- Black Lightning
- Revolving Fifth Member
The first team of Outsiders started when the Justice League refused to help Batman rescue Lucius Fox from Baron Bedlam. Batman recruited Black Lightning and went to the country Markovia, where they crossed paths with other metahumans. Geo-Force is the prince of the country, and his father was recently killed by Bedlam. Metamorpho has travelled there to get help with his abilities from Dr. Helga Jace, who was responsible for giving Geo-Force his own powers. Katana is also there so she can kill Bedlam’s military commander General Karnz, who was in part responsible for the death of her children and husband. Batman also finds a young girl in the woods with amnesia with light based abilities. Batman names the girl Halo, and the group decides to stay together after teaming up to stop Bedlam.
Some of the team’s foes are Agent Orange, the Cryonic Man, Force of July and the Masters of Disaster (New Wave, Shakedown, Windfall, Heatwave and Coldsnap). Geo-Force's sister Terra would soon die due to her betrayal of the Teen Titans, and Batman would inform the team of his being Bruce Wayne, even though they already knew. Emily Briggs is revealed in the comics and would soon become Looker. Halo’s origin has also been revealed to the group, and Geo-Force’s lover Denise Howard also showed up during this period.
The Outsiders were created by Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo, and first appeared in The Brave and The Bold #200 (July 1983).
The original Outsiders were founded in Brave and the Bold #200 (July 1983) and had 6 founding members. They are Batman (currently active), Black Lightning (currently active), Geo Force (currently inactive), Halo (currently active), Katana (currently active) and Metamorpho (currently active). They were created to go where the Justice League wouldn't for political reasons.
3 years later (June 1986) during "Adventures of the Outsiders" #34 the super heroine the Looker (currently active) joined the Outsiders. Another year later (May 1987) a clone of Windfall (deceased) joined the team during The Outsiders #19. The clone died in The Outsiders #20 (June 1987) and the real Windfall joined the team. A year later (The Outsiders #28 February 1988) the Atomic Knight joins the team.
During Outsiders #1 Alpha (November 1993) 3 new people joined the Outsiders. They were Faust (currently active), Technocrat (deceased) and Wylde (currently active). Then 2 issues later in Outsiders #3 Alpha (January 1994) Dervish joined. Then in September 2001 the super heroine Dr. Light joined the Outsiders.
Another Outsiders was formed in Outsiders #1 (August 2003) with Arsenal, Grace, Indigo, Shift, Thunder, Nightwing and Jade as it's founding members. Arsenal put the team together thinking he was working with Batman, but it was actually Deathstroke in disguise. Arsenal and Nightwing conceived of the team as a more proactive team. 7 issues later in Outsiders #8 (March 2004) Huntress joined the team. Then in a year following that another former Teen Titan Starfire joined the team during the issue Outsiders #16. Another year from then down to the month (November 2005) Captain Marvel Jr joined the team. The final member to join this team was Boomerang in The Outsiders #37 (April 2011).
Outsiders Vol. 4
After Arsenal and Nightwing left the team, Batman rebuilt the team through a lengthy audition process. He needed a team to help him deal with Brother Eye, his rogue A.I.. The team eventually consisted of Outsiders regulars: Metamorpho, Katana, and Grace, plus newcomers Martian Manhunter and Catwoman. In addition, Batman had scientists Dr. Francine Langstrom and Dr. Salah Miandad on staff to research OMAC technology. Although, she was kicked off the team by Batman, Thunder's close relationship to Grace made her a regular ally with the team. Eventually, Batgirl and Green Arrow were recruited, and Geo-Force was transferred from the JLA back to the Outsiders.
After the death of Batman, the team had a major overhaul. Alfred ran one of Batman's contingency plans to build a team of Outsiders to work as Batman outside of Gotham, with each member representing a part of Batman. Geo-Force is his bravery and leadership. Black Lightning is his morality, and Katana is his sense of justice. The new Owlman has Batman's detective abilities, and The Creeper has his fear factor. Halo is the surrogate Robin, symbol of innocence, and Metamorpho is an all-purpose "utility belt."
After reality is warped a few times, The Outsiders become a team with a secret history that Batman had been hiding from the world. He eventually goes semi-public with the team when he discloses his plan for a new team to the Justice League. He puts some of his youngest allies: Signal, Orphan, and Batgirl (Barbara) under the tutelage of Black Lightning and Katana, eventually trusting the two of them to run the team without him.
