Writers: Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly
Art: Robert Carey
Colors: Valentina Taddeo
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: November 14th, 2023
Outsiders #1 introduces a new incarnation of The Outsiders team, this time geared towards an X-Files style handling of the alien and supernatural dangers lurking in the darkest corners of the DC Universe. Lucius Fox, Luke Fox and Batwoman (Kate Kane) are joined by the enigmatic Drummer in this first issue, which finds the team exploring a massive spaceship discovered in an excavation site, a spaceship that’s about to explode if the team can’t fight through the security systems to reach the center and deactivate it.
“We’re not a team, Kate. This isn’t some superhero $#!t.” That’s what Luke Fox tells Batwoman at the beginning of Outsiders #1, and for the most part, the book sticks to that. Wasting no time, Luke and Kate meet on page 2 and the book’s full steam ahead from there. The concept of the series is an interesting one. Luke feels that most cataclysms that have hit Earth-Prime were preventable, they were beings or constructs that had existed for years and if they had been caught in time and dealt with, the world would be a better place now. So through The Outsiders, he hopes to not only learn more about the supernatural, extra-dimensional and extraterrestrial, he figures in the process he can be proactive and stop Crisis-level events before they happen.
They kick things off with a HUGE case: a 50 mile long spaceship buried underneath a mountain that was recently uncovered in an archeological excavation. Two teams that went inside the ship never came out again. Kate (decked out in a sleek all-white version of her Batwoman costume made for arctic environments) and Luke (in his Batwing outfit) enter the spaceship with Drummer and the bulk of the issue follows the trio as they work their way to the ship’s reactor, which is about to explode. They have to fight the ship’s security systems every step of the way and along the way, they learn the startling secret of the ship. For anyone who followed Wildstorm’s Planetary series, all this probably sounds pretty familiar, and it seems like the Outsiders series is setting up to be the Earth-Prime version of Planetary (complete with a gender-flipped version of Drummer), which is pretty much assured in the issue’s last page.
I’m not super familiar with Planetary, but I like this version of Drummer, she’s a person of few words and when she does speak she uses so many scientific terms that it makes “Star Trek” dialogue sound like “The Cat in the Hat” by comparison. Always having drumsticks in hand, twirling and doing impromptu tricks with them, she promises to be the future star of the team. I’m a huge fan of Batwoman and she works well here, she and Luke Fox play off each other perfectly. They’ve both had it with Batman and the ton of baggage associated with Gotham. This team is a new start for both of them and it’s great to see them outside Batman’s stomping grounds and doing their own thing. If the book does eventually become Earth-Prime’s version of Planetary, it’s going to be fun watching all that come together.
Robert Carey’s art on Outsiders #1 is sketchy but detailed enough to give personality to the characters. Drummer’s swagger, always fiddling with her drumsticks, is a fun counterpoint to Batwoman and Luke Fox’s stodginess. The alien spaceship looks suitably threatening and I look forward to seeing the cosmic and supernatural locations portrayed in future issues.
Outsiders #1 is a completely different take on The Outsiders team, taking a more “X-Files” style approach and promising to show us corners of the Earth-Prime we’ve never seen. Batwoman and Luke Fox work well together and tantalizing hints set up some fascinating things to come.