Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Batman and the Outsiders: The Chrysalis TPB




Between when this series was solicited, and when the first issue shipped roughly on time, the creative and fictional teams were radically altered. Assuming that Chuck Dixon was probably writing scripts for both Julian Lopez and Carlos Rodriguez as they drew an entirely new issue each, both to be inked by Bit, it's an amazing accomplishment they hold up as professional caliber material. This pair of issues was fast paced and light weight, with characters leaving and arriving in abrupt but adequately explained manner. The dialogue pops, the art is pretty, and all's fun.

The problems don't begin to creep in until the third issue, during a solicitation obligating but logically troubled row with the Justice League of America. Characters begin to break character, people start showing up rather inexplicably, and the A-plot continues from here as an unresolved and unsatisfying subplot. The shit really starts to hit the fan by the fourth issue, which is as messy as one would have expected the earlier issues to be, and the final book reprinted here peters out more than ends.

The Chrysalis isn't bad comics, especially given its difficult birth. It's just largely disposable, with a few moments here and there that are bound not to sit well with segments of the readership. Whether Dixon is trying to disprove his disputable homophobia by exploiting lesbian titillation and a sexually ambiguous villain, or some of the poor choices made with regard to characterization needle you, or you just wonder what that fuss was about at the end, something's going to be a mild irritation. Still, if you like the characters and have time to waste on the mildly entertaining, you could do a lot worse than this, especially at DC, and especially on The Outsiders. Must I invoke Judd Winick?

3 comments:

mathematicscore said...

Well put. Ralph and Sue did show up out of nowhere there, didn't they?
You know, I can't really hate on Winick too hard (even if he was on the RealWorld apparently...) I enjoyed his take on the Outsiders and The return of Jason Todd stuff in Batman with Mahnke was pretty well done. I think it's Winick's doing that I even give two shakes about Robinson butchering ol' Speedy.

Frank Lee Delano said...

How about "I'm Batgirl. I kicked your ass. I'm on your team. I'm naked in front of you. I'm terse." Okay, then.

I never minded Winick on Real World: San Francisco. Self-righteous Pedro and obnoxious Puck were on opposite poles, forcing sides to be chosen. Judd was the milquetoast guy dating the doctor who was never there, talking about his comic strip, and mildly backing Pedro as necessary. It wasn't until he started writing mainstream comics that he stopped being polite... and started getting real annoying. I thought he was okay on Green Lantern, but everything else I've read has had comically bad dialogue and a general wrongheadedness.

To date, no one has ever managed to get me interested in the Outsiders, and I've sampled every "era." However, I've dug Roy Harper since the Titans anti-drug comics, so Justice League: Cry for Attention pissed me off.

mathematicscore said...

"Cry for Attention"

Laughing my ass off, right here.

...nurghophiles...

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