Catharsis Is Better Than Victory, Right?

Batman and the Outsiders #10 - Pages 20-23
Yesterday, a second fight broke out between the Masters of Disaster and the Outsiders, with the following results: Coldsnap, New-Wave, Shakedown and Heatstroke down, and Black Lightning freed. Except, four of the Masters aren't actually down. Heatstroke, for example, seems to have suffered no ill effects whatsoever from Katana's sword slap, and now she's going after Black Lightning like Katana never even existed (in fact, she won't reappear in the fight). To make matters worse, Heatstroke is just as bad at assassinations as Shakedown, because she too needs her targets to stand still. Think any of them oblige?Yeah, it's her heat that dried off the guy whose kryptonite is being wet (the Outsiders - neither rain, nor sleet... no wait...) and now she's down for the count. Again. Or not.

At least we see New-Wave recover from HER defeat, and by recover, I mean Black Lightning caused her to thaw out somehow. Or he's just blaming himself for, you know, the fact one of the Masters is probably turning this room into an oven, because he's big on blaming himself for the actions of his opponents.
New-Wave may not need to follow a strict order, but since her power is wetness, why not go straight after Black Lightning? Oh that's right, Metamorpho is allergic to acid rain! Again with this chestnut, and again I say, THAT'S NOT HOW ACID RAIN WORKS!!! And even if it's playing havok with her alkaline head or something, can't Rex change his molecular structure? He hasn't forgotten how to use his powers has he?
Well, thank Barr for small favors. Now me, I would have turned into a container made of titanium steel. But Rex...
Calling him a freak is uncalled for, girl. And you'll understand that once you get out of the 80s and look at your yearbook photos. But I might have underestimated Metamorpho...
Yeah, good plan, but you shouldn't fight fire with fire, Rex. Calling New-Wave "Whitey" is both racist and a little like the toilet calling the bathtub white. So now Heatstroke and New-Wave are defeated... or are they?
What? Are there ANY consequences to these random punch-ups? New-Wave's been gassed, but she still expects she and her team can go, and with her (not) last gasp, she tells Heatstroke to fulfill the contract. You know the contract the Sheltons want to back out of?
What woman are you threatening, Heatstroke? Mrs. Shelton? Your employer? If this gets out, it's sure to be bad for the assassin business. So are you guys psychopaths and you'll really kill anyone for the fun of it? Except you never do? Because that's how it reads from here. Speaking of hard to read material... You tell me, was Black Lightning just slow to "take it" so Heatstroke made good on her threat, or did Mrs. Shelton sacrifice herself for BL?
But you are totally free to blame yourself for Marcia Shelton's death, if you like. And the rest of the team can blame themselves for the Masters of Disaster escaping.
Shakedown and Coldsnap are back up and about, which means Batman, Katana, Geo-Force and Metamorpho just stopped fighting when the melodrama started happening. In the Outsiders, if you're not on-panel, you stop whatever you're doing. Yeah, don't waste your talents on stuff people will never see. WHAT. THE. HELL. MIKE BARR. Please, somebody tell me it's over!
Thanks New-Wave, because a little less caring from the book's creators and they were going to start misattributing speech bubbles to the wrong characters--aw man!

Hey, whatever happened to Halo?
Yay! I agree completely! Lost only Halo? That's what I call a good day. Batman's evaluation?
WHAT?! You're always ramming into the team, and now that they've let the villains escape AND got a woman turned into a human shield, they "didn't do too badly"? It smells like you didn't do very well either, Batman, and you're just saying the word "Pyrrhic" real fast so no one hears you. So anyway, Halo didn't get taken care of after all.
Even Halo knows that she shouldn't be the one to ask about ANYTHING, even the stuff that happened to her specifically. So WHY didn't Windfall kill her?
That's best left to slash fiction.

But to more important matters: How does Black Lightning feel? Like Peter Parker, where the emo can't possibly be stopped? Or like James T. Kirk at the end of Wrath of Khan, where everything's gone pear-shaped but he feels "young"? Seeing as Mrs. Shelton DIDN'T DIE AFTER ALL, he'll go with the latter.
Just how weak are Heatstroke's powers that a normal woman in her 50s can walk away from her killing attack? And while we're happy for your catharsis and all, would you mind not saying how good you feel after you got my wife shot? Stink eye courtesy of Mr. Shelton. You think Batman's gonna take the couple to jail now for conspiracy to murder?
For Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden, the creators of Black Lightning, who were there in the beginning, but not when you appended this ridiculous guilt subplot to the character. I love the respect shown to the original creators, but would have loved it more if it was shown in the story, and not just the dedication.

EPILOGUE! Katana's husband has been on a plane for the past couple issues, because Japan is far away, guys! And now he's at U.S. customs with a weapon.
It was a different time, wasn't it? LOOK! Next issue, the origin of Katana! It's almost been a year, so ABOUT TIME. And Jim Aparo art on that too. I don't know why, but I find it way funnier. So maybe you won't have to wait as long for my critical analysis of Batman & the Outsiders #11!

You ask, I deliver!


Austin Gorton said...

Just how weak are Heatstroke's powers that a normal woman in her 50s can walk away from her killing attack?

Um, did you miss that Black Lightening had to tear off his sleeve to use as a bandage? That's INTENSE!

You ask, I deliver!


Siskoid said...

I didn't, but I'm sure that's real hygienic.


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