It’s been a long time since I took a look at “Outsiders,” so it seemed like as good a time as any to peek in and see what Dan DiDio and Philip Tan have done to this slightly marginal team of characters. After all, if you don’t have any of the “big guns” in your team book, the chance of getting away with big and bold stories is much greater, right?
Unfortunately, what I found waiting for me was a big mess. It opens with what feels like a slight parody, as if someone re-dialoged the page to include lines like, “I don’t understand any of this,” and “I’m just as confused as you are.” But after dealing with a handful of pages that serve as awkward epilogue to another issue (“Hey, that person you were looking for? I heard she died a few months ago, sorry.”), the book suddenly shifts over to the Creeper.
That’s where the book could’ve gotten interesting; with the focus on a single character, it could have allowed DiDio and Tan to provide a strong remaining two-thirds of an issue. Instead we get what I can only describe as a demonic version of “Melrose Place,” complete with a big-chested vamp trying to impregnate herself with the help of the Creeper, plus a Spanish-speaking werewolf as flunky.
No, I’m not making this up.
This is not good; the art is murky, the Creeper doesn’t sound even remotely in character (it could have just as easily been any generic superhero spouting this dialogue), and the conclusion to this story is so weak it feels like it ended solely because DiDio and Tan got bored and just let the Creeper go home.
There are one or two nice bits of art from Tan and Jonathan Glapion; the cover reminds me of Tom Mandrake’s art, and they draw a snazzy version of the Ray. The fight scenes are unclear in places, though, and the big two-page splash of the Creeper and the demon that is supposed to appear dramatic just comes across as cheesy.
I feel slightly cheated for having bought this random issue, and I doubt I’ll be back while this current creative team is on board. Maybe down the line if someone else takes over it’ll be worth another shot. But for now, “Outsiders” feels like little more than another failed team book from DC Comics.