I’m going to keep the intro short and sweet this week because March 2016 Solicitations have been released, and I want to pull that together! But before we get started with this week’s releases, I wanted to remind everyone that we are currently accepting entries for reserve reviewers! If you’re interested and haven’t submitted anything, but are interested, check out the submission steps in the spoiler tag.

Spoiler

Step 1:

Provide a list of books that you would like to review. All of our books are currently assigned to critics, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t or couldn’t be any changes in the future.

Step 2:

Introduce yourself. We want to know who you are and what kind of schedule you keep. What do you think makes you a decent writer? Have you read “Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art” by Scott McCloud? What about “Story” by Robert McKee? Ever been published? Are you studying writing right now? What about artwork? Are you an artist yourself? Have you studied comic art and have an understanding of the various techniques? Despite there being so many comic reviews online today, very few actually offer high-quality commentary on the artwork.

Also, during your introduction we would like to know a little something about your connection to The Dark Knight. Remember how we said we’re looking for passionate people? Move me with your romanticized, nostalgic view of the mythology or impress me with how far your obsession has taken you. Got a Bat-tattoo? Built your own Batcave? We’re not looking for casual fans. Andrew started the comics section from scratch, and we only want to pass this responsibility on to people who ball-up their fists when they hear someone say “Batman: The Animated Series is overrated” or get glassy-eyed while describing the plot of “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?”

Step 3:

Provide a rundown of your experience with the character. The more comics you’ve read, the better. List what comic book eras you specialize in, and what eras you’re most unfamiliar with. What unread classic graphic novels are you most ashamed of never touching? What are your favorite Batman stories of all-time? Have you seen every movie and TV show? Played every video game? The more info you give, the more seriously you’ll be considered.

Step 4:

Write a review. Is there any better way to know what you’re made of? Write a review for any Bat-comic that we didn’t review already and submit it. If it’s good and we want you to join the team then we’ll go ahead and post it once the comics section relaunches if you’d like. We’re not looking for someone to imitate the same style of our writers. Heck, you don’t even need to share the same opinions. Just prove that you’re a capable writer who is willing to pour their heart and soul into a commentary about the book. Also, keep in mind how we do scores around here. The entire 1-10 scale is utilized. 1 is awful, 5 is “just okay,” and 10 is a must-read.

Submit:

Send your application to: ReviewerTryouts@gmail.com in the form of a typical email or a Word document. There’s no immediate deadline. We won’t stop taking submissions until we feel confident with the results!

If we like what we see, then we’ll start an email correspondence with you, working out what comics you’re the right fit for handling. Also, don’t send an e-mail saying you want Snyder & Capullo’s Batman and Batman only. The more open you are to handling the lower tier books, we’ll be more open to seriously reviewing your entry.

Alright, on to business! This week’s releases are listed in order of what I’m most excited to read, to what I’m least excited to read. For each title, I’ll include the official solicitation, the talent credits, more of my randomness, and the Batman News team member that will be reviewing each book. After that, you’ll find a poll for this week’s best cover! Should you have trouble picking one cover, no worries! The poll is open so you can select as many covers as you’d like. We also have the results from the Dark Knight III: The Master Race variant cover poll and the October/ November Non-Themed variant cover poll. Then, as always, you’ll find graphic novels scheduled for release this week, along with their cover as well (note: graphic novel covers will not be included in the poll for best cover). And of course, I (we) want to hear from you in the comments section! What titles are you picking up? What do you hope to see? And what are your thoughts about the order of my list? So, without further ado…

 

December 16th

 

Batman Europa 2
Batman: Europa #2
Forced to work with his greatest foe, The Joker, Batman reaches Prague just as the virus he’s been infected with starts to affect him. While the Czech version of Mardi Gras is in full swing, Batman and The Joker search for the mysterious Trojan Horse, a man who knows the secrets of the Colossus virus…but they’ll find more than they bargained for!

Written by Brian Azzarello and Matteo Casali
Pencils and Inks by Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli

Random Blurb of Excitement: I really enjoyed the first issue, and I’m really looking forward to what’s in store for us with the second installment. The scene is set, now we just have to enjoy Bats and Mistah J enduring one another!  Yes please!

Batman News Critic: Elena

 

 

Justice League 46
Justice League #46
“Darkseid War” rages on! The Justice League has become Gods! Grail discovers a truth about Wonder Woman that disturbs even her! And a shocking secret about the fate of the Anti-Monitor will force the League to seek out new and unlikely allies!

Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils and Inks by Francis Manapul
Colored by Francis Manapul
Cover by Francis Manapul

Random Blurb of Excitement: FINALLY! Sheesh, that delay was brutal! It’s been two months since we’ve had an issue of Justice League, and it came during a huge event! Now we can finally pick up from the aftermath of the shocking conclusion from the previous issue!

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

 

BR Eternal 11
Batman & Robin Eternal #11
THE SCULPTOR is the woman who formed Mother’s agents. Will she give Grayson and Harper the information they need…or break them?

Written by Ed Brisson, Scott Snyder, and James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Fernando Blanco and Christian Duce
Cover by Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Carlo Pagulayan, and Jason Paz

Random Blurb of Excitement: This cover looks like an acid trip. I’m curious to learn more about the Sculptor, and based on the preview of this issue, it looks as though her abilities might lead to Cass’ origin story for this continuity. I’m nervous and excited at the same time.

Batman News Critic: Brandon

 

 

We Are Robin 7
We Are Robin #7
RED ROBIN VS. RED HOOD—TO THE DEATH! “Robin War” part 4 pits Tim Drake against Jason Todd in a steel-cage match—and only the Court of Owls can say who will escape the cage with his life!

Written by Lee Bermejo
Pencils and Inks by Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colored by Mat Lopes
Cover by Jorge Corona

Random Blurb of Excitement: I’ve read enough of Robin War to go ahead and say it’s worth picking up! I’ve also been pretty impressed with Bermejo’s run on We Are Robin, so I’m curious to see what he has in-store for us now that he’ll have Dick, Damian, Red Robin, and Red Hood to play with. Oh… and the Court of the Owls as well. My only hesitation is that this confrontation between the two Reds makes me think of Death of the Family.

Batman News Critic: Brandon

 

 

Secret Six 9
Secret Six #9
The team’s attempt to defend the Earth from invasion by the Elder Gods takes them to a creepy New England town, inhabited by one very nasty creature. And just when they need Black Alice’s abilities the most, a shocking turn of events puts her down for the count. Guest starring Swamp Thing!

Written by Gail Simone
Pencils and Inks by Tom Derenick and Dale Eaglesham
Colored by Jason Wright
Cover by Dale Eaglesham and Jason Wright

Random Blurb of Excitement: Simone, Derenick, and Eaglesham are seriously getting it right with this arc! The book had a rough start, but it’s found its place, and hit its stride! With each issue that is released, my faith is restored and my excitement grows. If you haven’t been reading, you should!

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

 

Batman 66 30
Batman ’66 #30
BATMAN ‘66 comes to a close as we unleash cover artist Michael Allred on the entire issue! Mobs of villains arrive in Gotham City for what appears to be a full-blown Criminal Convention. But one bad guy is not happy with how he’s being treated, and decides to tip off Batman and Robin. Will even this valuable bit of information be enough to help the Dynamic Duo overcome the overwhelming odds?

Art by Mike Allred
Cover by Mike Allred
Written by Lee Allred

Random Blurb of Excitement: It’s the final issue… This makes me really sad. I know we’re going to get the Man from U.N.C.L.E. crossover, but this title on its own was a lot of fun, and it’s going to be weird not having it in my rotation each month.

Batman News Critic: Jay

 

 

AK Genesis 6
Batman Arkham Knight: Genesis #5
How did the Arkham Knight, once a penniless criminal, amass hundreds of tanks and a veritable army of mercenaries to take down the Caped Crusader? With the help of the world’s most dangerous assassin: Deathstroke the Terminator!

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils and Inks by Dexter Soy
Colored by Dave McCaig
Cover by Stjepan Sejic

Random Blurb of Excitement: I’ve really been enjoying Genesis. The plot is decent, and Jason is way better here than he is in his own title. Seriously, if you’ve been reading Red Hood/ Arsenal (or even Red Hood & the Outlaws), and thinking, “Where’s Jason?” He’s right here.

Batman News Critic: Jay

 

 

 

Harley Quinn 24
Harley Quinn #23
It’s all-out action on two fronts as the Gang of Harleys must split up to tackle two missions at the same time! Zena Bendemova’s vendetta against Harley has to be stopped before innocents are caught in the crossfire…and they have to bust Mason Macabre out of prison before he gets killed! There’s no way Harley will be ready for this shocking twist ending, though…

Written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
Pencils and Inks by Chad Hardin
Cover by Amanda Conner and Alex Sinclair

Random Blurb of Excitement: All I can think of when I see this issue, is Elena’s comment from the December solicitations post. I believe it was along the lines of, “I hope Mason Macabre gets shanked.” But don’t quote me. I just remember it being really funny at the time. And the solicitation promises a shocking twist ending… considering the nature of this book, there is NO TELLING what Conner and Palmiotti have up their sleeve.

