Big Brother Knows How Much the Outsiders Suck

Batman and the Outsiders Annual #1 - Pages 1-3

For the uninitiated, my overly-critical reviews of the Outsiders are up to the first Annual, which chronologically comes after issue 13 of the regular series, and we're going to go over this thing panel by panel. If you don't know who the Outsiders are, then don't fret, the villain of the piece is about to give us a small brief on each. See, he HAS to explain who the Outsiders are because no one ever seems to know who they are! How writer Mike Barr can justify portraying them as DC's most obscure team while having them led by DC's most popular hero is... par for the course, really.
It's Sunday, July 1st, 1984. Canada Day. Mysterious Figure has it right, "self-proclaimed" Outsiders. And if the art looks a little strange to you, here's why:
Aparo is only INKING (and lettering) the story on top of various artists. That's why his trademark faces sometimes appear on bodies posed quite unlike anything Aparo's done. Mike Barr also has some help from a variety of quotable speakers throughout the story, including, apparently, the ordained writer of Starman and Earth 2, James Robinson. So who are these self-proclaimers?
Geo-Force! Sounds like a Russkie, must be a Commie. (Note how his unamerican origin is a point of contention, it becomes important later.)
Halo! She's American, so she's got to be an unwitting pawn. Gotta be. She's not an alien-possessed zombie or anything like that, we swear!
Black Lightning and Katana! Wait... "foreign blood?" What kind of American sees a black man and think "foreign"? Well, I think we know what kind of American, but it's odd nonetheless. A lot of Anglo-White Americans can't retrace their American roots quite as far as most African-Americans. Katana is just as foreign as Geo-Force though, so yeah, whoever the villain is, he's a total racist.
Metamorpho! Yes, what IS he? For someone narrating a slideshow, Mysterious Figure sure hasn't done his homework. I mean, Rex has been around since the Silver Age, so there should be SOME newspaper clippings available to (as we find out later) DC's thinly-veiled version of the NSA! Speaking of terrible research:
That's right, Batman is suspect because he quit the Justice League of AMERICA! It's unamerican! When he left, the League had, what, four aliens and at least two foreign nationals? And wasn't based in the United States! This is all pre-Google, but geez. Turn on the lights, who IS this bigoted ill-informed constitution-thumper?
If B. Eric Blairman (an Orwellian reference, as George's real name was Eric Blair) was around today, he' be a FOX News pundit or have his own all-talk all-rant radio show, part of the knee-jerk Conservative response to the lying media controlled by the Far Left. I bet the Liberal Media doesn't have a nice Kodak carousel like you do, Mr. Blairman! Who ARE the heroes he's talking to, though?
Ladies and gentlemen, the Force of July (geddit? geddit?). Speaking of pawns. I'm getting all the patriot feels. Are you? (Ok, I'm not. Because I'm Canadian. But if this was all maple leafs, beavers and martyred patriots, I would be all the Force of July. Except they'd be called, uhm... the Burst of July? Thirst? Durst? I GOT IT. The Firm of July. Lawyers by day, superhosers by night. Thank you. That you.)

Next: Geo-Force's emergency makeover!

12 comments:

snell said...

B. Eric Blairman?

I think it's a firmly established principal that anybody who uses an initial initial like that is obviously evil. And real life seems to confirm this (G. Gordon Liddy). Either go with the full name or drop the initial entirely, fiends!!

Siskoid said...

We need at least three examples for this to be a rule. Some one more, Snell!

SHOW YOUR WORK!

snell said...

S. Melvin Farthinghill, from the Saturday morning cartoon version of Jeannie.

Anonymous said...

J. Michael Straczynski?

Siskoid said...

Snell: Extra points for obscurity.

Anon: But you win the whole game.

Siskoid said...

And of course, in DC Comics, J. Wilbur Wolfingham.

Anonymous said...

C. Montgomery Burns

J. Jonah Jameson

I wouldn't call J. Alfred Prufrock evil, but he sure was pathetic.

(Anon: Nice!)

Also: FORCE OF JULY! YES!!!! I love how stunningly awful they are.

- Mike Loughlin

SallyP said...

J. Wellington Wimpy! He always promised you he'd pay for that hamburger on Tuesday...but he never ever did!

Jeff R. said...

Ah, the Force of July. (I'm pretty sure I dumped BatO after Katana's origin, back in the day, so my first encounter with these mooks was The Janus Directive.

Then, as now, these don't seem like the sort of power-profile anyone would actually want for wetwork, except maybe Gunhaver over on the left.

And we can't forget L. Ron Hubbard, can we?

Siskoid said...

Me too. Well, Who's Who first, then their massacre in Suicide Squad. No one really seemed to miss them after that.

JohnF said...

Silent Majority! Because he doesn't talk much, and he can replicate himself.
No word on whether he was called "S.M." by his mates.

Siskoid said...

Well if we need to name a favorite, might as well be the one Barr doesn't write much dialog for.

 

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