Pay as You Go is an Outsiders storyline written by Judd Winick with illustrations by Carlo Barberi, Freddie E. Williams II, and Scott McDaniel. It was published in the third Outsiders volume, following The Good Fight and leading into the Checkmate crossover CheckOut. The story details events that happened to the Outsiders during the missing year after Infinite Crisis.
The Outsiders relax on the Pequod after their recent battle against Doctor Sivana and Saber. Nightwing stops to reflect on the events of the last year. The only Outsiders left after Infinite Crisis were Arsenal, Grace, Shift, and Thunder. They decide they need more members after taking down a cell of Dominators left behind during Invasion!. Red Hood showed up in Gotham to fight Nightwing, then revealed he had information to clear Black Lightning of murder charges. It's revealed that Black Lightning turned himself in to Checkmate, who put him in Iron Heights under a different identity. Red Hood explains that Deathstroke tricked Black Lightning into believing he was a murderer. Nightwing and Thunder approach Black Lightning in prison, but he refuses to believe their story. Thunder kisses Grace in a moment of passion. Thunder tries to convince the Outsiders to break Black Lightning out of prison, but they refuse. Grace and Thunder have sex for the first time, and begin a relationship. Gregory Wolfe assigns Black Lightning to share a cell with Captain Boomerang, Jr.. Black Lightning's cover is blown, and Boomerang is given a contract to murder him. The Outsiders learn this and agree to break Black Lightning out of prison. They launch a cover operation in Iron Heights. This goes badly when they accidentally set off an EMP that cuts off the power dampeners in the lower metahuman ward. There's a massive riot, forcing Black Lightning and Captain Boomerang to fight for their lives in the chaos. Warden Wolfe uses his pain-inducing powers to make the prisoners submit. Shift tries to counteract this with a gas to calm the rioters and ease their pain. Wolfe grows furious and pushes his powers to the limit, until 44 people including his own guards are dead. The Outsiders break out with Black Lightning and Captain Boomerang, but the Pequod is shot down by a missile. They survive the crash, but decide it's better to fake their own deaths. Arsenal quits the team, and goes on TV to eulogize his friends. Shift cannot deal with his grief, and he leaps back into Metamorpho, who absorbs all of Shift's memories and experiences. Nightwing takes over as leader again, and the team receives new funding from Green Arrow.
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.