Originally cancelled to clear publishing space for the “Flashpoint” titles (or so we’ve been told) this title now appears to be one of the first of the lame duck titles folding before the onslaught of a rebooted DC Universe. As such, that makes it the perfect time to reflect on team history, right?
Normally, I’d agree, save the reflection in this issue comes at the expense of delivering a story that is worth the cover price. There are only ten pages that tell the story to be told in this issue, and Didio chooses to tell those stories with dialog boxes rather than through action or dialog. Plotlines and complications are shrugged off and Batman is set up as the greatest peace negotiator since Jimmy Carter.
The other pages of the book are essentially “DC Universe” origins snippets, or maybe even cutting room floor tidbits from an “Outsiders: Secret Files & Origins” book that just never happened.
While Philip Tan snatched the spotlight for a number of the more impactful pages, Ron Randall did a very good job channeling the spirit of Jim Aparo for the pages he worked on. Tan matches that with a nice homage to the original “Batman and the Outsiders” cover, but honestly, that’s about as memorable as this book gets.
I certainly cannot say that I’m going to miss “Outsiders” on any regular basis, but I find it interesting that the finale of this series really doesn’t provide much of a conclusion to speak of. We’re left with a limp attempt at garnering sympathy for Geo-Force and a prompt to check out the band of misfits in the pages of “Batman, Inc.,” but so far none of the characters appear to have much in store for them on the other side of the reboot.
Now that this lame duck has quacked, I realize that perhaps DC mailed in a whole lot of these almost-instantly forgettable stories a long time ago. Even the attempts at humor seem mailed in. That is all a giant shame, especially since there are some wonderful characters in this series. The series ends with thirteen Outsiders, so someone has to like some of them, right? Ok, so take away Freight Train and there’s only twelve potentially worthy characters, but I still say someone’s gotta care about some of them.