Batman and The Outsiders #2 Comic Review
Writer: Bryan Hill
Artist: Dexter Soy
Colors: Veronica Gandini
Letterer: Clayton Cowels
Cover: Tyler Kirkham & Arif Prianto
Variant Cover: Otto Schmidt
Lesser Gods Part 2
“Search and Rescue”
What You Need To Know
Batman has given the Outsiders a mission: find, rescue, and protect the metahuman named Sofia. Sofia meanwhile, may have found her own help in the form of Kaliber. Unfortunately for those looking to protect Sofia, Ishmael is hellbent on finding her and taking her to Ra’s Al Ghul. Will the Outsiders be able to stop whatever scheme the Demon’s Head has in motion?
What Just Happened
The issue begins with Jefferson Pierce meeting Bruce Wayne in the Batcave. Bruce informs Jefferson that he had a tracker placed in Sofia and he also knows that Kaliber has been assigned to protect her. Bruce tasks the Outsiders with traveling to Los Angeles to locate Sofia and bring her to safety.
At Joshua Tree, Kaliber informs Sofia that he was lying when he told her that he comes from the future. Kaliber informs her that he is really a former arms dealer from Markovia. Kaliber explains to Sofia that Ishmael is also from the Ark Program and his powers make him a parasite that leeches powers from other metahumans. Sofia demands a gun from Kaliber for protection and is willing to help him take watch. Kaliber nicknames Sofia “Fragile”
Elsewhere, Ishmael is tracking Sofia and is also in communication with Ra’s Al Ghul. Meanwhile, Sofia is actually planning to use the gun to commit suicide, when Ishmael crashes through her room. Kaliber is there to intervene and tells Sofia to run. Sofia begins to run away but decides to stay and fight. Sofia ambushes Ishmael, but Ishmael is able to fend off Kaliber and Sofia. Ishmael tries to land a critical shot on Sofia, but Katana appears to fight him off. The rest of the Outsiders team also arrives on the scene.
Ishmael mocks Katana and informs her that Ra’s Al Ghul also wants her. Ishmael also drains Black Lightning before Kaliber blows his arm off. Ishmael’s arm regenerates and he lands a huge attack that floors everyone. Ishmael escapes the scene with Sofia in tow. Hours later, Sofia wakes up in Khadym to the presence of Ra’s Al Ghul who claims he has much to teach her.
Bryan Hill does a great job with playing with the readers’ expectations in this issue. A lot of readers and news outlets believed that Hill was creating his own versions of Cable and Bishop for the DC Universe, but Hill’s true intention were more grounded than what was assumed by the ending of last issue. I giggled a little when Kaliber admitted to Sofia that he is really not from the future and only said it to get her attention. I can picture Bryan Hill winking at readers as they read that exchange. While some may disappointed that Batman and The Outsiders won’t be participating in time travel hijinks, Kaliber and Ishmael still get a lot of time to shine in this issue. Hill is able to develop these characters into players in this book that readers will invest in. Readers may identify with Kaliber as the Kyle Reese-like protector and Ishmael as the relentless T-1000. As a matter of fact, Batman and The Outsiders seem to be supporting characters in their own book as much of the attention is focused on Sofia, Kaliber, and Ishmael.
Hill also gives Ishmael ample opportunity to make an impact as a character. Ishmael pretty much wipes the floor with everyone in this issue, and his powers are creepy but cool. Ishmael’s character model however is pretty lacking. You can only be so imposing with a Mr. T haircut. Despite the silly haircut, Ishmael acting on the will of Ra’s Al Ghul continues to be interesting to watch develop. What is Ra’s Al Ghul’s endgame? I hope we see more of the Demon’s Head in this series.
Dexter Soy’s art continues to be good. Some of Soy’s characters’ faces look strange as particular panels call for more details, but overall Soy’s artwork compliments the book. Gandini’s colors compliment Soy’s art and the colors pop during actions sequences in the issue.
Sofia begins to find the hero within herself after reaching her lowest moment. Sofia pretended to be a hardened survivor ready to defend herself, but in reality she is a scared young woman mourning the death of her parents. Sofia’s interactions with Kaliber were very entertaining and I look forward to seeing more of her dynamic. “Fragile” might stick as a codename, as I see a heroic future for Sofia, possibly on the Outsiders. Maybe Kaliber will join the team with her.