The Gotham Knights Return In Batman And The Outsiders #1

by Tony Thornley

One of the most acclaimed concepts of DC Comics’ 2016 Rebirth relaunch was Detective Comics and its new “Bat-family team approach.” Unfortunately that concept ended about a year ago. However, has that run found its spiritual successor in Batman And the Outsiders #1?

Cover by Tyler Kirkham & Arif Prianto

Bryan Hill, Dexter Soy, Veronica Gandini, and Clayton Cowles start the adventures of latest incarnation of Batman’s special team of operatives with a bang. The series was originally intended to debut at the beginning of the year, and was delayed for editorial and story reasons. It was definitely worth the wait.

About a decade ago, Batman shut down a lab trying to create artificial metahumans. Now, the experiment’s only survivor has drawn the attention of Ra’s al Ghul. Batman and Black Lightning are thrust into a race to protect this young woman, but are the Outsiders even ready for this?

Hill jumps into the story with both feet. He takes his cast and gives them each interesting depth, and creates authentic bonds between them. He also has created a very fun plot, full of Batman hallmarks, but also some incredibly bonkers twists that would only work in comics. On one downside though, the story relies heavily on knowledge of Hill’s Detective Comics arc from last year, which leaves readers a bit in the dark on some of the bigger character beats.

Soy and Gandini’s work is a major highlight of the issue. Soy’s line art is close enough to DC’s house style that it’s not a huge departure, but he adds exaggerated beats and a fluid line that draws readers into the action. It’s slightly cartoony in a way that amps up the feel of crazy plot Hill has established. Gandini’s colors are dark and atmospheric without getting muddy or unclear.

This is an incredibly fun and solid debut for the series. I’m excited to see what happens next, especially with the possibilities of the cliffhanger.

Batman And The Outsiders #1 is available now from DC Comics.

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