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Outsiders

Teen Titans Allies

Related Links:
• Arsenal (Roy Harper)Nightwing (Dick Grayson)  •
Starfire  • Captain Marvel Jr. (Freddie Freeman)

Teen Titans File Photo:

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 History


Outside Chance

A mysterious conglomerate known as Optitron offered to sponsor the Titans and Young Justice after summoning them to San Francisco. Before any decisions could be made, a mysterious cybernetic girl named Indigo emerged from the future and invaded the complex. The android unwittingly activated a rogue Superman android, resulting in the apparent deaths of Donna Troy and Lilith Clay. At Troy’s funeral, Nightwing disbanded the Titans.

Three months later, Arsenal assembled a new team of heroes and persuaded the reluctant Nightwing to join the team as well. Joined by the reformatted Indigo, Metamorpho, Jade and new heroes Thunder and Grace, the team vowed to proactively hunt down villains before they could strike. Nightwing dubbed this new team of heroes The Outsiders, in honor of his mentor’s former team.

Arsenal forms the Outsiders in OUTSIDERS #1 [2003].

Outsiders Underground

Nightwing’s leadership began to falter, leading to a heated confrontation with Arsenal. Sensing a team in turmoil, Jade assumed leadership of the Outsiders and invited Starfire to join. After the team was utterly betrayed by Indigo – who stood revealed as Brainiac 8 – Nightwing left the team. Seeking to bolster their ranks, Jade recruited Captain Marvel Jr.

The cosmic cataclysm known as the Infinite Crisis shook up the Outsiders in a big way. Jade was killed in battle, Starfire went missing in action, and Captain Marvel Jr. left the team. The Outsiders later botched a mission to rescue a wrongfully imprisoned Black Lightning – resulting in the deaths of over 40 people. Nightwing went underground with the presumed-dead team, which included Grace, Thunder, Metamorpho, Katana and the reformed Captain Boomerang II. Arsenal decided to leave the team at this point, but publicly lied to the press to preserve their cover. Taking a more global stance, the Outsiders vowed to uphold justice in secret. Their cover was later blown by Dr. Sivana.

After their public exposure, Nightwing left the team while Batman returned as leader. “Batman and the Outsiders” lived again – as a new team of covert crime-fighters emerged from the old.

Arsenal and Jade, as depicted in VS Card Systems

 Roll Call


Nightwing (Dick Grayson): When Dick Grayson’s trapeze-artist parents were murdered, he was taken in by the Batman and became his junior partner: Robin, the Boy Wonder. As leader of the Teen Titans, Dick emerged from the shadow of his mentor and adopted the costumed identity of Nightwing.  (see separate entry)

Arsenal (Roy Harper): When Roy Harper’s forest ranger father perished in a fire, Green Arrow adopted the young orphan and trained the natural-born archer as his sidekick, Speedy. Roy’s time as a government agent exposed him to all manner of weaponry – leading the boy bowman to become an expert marksman as Arsenal. (see separate entry)

Shift (Metamorpho): A sentient remnant of the original Metamorpho, the newly-created entity adopted the name Shift and joined the Outsiders. The elemental shape-shifter fell in love with the android Indigo, but was forced to kill her when
she revealed herself as Brainiac 8. Consumed with guilt when a botched mission resulted in the deaths of 44 people, Shift chose to end his existence by
merging with Metamorpho.

Jade (Jenny-Lynn Hayden): Jenny-Lynn Hayden discovered she could channel green energy through a birthmark on her palm. Jenny later discovered she was the daughter of the Golden Age Green Lantern and adopted the super-hero identity of Jade. During the Infinite Crisis, Jade made the ultimate sacrifice. She gave her life and transferred all her green powered energy to her former love, Kyle Rayner.

Indigo (Brainiac 8): The android called Indigo arrived on 21st-century Earth and immediately attacked Young Justice and the Titans. After S.T.A.R. Labs reprogrammed Indigo, Arsenal welcomed her as a member of the newly-formed Outsiders. Indigo was later revealed as Brainiac 8 – sent to the past to destroy Donna Troy, who was destined to annihilate the Brainiac legacy at some point.
After betraying the team utterly, Indigo was destroyed by Shift.

Grace Choi: Seven-foot-tall super-strong Grace Choi was a natural as a bouncer of the meta-human Metropolis bar known as Chaney’s. For several years, Grace maintained the peace within the recreational super-haven, until “old friend” Roy Harper welcomed the sarcastic powerhouse as a member of the newly-formed Outsiders.

Thunder (Anissa Pierce): Born with the super-human ability to control her body’s density, young Anissa Pierce wanted to grow up to be a full-fledged super-hero. But her father – the veteran hero known as Black Lightning – strenuously objected to his daughter’s desire to become a crime-fighter. Despite his misgivings, Anissa became the super-heroine known as Thunder and joined the newly-formed Outsiders.

