Review: Batman And The Outsiders #14

"The Demon's Fire" - Part Two
Writer: Bryan Hill
Artist: Dexter Soy
Color Artist: Veronica Gandini
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Review by Steve J. Ray
Batman And The Outsiders #14 puts the team into direct conflict with Ra’s Al Ghul, and the League of Assassins.
While Batman, Black Lightning, Katana, and Sofia make a strike against Demon HQ; Shiva, The Signal and Orphan try to track down the villain himself.

We get action and character aplenty, in an issue which delivers on all every level.

Bryan Hill’s dialogue always impresses, and the way he builds tension in his stories is terrific. The whole idea of adapting Black Lightning’s armor, to help enhance and amplify his innate electrical abilities, is a really cool idea. I love the way Hill has developed every single member of this new outsiders team, and adding Shiva to the mix is inspired.

Homecoming Heroes

After brilliant guest appearances from artist Gleb Melnikov and Colorist Ivan Plascencia in issue #13, series regulars – and fan favorites – Dexter Soy and Veronica Gandini make their triumphant returns. I love this team. From the powerful Black Lightning scenes that open the book, to great quiet character conversations, and then the kick-ass action we get at the end of the book, this artistic dynamic duo doesn’t disappoint.

Lightning flashes, and muscles flex, with all the color and bluster that all entails, but that’s not all that this issue delivers. Seeing Shiva and Katana standing, backs to the wall, like caged tigers ready to pounce, is terrific. Then we see the team’s teenage characters on a sofa, Orphan’s legs tucked under her for comfort. This storytelling and body language is lovely to look at, and not all artists can pull it off. Veronica’s effects and action colors are terrific, and her more subtle pallet, during these quieter moments, is gorgeous.

Clayton Cowles is killing it, too. His rumbles and crashes can be felt, and the way it all fits with Dexter and Veronica’s work makes this title one of the most consistent, and coherent on the shelves.

Conclusion

Batman And The Outsiders #14 does not disappoint. This team of heroes is engaging and original, and the creative talents behind their adventures is every bit as impressive. The fact that characters I’ve read about for decades can still surprise me, and look awesome doing it, make this book a favorite.

Batman and his team have literally made the walls come tumbling down this month, so the Demon’s wrath will be terrible indeed. I can’t wait to see his response!

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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