Monday, December 11, 2017

QBP #111 - Batman & the Outsiders 32

Quarter-Bin Podcast #111

Batman & the Outsiders 32, DC Comics, cover-dated April 1986.

"A New War's Winning," by Mike W Barr, with art by Alan Davis.
"Looker's Body: A User's Manual," by Mike W. Barr & Alan Davis.

So how good is Batman at playing with others? Can he respect a teammate who has slightly different priorities than he has? Is his tactical genius enough to keep the Outsiders together? And how does a redheaded deal hottie with suddenly becoming a redheaded hottie?

Listen to the episode and find out!

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Promo #1: The Overlooked Dark Knight
Promo #2: Trentus Magnus Punches Reality

Next Episode: DC Retroactive: JLA 1970s, DC Comics, cover-dated September 2011.

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Source: Unknown, signed by Mike W. Barr at Akron Comic Con, 2017.


  1. This is one of those serendipity moments. Recently my LCS has been restocking their $1 boxes (so pricey!!) to include a lot of near complete runs of 80s stuff. As a result I was able to get some short runs of BATO, a book I never bought ever. This included the 'The Truth about Halo' story arc and the 'The Truth about Looker' story arc. And since this issue came out right after the Looker origin I bought this one as well.

    As you say, the second story is painfully dated and sexist. As I was reading it, so many moments made me cringe. She feels happy to be catcalled? She loves being judged by her looks? She even judges herself by her looks? Even the title 'Looker's Body, an owners manual' is creepy. Brrrr ...

    Of course, the art by Alan Davis is lush. She is a Looker. And it isn't that I don't mind good looking characters or idealized forms. But this was a bit much.

    How I would have loved an 80s Power Girl meets an 80s Looker one shot. Power Girl is every bit as drop dead gorgeous but would never be defined solely by that.

    1. Thank you for putting words to what I was trying to express in my head-shaking confusion. Yes, it's how much she REVELS in being judged by her appearance now that is so off-kilter. For one thing, psychological issues of body image, dysmorphia, etc ... don't just GO AWAY because you're suddenly hot. Those insecurities would still be there, to say the least. It's so out-of-touch.

  2. I’d never heard the term ‘Looker’ when she debuted, it was very US-specific. Finding out what it meant didn’t help, neither did its rhyming with ‘Hooker’... everything about her was awful, from the name to the look to the character. OK, maybe MWB was trying to tell us that looks ain’t everything, but that’s not a novel notion to your average comic book fan - we’re not stupid. And if you’re changing your name from the pretty ‘Emily’ to the supposedly sexier ‘Lia’, maybe get rid of the very working class ‘Briggs’ too? (Her lovely husband should’ve walked in that story you covered, surely changing into a stupider, more self-obsessed person counts as self-annulment?)

    Actually, becoming a vampire was the best thing that ever happened to her, as it saw Looker given a brain and treated with respect by Alan Grant in Detective Comics. He took a terrible character and made her usable.

    1. Thank you, Sir Martin. Never thought of the rhyme with "Hooker," but somehow ... it fits? Glad to know that vampiric redemption eventually came.