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7/09 – Declarative Rabbit Says…

It is unforgively stupid to post the new lineup of the Outsiders in HOUSE ADS in DC titles a MONTH before the series of FIVE ONE-SHOTS come out deciding who the new Outsiders are.

It is likewise dumb that a certain horrible female character is on the team, making it a particularly notable example of a “pet character” (“Batman says MY creation is awesome! So shouldn’t you agree?”)

Finally, it is dumb that the name “Outsiders” is blocked in the actual ad.

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32 Comments

You know, with DC’s recent history of misinformation there is nothing to say that this is the actual team.

Yeah, I assumed it was too, but I guess you never really know.

While I agree that it is just a bad idea for DC to be running ads featuring the new Outsiders lineup, I’m going to disagree with your “pet character” comments on Grace. First of all, I think she is probably the most interesting new character introduced in the pages of Outsiders, in many ways that I don’t think even Winick has thought of. For one, her background as a bouncer in a popular meta-bar gives her a tie to a large number characters without requiring any major retconning. We haven’t seen this used much, but there are plenty of storytelling opportunities because of that. Additionally, I’ve always found her upbringing to be an interesting part of her character, especially in regards to her open and aggressive sexuality. Plus, it makes sense that she would be on the team given what they are obviously going for her. She represents the “new old” guard, the original Outsiders from the beginning of Winick’s run. Only she, Thunder, Arsenal, and Nightwing remain from that team. Arsenal is claimed, Nightwing is out already, and Thunder is perhaps the least interesting character to come out of DC in a long time. Add in a few original Outsiders (Katana and Metamorpho), a One Year Later Outsider (Boomerang), and two characters that fit the fringe and have a background with Batman (Catwoman and Martian Manhunter) and you have, in my opinion, one of the strongest Outsiders line-ups ever.

Also, you are really stretching it with “its dumb to block the team name” comment. Excuse my bluntness, but that just seems to be bitching for the sake of bitching.

As an addendum to my last comment, according to Rich Johnston, Peter Tomasi will be writing “Batman and the Outsiders,” not Winick. I suppose that sorta debunks the idea of a “pet character” making the cut.

I suppose that sorta debunks the idea of a “pet character” making the cut.

If Pete Tomasi picked out the team, sure.

First of all, I think she is probably the most interesting new character introduced in the pages of Outsiders

Not much of a compliment there.

Wouldn’t it have been a lot easier for Rabbit to say “Everything about the Outsiders sucks?”

That’s how I phrase it when the subject is brought up.

You know, with DC’s recent history of misinformation there is nothing to say that this is the actual team.

Yeah, I assumed it was too, but I guess you never really know.

Yeah, I thought about that, too, Ian.

Seems hard to believe, though, that they’d spend the money on a fake ad for a fairly low-level book like this.

Note that Catwoman was not even listed among the possible choices, which makes me think that she is a “surprise” choice, which makes this ad seem even more believable.

Also, you are really stretching it with “its dumb to block the team name” comment.

It is an ad for the Outsiders.

It should say the name of the book it is advertising somewhere in the ad where you can see it.

according to Rich Johnston, Peter Tomasi will be writing “Batman and the Outsiders,” not Winick

And my interest goes up fractionally. Will it remain? Only time will tell.

Query: Is Winick doing anything good of late? While I jumped off his bandwagon a while back, I never thought of him in the same way as I would, say, Chuck Austen. I’d want to see what the hell happened to Winick these past few years, as opposed to breaking out the torches and pitchforks.

As for Batman running the Outsiders…I don’t know. I mean, back in the early days of Winick’s run when he was kicking ass, I picked up key issues of the original series. This is basically how the book started:

Batman: Guys, my main man Lucius Fox has been kidnapped in Plotdevicvia [Markovia?]. Let’s get him out.

JLA: Um, no, we can’t just invade a foreign country like that, Bruce.

Batman: So I’m not getting my way?

JLA: Nuh-uh.

Batman: Then here’s a five minute speech about how my parents died twitching in a dingy alley. Screw you guys, I’m going home!

Of course, I do confess to blowing this out of proportion. But at the end of BATO, before the team took over the book, here’s what we had:

Geo-Force: Bats? Listen, I just found out that my homeland is being invaded…

Batman: No.

Geo-Force: Bruce, this is my friggin’ kingdom.

Batman: What we’re doing here in Gotham is important.

Geo-Force: Guh?

Batman: Fuck it, the team’s disbanded.

Also, you are really stretching it with “its dumb to block the team name” comment.

How the hell is it stretching?

