Review: Batman and the Outsiders #8

Batman and the Outsiders #8 cover
Cover by Jim Aparo

Batman and the Outsiders #8
Published and © by DC, March 1984

Title: “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle …”
Synopsis: The Phantom Stranger seeks Batman and the Outsiders’ help in fighting an evil sorcerer who is possessing babies at Christmas.

Writer: Mike W. Barr
Artist: Jim Aparo

Review: An evil sorcerer bumrushing a birthing scene followed by an army of possessed babies attacking the Outsiders? Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo don’t need no stinkin’ Christmas Carol riff to have a little Yuletide fun! Barr’s story is a bit silly, but it hits notes of terror and despair pretty well, too. And the family-like dynamic of the Outsiders makes it pretty easy to tug on the ol’ heartstrings. Aparo’s art isn’t as consistently strong as it once was, but he remains an excellent storyteller and you can still find the occasional top-notch panel.

Grade: B+

Cool factor: Batman attacked by possessed babies? Come on, now!

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 95¢ Canadian variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable: “… I know that you ‘Outsiders’ have served the cause of right this day – and is not that itself a cause for rejoicing?” – The Phantom Stranger, Yuletide philosopher

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Dec. 23, 2009.

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