Major Story Arcs
Batman withholds the knowledge that Bedlam has been brought to life and retook Markovia with help from the Masters of Disaster and other Soviet forces. This angers the team and leads Batman to disband the group. However, the team minus Batman travels to Markovia where they discover dead soldiers because of Bedlam. After beating Bedlam, they discover he has cloned Adolf Hitler, but the clone soon kills himself because of the horrors caused by his older self. The team is soon branded as Markovian agents who gain funding from the country and they soon move to L.A. in a new headquarters, but Geo-Force leaves. Geo-Force has divorced his wife Denise Howard and Looker and her husband are now separated. Batman only leaves for 1 year.
The group also battles their foes the Forces of July again and the team battles the Duke of Oil and the People’s Heroes, a group of Soviet super villains. The team was also stranded on an island for three weeks, Geo-Force and Looker had an affair and he gives up his position as team leader on the island but the team is soon rescued. The Looker is soon followed by a detective who learns of her real identity and tries to blackmail her. However, she hypnotizes him and forces him to leave her alone, but he was soon killed. Looker is arrested for the crime and the team is unable to clear her name of the charges.
Return of Batman
The team rejoins with Batman to battle Eclipso and are given access to the L.A. Batcave. Geo-Force and Looker break off their affair after feelings of guilt, the cave is infiltrated by a clone of Windfall, but was killed during a battle with the Masters of Disaster and the real Windfall leaves her team and joins the Outsiders.
The team would soon face hardship as Dr. Jace was revealed to be working with the Manhunters. The team is taken prisoner but escape with help from Atomic Knight who joins the team. Dr. Jace dies when she was blown up along with Metamorpho. Looker also looses her powers after returning to the Abyssia when her powers came from and battled the Manhunters. Halo is also wounded saving Katana and falls in a coma and is watched by Katana. After these events Geo-Force has the team break up once again.
Markovia is taken over by a vampire-lord who has Geo-Force branded a traitor. Geo-Force is forced to reform the Outsiders with new and old members to battle the threat. Looker is killed during the battle. The team is blamed for the destruction of a Markovian village, sending them into hiding. Atomic Knight soon rejoins the team after tracking down the team to bring them in, but is proved of their innocence. Faust, Technocrat and Wylde join the team. Halo and Technocrat’s wife Marissa are killed while the group hides in Gotham City while fighting Jean-Paul Valley when he was acting as Batman. Luckily, Halo has taken over Marissa’s body, but this is causing Technocrat to have a hard time dealing with her death. The team soon finds that Looker is still alive, but as a vampire and is soon freed from the control of the vampire-lord by her friends.
The team is soon split after the battle with the vampires. One composed of Geo-Force, Katana, Technocrat and Wylde, the other includes Eradicator, Looker, Halo and Faust and because of some of the things done by some of the new members are still fugitives. The teams also learn that Halo’s original body has been reborn and is being used by Violet Harper, the evil woman Halo originally controlled. The teams defeat Kobra, the group that recreated Halo’s body and Harper (now calling herself Spectra with her own powers like Halo’s) as well as Dervish and Windfall. The teams fights Faust’s father Felix Faust who tells Wylde to betray the team in return for being human again, but is turned into a real bear and imprisoned in a zoo after they beat Felix.
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 (Indigo) from the future invaded the complex - and immediately engaged the team in combat. With half the team out of commission, the remaining members tried to track down Indigo, but instead encountered a rogue Superman android, which had been activated. The destructive robot caused the deaths of Titans Troia and Omen. Indigo arrived and shut down the Superman android, leaving Arsenal and Nightwing to mourn the fallen Troia.
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 (actually Shift), 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 and said the team should track down criminals before they do anything wrong.
During one of their earliest adventures, Roy is critically injured, so he extends an offer to take his place as leader of the Outsiders to Huntress, which she accepted until Roy was healthy enough to return. Once Roy returned, he would continue to co-lead with Nightwing, but it wasn't like on the Titans. They had a heated confrontation forcing Jade to assume leadership and invite Starfire to join.
Under Jade's leadership, the team would successfully end a number of criminal organizations, including the metahuman trafficking ring that once victimized Grace. However, Nightwing's feelings about the team grow more ambivalent after finding out their corporate sponsors are a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises.
Soon after, the team was betrayed by Indigo, who was revealed as Brainiac 8. This resulted in Nightwing leaving the team and Roy destroying their headquarters. Jade and Roy restructured the team (no meetings, no headquarters) and bolstered their ranks by recruiting Captain Marvel Jr. and original member, Katana.
Escape from Iron Heights
Former Outsider, Black Lightning, was sent to Iron Heights for the death of Martin Somers. He had Lightning’s niece assassinated, and Lightning was convinced he was responsible for Somers death. It was, in fact, Deathstroke who framed Lightning. Nightwing received evidence from Red Hood that only acquitted Pierce but also proved his identity had been learned in prison. With time of the essence, Nightwing went to his old team to rescue Lightning.
