Review: Batman and the Outsiders #19

Batman and the Outsiders #19 cover
Cover by Jim Aparo

Batman and the Outsiders #19
Published and © by DC, March 1985

Title: “Who’s Afraid of the Big Red S?”
Synopsis: When Geo-Force seeks murderous revenge for an imperiled friend, Batman calls in Superman to save the day.

Writer: Mike W. Barr
Artist: Jim Aparo

Review: While never cracking the Bronze-Age superteam A-list (i.e., the Claremont/Byrne X-Men, Wolfman/Péréz Titans and Levitz/Giffen’s Legion), this series was dependably at the top of the next tier. This done-in-one Christmas tale is a great sampling of what makes Batman and the Outsiders so good: strong characterization and likable characters; above-average fight choreography; and a solid grasp of serial plotting with enjoyable soap-opera intrigue. Jim Aparo’s art is past its Bronze-Age prime, but both his rendering and storytelling are still better than serviceable. The Outsiders might not have been high art, but they were always enjoyable.

Grade: B+

Cool factor: Great Aparo cover. And a solid Christmas tale that doesn’t rely on the old “Christmas Carol” schtick. Well played!

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 95¢ Canadian variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “sigh” – Halo, crushing on the Big Red S

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Dec. 7, 2012.

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