It’s the end of Death of the Family. That’s pretty much all you need to know. Call ahead to your comic shop and make sure they have your copy of Batman #17 ready because this thing is going to sell-out quick. If all the other comics that come out this week are good then that’s dandy, but honestly the only one that really matters is Batman #17 and we all know it.

Here’s a list of all the Batman comics coming out this week, February 13th graded on a scale of my own anticipation.

Hell no!  –   I’d rather not   –   Ambivalent  –  Interested  –  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!

February 13th

BatmanRobin17

BATMAN AND ROBIN #17

Written by PETER J. TOMASI

Art and cover by PATRICK GLEASON and MICK GRAY

On sale FEBRUARY 13 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Anticipation Level:   Interested

I’m never sure what to expect from this comic anymore. This is without a doubt the most inconsistent series that I review. One month it’s phenomenal and the next it’s tripe. Last month’s issue #16 was a totally skippable Death of the Family tie-in, but Batman & Robin Annual #1 was one of the best Batman comics I’ve read in my tenure as Batman-Comic-Review-Guy! This week’s issue is being marketed as a “Who’s who of Gotham City’s worst against The Dynamic Duo!” which could mean we’re in for some pretty cool cameos and I’m all for seeing Patrick Gleason draw more members of the classic Batman rogues gallery. Let’s hope we get something on par with the Born to Kill Saga or last month’s Annual and not the purple juggernaut arc.

 

Batgirl17

BATGIRL #17

Written by GAIL SIMONE

Art by ED BENES

Cover by JUAN JOSE RYP

On sale FEBRUARY 13 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Anticipation Level:  Interested

This issue deals with the fallout of Death of the Family so be sure to read Batman #17 first (as if anyone is going to save that for last). Obviously, seeing as how she’s still got her own comic book we can all safely assume Barbara survives Joker’s evil plan, but Joker wasn’t the only enemy Babs faced in the previous arc, was it? Nope, it’s time Barbara turned her attention to her brother, James Junior, a confrontation that’s been foreshadowed for quite some time now. I’m curious to see what happens here but at the same time I don’t think it can be taken too far what with Gail Simone being off the book for the next two issues due to the email-firing debacle from a few months back.

 

BM_ArkhamUnhinged11

BATMAN: ARKHAM UNHINGED #11

Written by DEREK FRIDOLFS

Art by MICO SUAYAN

On sale FEBRUARY 13 • 40 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Anticipation Level:   Ambivalent 
Joker goes on trial and Two-Face is the judge and Joker’s defense attorney. I would be more excited about this idea had I not reviewed No Man’s Land volume 4 recently. In that book, the same thing happened only it was Gordon who was on trial. Last month’s Deadshot origin story was good so maybe this comic is improving. But one has to wonder, with Injustice: Gods Among Us out now, do we really need two video game based Batman comics?

 

Batman17

BATMAN #17

Written by SCOTT SNYDER

Art by GREG CAPULLO and JONATHAN GLAPION

On sale FEBRUARY 13 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

Anticipation Level:   TAKE MY MONEY

Easily the most anticipated comic book of the week and more than likely the most anticipated comic of the entire month, Batman #17 concludes the Death of the Family saga which began in issue #13 and has spanned over several other titles as well. What’s under those platters? Who does the Joker kill? Does the Joker kill? Does Joker truly know his way into the cave and the identity of every member of the Bat-family? It’s all been leading up to this and Snyder and Capullo better deliver after all the hype this arc has gotten. Before the first issue even hit stands Snyder was talking about it being his very own Killing Joke or Arkham Asylum only BIGGER IN SCOPE. So obviously the payoff better be big. Expectations are high and a lot of questions need to be answered, that’s why there isn’t a backup in this 40 page book. Greg Capullo stepped up to the plate and illustrated every single page for an extra-long finale! Why did Joker cut off his own face? Why has he been dressing up as a mechanic? What happened to Alfred, is he dead? Blind? I’m tremendously excited to read this but after how disappointed I was (and the more I thought about it, angry) with the end of the Court of Owls saga I’m cautious about how much the foundation of the Batman mythology is at stake here. The prospect of losing Alfred or changing Joker’s relationship to Batman so that he knows who he and the rest of the allies are makes me very nervous indeed. Joker shouldn’t want to know who any of them are. He has no interest in normal people. They’re boring. Perhaps the reason Joker cut off his face was to show that he doesn’t have a weak, boring alter ego– he’s Joker all the way through. This arc has given us fans a heck of a lot of fun things to speculate on (and worry about) and if Snyder and Capullo can stick the landing it may very well be worthy of a place beside all other classic Joker tales, after all, The Killing Joke is the gold standard for Joker stories and it doesn’t even have a good ending (yeah, I said it).

EDIT:   Awesome news! I was sent a copy of Batman #17 over the weekend (after writing this piece– I do all of the Upcoming Articles ahead of time) so make sure you come back here for an advance review of Batman #17 on Wednesday before your comic shop even opens! I’ll be sure to hide all the spoilers. 

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH!

Man, am I swamped with graphic novels to review! This week we have The Night of the Owls hardcover hitting stands and it collects every single Night of the Owls tie-in including the All-Star Western crossover and the Batman Annual #1, plus there are a few Greg Capullo sketches as well. All stories are almost organized in chronological order. It’s not quite as thorough as the list I made way back when, but I don’t think the book would be very satisfying if it ended off with Catwoman. Heck it probably won’t be very satisfying at all since the real conclusion doesn’t happen until Batman #10 and 11, neither of which are included. This is the attack on everybody and not much else so seeing Mr. Freeze get taken down in the annual will have to serve as a conclusion.

Another hardcover coming out this week is Batman: Arkham Unhinged, which collects issues #1-5. I’m pretty surprised, shocked really, that this series got a hardcover but I guess they’re banking on the popular video game title bringing in even more readers. One cool bonus of this book is that it includes a code for the X-Box Live crowd to download Batman character skins for free. We’re talking Earth One Batman, Dark Knight Returns Batman, etc. So that’s a pretty cool deal…too bad I already bought all of those skins when the game first game out over a year ago, but if you didn’t have those characters already and wanted to check out this book it might be worth your while.

Lastly, I almost forgot to mention that Suicide Squad Volume 2 will be out this Wednesday too only it’ll be in soft cover. It collects issues #8-13 plus #0 and Resurrection Man #9.

I’ll have reviews of these up “soon”. I’m getting so far behind on these graphic novel reviews it’s downright comical. Hopefully by the time this article goes up on Sunday I’ll already have No Man’s Land Vol. 4, Black Mirror, and Batwoman Vol. 2 up. If not…I’m in trouble. Oh yeah, I need to review the Dark Knight Returns Part 2 flick as well. If you’re reading this Future Me, and you pulled all of this off, good job! (and if I didn’t do these articles in time and now you’re screwed…well, what are you gonna do about it, guy? I’m in the past! That’s why I will always beat you…)

What books are you buying this week?