Here’s that new segment we talked about last month. The Best and Worst will highlight the best reviewed books, the worst reviewed books, and our favorite and least favorite moments of the whole month. Luckily, this month had more good books than bad and many of our reviewers couldn’t even think of a cringe-worthy panel so what you’ll find below is mostly positive. It’s my hope that what you find here will not only spark discussion among longtime fans, but pique the curiosity of new readers and motivate them to visit their local comic shop. — Andrew
WARNING: Since this is a list summing up the best and worst of a month’s worth of comics you should know before scrolling any further that spoilers will certainly abound.
Best Moments of January, 2015
I let the team pick their favorite and least favorite moments from any book whether they reviewed it themselves or not. Some even took the project a bit farther and made a few extra selections just for the heck of it.
“I’ll always be Dick Grayson.” — Grayson #6
A moment so great that the knockout punch isn’t even the best part. Following a battle of both words and fists with Midnighter, Dick delivers a summation of his character that culminates with that one simple statement: “I’ll always be Dick Grayson.” And for that we’re glad.
“Let’s talk about history.” — Batman #38
The Return of the Court of Owls. Enough said.
“Feet on the ground. Now.” — Batman and Robin #38
Able to maintain a father-son dynamic is hard enough for a crime-fighting duo, though I’m sure the inclusion of super powers does not help. Even after his son develops metahuman abilities, Bruce still shows a father’s compassion and the need for discipline when out on patrol. It’s a funny image, but one that demonstrates the bond between the two.
Goodnight, Clayface — Batwoman #38
Any moment would do given that the book was entertaining and well-drawn despite its recent downward trend, but this one of Rory putting Clayface to bed especially amused me.
The Hug — Injustice: Year Three #7
Others might cite Superman/Batman for this, but when Supes walks through a prison wall to hug his buddy in Injustice # 7, well, that wins hands down for me.
Batman & an avalanche VS. The Riddler — Batman Eternal #40
Sinestro gave this category a run for the money, but I had to go with Riddler being dragged like a common thug in Batman Eternal #40.
Kandorian Bullet — Batman/Superman #18
This could have gone to so many different books this month, but I think the image that actually disturbed me the most was that of Superman pulling the “Kandorian” bullet from Batman’s body in Superman/Batman #18. Think about it: that’s a little person that was just used as a projectile to try to kill someone. Yikes.
BETTER SURPRISE THAN WHAT ELENA SAID
Raccoon. It’s What’s For Dinner — Justice League 3000 #13
I was going to just let the review team do their thing and I wasn’t going to make my own picks, but after seeing that Elena did a “Best Surprise” selection that wasn’t Wonder Woman eating Rocket Raccoon, I knew I had to chime in. This is Wonder Woman eating Rocket Raccoon. And if you’re like, “That’s probably just a regular raccoon!” know that the comic was written by Keith Giffen, co-creator of Rocket Raccoon.
The Batman of Earth 42 — The Multiversity Guidebook #1
It’s a tiny Batman! And it’s Grayson! Morrison introduces to Earth-42’s adorable Caped Crusader. I just want to pinch his vigilante cheeks.
“I’m still here.” — Batman and Robin #38
This reflective moment in the graveyard at Wayne Manor was not only beautifully drawn by Patrick Gleason, but was a very poignant moment in the title.
Worst Moments of January, 2015
Meet Bluebird — Batman Eternal #41
There wasn’t really a moment in any of the books I read that I hated, so I went with Harper’s costume. While I’m still not on the Harper Row bandwagon I will say that I’m actually enjoying how she’s being written right now, kind of clumsy and obviously a novice at crime fighting, but her costume as Bluebird is just too much. A few elements work, but all of the buckles and what have you are almost a parody of similar costumes from the Nineties. I’m pretty sure that’s a Blondie poster behind her, though, so that’s pretty cool.
Clayface is wearing handcuffs. Let me say that again. Clayface is wearing handcuffs. For those of you who aren’t aware, Clayface’s power set allows him to morph his body into any form he wishes. The man has squeegeeed himself through keyholes for crying out loud. There is literally no chance whatsoever that handcuffs would have any effectiveness towards detaining him.*
*This moment comes from December 31st, but the idiocy of it is so strong we’re still feeling it in January — Andrew
Meet Bluebird — Batman Eternal #41
Do I even need to say it? Batman Eternal‘s Bluebird debut in issue #41. Oh honey, you always have a choice.
Good Guy Crux — Red Hood and the Outlaws #38
The only information we’ve ever been given about Crux is that he’s some kind of crazed doctor who altered his body and became an alien, because that last part makes complete sense. A few months in Arkham and now he’s rehabilitated? Without Jason or Roy suspecting a thing? And show with zero respect for the ongoing continuity of the other books? Yeah, that didn’t go over well.
Best Reviewed Books of January, 2015
It was a strong month with quite a few books scoring well over 7.5/10, but here’s a quick look at three of the most well-received comics.
“Honestly, this issue felt like the annual issues, which I really loved. A sweet short story that brought closure to what we the readers and the Dynamic Duo had been through. Plus the Flash 75 variant cover made it feel like I picked up some sort of anniversary issue. It’s a beautiful, fun read that you definitely don’t want to miss. The lower price tag than last month’s grand finale made me feel like I got it for a steal.” — Terry Miles, Jr.
“As I read EndGame, I get the feeling that Scott Snyder is telling me the wickedest bedtime story in the history of forever.” — Brandon Mulholand
“I still believe this will go down as one of the best Catwoman stories of all time. If you’re not reading it, then you need to! Seriously, get after it!” — Joshua McDonald
Worst Reviewed Books of January, 2015
We didn’t have a lot of negativity coming from the review camp this month, but that doesn’t mean bad books weren’t out there. Here are three of the most terrible books our reviewers had to suffer through.
“Unless you need every issue, are exceedingly rich, or are a close relative to someone on the creative team, I think you should pass on this issue. It’s not worth $2.99 in my book.” — Jesse Kennedy
“This book lacks any direction, and it has been that way since the very first issue. I can’t stress enough the sheer number of weird turns and themes this series has taken on with very little success. The only thing keeping me in this title right now is my Red Hood fandom and the dollops of humor that one can find in each issue.” — Sean Buckley
“Over halfway through the series’ run, characters are still being introduced and new plot lines are still being formed. There’s two months left and still there’s no sign of the endgame in sight. After two above-average entries to World’s End, this issue is a major downturn with its weak art and lack of direction behind its story.” — Sean Buckley
What Was Your Favorite?
Lastly, we want to hear from you. The poll below allows you to vote for all the books you loved from January and in a week’s time you can check back to see what the Batman News community’s #1 most loved comic of January was and, naturally, it’ll be pretty apparent what everyone’s least favorite book was as well.