First we learn about an IMAX Dark Knight prequel starring Heath Ledger as The Joker, and now this?
Chuck Dixon, one of the greatest comic book writers of all time and a writer who definitely understands what makes a good Batman story, has been announced as the writer of the upcoming DC Comics series Batman and the Outsiders.
The premise is that it’s an ugly world out there, and sometimes dirty problems don’t have clean solutions. So Batman puts together a specialized, Mission: Impossible kind of team to go on the kinds of missions that the Justice League wouldn’t dare initiate.
In his excellent interview on Newsarama, Dixon says all the right things:
Well, Batman is forever frustrated by the way the JLA and its subsidiaries operate. He originally formed the Outsiders to be a more pro-active, preventative force for battling global baddies. He returns to the group for the same reason. He finds mostly flawed or secondary or unwanted heroes (and anti-heroes and outright villains) and casts them into a kind of Impossible Mission force to bring down evildoers while their plans are still in the making. The original series’ premise is even more relevant today with real-life supervillains threatening civilization every day.
And I like this nugget, too:
Batman is always fun to write even though it’s a mite intimidating. But with ten years experience, I think I know the guy. And as complex and deep a guy as he is on his own, he’s even more fascinating when confronted with leading a group; particularly a group as disparate and rowdy as this one. And it’s gonna get a LOT rowdier.
This ensemble is very much aware that they are working for Batman not partnered with him. Some will rail under this and that leads to problems.
The art will be handled by a bright newcomer named Julian Lopez, who recently stepped in as the guest artist on this month’s issue of Wonder Woman.
Here are two hot shots of two of Batman’s team members, Catwoman and Katana, parachuting into some kind of danger:
Catwoman, of course, is Selina Kyle, who’s always had romantic sparks with Batman.
Katana is a sexy samurai.
I love Lopez’s depiction of these ass-kicking women. The costumes are cool and functional, and the ladies look healthy and real.
Also on the team is Batgirl, aka a pretty young Asian girl named Cassandra Cain. She was raised by an assassin who never taught her verbal language. Instead, she learned to read body language. That’s what makes her such an advanced martial artist; she knows your next move before you know it yourself, and under Batman’s tutelage she’s gotten even better.
(She’s also learned to speak, read and write, which are very important things. You kids stay in school!)
Other lovely ladies on the team include Thunder, who can change her mass to kick your ass, and Grace, who’s an Amazonian brawler.
With all these gorgeous ladies on the team, it’s starting to sound like Dolemite’s karate girls.
But there are other dudes on the team. Martian Manhunter and Metamorpho — the elemental dynamo! — also appear in the first issue.
Which, by the way, is available at your local comic shop on November 14.
It’s going to kick so much ass.
Dixon’s also going to be writing the solo Robin book, which is great news, since Tim Drake is one of my favorite comic book characters and, as he does with Batman, Dixon really gets him.
Life is good.