Outsiders (DC Comics)
The Outsiders from 1st Issue Special #10,
artist Jerry Grandenetti
|First appearance||1st Issue Special #10
|Created by||Joe Simon (writer)
Jerry Grandenetti (artist)
The Outsiders are a fictional group of outcasts, comic book characters published by DC Comics. Originally to be called the Freaks, they debuted in 1st Issue Special #10, (January 1976), and were created by Joe Simon and Jerry Grandenetti.
The team is first seen during the rescue of a macrocephalic mutant boy named Billy from a club-wielding xenophobic mob. After an overwhelming show of force (and the singing of their own personalized introductory theme song...), the Outsiders are able to rescue the child. Back at their secret headquarters, the team engages in a bit of meta-commentary and, ignoring the usual comic conceit of the Fourth Wall, addresses its origin story directly to the Reader.
In the first flashback, the tiny, newborn Lizard Johnny was found at sea during a storm by a solitary fisherman named Ahab Smith who brought the squalling infant reptilian humanoid to a nearby medical research facility where Doctor Goodie saved Johnny from death at the hands of a cold-hearted colleague and raised the rapidly growing verdant-hued child himself.
The next shows that Billy's father Mr. Lundy was a poor old tailor in the town of Lynnville who was murdered by burglars for the "treasure" he supposedly kept locked in the basement of his tailor's shop home. Instead of money, however, they found the bald, big-headed Billy hidden in the cellar. Terrified by the strange huge-headed youngster, the crooks set fire to both building and boy with a hastily thrown kerosene lamp, and then the criminals, joined by other fear-maddened citizens, chased the fleeing Billy who jumped into a fountain in order to douse his burning clothes. This incident dovetails with Billy's rescue by the Outsiders at the start of the story.
Finally it is revealed that the handsome golden-haired surgeon Doctor Goodie was a NASA medical consultant on a secret manned mission to Venus to respond to mysterious laser signals promising a cure for cancer and all other earthly ills. Trapped by a strange magnetic force, however, the space probe Alpha Zero crashed on the planet. The doctor was the only survivor and was rescued by vaguely seen hairless, purple-clad extraterrestrials who repaired his broken body and transformed him into a cyborg whose mechanical plastic parts are integrated into his remaining organic organs via a complex network of computer circuitry, but because they had no idea what humans looked like, they gave him a new face similar to their own hideously gaunt and shriveled, chinless, snaggle-toothed and bulgy-eyed Phantom of the Opera-like alien features which proved terrifying to most ordinary earthlings when he got back home. Later Doctor Goodie reveals that he has created elaborate prosthetic makeup which allows him to pass as a normal human doctor at the Ronkite Medical Complex when not leading the team as the two-fisted Doc Scary. Deep below the hospital is the vast hidden hi-tech headquarters of the Outsiders.
The origins of the three remaining Outsiders were never told. At the end of the issue all team members save for the white surgical tunic-clad Doc Scary are seen wearing their battle uniforms, black leotards with a red stylized "O" emblem on the front and their names in red on the back.
- Amazing Ronnie - Ronnie is a dark green lumpy-headed, four-armed cyclopean creature with acrobatic combat skills.
- Billy - Bald, baby-faced little Billy Lundy's massive steel-hard cranium appears to confer limited invulnerability which allows him to use it as a battering ram-style weapon when necessary.
- Doc Scary - The kind and compassionate Doctor Goodie was remade as a ghoulish-faced cyborg by aliens in order to save his life. His computerized fingers have greatly enhanced his own surgical abilities, skills he puts to good use as both the brave and resourceful leader of the Outsiders and in the hospital where he works wearing a lifelike mask of his pre-altered features, although unfortunately the virile good looks of this false visage have attracted the unwanted romantic attention there of both female patients and nurses alike who would otherwise be horrified by his true appearance (he is the only team member who has and, indeed, is capable of having a secret identity).
- Hairy Larry - Also known as the "Wheeler Dealer", Larry is a dwarfish shaggy red-maned, Quasimodo-faced cybernetic centauroid, half-man and half-automobile surgically fused at the waist into his futuristic glass-enclosed little vehicle. The team's primary source of transportation, he rapidly conveys both his friends and their trailer-like mobile laboratory to wherever they are needed.
- Lizard Johnny - the bespectacled, scraggly-haired Johnny is a long-tailed green lizard-like humanoid blessed with reptilian regenerative abilities and a poisonous venom-tipped forked tongue. Although it is not stated directly in the story itself, from his aquatic (and possibly Atlantean) origin it can be inferred that he is amphibious in nature.
- Mighty Mary - The hulking Mary has orange-scaled, webbed flipper-tipped arms and legs and possesses tremendous strength. The only female member, unlike the others Mary appears "normal" from the neck up and has the face of a beautiful girl with long blond hair.
- My Life In Comics, Joe Simon, Titan Books, 2011, pg. 231