Batman and The Outsiders #9 Comic Review
Writer: Bryan Hill
Artist: Dexter Soy
Colors: Veronica Gandini
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover: Tyler Kirkham & Nei Ruffino
Variant Cover: Chris Burnham & Nathan Fairbairn
A League of Their Own Part 2
“The Problem is Anger Never Brings Them Back”
What You Need To Know
Ra’s Al Ghul is trying to corrupt members of Batman’s Outsiders, one member at a time. Ra’s next target is Jefferson Pierce aka Black Lightning. Ra’s Al Ghul struck at what Jefferson holds dearest to him and has left Jefferson devastated. It is now up to Batman and the rest of the Outsiders to turn away Jefferson from the darkness.
What Just Happened
The issue begins with Jefferson mourning the loss of one of his teachers, Ms. McClintock in Metropolis after Ra’s Al Ghul’s attack on Jefferson’s school. Batman arrives at the morgue where Jefferson is and advises Jefferson to let him and the Outsiders bring the killer to justice. Batman informs Jefferson that Ra’s Al Ghul likely ordered the attack to get to Jefferson. Jefferson tells Batman that he wants to kill Ra’s Al Ghul and Batman states Ra’s knows he will not allow Jefferson too. Jefferson tells Batman that it is not up to him. Batman gives Jefferson the same advice Jefferson gave him when they first met to try to calm him down. Jefferson gives up the leadership of the Outsiders and expresses frustration that Bruce isn’t as mad as he is.
Katana meets Jefferson outside of the morgue to see how he is doing. Jefferson informs Katana that she is in charge. Katana advises Jefferson against letting his anger consume and isolate him and speaks from personal experience.
Orphan and The Signal kill some time by stopping a gunrunner in the streets of Metropolis. Batman appears and demands to speak with both of them. Elsewhere in Metropolis, Jefferson gives Katana background on his upbringing growing up poor in Cleveland, and how it affected how he carries himself now after he gained his powers. Katana agrees that Ra’s Al Ghul deserves to die, but doesn’t want Jefferson to be consumed by darkness.
Bruce meets with Cassandra and Duke and chastises them over not telling him about the return of Lady Shiva and tells them that Ishmael giving Duke powers is not to be trusted. Cassandra demands that Bruce trust them but before the discussion can continue, Superman arrives and asks to speak to Bruce. Superman sends his condolences over Alfred’s death but Bruce declines to talk about Alfred. Superman also tries to talk about Jefferson, but Bruce shuts him down. Superman reminds Bruce that teachers were killed in his city, and offers to help. Bruce reminds Superman that he just revealed his identity to the world and shouldn’t be looking down on others. Bruce vows to protect Jefferson from Ra’s Al Ghul, Superman has his doubts.
Duke lends his support to Cassandra and pledges that they are the heroes they want to be and not what Bruce wants them to be. Duke suggests that he and Cassandra face Lady Shiva if that’s what she wants. Duke vows that they will win no matter who they face.
Katana walks Jefferson to his hotel room and Jefferson informs Katana that he will rejoin the team in Gotham City to create a new plan of attack against Ra’s Al Ghul. Jefferson is shocked to find Lady Shiva in his room who tells him she knows who killed his friend. Lady Shiva offers to help Jefferson locate the killer and kill them.
Batman and The Outsiders continue to find new momentum as it approaches the 10th issue mark. Ra’s Al Ghul’s attacks on The Outsiders continue to escalate in depravity and Black Lightning is his latest target. The end of the last issue shocked me, and the consequences of Ra’s Al Ghul’s latest attack have shaken Jefferson Pierce to his core. Ra’s attack on Batman and his team are working as Jefferson slowly succumbs to his rage and wants his revenge against Ra’s Al Ghul. Batman is also starting to lose trust in the rest of his team out of fear that Ra’s has already corrupted them. On the flip side, Duke Thomas and Cassandra Cain want Batman to trust them as they feel they have paid their dues and should be treated like adults. A surprising potential ally for Jefferson may lead him further down the dark side that Ra’s Al Ghul wants him to follow.
The art for this book continues to be decent. Soy’s character models and detail have improved as this book approaches its 10th issue. My issue continues to be that if you are focusing, all the characters look the same. Jefferson and Duke look a little too similar, as do Katana and Cassandra, and Bruce Wayne and Superman. Gandini’s colors create a vividness that does compliment the art, however. Lastly, this book has a habit of featuring covers that have nothing to do with what the issue is about.