Inside the Outsiders Pt. 1

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Batman and the Outsiders debuted in August 1983, as a replacement for the long running team-up series, The Brave and the Bold.  Penned by Mike W. Barr, the series featured Batman and a collection of second and third tier heroes who would undertake missions considered too dangerous or controversial for the Justice League of America.  Later retitled Adventures of the Outsiders, the series enjoyed a 46 issue run in the mid 1980s, running concurrently with the companion book, Outsiders (28 issues).

Batman – Bruce Wayne
First Appearance - Detective Comics #27, May 1939
Active - The Brave & the Bold #200, July 1983
Batman and the Outsiders first debuted in as a back-up feature in Brave and the Bold #200 (the final issue, July 1983).  Batman and the Outsiders debuted the next month, in which longtime Batman associate Lucius Fox was kidnapped to the fictional county of Markovia.  When the Justice League was unwilling to invade foreign soil to help Batman recover Fox, the Dark Knight resigned his commission and formed his own squad – one willing to take on missions that the League were unable, or unwilling, to do.  During his association with the Outsiders, Batman not only financed the team, but also helped support the civilian identities of several of their members.  Perhaps most surprisingly, Batman even revealed his dual identity of Bruce Wayne to his allies, although this was a secret they had earlier discovered on their own.  Ultimately, Batman’s solitary nature prevailed, and he dissolved the team when they began to question his agenda.  The Outsiders continued their adventures without the Dark Knight, although over the years they eventually reconciled with their founder.  Batman recently began rebuilding the Outsiders when he was handed the reigns of leadership following a disastrous mission in China. 

Black Lightning – Jefferson Pierce
First Appearance - Black Lightning #1, 1977
Active - The Brave and the Bold #200, July 1983
A former Olympic decathlete, Jefferson Pierce returned to his old neighborhood of Suicide Slum to teach.  Disgusted by the rampant crime, Pierce decided to fight back, first using an electrical belt, and later, with an internalized power.  When Batman encountered Pierce during a mission to rescue Lucius Fox, Pierce revealed that he had somehow lost his superpowers.  Believing the loss to be psychosomatic, Batman goaded Pierce relentlessly, resulting in Black Lightning’s powers returning.  Following his stint with the Outsiders, Pierce retired from crimefighting, eventually being named Secretary of Education in President Luthor’s administration.  More recently, Pierce was framed for murder (joining forces with the Outsiders once more) and accepted a position in the new Justice League of America.

Geo-Force – Brion Markov
First Appearance - The Brave and the Bold #200, July 1983
Active - The Brave and the Bold #200, July 1983
Granted earth and magma-based powers to protect his homeland of Markovia from an insurrection, Prince Brion agreed to ally himself with Batman’s team of Outsiders who were also opposing the insurrectionists.  Following the schism between Batman and the Outsiders, Brion became the new unofficial team leader until political scandal led to the team’s dissolution.  Years later, Brion was instrumental in forming a second team of Outsiders in Markovia, all of whom were branded traitors and found themselves on the run from the law.  As of later, Geo-Force has been operating alongside his former Outsider’s allies, Batman and Black Lightning on the new Justice League’s adventures.

Halo – Gabrielle Doe
First Appearance - The Brave and the Bold #200, July 1983
Active - The Brave and the Bold #200, July 1983
At the moment of the her death, the woman who became Halo was possessed by an Aurakle, an energy-sphere of pure colour.  The new gesalt being that resulted was a blank slate, possessing no memory of her past life, and a complete innocent.  Found and recruited into the Outsiders by Batman, Halo was often considered the “little sister” of the team.  Depending on which of the seven shades of coloured halos Doe employed would determine which abilities she had (red was heat, yellow was light, etc.).  Following the dissolution of the Outsiders, Halo continued to adventure on her own, and later was a member of the second squad of Outsiders that formed under Geo-Force.

Katana – Tatsu Yamashiro
First Appearance - The Brave and the Bold #200, July 1983
Active - The Brave and the Bold #200, July 1983
Following her husband’s murder at the hands of her brother-in-law, Tatsu trained heavily in the martial arts.  Armed with the mystical katana, Soultaker, Katana’s hunt for vengeance led her to Markovia.  There she allied herself with Batman and his team, eventually returning to the United States with them and taking a matronly role with her teammate, Halo.  Since the original Outsiders' dissolution, Katana has remained active in the superhero community, both alone and with other heroes (including Geo-Force’s second team of Outsiders).  She has also retained close ties with the Batman, who recently made her the first recruit on his new, fourth team of Outsiders.

Metamorpho – Rex Mason
First AppearanceThe Brave and the Bold #57, January 1965
Active - The Brave and the Bold #200, July 1983
Adventurer Rex Mason was exposed to the legendary Orb of Ra, which transformed him into an element man.  After a long career as a solo crime fighter (Rex was the first hero to actually turn down an invitation to join the Justice League of America), Metamorpho joined Batman’s team of Outsiders of their first mission in Markovia.  Metamorpho was an important component to the team, as well as being responsible for giving the squad their name.  Since that time, Metamorpho has been killed and resurrected several times – one such time which resulted in a fragment of his own body gaining independent sentience.  Metamorpho has since returned to the land of the living, reabsorbed his doppelganger and has recently been recruited into Batman’s fourth team of Outsiders.