Starfire (Koriand’r): Princess Koriand’r was forced into slavery to save her home planet of Tamaran. Once rescued by the Titans, the alien powerhouse – now dubbed Starfire – made earth her new home and enjoyed a deep romantic relationship with Dick Grayson. (see separate entry)

Captain Marvel Jr. (Freddie Freeman): Crippled Freddy Freeman can harness a portion of the Shazam power by saying “Captain Marvel.” The powerful teen joined the Teen Titans and developed a crush on Argent. Since then, Captain Marvel Jr. has aided the Titans when called. (see separate entry)

Metamorpho (Rex Mason): When adventurer Rex Mason was exposed to the mysterious Orb of Ra in Egypt, the radiation transformed Rex into the freakish
shape-shifting element man known as Metamorpho. He later joined Batman’s team of Outsiders and married longtime girlfriend, Sapphire Stagg. Rex later went into semi-retirement to spend time with his son, before being coaxed back into
adventuring as a member of Nightwing’s Outsiders.

Katana (Tatsu Yamashiro): After Tatsu Yamashiro’s husband and children were murdered by the Yakuza, she trained herself in martial arts. Tatsu later procured a mystical blade – a Japanese katana – that could magically absorb the souls it had slain. Now calling herself Katana, Tatsu began to strike back at Japan’s underworld before being welcomed into the ranks of Batman’s Outsiders. After the
dissolution of the original Outsiders, Katana continued to fight crime worldwide –
before being invited to join Nightwing’s Outsiders.

Captain Boomerang II (Own Mercer): Owen Mercer grew up without knowing his father was the criminal known as Captain Boomerang and his mother was a super-speedster from the future. When Boomerang located his son, now an adult, Owen learned he shared his father’s skill with the boomerang – as well as a measure of super-speed. Mere days after their reunion, Captain Boomerang was murdered.
Owen adopted his father’s moniker and turned to crime before reforming and
joining Nightwing’s team of underground Outsiders.

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 Essential Reading


Graduation Day #1-3 [2003]: Indigo travels to the past, activating rogue Superman androids which seemingly kill Troia and Omen. “Metamorpho” is awakened. First appearances of Indigo and Shift [named in Outsiders #7]. 
Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files #1, Outsiders #1 [2003]:
 New Outsiders form. First appearances of Grace Choi and Thunder.
Teen Titans #24-25, Outsiders #24-25 [2005]: The Insiders,” a 4-part crossover between the TEEN TITANS and OUTSIDERS. The Titans and the Outsiders are rocked to the core as they face two of the most powerful villains in the DCU – Lex Luthor and Brainiac – in an all-out war to destroy the young teams! Luthor uses a trigger word to turn Superboy against his friends, while Indigo is revealed as a Brainiac plant from the very beginning. Death of Indigo.
Rann/Thanagar War: Infinite Crisis Special [2005]: Infinite Crisis is here — and the Cosmic Storm rages out of control, threatening the fate of the entire universe! While the Rannian and Thanagarian flagships each suspect that the other is responsible for the disturbances, Donna Troy must lead her team of space champions into the cosmos in an attempt to prevent total destruction. But as the war rages on, a startling discovery will be uncovered, one hero will be forever changed, and another will make the ultimate sacrifice. Death of Jade.
Outsiders #34 [2006]: It’s One Year Later. The Outsiders are operating in secret while the world believes they are dead. Metamorpho, Katana and Captain Boomerang revealed to have joined the Outsiders.
Outsiders Annual #1 [2007]: The Outsiders attempt to break out Black Lightning, who has wrongfully been imprisoned at Iron Heights. Their botched mission results in the deaths of over 40 people. Nightwing goes underground with the presumed-dead team [Grace, Thunder, Metamorpho and Katana] as well as the reformed Captain Boomerang. Arsenal decides to leave the team at this point, but publicly lies to the press to preserve their cover.

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Winick Talks Outsiders Relaunch


“Thinking Outside The Box: Winick Talks Outsiders Relaunch”
by Arune Singh, Staff Writer , Posted: November 10, 2002
courtesy of http://comicbookresources.com

With Judd Winick’s recent exclusivity deal at DC Comics, the question on many people’s minds has been simple: which superheroes will he be tackling next? The answer to this question came on Sunday when DC released news about their projects for 2003 and revealed that the acclaimed writer of “Pedro & Me,” “Green Lantern,” “Exiles” and (soon) “Green Arrow” will be re-launching the cult hit “Outsiders” in July 2003.

While the old series featured a veritable cornucopia of second tier heroes who never left a great impact on the comic book industry, such as Katana or Geoforce, the new series will be led by the popular character Nightwing, once known as Robin, the boy wonder. The specifics of this series launch are being kept a secret but fans do know that it all spins out of the “Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day,” a three-issue mini series that results in the death of a founding Titans member and deeply affects the titular teams.

“You have to read the comic for the details, but the two teams engage a common enemy and fight a battle royal–seriously it’s 3 issues of fighting, screaming, explosions and lots of property damage– when it ends there will physical an emotional wounds to deal with,” explains Winick of “Graduation Day.” “It breaks up both teams and sets the stage to form the Teen Titans and Outsiders.”

