Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Haley Reading Group: Batman and the Outsiders, Part 3


[Haley Reading groups Fall 2020]

In Part 3 of Batman and the Outsiders, Bryan Hill creates two simultaneous tests -- one involving Duke Thomas (The Signal) being tested by Batman and another one involving Sofia being tested by Ra's Al Ghul. 

Batman disguises himself as one of Duke's past enemies, one who apparently made Duke feel insecure about his status and support system. Ra's Al Ghul, on the other hand, is encouraging Sofia to embrace anger and vengeance by being taunted by the person who killed her father. Hill and Dexter Soy collaborate to present a visual narrative that alternates between the two settings showing the tests. 

How did you respond to Hill's storytelling setup in part 3? Did you find the recurring switches between Batman's and Ra's Al Ghul's tests enjoyable, confusing, interesting, difficult to understand, useful, or something else? In brief, why did you have the response that you did? 

17 comments:

Thomas Siganga said...

I found the switches to be a little confusing when I first read part 3, but I still found it interesting as I read through. I feel like the switches between Ra Al Ghul's tests and Batman made it feel like time was passing between the instances resulting in Sophia's transformation at the end of the chapter. I just feel like it was abrupt at times leaving me confused when the switch happened and would have preferred a smoother transition.

-Thomas Siganga

Ishmael Freeman said...

I found the switches between Batman and Ra's Al Ghul's tests very interesting because it displayed the contrast between what was being valued in the tests. Batman's tests was for Signal to realize that he is not alone and that he can depend on his teammates while Ra's Al Ghul's test was to bring out the rage in Sofia to turn her into a killer. It is a very interesting setup to bring a change in Signal and Sofia and I'm excited to see how their characters changed because of the tests.

Phoenix Johnson said...

The storytelling in the third part had me very intrigued and focused. The constant switches kept leaving me cliffhangers at each part, keeping me wondering what was going to happen. Each story was the complement of the other. Duke was conquered by fear and insecurities while Sofia embraced her fear to anger and vengeance. They were both illusions though to show each characters true emotions. This is why the switches kept me intrigued.

J'kolbe K. said...

I personally really enjoyed the switches that occurred in part 3. This artistic device not only forces you to look at the differences in the scene but the similarities as well. This story just keeps pulling me in deeper and deeper and i can't wait to read more.

Noah Jones said...

I think at first it felt confusing, but I quickly realized why the author chose to do it this way. He was trying to compare the two approcaches, almost frame by frame to each other, and I think in the end doing it this was a very good choice. Going back and reading it again really showed me this.

- Noah Jones

Isaiah J. said...

I found the context switches in part 3 to be very effective. They helped contrast the tests of both Signal and Sofia. To me, the most important difference between each test was not the teacher, but the other students.
Signal had his friends to help keep his mind in the right place while Sofia had no one. Signal was close to giving in to his insecurities in the same way Sofia did, but he ultimately grew as a person thanks to his friends. Meanwhile, Sofia had no one to tell her that Ra's Al Ghul was wrong. I think the context switches highlighted this perfectly.

-Isaiah J

Tyler B.C. said...

I think that the switch between Sofia and Duke provided a great contrast between one another. It's a type of storytelling that would be much harder to accomplish through a strictly text medium, but the visuals of the comic allow it to be much more clear and ennoyable. It shows the two different training styles of Batmand and Ra's Al Ghul. With Batman being one of compassion and understanding and Ra's Al Ghul's being one of anger and passion.

Jalen White said...

In my opinion, I really enjoyed the switches, but I can see why some people would find it confusing. I thought it was a very clever way to demonstrate a comparison, and it came off as very original. It was also a good way to draw in suspense, or keep the reader interested.

-Jalen W

Jalen White said...

In my opinion, I found the switches to be quite clever, but I can see how it could be confusing to some readers. The choice does lead for a simple way to make comparisons, and it does so in an artistic and clever way. It also gives the author opportunity to draw suspense, or keep the audience interested and engaged.

Jalen W

Youssef Hassan said...

I felt that the tests being done in a close sequence was not that confusing. This could be because the writers kept both tests short. I understand that they kept batman's test short since they are most likely going to show his relationship with the outsiders more in part 4. I found Rasal Gul's test to be interesting, I cant wait to see what happens next.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was an interesting dynamic. It was clear that the writer understood Batman and Ras Al Ghul's dynamic. Both are very selective with what they want other people to know but the major difference is at the end of the day one is an assassin and one is a hero. Where Batman's end goal is always to make his pupils better Ras Al Ghul aims to control his followers and though he claimed it was to make Sofia stronger it's clear he has ulterior motives.

Donovan Washington said...

I appreciated the dynamic Hill's storytelling created between Sofia's and Signal's tests. Their tests, when looked at together, feel so opposite while also drawing in the reader to the character's similar emotions. This part of the comic book made me think about how the tests we go through in life shape our future experiences and emotions.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was an interesting dynamic. It was clear that the writer understood Batman and Ras Al Ghul's dynamic. Both are very selective with what they want other people to know but the major difference is at the end of the day one is an assassin and one is a hero. Where Batman's end goal is always to make his pupils better Ras Al Ghul aims to control his followers and though he claimed it was to make Sofia stronger it's clear he has ulterior motives.

Chris W. 10/11/20

Justin Jubert said...

Personally, I enjoyed the switches between Batman's and Ghul's tests because it expanded on the story and progressed our understanding of the characters. Sofia continues to be one of my favorite characters in regards to depth and complexity. She was told how worthless she was, then was manipulated into using violence and anger, instead of properly handling her emotions. Batman's tests, like his personality, revolved around morality and thinking through problems.

-Justin J

James Beverly III said...

I found the switches between Batman and Ghul to be a little confusing. It disrupts my focus on a book when the story is told from various points of view. After catching up, I found myself to be more drawn to Sofia (mainly because I'm not fond of Batman or DC as a whole), Sofia seems to be a strong female role in this story. It's interesting to see how she handles her emotions throughout the novel.

- James B.

Torian henry said...

For me I thought the switches were an interesting touch on the plot, but I could have gone without it. I don't know if it was the execution or the scenes in general but I did not really pull me in like previous sequences of the story.

Torian H.

William Shanklin said...

I felt that the switches between the tests were very clever from the writer. This is due to the fact that it portrayed the different emotions that each of the characters were going through, by the dynamic on each page. I didn’t find it confusing, but I understand where the confusion comes from. I am excited to see more character interaction with Sofia because of the complexity of her character. - William Shanklin