Tuesday, February 24, 2009

REVIEW :: The Outsiders

by Peter Tomasi and Andy Kubert
reviewed by Carlton Hargro

OK, I’ve got to make a confession: I love The Outsiders. I’ve always loved the Outsiders — ever since the group appeared as Batman and the Outsiders back in the 1980s.

Yes, I realize that the Outsiders is one of the lamest teams to ever grace a comic series. I guess I have a soft spot for cornball characters — and the Outsiders corner the market on some of DC’s most Z-list heroes: Metamorpho, Black Lightning, Katana and a few more. But I love them; at the end of the day, I’m just attracted to the possibility of greatness inherent in all these nobodies.

Over the years, DC has tried its hand at several different incarnations of the team. Some were awful (the version with the Eradicator, for example) and some were somewhat enjoyable. (Although it initially lacked any of the team’s original lineup, Judd Winick’s version wasn’t so bad.) But I think the latest reboot of the series, helmed by writer Peter Tomasi, might be the best take on the series since … well, ever.

So what is Tomasi doing right? First, his team of Outsiders embraces the past by bringing back the entire original squad (Halo included) — and he brings back the old guys with their recently added changes intact (Geo-Force, for example, makes reference to stabbing Deathstroke). To that nostalgic mix, he adds a few new cast members: one old character (the Creeper) and one (sort of) brand-new guy (Owlman).

Second (and maybe third), Tomasi has also introduced two cool elements that make the team more than just a collection of lovable losers. I won’t spoil these elements, but I will hint that he’s created a link between all of villains that have ever plagued the Outsiders (the Duke of Oil included).

So look , I’m digging The Outsiders right now. You may be all engrossed in the latest ultra-modern comic of the moment, but I think you’ll enjoy this new approach to a few not-so-cool heroes.

Carlton Hargro is the Editor-In-Chief of Creative Loafing Charlotte. For more Hargrifficness, check them out online.

1 comment:

Fool's Brigade said...

Man I do love Roy Raymond, TV detective.