And One Outsider Will Die!!!! (Promise!)

Batman and the Outsiders 12 - Pages 18-23
In a comic that thankfully doesn't exist called "Untold Tales of the Outisders", Batman and his gang of meddling kids have been running around Japan, sticking glowing shuriken next to castles to see if they're at the right place. Instead of showing the origami clue to the tourism bureau and maybe getting a hit. But this isn't Detective Comics. No, let's follow the dowsing rod instead.
My thoughts exactly, Katana. Noguri decides to show up about the same time, and hopefully, this'll explain what's actually going on in this subplot
Nope, I'm as confused as ever. Why does Fisher put air quotes around the word "representative" except to show his hand early? And did Noguri really come alone? Takeo's with him. It gets worse:
Surprised and outed by the Soul-Sucked Samurais, Fisher pulls a gun (so the knife trick earlier had no narrative function) in full view of Noguri's six (many costumed) bodyguards and tells him it's join or die. What was the plan here? You want to do business with a Yakuza leader at gunpoint? And you don't expect him to retaliate the minute you're no longer in the room? Or in this case, STILL in the room, since he has the numbers? Come ON, Mike Barr! That's remedial even for Outsider opponents.

But let's get back to the Outsiders themselves. Question: What's Geo-Force been learning in college?
Answer: Stuff Halo hasn't been learning in high school. Girl, pay attention. To the fight, I mean. She is SO easily distracted. Note how the priority targets were apparently the gun thugs, rather than the super-skilled/powered guys that just TROUNCED them a few pages back. And sure, assign your most powerful members to that menial task. Because when it comes to strategy, there's nobody worse than the Outsiders. Case in point:
That's Metamorpho, fighting back to back with Black Lightning, turning into a gas as Shuriken throws her deadly stars. BL is REAL lucky it didn't go right through to his back, especially after I promised the death of an Outsider by issue's end. He'd never have notices, busy as he was punching, NOT ZAPPING, Nunchaku. So is it Katana that's gonna die at her husband's hands?
Nope, Maseo wants to lose this fight too much to actually prove a threat. Maybe Takeo can throw himself into the fray once he's taken care of Fisher.
There, that was easy. Anything to stop that guy from throwing more air quotes around. And hey, you know who did a piss-poor job of knocking out those gunsels? Halo and Geo-Force, that's who, because they're still fighting. To add insult to injury, they're fighting the Samurais, so those were allies you were taking out first.
Wait, weren't the Outsiders fighting the Samurais just now? Where are they in that panel? Hidden in the hot pink fumes? By the way, it's not clear, but this is where they all die. That's them dying you're seeing. Because it wouldn't do for the Outsiders to actually take out the supervillains.
Blowdart's dart (I hate these guys' names, you know that?) bounces off Batman's muscles (ya!) as the Dark Knight tries to fix ANOTHER of his team's oversights. When he tells you to take out the gun thugs, how about you do it, next time?
Meanwhile, the Katana-Maseo fight is going nowhere. Doesn't Maseo remember being in the sword? Which Katana used to slap people around? What are the chances she'd kill you even if she tried? But what if Maseo tried to kill someone else to get his wife's dander up? How about Halo? Maseo already effectively killed Katana's two other kids, so why not her? WHY NOT HER? (It's a suggestion more than a question.)
Aw geez, it's Sophie's Choice all over again.
Harsh! The implication is that Maseo dies for real now and doesn't return to the sword, and his soul-stuff dissolves along with the origami castle which was soul-stuff too. Maybe her sword is packed with the things. The soul-sucked had to have their hobbies. Ok, NOW can Katana kill someone with the sword?
Therrrrrre we go. Been a long time coming. That blade was PARCHED. Of course, it might not have happened had Takeo not insisted on drawing Katana closer so he could SHOOT HER WITH A GUN. Ranged weapon FAIL. And if you expect "No Kill" Batman to say something, you're going to be disappointed. Don't ask, don't tell, look the other way when it happens right in front of you.
Sorry Takeo, you didn't teach her the ceremony to do so, nor is that ceremony any kind of freedom since it turns you into a slave.

