Here’s a list of Batman comics coming out this month graded on a scale of my own anticipation:
None. –  I’ll get to it…eventually  – Eh…meh  –  Bring it.  –  TAKE MY MONEY

1/4/2012

Batwing #5

Great new: Batwing’s original artist Ben Oliver is back! And so is Batman, which could be a good thing or a bad thing. I’d like to see Batwing stand on his own for a few more consecutive issues without having to resort to a Batman cameo just yet, but oh well. The Kingdom, Africa’s first and last Super Hero team’s headquarters are being opened to the public and Bruce Wayne is in town for the grand opening. This will surely bring Massacre out into the open only now he’ll have to face both Batwing and The Dark Knight. Should be interesting.

Anticipation Level:         Bring it.

Detective Comics #5

Bruce’s girlfriend Charlotte Rivers may still be around, but the Dollmaker is gone (for the time being). So who’s the new foe Batman must face in this new story arc? Well, I hope you like Penguin because this week you have two comics coming your way featuring everyone’s favorite top hat wearing gangster. My only hope is that Daniel can write a Penguin half as interesting at the one seen in Penguin: Pain & Prejudice.

Anticipation Level:         Bring it.

Penguin: Pain & Prejudice #4 (of 5)

Great cover? Or THE greatest cover?

This is one of my favorite comics. The artwork is gorgeous, it’s the definitive Penguin story, and in the last issue Batman finally got all the evidence he needed to bring the hammer down on Penguin. This issue is going to be explosive.

Anticipation Level:         TAKE MY MONEY

1/11/2012

Batgirl #5

A new story arc begins here with a new villain as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the last 4 issues of Batgirl and this one is going to not only have a cameo appearance by Bruce Wayne and brand new baddie, but we get to see Barbara have some time alone with her mother. That might sounds kind of silly, to be excited to see a character have an afternoon with mom, but the Gordon family dynamic has always been a source of confusion for me and I expect this to clear things up.

Anticipation Level:         TAKE MY MONEY

Batman and Robin #5

Did you see issue #4? I mean, obviously if you saw that awesome cover you had to of picked that book up and given it a chance. It was amazing, so of course I’m excited about issue #5. Nobody is one of the best new villains (one of the best villains, period.) in any DC comic right now. Add that with the tension that continues to build between Damian and Bruce and Tomasi’s fondness for giving Alfred the attention he deserves and you’ve got yourself one heck of a read.

Anticipation Level:         TAKE MY MONEY

Batman: Through the Looking Glass

Tales of Batman’s early days are nothing, new… unless DC rebooted the entire franchise…which they did. So yeah, ya gotta be interested in how Batman and Mad Hatter’s first confrontation went down in this new DC universe. Plus we get to see a (I guess) Dick Grayson Robin and, well, come on, it’s Mad Hatter! This is a villain that doesn’t get enough attention. Written by The Incredible Hulk’s Bruce Jones and The MAXX and Arkham- Asylum – Madness artist Sam Kieth, Through the Looking Glass promises to be something twisted and special. Cross your fingers.

Anticipation Level:         TAKE MY MONEY

Batwoman #5

I realize that I’ve been awarding a “Take my money” to a lot of books this month, but it’s honestly looking like a very solid month at this point. Although I haven’t been the biggest fan of this series, I have to admit that I’m anxious to see how exactly this “Hydrology” story arc is going to be wrapped up. And if you love comics for the art above all else, then you’d be crazy to not pick up a book by J.H. Williams III. Which, by the way, we’re getting a variant cover by Williams this month too! See, it’s a special occasion…well, it’s actually a good news/bad news situation. Good news: J.H. Williams is giving us 2 amazing covers to choose from this month. Bad news: J. H. Williams isn’t going to be handling the art after issue #5.

Anticipation Level:         TAKE MY MONEY

1/18/2012

Batman #5

The best Batman comic’s previous issue had Batman falling into a giant labyrinth. And if Snyder and Capullo’s tweets are any indication, the action is about to get turned up. Way up.

Anticipation Level:         TAKE MY MONEY

Batman: Odyssey #4 (of 7)

Batman continues his journey through the center of the earth after letting the book’s main bad guy walk away in the previous issue. Expect more Jazz Magicians (not a misprint. They are wizards called Jazz Magicians), talking dinosaurs, and whatever else crops up as Neal Adams sets out to destroy his legacy even further. This is the only $3.99 Batman comic book and it’s also the worst. If you’ve satisfied your curiosity and bought a previous issue, chances are you won’t be coming back. If you haven’t read any Odyssey yet, chances are you’ve heard how crazy it is and you’ll buy an issue just to see if it lives up to all the negative hype.

Anticipation Level:         Please God, make it stop.

Catwoman #5

Was the last issue a disappointment? Yes. Were the first 3 issues good enough to forgive one bad issue? You bet they were. Despite a weak 4th issue, “Catwoman” remains the most fun Bat-title on the rack. This issue promises even more action as she takes on “Reach” a villainess wielding an electric leash (like the ones you saw in the video game” Bulletstorm”).

Anticipation Level:         Bring it.

Justice League #5

After 4 issues, the entire Justice League has assembled and the main bad guy, Darkseid has been revealed. If you’ve been following the whole series so far, there’s no way in hell you would walk away now. Not when Jim Lee is about draw a smackdown between all these heroes and Darkseid. And if you haven’t picked up a JL comic yet, this is going to be a must-buy.

Anticipation Level:         TAKE MY MONEY

Nightwing #5

Last month saw the best issue of “Nightwing” yet.  This comic feels fresh and exciting with Dick taking on new responsibilities as the owner of Haly’s Circus. The frequent change in scenery as the circus travels the country and Nightwing finds himself against foes he wouldn’t normally face is great and really sets this series apart from any other bat-title. And now that Kyle Higgins has hit his stride and Dick is going to be faced with some bad voodoo in New Orleans, this issue is can’t-miss.

Anticipation Level:         Bring it.

1/25/2012

Batman: The Dark Knight #5

This comic is an anomaly. Each week we are suffocated by heaps of Batman comics, but on the very last Wednesday of every month we bat-fans get but one: “Batman: The Dark Knight”. It’s the only Batman comic that acknowledges the events of all the rest, it’s the worst written Batman comic, but it’s also one of the most beautifully drawn—especially when it comes to action. It’s a book more concerned with letting Finch draw the best damn villain cameos and as many of them as possible than it is with telling a decent story. And that’s fine. There’s a crowd that would rather see a giant Deathstroke chop the batwing in half than see Bruce argue with his 10 year old son and for them, this is the comic to look forward to. It’s not like we don’t get enough of the brooding and mystery in the other 967 Batman books coming out each month so why not get a little crazy? I actually found myself enjoying the last issue and that final image of Scarecrow (one of the best Scarecrow drawings I’ve seen in years) has got me excited to  see more of Finch’s take on the character in this issue. So…yeah, I want to see Batman fight the Scarecrow this month, but I don’t have my hopes up for anything spectacular story-wise. Just lots of pretty pictures to drool over.

Anticipation Level:         I’ll get to it…eventually.