The plan was to disguise Grace and Thunder as transferring convicts, while Nightwing sneaks into the security system. Grace was disguised as Girder, so when the guards used a magnetic weapon to keep her under control, it backfired, causing an electromagnetic pulse that knocked out all the power dampening collars, starting a prison riot. They find Lightning, getting backup from his cellmate, Captain Boomerang Jr.
The warden attempted to pacify the riot, and by extension the Outsiders escape attempt, with his metahuman ability to constrict muscles telepathically. Shift, unaffected by the warden’s ability, tried to counteract the attack by transforming into airborne muscle relaxants. Unfortunately, the warden overpowered him and was going to kill everyone as a result. This forced Shift to create a bubble around his teammates and save his airborne medicine just for them. The warden ended up killing everyone else on the prison floor, including himself.
Those deaths would publicly be blamed on Shift, Grace, Thunder, and Katana, all of whom were caught on prison surveillance. Roy and Dick kept up the illusion that they were killed in the escape, but Shift couldn’t take the grief. He forcibly rejoined Metamorpho, who then joined the team in honor of his former fragment, as did Boomer.
After this colossal failure, Roy left the team to Dick, who planned to lead the team on espionage missions.
One Year Later
Ever since the prison break at Iron Heights, Nightwing has been leading the Outsiders on secret international missions. They are eventually revealed while trying to free child soldiers in Mali where they faced a clone of Jay Garrick. They start investigating the trafficking of metahuman clones which leads them first to the Brotherhood of Evil and then Dr. Sivana. Sivana is revealed to be the mastermind of many of the team’s threats and investigations. They confront Sivana at his island headquarters, where Katana releases Sabbac’s soul to defeat him.
This extra attention they drew to themselves put them back on Checkmate’s radar. Checkmate arrests the fugitive members of the team, with the hope of turning them into a strike team. The Science Squad was still active on Oolong Island, but Checkmate could not act without catching the ire of North Korea.
When some of the members of the Outsiders are captured, Checkmate burns them and denies any responsibility for their actions. Despite this, China still offered them the chance to attempt a rescue which they accepted. Checkmate’s Knights and the free Outsiders, now with the help of Batman, return to the island to free their teammates.
Nightwing yet again gives up being the leader and suggests to Batman that he should take over.
After Batman becomes the new leader of the Outsiders, he holds try-outs with the present team roster and possible newcomers. The first try-out is with Nightwing and Captain Boomerang; Nightwing quits the team because he doesn't approve of Batman's methods and Boomerang leaves to be a part of the new Suicide Squad.
The second try-out is with Katana and Captain Marvel; Katana is chosen to be the first official member of the team, while Captain Marvel isn't chosen because he is too busy with the Rock of Eternity.
The third try-out is with Thunder and Martian Manhunter; Martian Manhunter joins the team, while Thunder is kicked out.
The fourth tryout is with Metamorpho and the new Aquaman; Metamorpho stays on the team, while Aquaman isn't accepted because Batman thinks that he can't match his predecessor.
The last try-out is with Grace and Wonder Woman; Grace is accepted on to the team and Batman later reveals that Wonder Woman was never a candidate for membership.
Batman's New Outsiders
Batman decided on a new roster from the tryouts to help in his investigation of a businessman named Jardine and his connection to Brother Eye. Apparently, even tough Thunder was kicked out and Aquaman wasn't accepted, they both provided aid to the team when necessary. Catwoman also joined the team, but neither she nor Martian Manhunter would last beyond the first mission.
During their first mission, the team investigated a Jardine lab on multiple fronts, discovering an OMAC robot that was being bombarded with gamma radiation. After stunning, the team would recover the robot and leave it in the care of Dr. Francine Langstron and Dr. Salah Miandad, who were able to duplicate it before the JLA came to commandeer the original from Batman.
With the team now bolstered by new members Batgirl, Green Arrow, Geo-Force, and the revamped OMAC, Remac, the team looked into Jardine's rocket launch, which strands Rex on Jardine's moon base. Their attempts at a rescue put them on the wrong side of international incidents, but they end up with the intel that Jardine has built a giant space gun on the dark side of the moon to a bore a hole to the center of it.
Unfortunately, Batman disappears during his investigation of the Black Glove, and The Outsiders struggle to remain together without him. He left them a video message that directed them to his Black Glove evidence to continue the investigation, but the Black Glove were ahead of him. They used a virus to blowup Remac, killing Salah and putting Thunder in a coma. The Outsiders disbanded over this, but Batgirl refused to give up. With Nightwing's eventual help, she would go on to create The Network to replace both Batman and The Outsiders.