EPILOGUE: On the plane trip back, the Outsiders seem very interested in Nogori and even Fisher's organization, as if these guys were ever on their radar to begin with, and... CRAP! I SAID AN OUTSIDER WAS GOING TO DIE BUT NO ONE'S FALLEN YET!
It can't be Batman! No, he's not dead, he's just unconscious according to the team's Obviousness Medic, Geo-Force.
So that dart that bounced off, somehow scratched Batman? And I'm sorry, Bat-fans, but THERE'S NO ANTIDOTE!
The Outsiders - Jumping to conclusions since 1982. And please, next issue blurb, don't make promises you can keep. "Maybe our last"? "It'll be good?" I'm not lucky enough for either.

Well, sorry about the death of Batman and all, guys, but I've got to wrap this up until this summer. I can only read a couple issues a year and keep my sanity, you know that.


Matthew Turnage said...

That's some slow working poison.

I don't blame you for taking some time off, although I eagerly await the return of this feature. And just think, after #13 we have the double-sized first annual! Wheeeee!

d said...

Please, all references to Batman must be preceded by a "The" from now on!

SallyP said...

Man, I was HOPING it was going to be Geo-Force!

Anonymous said...

I loved when Katana killed her brother-in-law, the art was pure APARO! Damn, Katana should had shouted APAROOO and not KIAAIII (or whatever stuff)!

Anonymous said...

(Roger wrote the last post).

Siskoid said...

Matt: Right, so slow it's gonna take him all the way to April at least to die.

d: Even in pre-Crisis stories?

Sally: We keep hoping and hoping and hoping.

Roger: I would pay to see a superhero shout APARO as if it were a real warcry. That's awesome.

Wriphe said...

The "good" brother, Maseo, was killed by the un-cursed sword and is really dead, but the "evil" brother Takeo is killed by the cursed sword and therefore will now be held and stroked by Katana for the rest of her life?

This whole adventure resulted from Takeo's love Katana and jealousy of his brother. Therefore, with Maseo really, truly out of the way forever and Katana continuing to adventure with the cursed sword, doesn't Takeo really win in the end?

Damn you, Outsiders, you've played right into his hands!

Wriphe said...

On another note, it was always Batman's off-model behavior in these issues that annoyed me the most about this series. This series has a guy in a bat-eared cowl, sure, but that guy isn't "The" Batman.

("The" Batman. "The" Doctor. Those guys have some real ego problems.)

Siskoid said...

Wriphe: I guess they've all got two lives. Silly Outsiders, the industry standard is three!

Jeremy Patrick said...

So does that "Batman" character ever appear again? I thought he had potential . . .

Siskoid said...

He has a great look and a cool name, but what a douchebag!

I say spin Metamorpho out of the book and make him star in his own title and Element Comics. He's too good and positive for the Outsiders.

I wonder if this is where Batman and the Outsiders becomes just The Outsiders?

Wriphe said...

"I wonder if this is where Batman and the Outsiders becomes just The Outsiders?"

I sure hope not. A comic about a dead Batman would be more entertaining than a comic with just the Outsiders.

Siskoid said...

Even if it were just page upon page of static casket shots.

Kid Kyoto said...

So that's how the pre-Crisis Batman died. I always wondered.

A shame really, he had some potential.

Funny you'd think the death of a major character would have at least been mentioned on the cover, I guess they were different times.

So did Dick take over or was Jason already Robin?

As for this feature I'll really miss it but for the sake of your sanity I can understand why you need to step away for a bit.

But do hurry back! I want to learn more about the Force of July! Are they all irrediemable bigots? Do they worship Ronald Reagan? Can they all turn into strawmen at the drop of a hat? So many questions!

Anonymous said...

I had a dream: without Batman to pilot the Batplane, it crashes in the middle in the middle of the Pacigic, and the Outsiders DIE! BWAH-HAH-HAH!

(No wait, that would mean Batman should die... and die with them, ugh)


Siskoid said...

If it helps, I'd believe Batman could survive the poison AND the plane crash, waking up with amnesia on some boat, the sole survivor.

Siskoid said...

Kid: Yeah, Jason was already Robin at this point, but too young to become Batman. Nightwing it is.


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