There are some events in comic book history that exist as major milestones on a personal level, but not resonate the same way across the industry. The appearance of Batman and the Outsiders #1 on the racks was a major event for me. This was not simply due to the fact that it was a new title with my favourite characters as headliner, but also because it was conclusive proof that my favourite title (Brave and the Bold) was dead. I was on 9 years old at the time, so I did not really full appreciate the ins and outs of the industry. To my mind, a comic book title was still alive and well until it stopped showing up at the store.
Although I was sad that the B&B was gone, this cover certainly grabbed my attention and raised my hopes. At that stage in my life (I was 10 years old), I’d have followed Batman anywhere. Although, I don’t think the series ever got close to the level of Brave and the Bold, it got off to a very strong start here. We see the classic Aaparo Batman, intent on rescuing his friend Lucius Fox. When the JLA turns him down, Bats heads out on his own, with a little help from Black Lightning. The scene where Batman resigns from the JLA is still one of the best ‘Batman tells Superman to go fly a kite’ moments of all time.
The supporting cast is introduced slowly, we know Black Lightning and Metamorpho, but there’s plenty of mystery around Katana, Halo and Geo-Force. There was so much to love about this issue, so much potential. At the time, it seemed like such a watershed moment – but I can see now that I was just a silly kid who thought this was the next JLA. Can you blame a guy for Jim Aparo would keep drawing Batman forever?