The Outer Circle
|Original review author(s):||Yaoi Huntress Earth|
|Webcomic Name:||The Outer Circle|
|Start Date:||March 5, 2005|
|End Date:||Appears to be dead, last update was 2010-06-22, last news update was in early 2009.|
|Defining Flaw:||Too much self-worship|
Average art, but Napierski's poses are stiff and limited.
Just a bunch of wacky adventures that glorify the main character.
A mean, arrogant, self-inserted Mary-Sue and his abused sidekicks and a token female. 'Nuff said.
Steve (the main character) actually makes Rayne (of Least I Could Do) look humble.
It's nothing more than a one-man bragging session.
I was looking for a comic and this one was mentioned so I thought I'd check it out.
The very first strip is a fourth wall joke. If that's not bad enough, there's also the copy-paste art, the misogyny, and the fact that the main character is a Mary-Sue self-insert.
Story and Plot
The storylines of Outer Circle are just wacky adventures half of the time. The rest boil down to Mary-Sue "protagonist" Steve calling "straight man" Richard gay (LOLZ!), Richard denying it, and Peekaboo doing something stupid like sucking off his life-sized Darth Vader blow-up doll. Sometimes Amanda, the token girl, gets into the act.
Is there anything good about the comic? Well, at first glance the art is passable until you realize that the poses are stiff as Hell, Richard's stick body looks stupid, and the eventual addition of color is mediocre. Oh, and everything is copy-pasted.
This comic has burned a good part of my brain. It’s not the bad 4th wall breaking, bad geek jokes, or even regular jokes and crude humor that did it, but the sheer amount of arrogance and self-insert masturbation just drips from this webcomic that you can practically hear, “I’m better than you” being repeated non-stop in your own head as you read it. Sure self-insert masturbation is sadly not uncommon in the webcomic world (examples: Dominic Deegan, Least I Could Do, Shredded Moose), but this one kicks it up a notch. Not only does the main character, Steve, have a nearly permanent smirk and arm cross combo, but he’s a sadistic asshole to his friends and manipulates them out of any accusations, can alter the comic to his own ends, and even Satan himself is his lackey. Hell, this guy could give asshole lessons to Rayne Summers and sexist pig lessons to Al Bundy. Yep, it’s that bad and it goes on like this on a near-daily basis for about four years, with the thing being nothing more than Steve abusing everyone in his way, smirking and getting rewarded for it.
While there’s nothing wrong with having a character who's a sexist jerk, there needs to be something to balance it. The previously mentioned Al Bundy pulls it off well because his views were shown to be ignorant and are made fun of and he was often the victim of his own flaws. Steve gets none of this. In fact, the rest of the cast serves as nothing more than his personal punching bags, especially Richard who is the constant victim of gay jokes that were done a thousand times better by Shin-Chan. There’s also a fat, pathetic nerd named Peekaboo that masturbates a lot - a concept that was also done a lot better in Shin-Chan - and a token female character named Amanda who is supposed to be the "straight man" in the series, but feels more like she was shoved in there so people wouldn’t think Napierski is sexist (or, God forbid, gay). Even she could work if she had a personality beyond beating up people who piss her off, being sarcastic, and screwing with Richard and Peekaboo on occasion. There was potential when she calls something Steve does cute and he throws a fit about how being called cute makes you less of a man. But of course, big macho prick Steve not only has to be right, but he also gets to sleep with Amanda in the end. Because ego-maniacal jerks who probably wouldn’t perform cunnilingus because that would actually mean pleasing someone else are soooooo desirable.
I have to wonder if Richard is based on someone who killed Napierski's parents, because that’s the only way I can see why he makes the character suffer such abuse. And even without all the Star Wars jokes and bad after-school special parodies, there’s plenty of sexism to go around. Steve loves to talk about how stupid and vindictive women are as a whole and even Amanda gets into the act. Don’t think you’re fooling anyone by having a female main character when the other three that appear are a bimbo, a goth chick named DJ Milkjugs, and a faceless, self-absorbed bitch.
Napierski is also the creator of another self-absorbed, sexist comic called Dueling Analogs, also reviewed on this site.
Maybe The Outer Circle could've been a halfway decent comic if Napierski wasn't so in love with his self-insert. Until he lets Steve act like a person instead of a sociopath, this comic will remain nothing more than a masturbation piece.