Outsiders #3 is written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly. Artwork is by Robert Carey, colours by Valentina Taddeo and letters by Tom Napolitano. The book is published by DC Comics. Main cover art (left) is by Roger Cruz and Adriano Lucas.
Outsiders #3 is available now, in print and on digital platforms where all good comic books are sold.
“Dreaming of Bats.” Only two things are certain about the mysterious door that has appeared in the Outsiders’ ship. The first? It was opened by the Drummer, using a set of Multiversal coordinates discovered in a dream. The second? Their computers have identified it only as a “narrative singularity.” For most, to step through such a door would be unthinkable, even insane-which makes it a perfect mission for the Outsiders! As Kate Kane and Luke Fox venture into the unknown reaches of the Multiverse, they will fall deeper and deeper into a maze of darkness, guided by unfamiliar versions of familiar faces. What is this strange world they’ve discovered? How are they connected to it? And who is lurking in the shadows, ready to destroy it all?
Now that is how you write a multiversal, sci-fi thriller. Outsiders takes things to the next level this month with an incredible issue which feels like Inception crossed with The Island inside an Escher mathematical mystery. Lanzing and Kelly keep it firmly DC and yet are able to explore some wild concepts which continue to push this new breed of Outisders beyond their usual comfort zone.
I’m still impressed with the scale of this new series. Particularly given its fairly diminutive cast. Even as this issue begins Drummer is staying firmly on our Earth with only Kate and Luke passing through the mysterious door. In the grand scheme of Outsiders leaning towards a Twilight Zone style this issue feels like something ripped out of a nightmare. Yet despite its impressive visuals the story is still able to pack a mean punch whilst furthering the series’ wider narratives.
Lanzing and Kelly have introduced a really fun dynamic between Kate and Luke. After only three issues the pair feel like siblings. Given their shared history of being Bat-family members it feels right. But the way the pair write the characters is amplifying unique aspects of the series’ storytelling. There’s an ease to working with each other which allows for some levity in the dialogue alongside the more serious aspects. Kate could one minute poke fun at Luke, but if in the next panel she was fighting to save his life it wouldn’t feel out of context. As the series moves forwards it would be great to see Drummer brought in to the dynamic more. Although issue #3 continues to make it clear there’s more going on there than perhaps meets the eye…
We know that Outsiders is tackling some multiversal exploration. So when Kate and Luke pass through the door and enter a gloomy looking Wayne Manor it comes as no surprise. But from here the story really goes to some amazing places as both Kate and Luke come in to contact with some familiar faces. The entire scenario becomes a great way for both character to explore their own identity. But at the same time the book poses some wider questions about what it means to be Batman and to wear his symbol. It’s meta but never for the sake of any cameo or corporate messaging. This is purely character driven stuff built in to some huge scale storytelling.
Robert Carey and Valentina Taddeo have some fun visuals to attack this month. I don’t want to say too much so as to avoid spoilers. But the inclusion of multiple versions of characters really offers up the chance to have some fun. To coin a phrase from another publisher, the variants of characters depicted here have some really incredible costume designs. Larger panels which feature tens of characters looks lively and like a DC equivalent of Where’s Wally (or Waldo for those in the US). We’re not seeing this type of imagery in other DC books and I love the experimentation which is going on here.
A visual treat which surprises with some incredible character development. DC’s Outsiders is really hitting its stride which this introspective yet large scale story.