Are you American? If so, call your local comic shop before heading out! This Wednesday is Independence Day here in The States and you don’t want to travel out in this heat with the hope of buying quality comics only to find a “Closed” sign hanging in the storefront.

So what will your 4th of July celebration be like if you spend it with Batman comics? You could see the creation of a new (or re-imagined) villain, a fresh new take on Batman’s own origin, or if you’d like to mix things up a bit and enjoy something as un-American as possible you could always watch the Batman-of-Africa fight a dragon in China.

Here’s a list of all the Batman comics coming out this week, July 4th, graded on a scale of my own anticipation.

None.  –   I’ll get to it…eventually   –   Eh…meh.  –  Bring it.  –  TAKE MY MONEY

Scroll to the bottom of the page and post in the comments section what books you’re most looking forward to this week!

July 4th

DETECTIVE COMICS #11

Written by TONY S. DANIEL

Art by ED BENES and ROB HUNTER

Backup story art by SZYMON KUDRANSKI

Cover by TONY S. DANIEL

1:25 B&W Variant cover by TONY S. DANIEL

40 pg

$3.99
Combo Pack Edition: $4.99

Anticipation Level:   None.

This is the 2nd to last issue written by Tony Daniel and the 2nd part of a story featuring his original villain Mr. Toxic and his attempt to use a large hadron collider to…I’m guessing he’s going to try and turn Hugh Marder (Ya, know the rich guy who showed up and tried to make friends with Bruce? The guy who instantly felt like he was going to turn into a villain at some point?) into the obscure villain called Professor Radium. But that’s just conjecture on my part based on the final pages of last month’s issue and Daniel’s awesome cover for issue #12. Anyway, the Mr. Toxic thing doesn’t make a lot of sense yet, but it’s still better than the last few storylines I’ve seen from this series. What’s bad though is that the book costs $4 bucks and it’s all because of the addition of a Two-Face backup tale that should be killed with fire. It’s horrible and Kudranski’s pages try so hard to be dark and atmospheric that I can barely tell what’s going on.

BATWING #11

Written by JUDD WINICK

Art by MARCUS TO and RYAN WINN

Cover by MARCUS TO

32 pg

$2.99

Anticipation Level:   I’ll get to it…eventually

Batwing, the Batman Inc. representative for the entire tumultuous continent of Africa…has ventured off to China…with the help of Nightwing (because he apparently can’t defeat anyone on his own and Black Bat either no longer exists or everyone forgot that there already is a Batman Inc. representative in China)…to fight a gangster who can transform into a dragon. Also, the gangster is in business with The Penguin. I just don’t see what the point is of giving the Batman of Africa his own title if he can’t carry it on his own or utilize the book’s unique setting.

BATMAN: EARTH ONE

Written by GEOFF JOHNS

Penciled by GARY FRANK

Inked by JONATHAN SIBAL

Cover color by BRAD ANDERSON

144 pg

$22.99

Anticipation Level:   Bring it.

From what I understand, this whole “Earth One” thing is DC’s own (rather poorly titled) version of the Ultimate Universe that’s gone over so well at Marvel over the past decade. So far, there has been only a single Earth One tale and that was “Superman: Earth One”– I haven’t read it yet, but I’ll do so soon. As for Batman, the idea of revisiting his origin again doesn’t sound that exciting. Flashbacks to the movie theater, Martha’s pearls tumbling through space, and Bruce standing in a dojo happen so often in comics that you could practically make a drinking game out of it. What makes this book stand out is that it appears to focus a bit more heavily on Alfred. And it’s a far more bad-ass looking Alfred who looks more believable as a former soldier/spy than the skinny, bald, mustachioed butler we’re used to seeing but in a way that was sort of the fun of the character. Alfred’s never looked threatening at all, but every once in a while he’ll say or do something that’ll send a chill down your spine and you know Alfred saw some serious **** long before he ever set foot in Gotham. Besides the focus on everyone’s favorite butler, the other thing that has me excited about this is the artwork by Gary Frank. If you’ve been reading the “Shazaam” backup tale in “Justice League” recently then you know how beautiful Frank’s pencils are. Since this is an alternate universe, expect to see Geoff Johns take some chances and shake things up here and there. Certain characters won’t behave the way you’re used to seeing them, they may even look totally different, or they might not even exist in this new world of Earth One. Again, this NOT an origin story for the New 52 Batman. Wipe everything you know about the mythology from your mind and approach this story as if it’s the first time you’ve ever heard the Batman legend.

Also, “Batman & Robin: Born to Kill” collecting the series opening 8 issue saga will be on shelves this week and from what I understand it’ll have plenty of bonus material. A lot of of folks complained about this book dragging on for too long, but I enjoyed it (a few issues even earned scores of 9/10 from me) and I think it’ll read even better in collected, hardback form.