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06/21/2003: Outsiders #1

I got Outsiders #1 (by Judd Winick/ Tom Raney/ Scott Hanna) because I like Dick Grayson, and wanted to see his new team. I'm still mostly confused about the whole Titans aspect of Dick, I barely know half the names and even less of their history, but I got the Titans / Young Justice crossover Graduation Day anyway, because it was advertised as a story in which team members would die (yeah, the marketing ploy worked on me ;). And even though I know very little about the Titans, I'm still not very happy that Donna Troy was killed. Probably because she was one of the few Titans I have at least encountered as a minor character in a couple of Nightwing short stories, so I knew her a little. Okay, so she isn't really "dead" dead, but only "reincarnated in a different world" dead, but neither Dick (nor anybody else it seems) knows that. So of course I wanted to see the further impact her death has on Dick, and got Outsiders #1, too.

I'm not too impressed with the issue. I mean, the relationship between Nightwing and Arsenal seems interesting enough, not that we see all that much, but I got the impression that their history might be interesting (maybe one day I can get the older Titans issues, to see whether that is true, and also to see more of Nightwing as a team leader, he sometimes seems quite different there than in Blüdhaven), and there were some interesting bits of universe information too. Like, that Metropolis has an underground of meta-humans, and that visiting extraterrestrials regularly go to bars there as well.

One reason why I'm looking forward to the Superman: Birthright maxi-series (besides that retellings of origin stories always have the potential to be really cool -- as well as the potential to be awful, of course) is that I hope it'll give me some idea what the current continuity's version of the history of alien contacts and attitudes towards aliens on the DC Earth is. I talked about my puzzlement with the whole aliens in the DC universe thing before, because I don't think aliens are handled very consistently, IMO a similar problem to the whole "meta-human" concept and how it's handled, a concept that got introduced not too long ago to explain (some) superpowers in the DCU. At least I suspect it's fairly recent, because so far I couldn't find it in comics older than the mid-90s, though I obviously I could be wrong about that, since I haven't read that much of the older stuff yet. But Superman: Birthright should at least deal with one important alien contact, and I hope the attitudes towards the "alien aspect" of his origin that must be touched upon will give me some idea how common or uncommon (different kinds of) aliens were a few decades ago according to the current version of the continuity.

Anyway, in Outsiders #1 there are lots of flashbacks how Arsenal gathered the team during the last month (including the cyborg from Graduation Day, much to the dismay of Nightwing), that are interesting but somewhat slow, and the current day plot isn't too promising either. I mean, maybe I've missed all sorts of important things leading up to this, and Gorilla Grodd and his ape minions have a really compelling backstory (like, is this the gorilla Blockbuster held? I have to admit the whole gorilla thing in Nightwing sort of confused me, and I haven't read the BOP issues dealing with the gorilla city yet), but my reaction to the giant gorilla army invading New York on a cruise ship was pretty much "eh?" and then, well not giggling, but it didn't really have a dramatic impact either. Even the timetraveling cyborg in Graduation Day was better. I'll give the series maybe two more issues before I'll drop it, if it doesn't get better.

And what I said in my last entry about not wanting to see Metamorpho again? That still stands, I'm still not too fond of him, though here he is less annoying than in the BOP issues by Hernandez. But once again there was obviously no DC continuity editor in sight, because the two versions of Metamorpho's (recent ?) past told / hinted at in the two series don't seem compatible, unless there's some really convoluted explanation that manages to combine the two, something that I wouldn't put outside the realm of possibility, but I don't see how the two could fit.

Posted by RatC @ 04:33 AM CET
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