Batman and the Outsiders #1 with Kate (and Dan)

:: the end credits roll at the end of the Malmon house Batman movie marathon::

K: Wow. These three Christopher Nolan BATMAN films are really good, but really heavy. It’s like what it would be like if Batman were really existed in our everyday world.

D: True. But I still enjoy my Batman with a dose of superhero magic. Like in my Brave and the Bold cartoons.

K: But I still can’t see a badass Batman hanging out with that dude with his head on fire…

D: … Firestorm…

K: … and the fish-talking guy…

D: … come on. You know that’s Aquaman…

K: … and the chick with the bracelets?

D: NOW YOU’RE JUST BEING DIFFICULT.

K: And they hang out in space? Batman would never hang out in space. First because he can’t get to space on his own. And there’s no frigging crime in SPACE!

D: That’s… that’s not entirely true. ::pushes up glasses:: Green Lantern is TECHNICALLY a space cop of Sector 2814.

K: So there’s crime in space?

D: Yes. Lots of space crime.

K: Why doesn’t Batman just ditch this group of goody-two shoes capes and fight crime on his own, like in the movie BATMAN AND ROBIN?  Where they wear their specially molded…uniforms. ::raises eyebrows::

D: Speak not of the evil Clooney-Batman movie, devil-woman! Ahem. However, there was this one time where Batman ditched the Justice League of America and tries to play it solo. I think you might like BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS.

K: Outsiders like Ponyboy and Dallas? Why would Bruce Wayne hang out with greasers from the 50’s? This makes no sense.

D: You’re being difficult, again. Read this and you’ll understand. ::hands Kate the comic::

K: Cool comic. This is the story of Batman ditching those Justice League geeks and going off to save his buddy Lucius Fox!

D: I thought you’d dig that. When Lucius goes missing in the unstable European country of Markovia while on Wayne Industries business, Batman goes to the JLA for help saving him. He heads up to their satellite (via teleportation technology, cause you know he can’t fly) and they shoot him down. Some jibber-jabber about the United Nations telling them to keep their noses out a sticky situation.

K: Losers. You know they’d spring to action if that weenie Jimmy Olson went missing. Or if Aquaman lost a fish.

D: This is one of the problems some people have with the Justice League; they don’t affect change.  Instead, they do what the government asks them to do. Like in this case when they agree not to get involved with the international incident in Markovia. They don’t go after justice, but they go after the law.

K: What a bunch of squares! I totally get why Batman left them behind in space!

D: Stop interrupting, or I’ll leave you in space.

K: pfft.

D: So anyway, Batman does what a Batman has to do, and heads off to Markovia with his buddy Black Lightning. Along the way, he crosses paths with Metamorpho, the Element Man (one of my all-time favorite heroes), and new heroes Geo-Force, Katana and Halo. The storytelling is fast and to the point, and presented in fantastic fashion by industry legend Jim Aparo.

K: I know we talk about the difference between modern books and old-school comics a lot in this column, but MAN-O-MAN this book moved fast! Batman bailing on the League ALONE would have been a six-issue arc in today’s comics. Infiltrating Markovia would have been a summer crossover event. And introducing Geo-Force, Katana and Halo? Special one-shot issues.

D: But here, it’s all about moving the story ahead full steam. Move the story and get the reader invested in what’s happening.

K: You’ve shoved quite a few Batman books at me, and I think this is my favorite one. He looks really cool, but he looks more like a pissed off dude, instead of a freaky creature of the night.

D: That’s Aparo art. He’s a definitive Batman artist. Bold, dynamic storytelling at it’s best. In fact, the single page retelling of The Origin? Probably my favorite Batman page ever.

K: Good stuff?

D: Good stuff.

K: I’m going to dig around for some more BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS back issues.

D: Wait for me!