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B&B TV: “Inside the Outsiders!”

by  in Comic News Comment
B&B TV: “Inside the Outsiders!”

Insert LazyTown reference here.

“Inside the Outsiders!”

Written by: Alex Van Dyne

This episode clearly wants to bring us the softer side of Batman. After a long string of the Dark Knight seeming sexless, his loins burning only for justice, we’re presented with a cold open involving an alluring 50s-era Catwoman, doing her best Julie Newmar impression. While the captured Green Arrow begs Batman to whip out some “Bat-catnip” or a “Bat-a-ma-jig,” Batman turns to another weapon in his utility belt: his masculine wiles! He flirts with Catwoman, distracting her until he can escape– but she returns the favor and flees into the night, but not before leaving behind her phone number.  “My only interest in her is rehabilitation,” says Batman, but those pupiless slits he calls eyes don’t lie, baby.

Episodes focusing on the Outsiders tend to put me to sleep. Almost every revamp this show’s attempted has been great, but the surly teenaged Outsiders just don’t work for me. This week’s plot proper begins in medias res, with Batman bursting in on Prinicpal Snyder– I mean, Psycho Pirate, voiced by Armin Shimerman. Batman, unable to free the teenaged Outsiders from the Pirate’s mind-machine without doing them irreversible harm, subjects himself to Pirate’s mental realm to rescue the wayward young superheroes. Finally, this mindbending show gets some literal mindbending!

A color theorist might have a field day with this episode, but it seems pretty random to me. Katana’s nightmare– a flashback to her secret origin and the death of her mentor– seems to flip all the colors, painted with pinks and oranges, like taking the brown acid during an episode of Samurai Jack. The visual aesthetic intrigues me. Anyway, the more rage produced in the dream, the stronger Psycho Pirate becomes– so Batman tries to prevent Katana from going to the realm of vengeance, and ends up swordfighting with her (naturally). She’s got more lines of dialogue here than in all her previous appearances combined. Batman saves her– from herself–! And Psycho Pirate moves onto the next victim.

Black Lightning’s dream– colored mostly in blue and gray neo-noir tones– involves him going ape-dung over pet peeves and incredibly minor nuisances. He sweats the small stuff, and then zaps it with thousands of volts.There’s a great moment where Psycho-Pirate digs his way out of a seemingly innocent bystander just to laugh maniacally at a little girl. Why? Because he’s evil, naturally. Right after this, a zombie army of Yorick the Unicorn clones– think Barney, but more frightening– starts demanding hugs. Truly, this is a nightmare. But pull a Peter Pan– by which I mean think happy thoughts, not kidnap children– and everything’s hunky dory.

Metamorpho’s dream characterizes him as a living natural disaster, a giant monster tormented by his apparent freakishness. The colors here seem pretty normal, aside from the garish yellow-green sky. It takes the combined friendship of the Outsiders to make Metamorpho feel like a cool dude, another one of the guys. Psycho Pirate plays a literal devil on ‘Morpho’s shoulder, goading him on, but the usually silent Katana speaks up! Meanwhile, Batman beats the piss out of Double P. That’s how he rolls.

Batman comes to, but the Psycho-Pirate’s killed the gang! Of course, Batman quickly realizes he’s trapped in his own nightmare, responsible for the deaths of young innocents. The Dark Knight quickly realizes it’s a trap, however, and decides to get considerably less dark, grinning as he beats even more piss out of the Pirate. It’s the creepiest Batman ever, but it gets the job done.

Batman’s true love might be justice, but his mistress? His mistress is violence.

Moral of the Story: Hug it out, yo.

Verdict: Fairly generic, but probably the Outsiders’ finest hour.

Comments:

  • Batman’s cape turns into a jetpack. Yes.
  • “What are Batman’s happiest thoughts?” Face-kicks. That’s what. A certain crush of Brad’s would be proud.

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