Current Reviews


Outsiders #16

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell

"A Change of Plans..."

Writer: Judd Winick
Artists: Dan Jurgens (p), Nelson (i)

Publisher: D.C. Comics

As Jade makes plans to deal with the problems that she feels exist within her current team, we see Nightwing is busy feeling the wrath of the Black Lightning, as the man believes Dick's going to get someone killed with his detached approach to leading the Outsiders. We then see Arsenal expresses the same thoughts and this conversation quickly turns into heated combat. The issue than ends with Jade stepping in to take control.

The main event of this issue is a fairly serious slugfest between Nightwing & Arsenal, and while the fight makes for a heated emotional confrontation, I have to say it did feel a bit like Judd Winick was simply offering up a repeat performance of the exact same fight that he offered up a few issues back. I also have to say I've become rather bored by the idea that whenever a character wants to score an emotional hit against Roy they make a point out bringing up his drug addiction, as frankly this accusation has lost it's ability to jar the reading audience. Still, the primary reason for the fight is a genuinely compelling one, as Roy accuses Nightwing of shoddy leadership, and given the string of injuries that we've seen in these pages, one can't simply dismiss Roy's comments. In fact the best moment of the issue is the scene between Nightwing and Black Lightning, as it deftly spells out the tensions that exist between the two, and leaves the door open for a future confrontation. Now as for the final solution that this issue offers up, I'm not quite sure what to make of it, as while I'm not sure what role this character played in the pages of Infinity Inc., the simple fact of the matter is that the character's leadership abilities have never been established, and I'm not sure the solution to bad leadership is to offer up a replacement who doesn't look to have any experience leading a team. However, it should make for an interesting team dynamic thanks largely to newest addition to the team.

I've never been a big fan of Dan Jurgens art, as frankly it always struck me as being a little too simplistic. However, I will say this issue managed to impress me with it's ability to tell the story in a visually exciting manner, as there's a great sequence in this issue where we see Black Lightning shifts from a happy-go-lucky father, to an angry man who accuses Nightwing of playing a role in his daughter's injuries. The action in this issue is also worth a mention, as there's several memorable impact shots, with the fight between Nightwing and Arsenal being the visual highlight of the issue, as the art nicely establishes the idea that this is a serious fight. The final page reveal is also a great looking visual to end the issue on, as the character is allowed to make a powerful entrance into the story. I also enjoyed the cover image, as the radiating power effect makes for a great visual touch.

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