Outsiders #34 Review: One Year Later

Outsiders #34 is the first “One Year Later” issue for this title. All the DC comic titles are now jumping forward one year as a result of the latest Crisis. Let’s get right to the review.

Creative Team:
Words: Judd Winnick
Pencils: Matthew Clark
Inks: Art Thibert

Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 5.

Synopsis: This issue is basically about the Dictatorship in Mali, some small African nation. It centers on a female cabinet member for the President/Dictator of Mali and her concerns about the use of young boys recruited by the government to become terror squads who rape and pillage the Remori people, who are the enemies of the Telonco controlled dictatorship.

Ah, nothing like a tribal civil war to get me interested in a comic. Yeah, right, anyway, after 2/3 of the comic has passed, we finally get to see the Outsiders. It turns out that the African female cabinet member is really Anissa Pierce aka Thunder, daughter of Black Lightning.

The rest of the team shows up and we now know that in addition to Thunder, the Outsiders consist of Nightwing, Katana, Grace Choi, Captain Boomerang and Metamorpho. Thunder busts her cover to save a Remori village about to be slaughtered. The rest of the Outsiders jump in and kick butt on the Government army. The issue ends with Nightwing lamenting that now that their cover has been blown, the entire world will know that they are not actually dead.

Comments: Overall, it was not a very impressive issue and it did little to make me want to get excited about this new Outsiders team or storyline. Obviously, we know that between the end of Crisis and the one year gap that the rest of the world believes that these heroes are dead. For some reason, the Outsiders, who have been an urban street crime-fighting group now, are global peacekeepers attempting to topple foreign governments. Ugggh. It just makes no sense and isn’t particularly interesting. I learned a lot more about African tribal civil wars that I really didn’t want to know. It was kind of like being forced to watch The Discovery Channel about a subject that doesn’t interest you.

The writing was average. Clark’s pencils are solid. Thibert’s inking is nice, as always. But, overall, the issue failed to impress me which considering it is the first of the “One Year Later” storyline, I would imagine that it was supposed to be a big issue. If that is the case, then it failed miserably.

The new team seems sort of odd. I don’t know anything about Thunder other than she is Black Lightning’s kid and he was an original Outsider. Katana is another original Outsider. I’m neutral on her. Choi is ok. Again, I’m neutral on her. The new Captain Boomerang is a very odd choice, but at least that interests me a little bit. Nightwing kicks ass. And, lastly, Metamorpho is a bit of an odd choice for this team given he is much older than the rest of them. I like his character and his powers are very interesting so I give him a thumbs up.

Unless the storyline vastly improves or the characters themselves suddenly become more interesting, I am probably going to drop this title. Right now I am officially placing the Outsiders on my “Under Review” list of comics that I am either trying out for the first time to see if I want to collect the title or a comic that I have been reading that I’m thinking of dropping.