Writer: Jen Van Meter
Artists: Dietrich Smith (p), Art Thibert & Steve Bird (i)
Publisher: DC Comics
I never read an issue of Outsiders until I started buying up the Infinite Crisis tie-ins. The issues by Judd Winick were as good as everyone said. And the art by the regular team of Matthew Clark and Art Thibert was top-notch. Unfortunately, this issue was written and drawn by the fill-in team listed above. On the plus side, Smith had been penciling pages about the Earth-bound Outsiders since #31. So this doesn’t come as a sudden jolt to regular readers. The story is also fast-paced, action-packed, and all the other clichés you want to assign to comics.
But it still comes up short of the standard set by previous issues. The art is generally flat. It reminds me of Keith Giffen’s art only without the density or detail. People move swiftly and action is clearly depicted. There’s just no sense of a 3rd dimension in the book. The story is straightforward: The Outsiders want to strike at the Society of Super-Villains. So Arsenal dresses up as Deathstroke, sneaks into a Society hideout and raises hell. Things go well until they start pulling hoses, releasing the deadly purple vapor. For a guy smart enough to conceive and execute this plan of sabotage and betrayal, this seemed monumentally stupid.
The dialogue lacks Winick’s usual bite, but it’s fun nonetheless. Art gets the job done and not much more. I’m hoping Winick and Clark come back to the series for “One Year Later.”
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