Outsiders #50


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Outsiders #50


  • Words: Tony Bedard
  • Art: Matthew Clark & Ron Randall
  • Inks: Art Thibert
  • Colors: Guy Major
  • Story Title: You Killed the Outsiders!!!
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Sep 6, 2007

Batman returns to the team he founded to usher in the newest incarnation of the Outsiders as Tony Bedard’s new direction for the book begins.

Outsiders #50 is both an ending and a beginning for the group. Over the last few weeks in the Outsiders: Five of a Kind specials we’ve seen the Dark Knight take over the team leadership from Nightwing and begin selecting his own new lineup of heroes. In this final issue (the new ongoing Batman and the Outsiders series debuts very soon) we see the team on their first official outing as Batman’s new mission statement for the Outsiders comes into effect. Super-heroes cannot operate without constraints anymore so the Outsiders will cultivate a reputation as outlaws in order to work in the shadier areas of the DC Universe.

The kindest I can be about the Outsiders: Five of a Kind one-shots, that led into this issue, is to say they were a bit hit and miss in terms of quality. If I’m a little more honest, they read like five disparate stories, unconvincingly tied together with a contrived framing sequence that struggled to justify the premise of the storyline. It’s the sort of marketing stunt that can kill interest in a new book or direction almost instantly. Just look at what it did to the otherwise very enjoyable Power Company some years back when it debuted with five specials.

With this in mind I hope there’s no knock-on effect for Tony Bedard’s new take on this book because on the evidence of Outsiders #50 this title has a lot of promise. It’s unfortunate that DC killed all suspense with a house ad that revealed the latest members prior to the stories that inducted them into the team, especially as there otherwise would have been one member who would have been a huge surprise this issue. Still, this is a strong and intriguing mix of classic Outsiders alongside members of the Winick interpretation and some newer faces. The team dynamics should prove most interesting to watch in the months to come.

For those watching the bigger DCU picture at the moment this is a key issue, as the Outsiders investigate the abductions of super-villains and come into conflict with those responsible… the Suicide Squad! It’s surely a lead-in to the upcoming Salvation Run series and further raises the profile of the seemingly ubiquitous Suicide Squad, who star in their own new miniseries next week. Rick Flag’s team has a couple of unexpected new recruits amongst their ranks as well.

On the visuals Matthew Clark and Ron Randall on pencils are joined by Art Thibert on inks. The fight sequences are flowing and action-packed throughout and I particularly enjoyed their renditions of the new Squad members and the (could have been) surprise new Outsider. The final splash page is a great lead-in to Batman and the Outsiders #1…

It would be easy to be put off by the disappointing Five of a Kind event but if Outsiders #50 is anything to go by then Tony Bedard’s run on the book is going to be well worth picking up. It took fifty issues but, at last, this actually feels like the real Outsiders again! Give it a look.

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