Batman News Critic: Elena

 

 

Teen Titans Go 13
Teen Titans Go! #13
Beast Boy does too. Many. Chores. So he joins his buddy Aqualad for the easy life under the sea. But making his lazy dreams come true isn’t as simple as he had hoped! And stick around as we explore the single most terrifying word in the English language: “Dentist”!

Art by Jeremy Lawson and Lea Hernandez
Cover by Daniel Hipp
Written by Merrill Hagan and Sholly Fisch

Random Blurb of Excitement: All I can think of after reading the solicitation is the song “Under the Sea” from the Little Mermaid…

Batman News Critic: Jay

 

 

Batgirl 46
Batgirl #46
In her civilian life, Barbara Gordon may be sitting on tech research that could be a gold mine…and in her life as Batgirl, she’s cracked the code that might enable her to take down massive police corruption in Burnside! It’s time for Batgirl to level up-but she’s going to need allies on both fronts. Enter the Spoiler!

Written by Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart
Pencils by Babs Tarr
Colored by Serge Lapointe
Cover by Gabe Eltaeb, David Lafuente, and Babs Tarr

Random Blurb of Excitement: I’ve gotten to where I dread reading this book each month. I don’t really know what else to say.

Batman News Critic: Elena

 

 

 

Notes:

  • Titans Hunt #3 has been pushed back until December 23rd.
  • Justice League #47, Black Canary #6 and Harley Quinn & Power Girl #6 have been pushed back until December 30th.
  • Due to a lack of Batman centric characters, we will not review Justice League United #16.

 

 

Graphic Novel Watch:

 

Batman Superman Vol 3
Batman/ Superman Vol. 3: Second Chance (Softcover)
– In this collection of issues #10-15, a Dark Knight who is not quite himself must team up with Lois Lane to find a missing Man of Steel. Meanwhile, Selina Kyle encounters a person of amazing strength who has no idea who he is.

 

Batman Superman Vol 4
Batman/Superman Vol. 4: Siege (Hardcover)
– Who is Superman’s Joker? It seems it’s the unseen terror, who makes the battle personal for Superman by attacking all things related to the Man of Steel! Together, Batman and Superman start to track down suspects but the true identity of the villain will shock you! No one is safe when the one you’re hunting has no discernible motive or pattern! Collects BATMAN/SUPERMAN #16-20, ANNUAL #2 and BATMAN/SUPERMAN: FUTURES END #1.

 

Batman Doom to Gotham
Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham (Softcover)
– In this tale of horror co-written by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, Bruce Wayne unintentionally unleashes a dark evil on his city. Includes appearances by The Penguin, The Demon, Man-Bat, Ra’s al Ghul and more! Collects BATMAN: THE DOOM THAT CAME TO GOTHAM #1-3.

 

Catwoman Vol 4
Catwoman Vol. 4: The One You Love (Softcover)
– n the aftermath a gang war that ravaged Gotham City, Catwoman must make a deal with Hush to protect the East End. But to keep the streets safe, she’ll have to join forces with a group of super-villains—and take them down from within. Collects CATWOMAN #38-49

 

 

Cover of the Week:

Now, with all of this week’s releases listed above, it’s time for you to sound off! What’s the best cover that is being released this week? If you’re like me, and can’t decide on just one, then you can select multiple if you would like. Vote using the poll below, and we’ll announce the winner next week. Last week’s results are in the spoiler tag.

Spoiler

Best Cover of December 9, 2015: Batman/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 by Freddie E. Williams II with 17% of the votes.

Batman Ninja Turtles 1

 

  1. Batman & Robin Eternal #10 by Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Carlo Pagulayan, and Jason Paz (15%)

BR Eternal 10

 

  1. Justice League: Darkseid War: Lex Luthor #1 by Francis Manapul (15%)

JL DW Lex Luthor

 

  1. Robin War #1 by Mikel Janin (13%)

Grayson 15

 

  1. Catwoman #47 by Josh Middleton and Inaki Miranda (8%)
    6. Detective Comics #47 by Andrew Robinson (7%)
    7. Red Hood/ Arsenal #7 by Hi-Fi and Howard Porter (5%)
    8. Bombshells #6 by Ant Lucia (4%)
    9. Starfire #7 by Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts (4%)
    10. Gotham Academy #13 (4%)
    11. New Suicide Squad #15 by Juan E. Ferreyra (3%)
    12. Earth 2 Society #7 by Brad Anderson, Andy Kubert, and Anthony John Rauch, Jr. (2%)
    13. Batman/ Superman #27 by Nathan Fairbairn, Yanick Paquette, and Ardian Syaf (1%)