Batman and the Outsiders #8 - Pages 19-21

When we last saw our hero, he was doing his magically delicious thing to the best of his ability to stop evil magician Tannarak who had just been reborn into the body of Baby Boy Dennison. Tannarak got the best of him, breaking the hospital ceiling and showering bits of cardboard tile onto the Phantom Stranger. (Yes, that's our hero. If you thought Batman or an Outsider, you're reading the wrong blog and/or comics series.) The Stranger is in trouble! Can we get some support from the title characters PLEASE?No, I DON'T understand Metamorpho's bon mot. Fudgcicles? What the hell is he talking about? Sounds like banter prepared for last issue's Cryonic Man and never used. I admire Rex's recycling instinct, but you really need to wait for the right supervillain to come along. You're in the same town as Mr. Freeze, so how about showing a little more patience? Not that he needed to intervene here. If the shovelhead movement is to be believed, then the Stranger was nowhere near the falling debris or else he'd have been shoveled too. But since he completely disappears for the next two pages, maybe he IS in there! With his nemesis out of sight, crushed by debris inside Rex's shovel, Tannarak turns on the new crop of heroes.
"Warm-hearted" isn't an epithet I would ascribe to the Phantom Stranger... or Batman... or Katana. Does Rex have one? And if you think Tannarak misses here, you're mistaken. The spell bolt clearly goes around the corner. He wasn't shooting at them at all, and half the Outsiders still managed to fall all over themselves dodging. No, the bolt was going to...
...the maternity ward! That spell? Summon Rabid Newborns!
It's true, Batman! It's a 2nd level spell from the Charm/Invocation schools. I've got the listing right here! It allows you to summon 1d6 +1/level babies, turning them into 1 HD monsters with a pesky grab/grab/suckle attack combo. Not much in the way of damage though, but the Outsiders ARE the Special Olympics of the superhero set.
Batman's strategy for the completely overwhelmed Geo-Force: Use your lava-spurting, earthquake-making, super-strengthing powers DEFENSIVELY. Oh and don't hurt the babies. Batman always tells you only what you absolutely NEED TO KNOW. GF needed to know that.
Maybe he should have said something to samurai sword mistress Katana...
Ah yes, that old trick. Everything Katana learned about children, she learned from Silver Age Super-Baby comics, in which shiny objects always made baby Kal-El turn his rocket around so he could use a star as a rattle or something. Rabid babies do like their knives, it's true. How is Geo-Force using his powers defensively?
Dude. Never shake a baby. Never. Meanwhile, Rex, currently a gold playpen, praises GF for "tumbling" to a pretty simple strategy. Maybe Batman could have been clearer about what to do with his defensive powers, but it's better if they figure it out for themselves, y'know? Also "tumbling" is Halo:
Yes, Tatsu is always going on and on about her tractor beam. While the Outsiders are fighting BABIES, the Phantom Stranger is going up against the big bad.
And unlike Batman and the Outsiders who wouldn't DARE touch a baby, the Stranger is ready to do what must be done, even if it means killing Tannarak's host body, until a few minutes ago, a newborn baby! In front of his mother, no less!
Oh Carol, were you gonna breastfeed him? Ground him when he was bad? Pay for his education/bail? At least you got to see him grow up. Grow up, grow old, and turn to dust.
It was the right thing to do, and all the kids now drawing a pension are returned to their normal ages - dare I say it? - magically. Except for Baby Boy Dennison, of course. Aww--What's that? This Christmas isn't over? Two pages to go? See you Sunday then!


tom said...

It took me awhile, but I figured out what Metamorpho was talking about with his ice cream order!

He was referring to the villain's all-white clothes. Ice cream men and soda fountain clerks used to wear all white in the 1950s and 60s-- like "Pop" used to (does?) in Archie Comics.

I doubt kids in the 1980s would have gotten this reference either.

Siskoid said...

Talk about knowing your audience Mike Barr!

Wouldn't it be crazy if comics characters were all "pop culturally" stuck in the era they were born in? No difference for Rex, of course.

Thanks for that!

SallyP said...

This...this is completely bizarre...and yet oddly fascinating. Who knew that you could flummox Batman by sending babies after him?

Austin Gorton said...

...the maternity ward! That spell? Summon Rabid Newborns!

Seriously Mike Barr?!? I don't care how rabid they are, I'm pretty sure newborns couldn't do much more than roll gently left or right at the Outsiders (which, granted, is probably enough to flummox them, but clearly less than what we see here).

Batman's strategy for the completely overwhelmed Geo-Force: Use your lava-spurting, earthquake-making, super-strengthing powers DEFENSIVELY.

I wonder how one hurls a batarang defensively...

Siskoid said...

In media, newborns often look like toddlers, just as teens look like thirtysomethings.


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