[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_1fearsomefoursome14_3196.jpg]]

''"... The war had reached a stage where neither side would tolerate the continued existence of the other, and the allies of the loser could not expect much in the way of gentle treatment from the victor. We had to pick a winner. Humanity needed answers, and '''fast'''."''

Written and drawn by Jim Francis, ''[[http://www.well-of-souls.com/outsider/ Outsider]]'' relates the adventures of Ensign Second Class Alexander Jardin, sole survivor of ECS-154 ''Bellarmine'', and his interactions with his rescuers as the titular FishOutOfWater. Discovering that humanity is uncomfortably close to a genocidal war between the [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Loroi]] and [[BigCreepyCrawlies Umiak]] races, the Terran Colonial Authority dispatches a scouting mission to gather better information about both sides. When ''Bellarmine'' is destroyed by an unknown vessel in a contested system, Jardin is rescued by a Loroi warship... and promptly finds himself thrown in at the deep end of interstellar diplomacy.

While ''Outsider'' has suffered some ScheduleSlip since its creation, and is only now moving from scene-setting to the true body of the story, the art is well-realized and Francis has put an admirable amount of forethought into crafting his universe and its internal logic. Only one new page has been added since July 2012, though Francis still posts regularly in the associated forum.

'''BEWARE: SPOILERS AHEAD.'''

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!!This web-comic provides examples of:
* AirVentEscape: Lampshaded that it does not exist.
* AliensSpeakingEnglish: The Loroi (and allied races) to Jardin, via [[TranslationConvention the Loroi Trade Language]].
* AllThereInTheManual: Francis has written a number of supporting articles detailing the ''Outsider'' universe, including many things the readers know (yet Jardin doesn't) or vice versa. There is currently more manual than webcomic.
* {{Badass}}: Kikitik-27, or [[AwesomeMcCoolName "The Stray"]] as the Loroi call him. He's survived ''two'' attrition assault missions, ZergRush missions that are famous for having little to no survivors.
* BeamSpam: [[http://www.well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider077.html As shown here]] by the Loroi. Apparently [[http://www.well-of-souls.com/outsider/weapon_profiles.html most long-range offensive weapons are beam weapons]], though the Umiak have shorter ranges on their beams and prefer a [[MacrossMissileMassacre ton of missiles]].
** Though it seems that the Loroi employ this in a limited fashion, with warheads filled with dozens of smaller missile submunitions saved for choice use in battle.
* BigCreepyCrawlies: The Umiak. It should be noted however, that they aren't true arthropods--biologically, they're closer to mammals with exoskeletons, and that's ''before'' their heavy self-modification. It's also a weakness of theirs; they don't like higher gravity worlds, since they weigh down their exoskeletons.
* BizarreAlienBiology:
** Almost ninety percent of the Loroi species are females (and, apparently, [[{{Fanservice}} all of said females are hotties of one stripe or another]]), and their reproductive biology has some ''quirks''.
** Reproductively speaking, the Umiak have genetically, surgically and cybernetically altered themselves so much that nobody's really sure how they reproduce naturally.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: A ''big'' problem for humanity in deciding which faction to join: the Umiak are imperialistic and enslave everybody in sight to feed their demand for ships and munitions, while the Loroi have twice committed ''[[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill xenocide]]'' against neutral or Umiak-aligned species.
** In fact this applies to humanity as well - Jardin specifies in his monologue that humanity is not looking for the side which shares or acts most accordingly with human values, rather the side which is most likely to win since aligning with the loser will almost certainly result in extinction.
* [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Blue Skinned Space Babe]]: The Loroi, and ''how''. The author says in the FAQ that they're intended as a "homage to the 'Space Amazon' archetype", citing ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion'', ''StarControl'', and ''UchuuSenkanYamato'' as examples. MOO 2 in particular is the source of inspiration for everything from names to uniform color schema to ''hairstyles.''
