Batman and the Outsiders


Batman and the Outsiders #7, Feb. 1984 by Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo. As a kid, I read a lot of Batman, but I don’t remember The Outsiders. The Outsiders are a group of five heroes I also wasn’t familiar with: Geo-Force, who is strong, fast, and can fly; Halo, who has some kind of aura powers, the different color auras giving her different magical powers; Metamorpho, who I think can change himself into any element; Black Lightning (who I had heard of) who has some kind of vague power over all things electrical; and Katana, who does martial arts with a magic sword. They are a bunch of newbies, bankrolled by Bruce Wayne with Batman there in some sort of advisory capacity.

The story was fun with a kind of Twilight Zone twist.  In the previous issue, the team, with the exception of Katana, has been frozen by a mad scientist. He’s taken Katana because he needs to harvest her organs so he can put them in his sick wife. To help him with this he has three robots named #1, #2, and #3. It appears that he has built these robots based on plans he stole from a 1950’s mad scientist.


The rest of The Outsiders soon escape from their freezing thanks to the magic powers of Halo. It’s funny that they try to explain how she was able to use her aura powers just before the freezing happened to blah blah blah blah blah.


It’s like when Dr. Who tries to explain something. It’s all “Who Cares!” It’s not real science, or even close, so what difference does it make? Just say you melted the ice from the inside while you were frozen and let’s be done with it. Phew. Sorry.

So the rest of the gang escapes and then tracks down Katana and then helps her escape, using all their super powers. This is what’s fun about team comic books–watching them work together to solve a problem or win a fight using everyone’s special abilities. That’s enough. Some team books get real talkie with everyone in conflict over their role in the group and who should or shouldn’t belong, and it becomes this boring soap opera.  There’s just a bit of that here.  But this book mostly focuses on the action, and it’s a fun little fight.


And in the end there’s a little twist, and Black Lightning uses his magic powers, and it all ends well, except for Batman’s little moralizing.

judge much

He doesn’t know these people. Who is he to judge them for trying to escape from society, when that’s obviously what he lives his life doing.  Wayne Manor, anyone? Bat cave?
Dear art,

Raise a theme. Provoke discussion. But don’t tell us what’s what.  Leave that to us to figure out.  Thanks.
Having said all that, this was a fun story. Two unknown super heroes up.


One thought on “Batman and the Outsiders

  1. dale

    What a treat to read your review– BATO was one of my favorite comics, as was anything with Jim Aparo’s art (50s-era robots and all)!


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