Outsiders: Crisis Intervention mini-review

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Judd Winick's Outsiders remains one of my favorite new comics concepts, and re-reading the three Outsiders trade paperbacks in preparation for Outsiders: Crisis Intervention, I was struck by how well Winick writes the story of a super-team trying to do so well and ultimately doing so poorly--each mission is a PR disaster, their "independent" funding ultimately comes from Batman, their intel from Deathstroke--Winik's created the greatest of hard-luck heroes, and I'm eager to see their new adventures after One Year Later, when Winick can really cut loose. This is indeed to say, however, that Crisis Intervention does lack some of the verve of the previous Outsiders trades; it starts of well enough, with a Fearsome Five rematch drawn by Matthew Clark that gives each member of the team, old and new, a chance to shine. Once Donna Troy comes on the scene, however, the story becomes fairly muddled (written, at least in part, by Jen Van Meter), featuring a Rann/Thanagar War crossover that ultimately has no real connection to the events of Infinite Crisis and smacks of filler, lacking as well Winick's trademark humor; there's a protracted scene of Starfire, Jade, and Shift trying to escape a space shuttle that's far too confusing for it's own good. If anything, the end of the trade is worthwhile mainly for it's examination of Arsenal's role with the Outsiders, and how he'd really be a better fit with ... well, you know. In a string of hits, Outsiders: Crisis Intervention is a miss, and it unfortunately seems largely to be Infinite Crisis's fault; again, I'm looking forward to things shaping up after One Year Later.

[Contains full covers]
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