Batman and the Outsiders #5 Review

Batman and the Outsiders managed to deliver a rather average read with the last issue. I’m not too sure if this title has what it takes to earn a position on The Revolution’s permanent pull list. Hopefully, Dixon can get me energized about this title with Batman and the Outsiders #5. Let’s hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Chuck Dixon
Pencils: Julian Lopez
Inks: Bit

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with the male and female metahumans that Jardine hired for protection about to shoot Batman. Suddenly, they two villains are possessed by the spirits of Ralph and Sue Dibny. Ralph and Sue then take advantage of this opportunity and begin kissing each other. (Sweet! Ralph has it pretty good right now. Yeah, the down side is that he is dead, but the up side is that he has a wife that can possess the body of any woman on the planet. That is kinky. I like it.)

We cut to Green Arrow, Metamorpho, Katana and Batgirl busting into the facility. Batman is already inside the facility and is downloading all the information from the facility’s computer system and then sends it to Francine for her to review.

We shift back to the Outsiders brawling with a massively powered metahuman villain. The villain kicks butt on the Outsiders. The radio Batman and tell him that they are getting beat up. Batman then radios Geo-Force and tells him to go help the Outsiders deal with the metahuman villain. Geo-Force busts into the fight and quickly puts down the metahuman thug. Batman then orders Metamorpho to head to the launch pad in order to stop the rocket from taking off.

Francine then contacts Batman and tells him that she has sifted through the information that he sent her and that the rocket about to take off has a manned shuttle on it. The other payloads are some kind of biological material. We see Thunder and Grace both wondering why they were not included on this mission.

We cut back to the control tower where the techs inform Jardine that someone is on the launch pad (Metamorpho) and that they have to cancel the launch. Jardine orders them to keep the launch going. Jardine’s OMAC comes to his side to threaten the techs into not stopping the launch. Suddenly, Geo-Force busts into the room and quickly destroys the OMAC with ease. The rest of the Outsiders enter the room but are too late to stop the launch.

We see the rocket blast off for space. Ollie freaks that Metamorpho is dead due to the rocket blast. A male and female tech suddenly are possessed by Ralph and Sue Dibny. They grab Jardine so he can’t escape. They then tell Ollie to calm down. Ollie is stunned and says that he thought Ralph and Sue were dead. Ralph and Sue both answer that they are now spirits.

The Outsiders take Jardine and place them on their ship. On the flight back home, Batman tells Green Arrow that he needs him on the team. Batman asks if Ollie will commit to the Outsiders. Ollie responds that they will take it one mission at a time.

We shift to the shuttle in space. The astronauts in the cockpit realize that they have lost all radio control with the command station. Suddenly, the cockpit doors open and Metamorpho enters. End of issue.

The Good: Batman and the Outsiders #5 was another average read. Dixon certainly does deliver a quick paced issue. This has been a swift moving story arc yet at no point has it felt rushed. This issue was also well constructed and nicely plotted. Dixon has moved this story in a methodical fashion and with a clear purpose.

Now, I certainly have my issues with Ralph and Sue Dibny now being the “ghost detectives.” However, I will say that it was great to see them again. I certainly have missed Ralph and I always liked the old fashioned relationship that he and Sue had together. The addition of the Dibnys has been a real stunner and I hope that Dixon keeps them around for a while. Their unique skills certainly work well with a black ops team like the Outsiders.

Dixon dishes out plenty of action in this issue. If you are a fan of action themed titles then you will probably enjoy Batman and the Outsiders. This title isn’t brainy nor does it ever challenge the reader’s mind. However, if all you want is a fast read with quality action then Batman and the Outsiders satisfies that urge.

I was thrilled to see Dixon mixing Geo-Force into the Outsider’s roster. I have always liked Geo-Force’s character, but I just didn’t buy him as a member of the Justice League of America. He simply is not a character that satisfies my criteria of who can be a Leaguer. However, Geo-Force works wonderfully on the Outsiders and this is his proper home. Also, since Martian Manhunter left the team, the Outsiders needed another heavy hitter to take his place. As we saw how easily Geo-Force dispatched the OMAC, he more than fills the requirement of a heavy hitter.

Dixon ends Batman and the Outsiders #5 with a solid hook ending as we see Metamorpho aboard Jardine’s space shuttle. I’m curious to learn exactly what Jardine is up to with this space mission.

Lopez and Bit combine to deliver some pleasant artwork. I dig Lopez’s smooth style and find that he brings a rather enjoyable look to the title.

The Bad: Batman and the Outsiders #5 has its fair share of warts. Dixons dialogue continues to be largely unimpressive. The dialogue is stiff and a bit generic. Dixon’s character work also leaves much to be desired. Outside of the Batman, Dixon simply doesn’t demonstrate a particularly good feel for the personalities of the various Outsiders.

Batman and the Outsiders lacks substance as Dixon gives us a story that is a rather thin read. Batman and the Outsiders continues to lack numerous quality plotlines. At this point, all we really have is the plotline involving Jardine. In order to be successful, a team title must always continually juggle several interesting plotlines at one time and make sure that all the members of the team are being utilized.

There is a serious lack of chemistry between members on this roster. I know that this is a young title, but these characters work awkwardly together. Dixon also needs to finally address exactly who is on this team and who is not. IN just the first five issues, characters have randomly entered and then exited this team. And since Green Arrow is slated to star over in the new Justice League title, it appears that even more turnover is ahead for this team.

Of course, the two characters that Dixon have failed utilize the most has to be Grace and Thunder. Dixon seriously needs to find a proper role for these characters on this team. At this point, it appears that Dixon has simply shuffled them off into the background. With what we have gotten (or not gotten) over the first five issues, I don’t even see the point of Dixon having them on the team. It is too bad since both characters have plenty of potential.

Overall: Batman and the Outsiders #5 is nothing more than your typical standard issue comic book. I wouldn’t recommend this title to anyone other than hardcore Batman fans and die-hard Outsiders fans. The story is too generic and nothing of real interest is happening on this title that would warrant readers to spend their hard earned money on this title.

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