LOOKING IN ON THE OUTSIDERS
Sometimes it takes a special group of heroes to get the job done; and if they aren’t willing to do it, that’s when you call in the Outsiders! That’s the sort-of origin of a team that was put together by Batman when the Justice League of America wouldn’t get involved in a mission at his behest for political reasons. Batman and the Outsiders documented the formation of a ragtag team featuring a pair of established characters (Black Lightning, Metamorpho) and a quartet of new ones (Geo-Force, Katana, Halo, and Looker) who operated under the guidance of the caped crusader. Batman would eventually move on, but the team endured in the Adventures of the Outsiders, and Outsiders vol. 1. Only the newly created characters returned in Outsiders vol. 2, with the rest of the team padded out by newer heroes — none of whom seemed to gain enough traction to help keep the book afloat beyond 24 issues.
The Outsiders vol. 3 reverted back to the original tact of combining the familiar with the (almost) new. Favorite former bat-sidekick Nightwing and fellow Teen Titans alumni Arsenal (aka Speedy) fronted a team that included Jade (formerly of Infinity Inc.), Thunder (Daughter of Black Lightning), Shift (a clone of Metamorpho), and Indigo and Grace — the token newly created characters (mostly) unburdened by continuity. The team’s modus operandi was a bit more proactive than their predecessors, and they managed to reach the 50th issue before Batman took the reins and rebooted the team in Batman and the Outsiders vol. 2. Green Arrow, Bat-girl, and other new-to-the-team heroes worked alongside members who appeared in prior incarnations of the group for 15 issues until Batman’s untimely, albeit temporary death shifted the title’s numbering over to Outsiders vol. 4, which maintained the familiar/new lineup dynamic until it ended with issue #40. Further tales can be found in the Batman and the Outsiders Special, and the Outsiders Five of A Kind one-shots.
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