Outsiders #11 Review

Reviewer: Mathan “I’ve gotten some pretty bad paper cuts, but never been shot” Erhardt.
Story Title: Scream Without Raising Your Voice

Written by: Judd Winick
Penciled by: Will Conrad
Inked by: Sean Parsons
Colored by: Gina Going
Lettered by: Ken Lopez
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics

Ok, so way back in Outsiders #6 Roy “Arsenal” Harper was shot five times while trying to save the world. He was even shot in his heart and had to have surgery. Roy’s been out of commission for a hot minute, but in #11 he takes the spotlight.

The issue begins with Roy remembering the events that led up to his shooting and after it, including his surgery, all while he is working out on a punching bag. We then see Arsenal looking in the mirror at his scarred torso and inspecting his scars. Five bullet scars, and one open-heart surgery scar. He then shares a tender moment with his daughter Lian.

After that Roy goes to visit his Outsiders teammate, Grace, and seek comfort in her arms. On his way home after that encounter, he witnesses a crime, but rather than save the day, he freezes at the sight of a gun. Fortunately the police arrive and intervene. Then Roy goes to Outsiders HQ and takes out his aggressions on the training drones. Nightwing arrives and the two spar with each other. When things get out of control, Nightwing does something that forces Roy to confront his fears. And the issue ends with two old friends talking.

Winick is one of the most maligned writers in the industry. But this issue proves that he’s one of the most talented as well. I usually go into great detail with my summaries of stories, but there is no way I could do justice to the story that Winick has written with my words. He was written one of the most human stories in a super hero comic that I’ve ever read. The scene with Grace is just so perfect, as is the one with Lian. Winick has really captured what it feels like to be the victim of a violent crime. This issue ranks up there with Black Lightning #5 as a great comic that shows the human side of super heroics.

Conrad did a fine job with the art. Some of the most important scenes in the book don’t have words. The entire “Roy in the mirror” sequence does a great job of showing his pain. When Grace goes to touch Roy’s scar and he won’t let her is just a perfect image. And Roy’s panic attack at the sight of a potential mugging illustrates just how badly the shooting damaged him. My only qualm is that Grace didn’t really look Asian. But aside from that the art was perfect for the story. And when isn’t a Bill Sienkiewicz cover spectacular?