REVIEW: ‘Batman and the Outsiders’, Issue #14

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Batman and The Outsiders #14

Batman and the Outsiders #14, written by Bryan Edward Hill, illustrated by Dexter Soy, colored by Veronica Gandini, and lettered by Clayton Cowles, is published by DC Comics. “The Demon’s Fire” continues as the Outsiders split into two teams. Using his newly supercharged powers, Black Lightning invades Khadym alongside Batman, Katana and Sofia Ramos. Meanwhile Lady Shiva, Signal and Orphan take a different approach to finding Ra’s al Ghul.

This issue reunites Hill, Soy, and Gandini, which in my eyes is a welcome return to form. After working on the majority of the series together, they are a well-oiled engine at this point. There’s a propulsive movement to both script and art that makes it an improvement over the previous issue. While that issue mostly felt like setting up pieces on a chessboard, here the players finally start to make their moves.

The beauty of Batman and the Outsiders #14 is that it manages to balance two different storylines that both have the same goal. Hill’s script shifts between Batman’s team and Shiva’s team, while underlining the differences between the two. Both Batman and Shiva are extremely ruthless in their methods of obtaining information and aren’t above utilizing others’ skills to achieve their goals. This is especially ironic given than the former is a hero and the latter is a villain.

Shiva also serves as a welcome foil to Batman. While the other heroes are willing to follow the Dark Knight and his code, she is used to more underhanded methods. She also plays on Orphan and Signal’s insecurities in order to get them to join her. Given the tempestuous mother-daughter relationship that Orphan and Shiva have had, and Signal’s new powers, this can only spell trouble for the Outsiders down the road.

The issue also showcases Black Lightning’s newfound powers, as he hunts for Ra’s doomsday weapon. Soy beautifully illustrates this moment, showcasing Black Lightning ascending into the air as lightning surrounds him. Finally, a bolt of lightning carves through the air and he falls to the ground. Gandini adds to the magnificence of this moment with her colors; the sight of Lightning’s powers piercing the night sky must be seen to be believed.

If there’s one problem with the issue, it’s that Lightning’s upgrade is glossed over. Batman introduced the machine that would supercharge his powers at the end of the last issue and I felt like that would play a huge role. Instead, the creators leaped forward to “he’s got new powers now.” It feels somewhat anti-climatic, especially since Lightning plays a large role in the series.

Batman and the Outsiders #14 presses the pedal to the gas, darting back and forth between two different storylines with ease. Now that the story is starting to pick up speed, I’m eager to see how the Outsiders deal with Ra’s doomsday weapon and what Lady Shiva’s ultimate endgame is. Hopefully, Soy and Gandini continue to stick around for the rest of the arc.

Batman and the Outsiders #14 is available wherever comics are sold and through Comixology using our affiliate link.

Batman and The Outsiders #14
4.5

TL;DR

Batman and the Outsiders #14 presses the pedal to the gas, darting back and forth between two different storylines with ease. Now that the story is starting to pick up speed, I’m eager to see how the Outsiders deal with Ra’s doomsday weapon and what Lady Shiva’s ultimate endgame is. Hopefully, Soy and Gandini continue to stick around for the rest of the arc.