- Any hero who operates in public has the F.B.I., the C.I.A., Homeland Security and Metahuman Affairs looking over his shoulder. Groups like the J.L.A., the Justice Society, and even the Teen Titans are under the microscope. This limits their options. Only criminals operate without constraints anymore, so we're going to cultivate the Outsiders' reputation as a team of outlaws.
- -- Batman
Five of a Kind is an Outsiders storyline written by Tony Bedard with illustrations by Freddie E. Williams II, Kevin Sharpe, Koi Turnbull, Josh Middleton, Cliff Richards, Matthew Clark, and Ron Randall. There is additional writing by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, G. Willow Wilson, Mike W. Barr, and Marc Andreyko. This follows Judd Winick's CheckOut arc which ended in issue #49, and Bedard concludes the Outsiders series in issue #50. This leads into Chuck Dixon's Batman and the Outsiders series, beginning with The Chrysalis.
Batman announces that he's holding auditions for the Outsiders. The existing members of the team are angry that Batman is making them try out for their own positions. Captain Boomerang and Nightwing are sent to a S.T.A.R. Labs space station where Chemo is being weaponized. Nightwing tries to send Chemo hurtling into the sun. Boomerang betrays Nightwing and saves Chemo, having secretly joined Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad. Nightwing regrets that Boomerang probably wouldn't have betrayed them if they didn't force him to prove himself repeatedly. Nightwing decides he doesn't want to work with Batman, and quits the team.
Marvel tells Katana that her soulsword is disturbing the world of magic. Katana stabs herself with it to enter the realm inside, a vast world called Fukumaden. It's revealed that Takeo Yamashiro has enslaved the land and is using his powers to escape. Marvel protects Katana against Takeo's real-world agent, an assassin named Battleaxe. Katana leads a rebellion to stop Takeo, and chops off his hand before leaving. Batman reveals that this was their test. He chooses to accept Katana for her willingness to sacrifice, and dismiss Marvel because he is too tied to the Rock of Eternity.
Martian Manhunter and Thunder are sent deep underground to find Darkseid's son Grayven. Grayven was lobotomized by Green Lantern and sent underground by Zeta-Beam. He is fleeing the god killer, having seen Speed Queen murdered. Grayven tried to build a zeta device to stop the god killer by sending him to Darkseid. Thunder decides to help defeat the god killer, and has Martian Manhunter restore Grayven's mind. Grayven tries to kill them, and they send him to Apokolips using the zeta device. Grayven is killed on Darkseid's throne by the god killer. Batman enlists Martian Manhunter, and fires Thunder for releasing a mass-murderer on the universe.
Aquaman and Metamorpho are sent to end conflict over an underground reservoir in the Sahara Desert. They meet a witch named Halcyon who is protecting the area against exploitation by Stagg Enterprises. Metamorpho realizes that Halcyon got her powers from the Orb of Ra that transformed him, and he captures her. Metamorpho confronts Simon Stagg, who is responsible for bringing the Orb of Ra to the area. Halcyon tells Metamorpho that he can use the orb to fix his body. Simon tells Metamorpho that the orb can make the world a better place. Metamorpho insists that it is an object of evil, and he finally destroys it. Halcyon saves Metamorpho from dying when the orb explodes. Checkmate agrees to step in and mediate conflict in the area. Metamorpho is supposed to arrest Halcyon, but he lets her escape. Batman commends Metamorpho on destroying the orb and allowing Halcyon to spread the word about them. Batman decides that Aquaman does not live up to his predecessor. Aquaman angrily leaves, and reveals that he could have given them access to a massive network of magical undersea portals.
In the aftermath of Amazons Attack, Grace and Wonder Woman are sent to investigate an Amazon weapon in Cleveland, Ohio. Grace reveals that the only good foster family she had was in Cleveland. Wonder Woman suggests visiting this family, but it turns out they died in a car accident. Grace and Wonder Woman find a giant bomb capable of destroying the entire city. They are unsure of how to dismantle it, and the bomb arms itself to go off. Grace realizes they have no other option, and she plunges her fist inside to make a guess at disarming it. This works, and they save the city. Wonder Woman suggests that they hang out more often, as their shared Amazon heritage makes them basically cousins. Batman reveals that Wonder Woman was not being considered for membership, this was only a test for Grace, and she passed.
The final lineup includes Batman, Grace, Katana, Martian Manhunter, and Metamorpho. Grace is furious that Boomerang, Nightwing, and Thunder were kicked out. Batman explains that they want a reputation as criminals, and he is sparing the others that stigma. Their first mission is going undercover in Gotham City to establish their villain credibility. Batman takes them to a super-villain club as Matches Malone, where they network with the local bad guys. Grace ignores Batman and brings her girlfriend Thunder anyway. The Suicide Squad arrives to round up villains as part of Salvation Run. The Outsiders fight the Squad and get several small-time villains out safely. Grace is angry to see Boomerang working with the Squad. Thunder rescues Grace from getting dragged out by Bane. Batman tells them to tell Amanda Waller that this operation will blow up in her face. In the aftermath, the Outsiders return to the Batsub. Catwoman approaches the team to say that Batman can't possibly start up his own crew of super-crooks without her.
- Outsiders: Five of a Kind - Nightwing/Boomerang #1
- Outsiders: Five of a Kind - Katana/Shazam #1
- Outsiders: Five of a Kind - Thunder/Martian Manhunter #1
- Outsiders: Five of a Kind - Metamorpho/Aquaman #1
- Outsiders: Five of a Kind - Wonder Woman/Grace #1
- Outsiders Vol 3 #50
Links and References
This event or storyline is specifically related to any and all incarnations of the Outsiders, also known as Batman and the Outsiders. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Outsiders Storylines category.