It’s finally here! This week marks the return of the Joker so expect Batman #13 to sell out and go to a 2nd printing almost immediately. Other Bat-titles are coming out as well, but expect to see them all overshadowed by the Joker showing his face…or lack there of.

Here’s a list of all the Batman comics coming out this week, October 10th, 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!

October 10th

BATMAN AND ROBIN #13

Written by PETER J. TOMASI

Art and cover by PATRICK GLEASON and MICK GRAY

32 pg

$2.99

Anticipation Level:   Eh…meh.

It’s a done-in-one issue about Gotham being devoured by Zombies and the solicits also say something about learning the secrets of the “2-Club”, whatever that means. Look, I think this book was one of my favorites for the past year but it’s been in a slump ever since the Born to Kill saga concluded. I hope I’m wrong but it doesn’t feel like it’s going to bounce back anytime soon. Instead of getting an original story arc we’re getting a one-shot issue and then a few tie-ins to Scott Snyder’s arc that probably won’t have any impact on the overall Joker story, so what’s the point? Then again, that’s just me expecting more of the same like we got with the Night of the Owls crossover event. That event didn’t make Night of the Owls better, it just served as a distraction in all the other titles. Again I hope I’m wrong,  I like to be positive about my Batman comics but I’m also a realist and this issue of Batman & Robin sounds like an “it was all a dream” issue that comes before a half-assed tie-in (the next issue does have a cool cover, though).

 

BATGIRL #13

Written by GAIL SIMONE

Art and cover by ED BENES

32 pg

$2.99

Anticipation Level:   Eh…meh. 

I don’t think I’ve felt more like “the bad guy” as I did when many of you stood up for Batgirl #0 last month, which I thought was pretty mediocre and so I gave it a 5/10. That said, this month we finally get back on track after the Knightfall story (an arc I was actually enjoying) was interrupted by Zero Month. Barbara’s Knightfall (not to be confused with the classic back-breaking epic from the 90’s) arc was just getting good but now it seems that it will be concluded here in issue #13 and that’s pretty disappointing to me.  I thought that this whole thing was gaining traction and now it’s wrapping up so that there can be Death of the Family tie-in issues. I’m having trouble getting excited about this since it feels like the arc is getting wrapped up so hastily.

 

BATMAN: ARKHAM UNHINGED #7

Written by DEREK FRIDOLFS

Art by MIKE S. MILLER

Cover by MICO SUAYAN

40 pg

$2.99

Anticipation Level:   None. 

This series has been consistently weak since its second issue so I’m not that interested this month. However, this issue does promise to team up the Gotham City Sirens again as Poison Ivy seeks revenge against Catwoman while Harley Quin gets caught in the middle.

 

BATMAN #13

Written by SCOTT SNYDER

Backup story written by SCOTT SNYDER and JAMES TYNION IV

Art by GREG CAPULLO and JONATHAN GLAPION

Backup story art by JOCK

Cover by GREG CAPULLO

Variant cover by AARON KUDER

1:100 B&W Variant cover by GREG CAPULLO

40 pg

$3.99

Combo pack edition: $4.99

Anticipation Level:   Bring it.

The Joker returns as the much anticipated Death of the Family saga begins. It seems like this should easily earn a “Take My Money!” anticipation level but I’m hesitant about something with so much hype around it, especially when I didn’t like how Snyder wrote the Joker in his Black Mirror arc. In that book, the Joker didn’t have any charisma. He was depicted with all the necessary derangement but without any of the fun. He was just crazy and Snyder emphasized this by elongating the Joker’s speech so various vowels and consonants were extended and stressed “You’rrrre not Batmaaaaan.” sort of lines. It makes him sound nuts, but it’s annoying to me for some reason. Like it’s trying too hard. Plus it takes a bit away from the whole Batman/Joker antithesis theme. Batman’s got this big growling voice intended to make him sound scary even though he’s the good guy and Joker is clear and almost melodic in tone even though he’s a monster. I like to think that Joker’s voice is just as fake as Batman’s and that’s why I love that scene in The Dark Knight when, out of frustration, the voice cracked and his true nature broke through “LOOK AT ME!”

Well, anyway, I put those fears about annoyingly stressed Joker language aside when I saw how the pre-Joker Red Hood was portrayed in Snyder’s Batman #0. That was fantastic. He was funny, charismatic, and he came across as scary and unhinged without needing to add a stream of 6 extra letters to every other word in his speech bubbles.

And then USA Today posted this single page preview of issue #13 and it’s pretty cool and very spooky.

But then Snyder posted this tease on his twitter…

And now I’m wary again. Also you have to consider that this story is all continuing the Detective Comics #1 setup of Joker cutting his face off. My enjoyment of the comic really depends on the explanation for that. Slicing off his own face is so out of Joker’s character that Snyder better have a very, very good reason for why the Clown Prince of Crime would ever harm his beautiful visage just so he could pick it back up one year later and reattach it with hooks. I’m both excited and nervous about this one.

Graphic Novel Watch!

Neal Adams’ Batman Odyssey is finally released in a hardcover that collects all 13 insane issues for $29.99. This is the most ridiculous Batman story I’ve ever read and you can read a few of the reviews I did for this series here.

Nightwing Vol. 1: Traps and Trapezes goes on sale in softcover for $14.99 and it collects issue #1-7. This has been a pretty solid series and it’s only gotten better since these first 7 issues came out. I must say that I’m bummed that Nightwing didn’t get a hardcover when Batgirl did. Hardly seems fair.

And the third and final Batman graphic novel to come out this week is Legends of the Dark Knight: Alan Davis is a $39.99 hardcover that collects several Alan Davis stories from Detective Comics (569-575), Batman Full Circle #1, and Gotham Knights #25.

Expect to see reviews up this week for Knightfall Vol. 3 (I’m super, super serious this time. I’m finally caught up on everything and I’m going to read it and write a review. I promise! Believe me!!) and Batman: The Dark Knight, Vol. 1.