This book is dense. I don’t mean dense like “stupid,” but rather dense as in, “having the component parts closely compacted together; crowded or compact” or, even, “intense; extreme.” Fernando Pasarin is a great choice for the pencil-pusher of “Outsiders.” This book has always been labeled as a grittier, more-real-world super team. Pasarin gives gritty in every panel, on every page, with oodles of detail to spare. From every segment of the chain mail in Deathstroke’s costume to the rubble and debris strewn across the city during the Outsiders fight with Deathstroke, Pasarin supplies Perez-like detail. Pasarin shares penciling duties with Jeremy Haun, whose work is a bit different — darker, more guttural.
Of course, Tomasi (and editor Michael Siglain) takes full advantage of this, having Haun draw the Creeper’s scenes as well as the encounter between Savage and al Ghul, while Pasarin is tasked with the hustle and bustle of a city street playing host to a superhuman slugfest. This issue seems to be all over the map, but that’s because it is. The mysterious enclave — whose purpose is made significantly more clear this issue — takes their mission into space and under the earth. Savage is shown traversing the ends of the earth and more than a couple different climates (which was very much like Tomasi’s guidance of Black Adam’s quest.)
For all that goes on with this issue, the best part is a three-page sequence where the Creeper is finally given a chance to shine. Not one for teamwork, Creeper’s scene is a solo shot and given three of the best pages this run of “Outsiders” has had since the “Batman and the” fell off of the cover.
While reading this, it occurred to me that this was the fifth issue of this storyline, meaning next month when this storyline wraps, we’ll have invested half a year into reading it — if you’ve been here since the beginning. That said, this issue deftly tucks up the corners of the various storylines and begins to put a bow on this story. Tomasi has been given quite a bit of leeway, using three major villains in one storyline. Beyond that, the seeds of dissent are planted within the team in this issue, surely they will not be quickly resolved.