Current Reviews


Outsiders #4 [Shawn H.]

Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2003
By: Shawn Hill

"Brothers in Blood: Small Potatoes"

Writer: Judd Winick
Artists: ChrisCross and Sean Parsons

Publisher: DC

In a quick follow-up to last issue's mission statement, the team is already expressing disgruntlement with the small-fry nature of the little bads they've been taking down. Case in point: not just 4th raters like Shockwave and Frag, but actual embarrassments like Monsieur Mallah and the Brain. Nightwing defends Speedy's choices, but privately even he wonders what's up. Roy pressures his mysterious source for better leads, prompting a late realization that there is a pattern developing one written in Blood.

Well, it looks like Outsiders may not be stepping on the toes of Teen Titans after all, as (despite the cover) the Brother Blood that appears in this issue seems far from ready for action. Something's going on, though, and the full team has stumbled into one of those classic "everything goes boom!" situations by the end of the issue.

What makes this issue work is the humor along the way. Winick has a solid grip on these characters, and they've got a much less artificial setup to follow than the X-obsessed heroes of his Exiles title. He's writing a team with some experience and wit under their belts, who already are gelling into a solid fighting force.

Doesn't mean there aren't little frictions along the way, though, as even the "fembot" Indigo has noted that strong-girl Grace is sort of a bitch. Yep, she's filling her old-school Power Girl shoes very well, leaving the far from jaded . uhm, Jade to look on with bemusement. Metamorpho's memory loss (a leftover from his injuries in JLA I believe) make him a funny observer of the vagaries of the DC universe Winick is digging up for this title.

Something's up with that mysterious advisor, though, and Roy and Dick are too smart to put up with it for much longer. This team, with Thunder just the newest of the legacy heroes for whom their spandex jobs are a natural way of life, has far too much going for it to be manipulated for long. They dealt pretty well with Luthor and the Joker already, and they're right that they can face some bigger fish.

Art this issue is subbed by ChrisCross, who has some fun with the characters (a look back at the last Brotherhood of Evil is especially fun), but he's no substitute for Raney, who's found an ideal canvas with this team. Still, the sequence where Roy and Grace plan a little respite for two shows CC has learned a thing or two about comic timing from his long collaboration with Peter David.

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