* BugWar: Fits perfectly. The insectoid Umiak have no concern for their individual losses and typically suffer disproportionate casualties against the Loroi. This is made up by their superior industrial capacity that lets them toss out astronomical numbers of ships year after year. Even the Umiak warships appear insectoid.
* CommonTongue: The Loroi Trade Language.
* ConLang: ''Ikkukhak'', the Umiak language. Its details are given [[http://well-of-souls.com/outsider/umiak_language.html a full page]] on the site.
* CallBack: The [[http://well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider_ch2.html cover page]] of Chapter Two is a callback to [[http://well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider036.html offhand comments Jardin made about needing food and footwear]] in the previous chapter.
* CurbstompBattle: ''Bellarmine'' gets the short end of one of these.
* CrapsaccharineWorld: The Loroi act very civil towards Alex and the races in their alliance, so they seem better than the Umiak. However, at least half of the races in the Alliance are only in it as a subjugated population or out of fear and the Loroi have committed or attempted xenocide ''multiple times'' for petty, borderline StupidEvil reasons. There's a general, somewhat sinister "be nice to us or we'll kill you" tone to their interactions with others.
* DeadpanSnarker: Jardin's sense of humour is quite active, but a liability he can't afford to voice aboard ''Tempest''.
* DesignerBabies / SendInTheClones: The Umiak have been tailoring themselves to their environments for so long they might not ''have'' a natural reproductive cycle any more.
* [[EverybodysDeadDave Everybody's Dead, Alex]]: Which leaves him with the unenviable task of attempting to gather intel/conduct diplomacy with potentially hostile aliens on behalf of the entire human species.
* FirstContact: Humanity first contact with alien life were a band of aliens who were trying to run away from the conflict. Jardin is the first human to make contact with the Loroi.
* ForeverWar: And humanity is in the exact center of it, to the point where they have to fight to avoid being collateral damage.
* FragileSpeedster / GlassCannon: Loroi Warships have tremendous ranged firepower compared to the Umiak, and are very fast, but their vessels aren't as robust.
* {{FTL}}: A sort-of combination of gravitational jump points and hyperspace, explained on its [[http://www.well-of-souls.com/outsider/forum_ftl_tech.html own page]]
* GeneralRipper: Stillstorm's behavior suggests she may be in the early stages of this. Certainly she wanted ''answers'' from Jardin and wasn't too fussy about [[MindProbe how she got them]].
* GentleGiant: The Barsam to a degree. Despite being 2.3 meters tall and being built like grizzly bears with horned faces, the Barsam are a nominally peaceful and aesthetic race, who routinely engage in missionary work.
* HitAndRunTactics: The primary tactic for Loroi raider fleets.
* HotScientist: Beryl is almost indescribably cute.
* HumansAreSpecial: While it seems that we're ''way'' [[PunyEarthlings behind the technology curve]], we might just have ''another'' advantage....[[spoiler:we may be invisible to Loroi psychic abilities and detection technology]].
* HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace: WordOfGod implies this what happens if you have the misfortune of missing your jump point, since no ship that has suffered this has ever returned. ''[[Film/EventHorizon "Liberate tu ta me ex infernis"]]'', indeed.
* IAlwaysWantedToSayThat: Jardin plays this straight in his [[LemonyNarrator narration]] of [[http://well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider027.html one scene]].
* InfiniteSupplies: Averted. Starships need a huge amount of resources and infrastructure to build, maintain, and supply. Large ships like cruisers are usually kept close to home in times of peace due to the astronomical cost of keeping them supplied over long distances.
** Unfortunately for the Loroi, the Umiak are so efficient it often evens out in their case.
* LatexSpacesuit: Certainly not as egregious as many other cases, but Jardin does [[LampshadeHanging muse upon the reasons for]] the seeming Loroi preference for form-fitting uniforms.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: Standard Umiak doctrine calls for bombarding Loroi battle lines with preposterous numbers of torpedoes. Loroi employ torpedoes as well, but lack the Umiak's industrial capacity to truly spam them in large quantities. Very visible on [[http://well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider075.html this page]].
