Incredibly, This Episode Built Batman's Trust in the Outsiders

Batman and the Outsiders 13 - Pages 21-23
Batman is fighting for his life against Mayme and kinda losing due to this poison business, and Black Lightning has ordered the Outsiders to concentrate their firepower elsewhere because he's "holding his own". And then we see BL using hand-to-hand combat instead of his powers because it's more fun. But there's just so much fun you can squeeze out of beating on the same gasmasked guy, copy/pasted into a whole gang, and BL eventually breaks out the lightning.
Three panels:
1. Black Lightning also breaks out the dancing metaphors (where's Vibe when you need him on a B-team?).
2. Halo shows you don't actually have to BEAT the bad guys, you can just as easily immobilize them.
3. Katana didn't get THAT memo, apparently, but I'm most disturbed by her dialog. Not for the first time, Mike Barr gives his characters lines that make me question my handle on syntax. Halo asks "How's it going?" and the answer is "As always." How awkward. Is she saying her fights always end in blood, because it's mostly been sword slaps until recently. Or is she saying her mood hasn't changed since she had to kill her husband? Oh who knows?

Time for the Outsiders' equivalent of Commissioner Gordon to show up and put a stop to this issue (that's right, Gordon can't be bothered to show up when the Outsiders are concerned).
Is it me or does Black Lightning have a bit of a chip on his shoulder? As a minority, I suppose he had some unpleasant run-ins with antagonistic cops in Suicide Slum that inform his attitude. (So is Gotham a step UP or DOWN from Metropolis' Suicide Slum?) Whoever called this disturbance in, they didn't mention the Outsiders. And Freeman doesn't notice they're there until BL makes that stereo crack. The Outsiders' slogan is "Who?!" And of course, he immediately asks for Batman, cuz no one wants to deal with the Outsiders directly.
I want you to notice how Black Lightning IN THAT POSE has actually thrown speech bubbles into three different panels. It's his secret power. Watch, he'll share it with Metamorpho on the next page. Also, Batman will not answer your questions in order because even poisoned, he's all about dramatic effect.
And Mike Barr will not show you how Batman turned the tables on Mayme and defeated him. Not when the Outsiders fighting faceless goons is so much more interesting.

The last two pages is one of those cool spreads I talked about in an earlier post. Here it is, questions about Wayne Manor's geography at no extra cost.
Just how many fire places have they got going at the same time? As for the physics of casting shadows, it's always been a special Batman trick. Speaking of tricks, here's Metamorpho throwing his voice into a different panel like Lightning taught him:
And he uses it to ask the question that was asked only two panels ago. Batman's already thinking of recruiting more useful personnel though, and if this Dr. Carter is that good at Nonsense Medicine, well...
Wait, they "deserve" something?
Well at least they've got Alfred's back, though Batman should really ask himself some questions about their level of surprise here. And yes, I know Batman just sat down, but they've all got to be standing for this. It's big news. And while they're up, how about Batman's first real pep talk to the Outsiders?
This is a TERRIBLE speech. Batman REALLY believes there will one day be an end to crime, suffering and injustice?! And that crime, suffering and injustice are keeps them hiding behind masks (except two of them who don't wear one)? And that crime, suffering and injustice is the reason they're "Outsiders"? The billionaire, the prince, the two guys invited to the JLA once and the cute blond? I guess Katana must feel pretty bad, being a foreigner without a crown or anything. It's just a crap re-affirmation of why the team is called that. Should have stopped at "I'm proud of you". (Of course, proud of WHAT opens another can of worms. They made him relive his trauma, lost him in the dark, didn't help him against Mayme and got trounced by Jones' shock troops. It's one of their worst performances ever. And that's saying something.)

"The beginning"? Oh Lord. And an ANNUAL next? My brain is sure to melt It's gonna be a rough Christmas.



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