Presumably, part of an advertisement’s purpose is to make people who have never heard of the advertised product aware of it.

All this ad does is say to the 40 people who are currently reading Outsiders, “Hey, this is what you’ll be reading in a couple months.”

Declarative Rabbit said:

It is unforgively stupid to post the new lineup of the Outsiders in HOUSE ADS in DC titles a MONTH before the series of FIVE ONE-SHOTS come out deciding who the new Outsiders are.

Yes. Similarly: giving away the end of the new Black Adam miniseries in a different, popular book before the first issue even comes out.

I’m sorry, but sheesh, embarrassing.

Grace’s only defining characteristics: she has tattoos and sleeps with everyone. She is a complete waste and I think it’s telling that the person who defends the character notes “her open and aggressive sexuality” as the source of her appeal for him.

Tom Fitzpatrick

July 9, 2007 at 4:26 pm

I miss Mike Barr & Jim Aparo (including Alan Davis)’s Outsiders.

Those were the good ol’ days. :-(

“It is an ad for the Outsiders. It should say the name of the book it is advertising somewhere in the ad where you can see it.”

It’s not like this is an ad DC’s taking out in other media to promote the book. I don’t read the Outsiders, but I recognized what the ad was for in, oh, two seconds. The logo’s there, just sylistically obscured — suggesting the old team gets broken (and, who knows, Thunder probably dies!) and a new team arises.

But yeah, it’s dumb to have a bunch of one-shots about Batman picking the team when the lineup is (presumably) now leaked. (But who really thinks Wonder Woman or Aquaman’s gonna end up on The Outsiders anyway? That’s pretty dumb.) On the other hand, it looks like a pretty powerful team with Martian Manhunter and Metamorpho. (Plus, while I’m “meh” about Grace, she’s super-strong, right? That’s her power? And doesn’t the new Boomerang have some super-speed? So I’d say that’s the strongest Outsiders lineup ever.) Anyway, I really like MM and Katana and Catwoman (though I wonder: Holly or Selina?). As long as Winick’s not writing it, I’m willing to pick up the first couple issues and check it out. I’ll pass on those one-shots though.

And somehow even more dumb is Newsarama referring to the whole thing as a “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it teaser.”

Additionally, Grace is a terrible character. In fact, she may beat out Red Sonja for “Most Wrongheadedly Misogynistic Origin For A Purportedly ‘Strong’ Female Character.” Consider: She was sold into sexual slavery as a child. As an adult, she’ll sleep with (presumably) anything with a pulse. Rather than a symptom of deep-seated sexual trauma and an inability to form lasting emotional relationships with sexual partners, this is portrayed as being a symbol of her being in charge of her own life.

Seeing Kid Boomerang on the team reminds me of something Brad Meltzer said:

I asked if I could kill Boomerang. They told me I had to clear it with Geoff, which was easy because he’s one of my closest friends. I said to him, “If you let me have Boomerang, I’ll give you one who is hopefully even better.”

So Meltzer killed off Digger, who at one point was perhaps the most developed villain in the DCU (and who Meltzer turned into a fat loser), and gave us teen hero Boomerang, complete with inexplicable superspeed powers, in his place.

Yep. Definitely a fair trade. Just like it’s so equitable that Kid Boomerang is getting promoted while his half-brother, Bart Allen, got de-humored, aged, and murdered.

BTW, since Meltzer next mentions that he intentionally let the Boomerang plot thread dangle after IC, has it ever been explained how Digger made it back to the present? Or Owen? Or why Meloni Thawne had relations with Digger to start with? That interview is from 2 1/2 years ago, and it seems to me that most of the plot thread (aside from the basic “Who is the mother?”) is still dangling.

Having Batman take over is especially weird given the renewed emphasis on having him play nicely with the other Justice Leaguers. As Jason summarized above, the Outsiders were originally formed in one of the earliest Batman fits-of-pique-with-other-heroes– back before the Dark Knight/ Man of Steel/ Kingdom Come/ Tower of Babel/ Crisis of Conscience/ OMAC sequence of stories establishing him as basically antagonistic toward the rest of the League. Snapping him out of that mindset was one of the biggest purposes of the last year and a half of comics.

If he’s really not in that mindset, he doesn’t belong with the Outsiders. if he’s already returning to that mindset, well, that’s a shame.

It’s not like this is an ad DC’s taking out in other media to promote the book. I don’t read the Outsiders, but I recognized what the ad was for in, oh, two seconds. The logo’s there, just sylistically obscured — suggesting the old team gets broken (and, who knows, Thunder probably dies!) and a new team arises.

If I hadn’t seen it through this blog, I’d have had no idea what that was an ad for.