* MindRape: When the Loroi attempt to forcefully mind-probe Jardin for information. Fortunately, a combination of him blacking out and the supposed unique human trait of telepathic immunity spare him from anything nasty.
* MightyGlacier: Umiak ships tend to be slower, but noticeably tougher and better suited for (relatively, as far as space goes) combat.
* MoralEventHorizon: InUniverse, the Loroi military trying to commit ''xenocide'' against the Mannadi after the last war with them horrified everyone so much that it nearly caused the other races in the Alliance to unite and wage war on the Loroi. Thankfully, the threat of their allies turning against them caused the Loroi to reign in their military and stop the attempted genocide.
* MsFanservice: None in the main story as of yet, but Beryl and Fireblade are the ones who are drawn most in the fanservice-y pinups in the extras page of the the comic's website.
* NeutralityBacklash: Not choosing a side in the war invites hostility from both sides.
* NoBiochemicalBarriers: Played with. At first it seems that Jardin has no problem breathing the Loroi ship's atmosphere. However, while he can consume their food, it seems that it's given him steadily worsening indigestion.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Francis based many of ''Bellarmine'''s ill-fated crew on his friends and colleagues, with their blessing.
* NothingButSkulls: A legendary warrior stands on them, in a mosaic.
* NotSoDifferent: The Loroi and Umiak ''both'' do horrible things in the war. The big problem humanity has is deciding which side to choose when both seem equally unappealing.
* OhCrap: Jardin thought humanity was prepared to take part in the war. Then he saw a space battle where the smaller of the two fleets was larger than the ''entire'' human military, and it was explicitly just a small skirmish.
* PsychicPowers / TelepathicSpacemen: The Loroi are galactically ''known'' for this, to the point that Jardin identifies them ''as'' Loroi by observing an apparent non-verbal conversation.
* ProudWarriorRace: At least two of them.
* RedShirt: Possibly played straight, albeit with color variation. Before the Umiak attack the Loroi fleet, Stillstorm briefs four of her officers commanding elements of her task force. Moonglow, Arclight and Ashrain wear red uniforms, while the fourth, Nova has a green command uniform. By the end of the 1st Umiak wave, Nova's ship has been destroyed with all hands aboard.
* RockBeatsLaser: In one of his Q&A answers, the author states that while humans are way behind the Loroi or Umiak, [[NukeEm nukes are still nukes]] and [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter kinetic energy is still kinetic energy]]. As such, human weapons can still do a number on either Umiak or Loroi vessels. The problem, of course, is in getting their outdated ships close enough to do that.
* ScheduleSlip: Counting the prologue, there are 118 pages. The comic was first started in '''''2001.''''' That's an average of 9 pages a year.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: The very first aliens the humans have encountered were a band of refugees who were running away from the conflict when the Umiak devestated their homeworld.
* ShownTheirWork: The ''Outsider''-verse follows realistic space physics very well, with very little RuleOfCool or SpaceIsAnOcean behavior. There's also a lot of work shown regarding biology.
* SpaceElves: The Loroi are Type I
** Jardin even refers to them as elves at one point (in his inner monologue, fortunately).
* SuperSoldier:
** The Loroi use a special warrior caste, the Teidar (Unsheathed), who have lethal telekinesis.
** Umiak use specially bred and cybernetically enhanced warriors called Hardtroops.
* SpaceIsAnOcean: Mostly averted, as the ''Outsider'' universe follows actual space physics rather closely. However, WordOfGod acknowledges that some aspects of space physics were ignored in favour of RuleOfCool, and human ship names and ranks are naval in nature.
* SpaceFighter:
** Used by the Loroi. Previously one of their main offensive tools, but in the current war mainly delegated to missile defense.
** Umiak do not employ fighters since they evolved on low G worlds and can't handle 30+ g's of acceleration; inertial dampeners are too big for fighters.
