Batman and the Outsiders series artist Dexter Soy is no longer drawing the planned series finale, #17. Back in September, Soy tweeted out a statement to fans that in retrospect looks like a 'goodbye' message for the series.
"Today, Batman and the Outsiders #16 is out there and I’d like to thank Bryan Edward Hill for letting me play! Brilliant words and cool action! Veronica Gandidi for making my art better. Clayton Cowles for making words and sounds pleasant! Also to Dave Wielgosz and Ben Abernathy for always there to guide us when we’re messing up lol! It’s been a fun run on Batman and the Outsiders and in retrospect it surely been rad!"
Marcio Takara will take over art duties on Batman and the Outsiders #17, working with series writer Bryan Edward Hill. Takara recently drew Hawkman #23.
"The war with Ra's al Ghul reaches its end, and none of the Outsiders will ever be the same," reads DC's synopsis for Batman and the Outsiders #17. "And none of them might ever be a team again! Did Batman choose the wrong allies to assemble to fight Ra's? Or did those allies make a mistake in believing in Batman? The critically acclaimed series comes to its end!"
DC has not given a reason for this artistic change, however, Soy has already begun work on the one-shot Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Hush #1, which goes on sale November 3.
The decision to cancel Batman and the Outsiders is apparently part of line-wide cuts that DC publisher/chief creative officer Jim Lee says is a growing desire by the company in "increasing the margins of the books that we are doing."
"... It's about looking at everything and looking at the bottom 20%, 2% of the line that wasn't breaking even or was losing money," Lee explains. "It's about more punch for the pound, so to speak, and increasing the margins of the books that we are doing. It was about aligning the books to the franchise brand content we've developed and making sure that every book we put out, we put out for a reason."
Batman and the Outsiders #17 goes on sale October 13. A collection of this final arc, Batman and the Outsiders: Demon's Fire, is due out March 2, 2021.