Review by Ian Keogh
When this book was published in 2006 the Teen Titans and Outsiders, who number several former Teen Titans among their membership, were both undergoing crises. Superboy had learned he’s in fact a clone of Lex Luthor, which, let’s face it, would ruin anyone’s day, while Arsenal of the Outsiders was convinced one of the team was a traitor. It seems, mind, that it’s not who he thought at the end of Wanted.
The gist of the opening two chapters is the remaining members of both teams facing off against a single corrupted team mate who has little trouble seeing off their former allies. It’s not really giving too much away to note that by the third chapter we have that old Luthor and Brainiac team back together again, and their aim is to eradicate every superhero from the face of the planet.
Whew! Take a breath. High concept or what? Don’t get too excited. Mention of this insidious plot is pretty well as far as it goes, as it takes an age to move this story forward. Writers Geoff Johns and Judd Winick spend the middle section pretty well repeating their opening chapters, the only substantial difference being the heroes are now united, but come up with a corker of an ending to main storyline. That’s followed by a rather overwrought Teen Titans epilogue leading into Life and Death, then a slightly better look at the Outsiders coping with what’s happened. Their story continues in Crisis Intervention.
There’s really not much to recommend about Insiders. Artists Matthew Clark and Carlos D’Anda are decent enough, and as a means of facilitating change in the line-ups of both teams it works. However, unless you’ve built a particular fondness for the cast members at the centre of this plot (no spoilers) it’s five very ordinary superhero comics, with one slightly better, punctuated by a few pages of well delivered heartbreak.