* StarfishLanguage: The Umiak language is based on tone rather than words, so it's literally impossible to for others to understand without a translator...and even that's a bit lacking.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill:
** Whoever destroyed ''Bellarmine'' was ''really'' trying to LeaveNoWitnesses.
** A policy the Loroi have employed against "neutral" nations who couldn't ''enforce'' their neutrality.
* TheSpartanWay: The way the Loroi raise members of any of their military caste - dumping them in the woods with bows and spears to learn proper warrior values/survival skills.
* TheRedBaron: Kikitik-27 is known to the Loroi as "The Stray." It has the distinction of being one of the few Umiak commanders known to have survived an [[WeHaveReserves attrition]] [[ZergRush assault]] mission, and it has done so at least twice. In both cases Kikitik inflicted heavy losses on the Loroi defenders, and then withdrew its forces from combat (relatively intact) when Loroi reinforcements arrived.
* RealityEnsues: In regards to a lot of sci-fi tropes:
** Not only are there numerous language barriers between the various races (especially humans) but it's explicitly noted that pretty all dialogue not between humans is in a CommonTongue, averting AliensSpeakingEnglish. And some of the alien races can't even speak the CommonTongue, relying on translation devices to get their point across to other beings.
** Alex eats alien food on the Tempest... and starts getting increasingly bad indigestion, harshly averting NoBiochemicalBarriers.
** There's no [[SpaceIsNoisy sound]] during space sequences, and space physics in general are adhered to strongly.
** WordOfGod notes that despite their bizarrely similar genetic and body structure humans and loroi can't interbreed, so there's no ''Star Trek''-esque HalfHumanHybrid.
* RubberForeheadAliens: Both largely averted and deconstructed. Loroi look just like humans, except for the pointy ears and blue skin (plus the fact that their males are smaller than the females). This similarity is noted as a significant abnormality by everyone, considering that the rest of the races go from notably physiologically different to StarFishAliens. The fact that humans are also the only race that are resistant to the Loroi's psychic powers implies that this may be far more than mere coincidence...
* StupidEvil: Some of the actions of both the Loroi and the Umiak come off as this, or at least needlessly antagonistic. Notably, when Kikitik-27 offers a peaceful solution to a confrontation that gives everyone what they want, Stillstorm's reaction is [[{{Jerkass}} to laugh at him and blow up the wreckage that Kikitik wants just to spite him.]]
* TheVoiceless: Most Loroi rely on their ''sanzai'' ability and speak aloud only in unusual circumstances. However, their facial tics, body language, and actions are often quite vocal in themselves.
* TinyGuyHugeGirl: The entire Loroi species. The average Loroi female is 170cm (5'7) in height. Even tall males rarely go over five feet, with most being far below that. ([[WordOfGod although apparently they're more even size wise with human males in...other areas]]). Due to their small size and only representing 10% of the population, the males are viewed as a weaker sex in need of protection by the Loroi AmazonBrigade.
* TranslationConvention: Explicitly used: aboard ''Tempest'', Jardin and his Loroi interlocutors actually speak in the Loroi Trade Language, though the meanings of some unfamiliar words do get past him now and then.
* TranslatorMicrobes: Averted as the characters speak a CommonTongue and the TranslationConvention is in effect. When a translation system is finally seen in action during an enemy Umiak commander's transmission, it can only manage translations that're basically really long run-on sentences. Sort of like an alien Babelfish.
* WarRefugees: Were humanity's FirstContact.
* WeHaveReserves: Umiak culture is literally based around this.
* WordOfGod: As yet, the ''only'' source of much of what we know about the ''Outsider'' universe.
* WorthyOpponent: Judging by [[http://well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider088.html Kikitik-27's comments here]], Stillstorm has earned quite a fearsome reputation amongst the Umiak. [[AssInAmbassador She doesn't give a hoot.]]
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: The Loroi have a wide color pallet of hair colors.
* ZergRush: The Umiak's primary strategy during wartime. In one battle, Umiak warships outnumbered the Loroi fleet nearly three to one.

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