Friday, January 18, 2013

The Outsiders Never Listen, Unless It's an Order to Retreat

Batman and the Outsiders 12 - Pages 4-8
Batman has told the Outsiders to sit this one out. He's infiltrated the Noguri building, and they're to stay on a nearby rooftop until he decides otherwise. Even Jason Todd wouldn't argue with that plan. But Jason Todd is actually REASONABLE compared to the Outsiders. Katana, we know, is emotionally compromised. But Halo, you know you're doing something wrong, don't you?
Batman showed it was real easy to open a window in this building, since none of the upper floors' are locked. It may get a LITTLE harder if you try to open them with the pointy end of a sword. The villains notice all the tapping and scraping from the next room (way to go!), which seems the perfect opportunity for Nunchaku to admit his love for Shuriken.
I don't even want to KNOW what was going on inside that sword for the time they were in there together. Stop thinking about the way his hands are designed, you'll only get nightmares. By the next panel, Katana and Halo have been spotted, and it's all gone to hell. Good thing Nunchaku can't aim very well.
Ah. A lesson from Katana. "Take the battle to your foes on your own terms." How will Halo interpret this? What are her terms? I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the superhero fighting to show Halo has no idea what this piece of advice means. Because I'm looking for flaws. Just the kind of Outsider reader I am. Alas, the next panel doesn't show Halo. It's Geo-Force saying "Wait for me!!!" like the child he is.
Where IS he busting in? The building is otherwise encircled by windows on every floor, like your normal skyscraper, but he's breaking through a wall without windows. Maybe it's the wrong building. Maybe there's a couple watching TV in the corner who aren't very please. As usual, Black Lightning is forced to follow without a lot of dignity. So Batman... proud of your team?
Yeah, I thought so. Take it out on ninja-boy for now. Note how as soon as the Outsiders showed up, Batman decided their chances just dropped to "IF WE LIVE LONG ENOUGH".

Some guys will trot out ANY excuse to raise their hand to their wife. It's wrong no matter WHAT the situation is, dude.
Now he's trying to rip her clothes off. I know you haven't seen each other "in the flesh" for a while, but geez, this is a Code-approved book! This husband-and-wife stuff is all a bit disturbing (maybe the Powers That Be had it right about Spider-Man/Mary Jane and Clark/Lois)... How about a shot of Geo-Forced getting trounced by someone who can't possibly be more powerful than he is?
Ah yes. Anthor Stoneaxe, the caveman who managed to get killed by a Japanese sword crafted well after his death surely, pokes GF in the solar plexus before Prince Brion has time to finish his racist remark. Damn, a little lower and we could have made sure there was no Geo-legacy.
Sadly, Metamorpho isn't doing any better. He starts with a bit of sexism, then follows up by going solid just as the shuriken boomerang into his back. And that's two Outsiders down in a way that makes me question my ability to understand comics mise en scène. Screw perspective and screw not crossing the line. Can Halo do any better with her "on her terms" strategy?
Halo watches Fantasy Island? AND makes a disrespectful joke about Little People? I suppose the sliding time scale means she now watches Game of Thrones? Whatever. Halo doing pop culture jokes when she was struggling with concepts like food last year is a little hard to take. I guess Batman doesn't take her out on patrol after 10 Saturday nights. Which would have seemed like a good idea given she has school on weekdays.

Now for Black Lightning. He's a little more sensitive than his team mates, so it's Nunchaku who has the racist comment!
How DOES BL get beaten, and why does he suddenly feel claustrophobic? Why doesn't he zap the dude right up his metal chain wrists? Because this isn't the final fight, that's why, and for no other reason. These are martial arts fighters with a few trick weapons, but they don't have super-powers. Why oh why are they only "holding their own, at best"? Batman decides to tail it out of there, this clearly isn't working. RETREAT ALL THE WAY BACK TO GOTHAM CITY!
Nope, Katana once again doesn't listen to orders. She's determined to get another uniform ripped. Batman's got a strategy for that: Send in Halo.
Think about it. Black Lightning and Metamorpho are good characters in a bad situation. Geo-Force sucks rocks, but he's too powerful to get owned by characters from a second-rate Street Fighter game. But Halo, she's just dumb enough with her powers that she might get killed out there, and then Katana would too. That's two Outsiders down in one fell swoop! Ok, I'm sure that's not his motivation, but it's quite a sight to see all the boys turn tail and run while the girls are left to carry on the fight. And soon:
"Release me!" she shouts, not realizing she would then plunge to her death. "Look, I'm a fart!" squeaks Metamorpho, showing off the strategy he didn't get to play out. "I'm really sick of being carried around" thinks Black Lightning.
And above all, ANGST, sweet ANGST. Because it is the early 80s and we must all be like the All-New, All-Different X-Men.

I must take my leave of you 'til Monday, which'll give me time to understand what the hell Katana is talking about. (Why find Maseo only to die doing so if your goal is to be together?) Tomorrow, I SWEAR TO GOD, Mike Barr will tell Katana's origin story. 32 pages after the title said he would. Sigh.


Kid Kyoto said...

Loving this series. And y'know a story where Batman has to fight a half dozen ghost samurai should be totally awesome. Yet somehow... it's not.

Tomorrow will we also get the secret origin of how Nunchuck gets dressed in the morning? Because that has me far more interested than Katana's origin.

Siskoid said...

I'm afraid that's gonna require some fanfic. Any takers?

Wriphe said...

I can't get past the feeling that Nunchuck shouldn't be fighting the Outsiders, he should BE an Outsider. He's at least as competent as Halo, and she has hands.

Kid Kyoto said...

I just learned that later on, to bring the team some star power they brought in an established hero... Atomic Knight!

Yeah, when you're recruiting Atomic Knight to raise your profile you're in trouble.

Siskoid said...

By then Batman had left, so they were in trouble for sure.