Batman and The Outsiders #7 Comic Review
Writer: Bryan Hill
Artist: Cian Tormey
Colors: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover: Jonboy Meyers
Variant Covers: Chris Burnham & Nathan Fairbairn
Call Me Ishmael
“When We Die, He Can Bring Us Back”
What You Need To Know
Ra’s Al Ghul already has Sofia under the influence, and now he has Ishmael working on The Signal. Batman and Orphan race to find and rescue him but The Signal may have already succumbed to the darkness. Katana and Black Lightning were able to rescue Sofia, but The Demon still has his claws dug into her.
What Just Happened
The issue begins with Ishmael giving a beaten and bloody Signal his origin story while he holds him captive. Meanwhile, Katana, Black Lightning, and Kaliber are on a flight back to Gotham City with Sofia in their custody. Sofia informs Katana that she is now called Babylon, but Katana states that is result of Ra’s Al Ghul’s programming. Black Lightning is hesitant to take Sofia to Batman because of his history of putting children in the line of fire.
In Gotham, Batman and Orphan are tracking Signal. Batman has his location, but wants Orphan to wait until he gets to Gotham for them to engage. Orphan ignores Batman’s orders and continues to track Signal. What they don’t know is that Ishmael has infected Signal somehow and has begun to unleash a dark power within him. On the plane, Sofia uses her powers to break out of her restraints.
Orphan locates the truck containing Signal and is confronted by Ishmael. Sofia attempts to kill Katana but Black Lightning confronts her before she can do the deed. Kaliber turns on the team and holds a gun to Black Lightning’s head.
Ishmael taunts Orphan and tells her that she is holding back. Orphan takes off her mask and turns up her intensity to kick Ishmael off the truck. On the plane, Kaliber reveals he has always been working with Ra’s Al Ghul. Katana kicks Sofia’s sword out of her hand. Kaliber throws an explosive onto the plane’s controls to crash it. Orphan is able to rescue Signal from the truck before it crashes. Signal tells Orphan that Ishmael has changed him as the Doom signal flashes over the sky.
This issue advances the main plot of the series so far and addresses some of the pacing issues I’ve had with the book. The issue picks up almost right after the previous issue with Black Lightning and Katana traveling back to Gotham City with Sofia in tow. Sofia struggling to fight off the programming of Ra’s Al Ghul will be an interesting plot thread to follow in upcoming issues. I am also curious to see what Ishmael actually did to The Signal and what it has to do with the Doom signal appearing if anything at all. I should have seen Kaliber turning on the Outsiders coming, and I’m sure many of those reading this book did. It is surprising to see how deep Ra’s Al Ghul has gotten in Kaliber’s head. Kaliber reassuring Black Lighting that they can be brought back through the Lazarus pits if they die was chilling.
I can understand why Batman is not more actively involved in this series, because this is a showcase for The Outsiders, but I would like to see Ra’s Al Ghul get more involved in this series. While it is interesting to feel his presence in this book without him becoming more actively involved, I’d like to see him get his hands dirty soon.
A new artist debuts with this issue but I can’t say Cian Tormey contributes any more to this issue than Dexter Soy does. I feel this book is still trying to find an artist that matches the vision Bryan Hill has for the book. I will say Tormey’s art really shines during the Ishmael and Orphan fight scene. Adriano Lucas’ colors are solid. I do love the covers for this issue, except Orphan looking like a demon on the main cover by Jonboy Meyers.