WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Justice League: No Justice #4 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Josh Williamson and Francis Manapul, in stores now.
Justice League: No Justice is over. The universe has been saved. However, the fallout from Amanda Waller’s attack on Brainiac is still being measured. She has the Brainiac Files, an unlimited supply of cosmic knowledge at her fingertips, and Batman’s not about to allow her to use that information for her own gain. It would seem that the ongoing feud between the Dark Knight and the leader of the Suicide Squad has reached a new stage.
The two have been at odds since the events of Joshua Williamson and Jason Fabok’s Justice League vs. Suicide Squad. Both are masterful tacticians and dangerous manipulators, and Batman founded the Justice League of America in order to contrast the power Waller has assembled. Where Waller worked in the dark, Batman’s team would somewhat ironically stand in the light. With the JLA now operating under a very different mission statement as the Justice Foundation, it appears Bruce Wayne wants a new team — one that can match the Suicide Squad in both power and purpose.
We’ve known the Outsiders would return since their appearance in 2017’s Dark Days: The Forge, and Bryan Hill and Miguel Mendonca will be telling a story in Detective Comics about Black Lightning putting together a new team. With a simple conversation, Justice League: No Justice #4 sets the stage for the official return of Batman’s personal strike force.
How the Outsiders Can Save the World
In the closing pages of No Justice, Batman calls Black Lightning to the Batcave in order to make him an offer. In his eyes, Amanda Waller is not a good person, and she cannot be trusted to use Brainiac’s knowledge for the greater good. Unfortunately, since she has the full support of the United States government, the Justice League can’t exactly move against her out in the open. They have to be smart about it. Batman may have learned something from his adventures in space with Team Entropy.
In order to combat Waller’s growing power, Batman needs a team that can match the capabilities of the Suicide Squad. Unlike the Justice League, who possesses a very public image, he needs a group who can work outside the law in order to do the right thing from the shadows. By fighting fire with fire, Batman hopes to finally stop Waller while keeping the League’s image as pristine as possible.
Batman originally founded the Outsiders in 1983 in opposition to the Justice League’s tactics, but here they seem to be more complementary. This iteration of the Outsiders, whenever and wherever the team is ultimately formed, can now be considered something of a black ops division of the Justice League. In Batman’s own words, they “need a team who can keep us covered…from the outside.” For the first time maybe ever, these two teams may actually be working together.
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