Looker – Emily Briggs
First Appearance - Batman and the Outsiders #25, September 1985
Active - Adventures of the Outsiders #34, June 1986
Emily Briggs was an unassuming librarian with a remarkable lineage.  The heir to a line that had founded an underground civilization, Briggs was kidnapped to the underworld as part of a prophecy tied to Halley’s comet.  When the prophecy was fulfilled, Briggs gained the powers of telepathy and telekinesis, as well as a far less restrained personality.  During her time with the Outsiders, Looker had a brief affair with Geo-Force and later lost her powers.  During the formation of Geo-Force’s second team of Outsiders, Lookers powers were re-activated when a vampire bit her.  Her metagene kept her from being turned, instead causing her to gain many vampiric powers, but none of the weaknesses.  She adventured with the new Outsiders, and when the squad split into two, she followed the Eradicator’s team.  Looker recently resurfaced during Infinite Crisis , but may have been killed when the hero named Breach exploded.

Windfall – Wendy Jones
First Appearance - Batman and the Outsiders #9,
Active - Outsiders #19, May 1987 (clone), Outsiders #20, June 1987 (Wendy)
Originally a member of the Masters of Disaster, Windfall became sympathetic to the heroic Outsiders.  After a falling out with her teammate/sister, New Wave, Windfall left the Masters, but unbeknownst to her, was cloned.  The clone joined the Outsiders, but was exposed and killed by the real Windfall.  From that point, Windfall brought her aerokinetic powers to the original Outsiders, and later to the second team.  During her second run with the Outsiders, Windfall was duped by Halo’s evil persona, driving her from the team.  Windfall was next seen battling Young Justice, leading most to believe that she has returned to a life of crime.

Atomic Knight – Gardner Grayle
First Appearance - Strange Adventures #117, June 1960
Active - Outsiders #26, December 1987
Having discovered his gift of premonition, Grayle was drawn to the Outsiders during one of the first team’s final adventures.  When Geo-Force’s second team of Outsiders formed, Atomic Knight took it upon himself to hunt down the wanted heroes.  Learning that they had been framed, Grayle was able to clear their names.  Although he did not remain with the Outsiders, Atomic Knight returned to aid them during their final adventure.  Grayle was not heard from for several years after, but was recently seen in the remains of Bludhaven, leading an entire team of Atomic Knights and protecting those trapped in the bombed-out ruins.  After Captain Atom obliterated what was left of Bludhaven, the Atomic Knights withdrew to their mysterious headquarters, Command-D.

In 1993, DC revived the Outsiders title, creating a group that mixed new and old characters and continued the theme of outcast heroes working outside the traditional lines of heroes.  Although the run of Outsiders Volume 2 was brief (24 issues), Mike W. Barr did return to write it.

Faust – Sebastian Faust
First Appearance - Outsiders Volume 2 #1 Alpha, November 1993
Active - Outsiders Volume 2 #1 Alpha, November 1993
Like his father, Justice League foe Felix Faust, Sebastian is a mage of great power.  As a child, Sebastian’s soul was bartered away by Felix, leaving the boy without a true sense of morality.  Sebastian was present during the vampiric invasion of Markovia, and was responsible for merging Charlie Wylde with a bear, in order to save the man’s life.  Faust remained with the Outsiders until the second team dissolved and has since operated with the Sentinels of Magic, in adventures that helped bond the Spectre to Hal Jordan’s soul and resurrecting the Blue Devil.

Technocrat – Geoffrey Barron
First Appearance - Outsiders Volume 2 #1 Alpha, November 1993
Active - Outsiders Volume 2 #1 Alpha, November 1993
Inventor and businessman Geoffrey Baron was in Markovia to sell his high-tech battle armor, when he and his bodyguard were caught up in the civil uprising.  Donning the armor, Barron joined the new Outsiders to help clear his name.  He adventured throughout the lifespan of that Outsiders incarnation, and was recently seen during Infinite Crisis (although he may have been killed when Captain Atom explosively returned to Earth).


Wylde – Charlie Wylde
First Appearance - Outsiders Volume 2 #1 Alpha, November 1993
Active - Outsiders Volume 2 #1 Alpha, November 1993
The bodyguard of buisnessman/inventor, Geoffrey Barron, Wylde had his employer were caught up in the Markovian insurrection.  During the ensuing chaos, Wylde was mortally wounded, but saved by Sebastian Faust.  Using his magical abilities, Faust merged Wylde with a bear, saving his life but dooming him to an inhuman form.  Wylde joined with the Outsiders, but his burning desire to be human once again led him to ally himself with Sebastian’s evil father.  Unbeknownst to his Outsider allies, Wylde was transformed into a real bear, and left imprisoned in a zoo.

Eradicator – David Connor
First Appearance - Action Comics Annual #2, 1989
Active - Outsiders Volume 2 #3, January 1994
Originally an artifact designed to maintain Kryptonian ideals, the Eradicator gained sentience and a humanoid form.  For years, the Eradicator was bent on replacing Earth with a new Krypton, but following the death of Superman, its programming deluded itself into becoming the new Man of Steel.  In the aftermath of Superman’s return, the Eradicator was mortally injured defending Earth, and merged with dying scientist David Connor to save both their lives.  When the Eradicator first came to Markovia, it was to defeat the renegade Outsiders. After learning that they had been framed, they parted as allies.  Eradicator later recruited Looker, Halo and Faust to rescue a captured Wylde, an action that led to the Outsiders break up into two separate teams.  The two squads of Outsiders eventually reconciled and reunited to face their mutual foe, Felix Faust.

Dervish – Nema
First Appearance - Outsiders Volume 2 #5, March 1994
Active - Outsiders Volume 2 #9, July 1994
The martial artist Dervish, along with her lover, were members of the Jihad.  During the Jihad’s first battle with the Outsiders, Dervish’s lover was killed and she was captured.  She later found herself sharing a prison with the falsely convicted Geo-Force and during a daring jailbreak, the two escaped.  She briefly joined the Outsiders, where she learned Wylde was responsible for her lover’s death.  Around the same time, the Outsiders team fractured in two, at which point Dervish abandoned both halves in disgust.


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