Dark Knight Contingency
After the 'death' of Batman during Final Crisis, Batman's butler, Alfred, finds a hidden chamber with a computer in it with Batman's last words for Alfred and other members of the Bat-Family. Alfred is asked to lead a new group of Outsiders that each of an individual characteristic of the Dark Knight since Batman is 'dead.' Alfred finds and recruits: Black Lightning, Halo, Katana, Geo-Force, the Creeper, Metamorpho, and Owlman (Roy Raymond, Jr.). Alfred tells these heroes that they need to cut ties with their old lives as now they will be on the constant front line of battle, which they all accept.
Things quickly began to fall apart. Creeper quit the team when Metamorpho tried to reach out to him, and Geo-Force revealed that he had entered a non-aggression pact with New Krypton. Whilst foiling a robbery attempt by the newly reformed Masters Of Disaster, Black Lightning was forced to confront Geo-Force due to his increasingly erratic behavior. The two fought, ending with Geo-Force kicking Black Lightning and Metamorpho out of Markovia. This effectively split the team into 2 groups. Black Lightning's group was forced to turn to Simon Stagg in order to re-enter the U.S. However, they were betrayed when Stagg used Metamorpho's body to power a new version of Chemo and turned his henchman Java into the newest Shaggy Man. Stagg was eventually defeated, Metamorpho was freed, and the Outsiders gained a new member: Stagg's former bodyguard Freight Train.
Meanwhile, Geo-Force's team was just as busy, after quelling anti-Kryptonian riots in Markovia, Brion reformed Halo as a gift to Katana. Looker rejoined the team after an encounter with the vampire hunter Stake, and the team dealt with the invading forces of the Olympian and Geo-Force's ex-wife, Denise Howard, who had now mutated into an insane creature called Geode, after trying to gain powers like Brion's. Tragedy struck again when the creature known as Doomsday attacked the team and brutally murdered the Eradicator.
Bruce Wayne was revealed to be alive and staged an attack on Geo-Force in order to evaluate the Outsiders worth to be involved in his future plans, a test they failed.
While visiting Black Lightning's daughter Thunder and her girlfriend Grace, The U.S based team was attacked by the JSA All-Stars and Amanda Waller. Waller offered the team a deal: defeat and apprehend the Markovia based team or go to jail. Black Lightning swiftly accepted and gathered his team (Thunder and Grace now among them) and traveled to Markovia, causing an all-out Outsider vs Outsider war. This confrontation would eventually be ended by Batman's intervention, who brought everyone but Geo-Force back to the US.
Batman officially disbanded the team, folding a few members into Batman Incorporated for his investigation into Leviathan.
In the Rebirth from the New 52, Batman had created The Outsiders as a black ops team that worked in secret from the Justice League and the Bat-Family. Their original purpose was to investigate the various dark multiverse metals, but they would eventually take on other missions.
On the Outside
When Karma, a criminal from Batman’s past starts targeting the youngest of his allies (Duke and Orphan), Batman re-enlists one of his former Outsiders, Black Lightning, to take them plus Barbara, under his wing. The others didn’t take too kindly to being pawned off, and they decided to make Lightning’s job especially hard.
When Karma kidnapped a TV anchorwoman and a busload of school children, Batgirl conspired to get Orphan into the field and help Batman behind Lightning’s back. While Batman took on Karma, Orphan attempted to free the children. She couldn’t figure out how to disconnect them from a bomb until Lightning showed up to help her. He contained the blast with his powers, while Orphan cut the wires. Karma ultimately got away, but the children were saved.
Karma would show up again at a Wayne Enterprises building, holding a security guard hostage. Lightning would insist on leading the team, now including Katana, into the field with Batman. Batman agreed, as long as he fights Karma alone.
He tracked Karma’s gear to a Markovian gun-running operation that was one of many global criminal networks that Batman had been tracking. He requested this new team stick together to investigate these crimes.
Babylon and the League of Assassins
When a man Batman saved years earlier dies, he sends the Outsiders to Los Angeles to recover his now adult metahuman daughter, Sofia, who is still being tracked by her father’s killer, a man named Ishmael. He was the result of the same metahuman program as Sofia and was working for Ra’s al Ghul. The Outsiders were no match for Ishmael, even with Batman’s new ally, Kaliber, joining them on the west coast.
Luckily, Batman had a tracker on her which positioned her in Khadym, Ra’s al Ghul’s rogue nation. Lightning and Katana sneak into the country with cover IDs from Kaliber, but Sofia has been transformed into Babylon, a brainwashed enforcer for the League of Assassins. They are able to bring her in, but Kaliber reveals himself as a League mole. He sabotages the plane back into Gotham, but Lightning, Katana, and Sofia miraculously survive, with Batman making yet another promise to Sofia to keep her safe.