More importantly, what the hell is Katana wearing?

An awful costume.

As a straight woman, I’d just like to say that actually, I’ve become a pretty big fan of Grace. Yeah, the child sex slavery stuff was wretched, but beyond that, I like her personality quite a bit. She likes to hit stuff, and while she may not be particularly cultured, she does in fact seem to have bonafide street smarts. Furthermore, while she is fine sleeping with people for the sheer fun of sex, it’s also pretty clear that she’s fiercely loyal to those she considers friends. Her relationship with Thunder has been proof of that so far, and has made Thunder far more interesting then she ever was before.

It’s quite refreshing to see a fictional female character who isn’t frilly, sleeps with who she likes and not with anyone she doesn’t want to, and who just likes to hit stuff and drink. Frankly, that’s a character I can relate to. As a comparison, Kate Spencer/Manhunter is another one I quite dig and relate to. I’m not Winick’s biggest fan, but with Grace, he’s created a character that I’m interested in learning more about and watching develop more.

Grace = animated Hawkgirl without wings and mace? And yes…the image of her carrying Roy into the Pequod for some good lovin’ makes me laugh.

Personally, I’d go for a few fringe characters rather than J’onn…like Triumph and Mikkal “Starman III” Tomas. If I can’t have Indigo back from the dead, then I’d bring in another blue-hued hero.

And I’m sorry if I was a little too heavy with my prior post. All I’m asking is if Judd Winick can turn things around.

“Having Batman take over is especially weird given the renewed emphasis on having him play nicely with the other Justice Leaguers. As Jason summarized above, the Outsiders were originally formed in one of the earliest Batman fits-of-pique-with-other-heroes– back before the Dark Knight/ Man of Steel/ Kingdom Come/ Tower of Babel/ Crisis of Conscience/ OMAC sequence of stories establishing him as basically antagonistic toward the rest of the League. Snapping him out of that mindset was one of the biggest purposes of the last year and a half of comics.

If he’s really not in that mindset, he doesn’t belong with the Outsiders. if he’s already returning to that mindset, well, that’s a shame.”

In the picture, he is standing away from all of them. they are close together, with him up on the logo by himself. maybe, since he looks like an outsider to this group, he is still friends with the League. I know it is a streatch, but if he is an outsider to the outsiders, does that mean he is friendly with the league?

It is an ad for the Outsiders.

It should say the name of the book it is advertising somewhere in the ad where you can see it.

It does say it. You have to work a bit harder to read it, but then that just makes it stick in your mind a bit longer. It’s not a new concept in advertising.

Reading all of the comments about the obscured title had me wondering if maybe these aren’t the Outsiders but rather the ones that are “out”?

Then again, as Brian said, would that really be money well spent on the ad? Probably not. It would be cool though.

When was the last time this blog had a single post with nearly 30 responses talking about The Outsiders? How many other places is this being played out across the internet? Even if none of these people in the ad are actually on the final line-up, you can’t deny that the ad is doing its job and thus the money was well-spent.

I haven’t read any Outsiders until the recent Checkmate crossover, so I don’t know jack about Grace or her baggage. What I know is that she’s a hard-hitting, take-charge kind of woman, which makes her a character worth using in whatever book a writer should so choose…

Why are the characters so angry in that ad?

I’m sick of ads that just show a character in a “tough” pose. Show him/her using their power, or some sort of idea that will draw you in, or tell you something about the character.

This ad relies on you knowing all these characters already. Not a hint about their individual powers or personalities, other than they’re all so angry.

And, of course, you can’t even read the title.

DC isn’t even trying to lure in new readers anymore. It’s just an ever-decreasing circle of sad fan boys*.

(*Yes, I’m aware of the irony of me posting that. It makes me want to puke too.)

Come on, dude!!!! It’s a guy with BOOMERANGS!!!!

And a half orange, half purple guy!!! And it’s not like they’re weenies, they CROSS their ARMS. What more do you need to know?! I’m buying 60 copies of “I Can’t Read the Title”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don’t care if it has three of my favorite characters in the line-up (for those of you playing at home, that’s Batman, Metamorpho, and Martian Manhunter– and I thought Aquaman was going to join, too?)– I doubt I’ll buy it. If it *is* Tomasi instead of Winick, however, who knows? It might me readable, for once. Good, even.

That’s supposed to say Outsiders?

Either pick a funky text and lay it out straight, or have a plain text and play with the presentation. Either way, don’t have other stuff covering a good half of it, and if you’re going to make it grey text on a crumbling grey background wall, don’t expect people to pick it up.

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