A vigilante, a meta-human, and a costumed superhero walk into a bar . . . it sounds like the start of a painfully bad joke. Except that this comic is written by Judd Winick, so actually it’s a very good joke with plot, angst, compelling characters, and witty quips. Following on from the events of Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day (incidentally, also where Teen Titans, vol. 1: A Kids Game picks up) Arsenal (former sidekick of Green Arrow, and founding member of the original Teen Titans) is forming a new superhero group. Nightwing wants nothing to do with it; he doesn’t want to see any more of his friends and family die. However, Arsenal is nothing if not stubborn and he goes ahead with his plan and recruits four other members – Jade (daughter of the first Green Lantern), Indigo (android), Grace (meta-human bouncer at a Gotham nightclub), Thunder (daughter of former superhero Black Lightening), and Metamorph (old school superhero suffering from selective amnesia after saving the world). The Outsiders aren’t an ordinary superhero group. They aren’t interested in reacting after the bad guys make a move and cleaning up mayhem that they create. They’re interested in hunting the bad guys and getting to them before they act. Nightwing finally joins and, of course, ends up being the team leader. As he tells Batman, the Outsiders aren’t the Titans. They aren’t friends. They aren’t family. Being a member is not a vocation; it’s a job for which they get paid (funding by mysterious industrial conglomerate – and I predict that’s coming up again in later volumes). The art in this volume suits the story with the right balance of intensity and attention to detail. Nightwing’s jaw was occasionally a little more chiseled than it needed to be, but the artists captured nuances of expressions even in the midst of battle in way that I wish more comics did.
The Outsiders, vol. 1: Looking for Trouble
By Judd Winick
Art by Tom Raney, Chriscross, Ivan Reis
DC Comics 2002