Batman and the Outsiders #8 - Pages 1-4

Christmas... as told by the Phantom Stranger... I'm trying to remember that "4 possible origins of the Stranger" in Secret Origins... was he Santa in one of them? Or the Ghost of Christmas Sometime? Either way, dude knows how to make a Christmas story interesting. Just liberally add killer babies.

As you can see, Geo-Force looks especially terrorized. That's my kind of Christmas. According to the next caption, it's actually everyone's. Oooh, that's not too politically correct.
And Christmas is nowhere more evident than in Gotham. Well, if you count the number of people who got coal in their stockings, sure. Indeed, this story is sure to show just HOW CHRISTMASSY Gotham can be. Cue pregnant couple:
Meet Ted Sr. and Carol Dennison. Just a regular Gotham couple. They're pregnant, but haven't asked to know the sex (or alignment... spoilers!) of the baby. Carol's an independent woman who can carry her own weight. Ted Sr. is more old-fashioned, but knows better that to say anything that remotely rhymes with "fat" around her. They're sweet. Ok, perhaps not so regular a Gotham couple. But smell the Americana! It's Christmas! But it's also Gotham, so by the time they get home, there are cop cars blocking their way. Now THAT'S "regular Gotham".
The cop takes a fiver and lets the couple in to the crime scene - their neighbor's house. To be fair, C.S.I. wasn't on like 100 times a week when the comic came out. Who's handling the case of little missing Timmy?
None other than Lt. Freeman, Gordon's stand-in during his stroke recovery/Batman's pig-headed need to prove something to the JLA by building his own team. Lt. Freeman AND the Batman. Not to make light of Mrs. Whitfield's little Timmy, but methinks Freeman's a bit quick on the Bat-signal trigger. But crime is a crime is a crime.
Speaking of crimes, that expression is borderline criminal: "The nursery looked like Georgia..." (everybody looks at Freeman, confused and a little big angry) "...after General Sherman's visit!" Wow, nice punchline. Freeman's a closet Civil War re-enactor, you see. Not that he should necessarily be telling the neighbors all this, but while they're there, might as well ask if they've seen someone suspicious.
Other than that detective painting the walls with fingerprint dust, of course. Poor Mrs. Whitfield is a typical Gotham suburb housewife, i.e. her husband died too young. Very Gotham. And Timmy's all she's got! As a typical resident of Gotham, it may be interesting to hear her opinion about Batman:
Muggers and killers, eh? I guess she hasn't heard all the good work he's done with the Outsiders, going up against serial amputators and guys who just want to commit suicide in peace. And then Batman says a very strange thing:
"Lt. Freeman speaks for me"? Mr. Control Freak just deputized this second-rate cop? What's Freeman gonna tell Mrs. Whitman on behalf of the Batman? Some kind of Civil War trivia? Maybe Batman's just distracted. He's got to be asking himself if he should bring in the Outsiders to mess with his mojo here, or just do this one Batman/Detective-style. Sure, it's a strange case, but does he really need an entire superhero team to tackle it? Plus, do you know how difficult it is to bat-rope yourself something that high in the suburbs?
So the Dennisons invite Dee Whitman to stay with them in their huge lighthouse.

It's two days before Christmas, just what are the Outsiders doing? We'll find out who's been naughty and who's been nice in our next installment!


Matthew Turnage said...

Maybe it's my love of Aparo shining through, but when I saw the caption of Batman swinging off, my brain automatically interpreted that as Batman being hoisted away by Alfred, hovering above in the Batcopter. I could even hear the Batcopter rotors in my head as I read that panel.

Mr. Aparo, you did no wrong, sir!

Siskoid said...

Look at those speed lines. That's exactly what happened. But these reviews fight dirty ;)

Austin Gorton said...

this story is sure to show just HOW CHRISTMASSY Gotham can be.

I don't buy it. Where's the Joker riding a rocket-powered Christmas tree?

Not to make light of Mrs. Whitfield's little Timmy, but methinks Freeman's a bit quick on the Bat-signal trigger. But crime is a crime is a crime.

Meanwhile, the Scarecrow has just finished poisoning Gotham's water supply...

Siskoid said...

Don't forget this is Outsiders. They can NEVER fight A-list villains.


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