Meanwhile Ishmael attacks Duke and Cassie, torturing Duke with a metahuman upgrade and torturing Cassie through a confrontation with her mother, Lady Shiva. He also revealed to them that Karma was a prisoner of Batman’s. Neither of them took the bait.
Feeling the need to put pressure on the team, Ra’s had a friend of Lightning’s killed, making him doubt his commitment to the team. This prompted Lady Shiva to extend an offer to help him get vengeance on the League of Assassins. They tracked down a Markovian arms dealer. Before she could give them information, she was killed by Kaliber, who was with Ishmael and Karma.
As the trio attacked, Lightning and Shiva were joined by the Outsiders, who broke ranks to help him. They were getting the best of the League assassins, when Kaliber blew bombs across the nearby town. The Outsiders were forced to give up on the fight to rescue the townspeople.
The team regrouped in Gotham, now with Lady Shiva as a member, where Batman was proud of the people they saved. Together, they investigated an alien warcraft that Ra’s had recovered and found Kaliber, Karma, and Ishmael dead. They received a message from Ra’s. Disband the team, hand the children over to the League, and kill Shiva for her betrayal, and Ra’s will end his terror on the world.
Despite most of the team disagreeing with him, Batman believes their most prudent move is to bench the team and give in to Ra’s demands until they can learn more about his alien weapon. His prevailing theory is that it taps into Earth’s electromagnetic field and Lightning could disarm it if he pushes himself beyond his current limits. However, an impatient Lady Shiva convinces Duke and Cassie to go rogue with her. They run down leads until they get Ra’s location from a random League goon, which they share with Batman.
The team regroups in Tokyo, where Ra’s interrupts a meeting of the same consortium that created Babylon and Ishmael. Lightning is able to run interference with the device, while the rest of the team engage in a fight with the League. Once Lightning is able to destroy the device, Ra’s retreats back to the shadows.
Back in Gotham, the future of the team was uncertain, but Sofia ultimately left with Shiva to find herself.
Revolving Fifth Chair
Lightning and Katana were having dinner with Metamorpho, catching up on the good old days, when they were attacked by sorcerer ninjas led by Katana’s mother-in-law. She was angry because the soul of her son, Maseo, has gone missing from the Soulsword and blamed Katana’s recent romantic feelings for Lightning. Katana ultimately made a deal with her: one year to find her son’s soul.
Once freed, Lightning and Katana invite Rex back to the Outsiders along with Duke and a revolving fifth member. After a few different missions, they are visited by the soul of Black Lightning from the future. He needs the team's help against The Fearful, an early test subject of Scarecrow's that now secretes fear toxin like a pheromone.
With Tim Drake and Clownhunter's help, the Outsiders are able to track and capture The Fearful, where they overwhelmed his system and brought him in for surgery, curing him and changing the future.
In Other Media
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Black Lightning, Metamorpho and Katana are a group of teenage 'outsiders' that are influenced by Sleez to attack society for considering them freaks. Batman and Wildcat defeat Sleez and convince the Outsiders that they can do better things with their abilities. Wildcat trains them to box and hone their skills to do good. The teaser of "Duel of the Double Crossers", they train in a simulation against Despero. In "Inside the Outsiders", the team falls victim to Psycho-Pirate. Batman goes inside the minds of each member to stop Psycho-Pirate from feeding from their emotions. In the teaser for "Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster", the Outsiders return, now with Black Lightning and Katana in comic book accurate outfits and with the addition of Halo and Geo-Force. They and Batman fight Kobra.
Beware the Batman
The Outsiders are formed by the end of Beware the Batman. In "Monsters", where Batman, Katana, and Metamorpho team up against a gang of armored criminals hired by Sapphire Stagg. Metamorpho calls them "outsiders". In "Alone", Katana recruits Metamorpho, Oracle and Man-Bat to assist Batman against Deathstroke. They, along with Alfred, deactivate Deathstroke's bombs in the Batcave and wipe his memories of Batman's true identity. Alfred also calls the group "outsiders".
The Outsiders are featured in the third season of Young Justice, titled Young Justice: Outsiders. It is the brain child of Beast Boy, who wanted to bring the covert team out in the open and use social media to help inspire other teens, especially those with the metagene. Teammates Static, Blue Beetle, Wonder Girl, and Kid Flash (Bart Allen) joined his cause right away, with Geo-Force, Forager, El Dorado, and Halo joining soon after.