles the art duties and while it takes a while to adjust, especially since I’ve gotten used to Dexter Soy’s particular style on this series, he more than rises to the occasion. Each fight sequence is drawn in brief, brutal detail, especially the fight between Cassandra and Ishmael. From panel to panel, the action flows; one move being countered and another landing with literal bone-breaking impact. But what really makes the art come to life is Lucas’ colors.
Dark, moody blues surround Duke as he is being tortured by Ishmael. Later, when Cassandra sets off an explosive device, the background is wrapped in hellish red and oranges, acting as a harbinger of the chaos to come. Seeing Ishmael emerge from the flames, weapons in hand, is a haunting image. Seeing Cassandra leap at him, ready to do whatever it takes, is a triumphant one.
Batman and the Outsiders #7 kicks off a new story arc while continuing to build on threads from previous issues, even if the Dark Knight himself is mostly absent from the title. Hill taking a slow-burn approach with the plot allows the readers to stay invested in the characters and is a great way to further develop them, especially with Duke. Time will tell if the Signal continues to shine bright or if he succumbs to the will of Ra’s al Ghul.
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Batman and the Outsiders #7
Batman and the Outsiders #7 kicks off a new story arc while continuing to build on threads from previous issues, even if the Dark Knight himself is mostly absent from the title.
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.