The Outsiders/Dial H/Crisis Crossover Feat. Maxie Zeus and Ronald Reagan

Batman and the Outsiders #14, p.12, 17-23
So I know I made a big deal Monday about the 1984 Olympics moving to Gotham, but I was wrong about that. They're still in L.A. You'll excuse for thinking otherwise, but the West Coast is hardly the Outsiders' home turf, nor is it Maxie Zeus'. Where are all the West Coast heroes? Green Arrow, too far North. Green Lantern, in outer space. Titans West, hahahaha (but you know I love the TW more than I do the Outsiders). Ok, so the new Outsiders gimmick is that they operate OUTSIDE their own home town. Get it?
President Reagan is present, just like he was on Earth-Prime, but not wearing the same red doorman uniform. As Willingham keeps proving, there are always worse ways to dress. Now on to the MBC Sports booth - MBC, home of the 1984 Summer Olympics - where SOMEHOW, the VIP guest commentators are Olympic medalist Jefferson Pierce (so far so good)...
...and Markovian prince Brion Markov! WHAT THE HELL. Check out that scintillating commentary from an aristocrat from a country no one an place on a map:
You think Markovia has many athletes at these games? Really scrapping the bottom of the barrel there, MBC. And while Batman chills out in Bruce Wayne's VIP booth, the rest of the Outsiders are given glamorous jobs. Especially Rex, who always pulls the short straw, or in this case, the short popsickle stick.
Like Halo, I would be mucho grumpy if I'd just been taken advantage of by Geo-Force. But back to the opening ceremonies. Batman wonders how Maxie Zeus will hit the stadium and as the torch bearer awkwardly approaches the back of the truck that will hold the Olympic flame, he realizes Maxie's got to be in the news copter!
Is Maxie's plan to just let the runner fall flat on his face, thus killing the Olympic dream? Because that could easily have happened. But no, he's more proactive than that. He strikes!
Same difference, kill the torch, kill the Olympics. If there's anything Doctor Who's "Fear Her" proved, it's that. Obviously, Maxie didn't shoot that arrow himself, he's got a whole team behind him this time.
So... just how big was that news copter?! And who was doing the play-by-play from it? And for that matter, where did these guys come from? Ah, well on that count, I have a sort of answer. Just flip back to page 12 and you'll see the New Olympians' secret origin, reproduced here in its entirety:
Yep, that's it. The Monitor, created by Marv Wolfman, age 38, of Flushing, NY - Dial H crossover achieved, cheeky cheeky, Mr. Barr - found and assembled them on Maxie's behalf. Convenient, and goes against what it says on the tin. What next, Marvel's Watcher taking part in stories? For shame. So that you know everything there really is no know about this new team, let's get back to the games, where according to the Comic Book Convention of 1948, all you need to take control of a sports arena is to land in the middle of it. Not that they need to. How hard is it to kidnap ONE athlete? Do you even need all this pageantry? Very poor showing from the Secret Service here, who didn't get the President out through, well, ANY access way (Maxie has no one on the doors), haven't taken a shot, let the villains approach and address POTUS, are later seen to sport completely different side-arms from one another, and let Reagan put on that damned shirt.
I guess when the Soviets said they weren't coming, everybody let their guard down. So Maxie declares his intention to marry Nitocris, the Secret Service is about to get massacred, and Batman springs into action and offers Maxie Zeus a deal. If the New Olympians let everyone leave the stadium, the Outsiders will fight them for the whole ball of wax, which here means Maxie's unwilling bride. Uhm, ok. I guess that's why most of Batman's villains are complete loons. Neither their plans nor those devised to defeat them need to make sense.

Next week, from Tuesday, issue 15 and all the superhero Olympic events your hunger for.

Canada: 4 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze (10)
USA: 4 gold, 2 silver, 6 bronze (12)
Japan: 0 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze (3)
Greece: 0 gold, 0 silver, 0 bronze (0)
Markovia: 0 gold, 0 silver, 0 bronze (0)


Rex Kidd said...

I'm baffled by the art. And, granted, I'm still a big fan of 90s X-Men material so maybe I'm unusually permisive of unappealing art, but there's only so much I can take

Siskoid said...

Actor as editor, Mike Barr could have wanted to give a kid a break, but Willingham just wasn't ready for the big time.

If indeed the Outsiders can be considered that big a time.

Anonymous said...

I bet this was during the era when DC was trying way too hard to be Marvel*. So DC was willing to hire any artist who could do something that felt at all like Marvel's "house style".

*: I guess there hasn't been a time when DC wasn't trying way too hard to be Marvel, but even so there are degrees. Are they trying too hard in the sense of making Superman whine about his personal life, or are they destroying entire multiverses to approximate Universe 616?


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