While the Teen Titans themselves are a unique entity in the modern day DCU, the only real team of mostly teenage superheroes, the Outsiders are yet another team of adult superheroes fighting evil and to some fans, it may make them redundant. Winick says that the series is anything but that and if fans give the book a chance, they’ll see that the reason for the Outsiders’ existence is far different from that of most superhero teams. “They are not like the JSA or JLA, they aren’t, as one could say ‘firemen putting out little fires.’ They will be hunters. They will be seeking out the bad guys before they can find trouble.

“The hunter aspect I suppose differentiates from other team books. It will also be funny, even sexy at times. I think comics should better reflect our readership and our readership, despite their age, is more mature than fifteen years ago. Ross and Rachel can get drunk and screw in the 8 o’clock family hour on TV, but we can’t have super heroes occasionally get entangled? It’s not your father’s super hero team…

“I know that DC is going to give ‘Teen Titans’ and ‘Outsiders’ a proper role out. First tier, second tier, its just semantics. It’ll be great stories, great actions, great characters- from both books.”

If you’re wondering how Winick got attached to this project, it’s simple- he fell in love with the concept right after he heard about it. “I was approached by Dan Didio and Eddie Berganza to script ‘Outsiders’ and the mini series leading up to it. Geoff Johns (who’s scripting ‘Teen Titans’) and myself have been given our own little corner of the universe to play in,” says Winick, who adds enthusiastically, “We’re as happy as hell. Why do it? I get to launch a team, create characters and tell stories that interest me and excite me. I’ll also be playing in a very cool sandbox.”

While Winick may have won acclaim for his more mainstream work like “Pedro & Me” or off beat humor work like “Barry Ween,” he doesn’t see superhero comics as a lesser form of writing: he sees them as an equally viable genre for artistic expression. “I am fanboy,” states the writer proudly. “I love super heroes. I learned how to read, write, draw and comprehend the idea of story telling from comics. I can sit here all day and talk about archetypes characters and such, but at the end of the day, I do it because it’s a lot of fun”

The scribe also makes no secret of the fact that he’s having fun with the character of Nightwing and says that Dick Grayson is just a natural lead for the series. “Dick Grayson leading the team makes sense. There’s a symmetry to it with Batman leading the original [the original series was called ‘Batman & The Outsiders’ for a time], and an irony since Dick really doesn’t want to become like Batman. Dick’s a leader. He’s good at this.”

But “Titans” fans, keep your eyes peeled- “Arsenal will be taking a leading hand as well,” reveals Winick.

“The team is lead by Nightwing,” says Winick, as he begins to explain who else makes up the team. “We’ve also got Arsenal, Jade who I’m bringing over from ‘Green Lantern,’ Metamorpho, and three newbies. Grace, seven foot powerhouse who currently works security in a meta human club. Thunder, Cassandra Pierce, daughter of Jefferson Pierce, Black Lightning, and a team member to be named after ‘Graduation Day.'”

Winick says that he chose the characters for the simplest of reasons- putting them in the same room is going to result in some great stories. “I went with the one’s I liked and created the ones that I thought would add to the mix. They’re all very different, but have a commonality that makes them outsiders. All of that will be explored.”

If you’re a fan of any of the old “Outsiders” series, Winick says he will be keeping you in mind but he also promises not to dismiss any new fans by expecting them to know anything about past incarnations of the team. “This is pretty much a fresh start. As a reader, you will not turn a page and see a villain you’ve never heard of and are supposed to ‘gasp’ just at the recognition. I will be delving heavily into the past, but it’s going to play both ways. If you’re a nut for continuity and like a nod to the past, you’ll be happy. If not, don’t worry, this book will hit all the right chords.”

Part of hitting the right chords might be implied in the solicitations for the new series that hint at the Outsiders taking on unique jobs, though Winick is loathe to specify exactly what those will be. “They’ll all work at Macy’s for about 3 issues. I’m kidding. They’re a heavy bunch. They will not play well with others.”

For the continuity buffs keeping score at home who wonder how this series might affect Nightwing’s own book or Jade’s appearances in “Green Lantern,” Winick says not to worry. “We will always be careful of minding our P’s and Q’s,” he assures fans.

The artist on “Outsiders” is another newly DC exclusive creator, Tom Raney, and from the way Winick’s talking, the penciller may just be turning in the best work of his life on this series. “He’s amazing. Amazing. Tom is going to be producing the best work of his career. Tom designed the new characters and redesigned the old ones, so he’s right here on the front line with me. The pleasure of working with someone like Tom is the security in strength. He can catch and emotional moment and deliver a fight scene that kicks all kinds of ass. A lot like my ol’ running buddy [now ‘Teen Titans artist] Mike McKone. Tom’s an ace. One of the reason I signed on was his involvement.”

If you’re not sold on “Outsiders” yet, Winick has one last thing to tell you about the series: “It’ll be the Best G** damned team book you’ve seen in long time.”


Sources for this entry: DC Secret Files, supplemented by titanstower.com


End of titanstower.com transmission. About this author:  Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind titanstower.com. He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since. Read more from this author