I hope everyone had a merry Christmas! If you don’t celebrate Christmas, then I hope you had a happy Holiday, no matter your religion or if you just celebrate this time as a secular holiday. For those of you that don’t know, I live in Los Angeles, and Hollywood Blvd is always insanely packed around Christmas time. I drove by the other day, and was shocked at how many people were packed onto the main block of the Walk of Fame, and it got my mischievous, little brain spinning.  So next year, I kind of want to join to see of people that dress up in costumes to make money, and stand on the boulevard as Batman… dressed as Santa. I don’t want the money from tips, I just want to have the excuse to wear a Batman-Santa costume, and say things like (in my best Christian Bale, Batman voice), “You know why I’m dressed as Santa? Because I’m BATMAN!” or “Unlike Santa, I don’t discriminate. I’m delivering toys to the good list, and then hit up the bad list as well. Get it? Hit up? As in punching… Yeah, yeah. Bad joke. I’m BATMAN!” or maybe even, “Don’t worry kids, I’m only dressed as Santa because we caught him stealing. You’ll still have Christmas! Leave some Bat cookies.”…. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the madness that runs through my head…

Anyway, the New Year is right around the corner, so if you have plans, please be safe! Don’t drink and drive! Call your mother at midnight and tell her you love her and happy New Year! And if you have time off, then read lots of comics! This week, in particular, doesn’t contain a lot of releases, but it definitely has some quality releases! And some damn good covers!

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. As a reminder, we’re posting the Q-4 Cover Poll a week early so we can capture the year-end results in a decent amount of time. The winning cover from this week’s poll, the December/ Harley’s Little Black Book Variant poll, and any variant covers from this week will automatically move on to the 2015 Year-End 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 30th

 

Justice League 47
Justice League #47

Super-star artist Jason Fabok returns as the second act of “DARKSEID WAR” begins! As the members of the Justice League struggle with their new Godhood abilities, Wonder Woman must turn to the beings that have fought the Anti-Monitor before: the Crime Syndicate! Plus, what secret does Grail hold that will change Diana’s world forever?

Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils and Inks by Jason Fabok
Colored by Brad Anderson
Cover by Brad Anderson and Jason Fabok

Random Blurb of Excitement: As you know, I was a slightly let down by issue #46 because I really wanted to just jump right back into the action… but now that, that issue is behind me, and Fabok is returning, as well as the Crime Syndicate, I honestly feel like $#!t is about to hit the fan!

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

 

BR Eternal 13
Batman & Robin Eternal #13
The secret origin of Cassandra Cain and her connection to Batman is revealed!

Written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Marcio Takara
Cover by Carlo Pagulayan

Random Blurb of Excitement: First off… this cover is effing awesome! This is what I want to see from Cass, at least for the moment! You look at this, and you can’t help but think, “Yeah, she’s a total badass!” It’s also really freaking scary. If you saw someone with that in a dark alley, tell you would cry or pee your pants… Anyway, I’m down to learn more about Cassandra, and I want to know who Mother selected for Batman! This is officially the halfway point, and so far this book is head and shoulders above its predecessor!

Batman News Critic: Brandon

 

 

Injustice 4 Annual 1
Injustice: Gods Among Us Year 4 Annual #1
Tom Taylor (EARTH 2, Superior Iron Man) returns to the series he launched for this one time special event that kicks off the story you’ll see in the upcoming INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US: YEAR 5. In his efforts to maintain world peace and wipe out crime, Superman has locked up all of Earth’s villains, as well as his enemies (including the Green Lantern Corps), in an undisclosed, impenetrable facility. Now, a surprising new prisoner may have discovered how to free himself and everyone else from this previously inescapable location.

Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils by Bruno Redondo
Inks by Juan Albarran, Sergio Sandoval, and Jordi Tarragona
Colored by Rex Lokus
Cover by Bruno Redondo and Alejandro Sanchez

Random Blurb of Excitement: I honestly don’t remember the last time that I was this excited about an issue for Injustice. I know it’s the Annual, and I know that means that there probably won’t be anything overtly crucial in the plot, BUT Tom Taylor is writing, and Tom Taylor is the freaking boss if you ask me! If you haven’t read his run on this book through Years 1 & 2 (and the beginning of three), then I recommend that you do so! You should also check out his run on Earth 2! Or don’t, because it will leave you thinking, “What in the hell happened to this book?”

Batman News Critic: Elena

 

 

Batman Europa 3
Batman Europa #3
Weakened by a deadly virus, Batman arrives in Paris to find some answers. But with The Joker along for the ride, Batman’s guaranteed to face terrifying challenges as they follow a trail that leads to their common enemy.

Written by Brian Azzarello and Matteo Casali
Pencils by Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover by Diego Latorre

Random Blurb of Excitement: I’m really enjoying this book, but I’m also starting to give it side-eye. The first issue was great. The second issue was solid, but in my opinion felt ever so slightly disconnected. But the reason for my side-eye is that we’re now halfway through this book, and it doesn’t feel like we’re racing towards a finish. Let’s see what happens after this issue. I also want more Joker/Bats banter! More! More! More!

Batman News Critic: Elena

 

 

Black Canary 6
Black Canary #6
The secret of who assembled this pack of misfits into the band that became Black Canary is revealed-and the answer is stranger than you’d ever dream! There’s a higher purpose to dropping Ditto into Dinah’s life, but will they both survive the mission they’re meant to complete?

Written by Brenden Fletcher
Pencils and Inks by Annie Wu
Colored by Lee Loughridge
Cover by Annie Wu

Random Blurb of Excitement: I’m not going to lie… I vaguely remember where this book left off, but it’s a little fuzzy… I might have the skim the previous two issues. I can confidently tell you that I’ve been enjoying the book though. While I could stand moving past the band schtick, Dinah has been represented well.

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

 

Harley & PG 6
Harley Quinn & Power Girl #6
It’s here! The epic finale of the miniseries that changed everything you thought you knew about the gutter between panels 3 and 4 of page 20 of HARLEY QUINN #12 (whew)! Worlds will live! Worlds will explode real good! And don’t miss the most spectacular wedding of the last million light years! (NOTE: Light years are not a measurement of time -Editor)

Written by Amanda Conner, Justin Gray, and Jimmy Palmiotti
Pencils and Inks by Stéphane Roux
Colored by Paul Mounts
Cover by Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts

Random Blurb of Excitement: Meh. I was already so-so about this title. I never fully connected with Harley Quinn & Power Girl like I did with Harley Quinn, the Harley specials, or even Harley’s Little Black Book. Although there have been some really good laughs and one-liners, I’m ok that this side story is coming to a close.

Batman News Critic: Elena

 

 

Notes:

Batgirl #47 has been pushed back to January 20th.

 

 

Graphic Novel Watch:

 

Infinite Crisis Vol 2
Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse Vol. 2 (Softcover)
– Facing impossible odds, the heroes of the Multiverse must reignite the defenses of the Monitor’s tower. And the person they have to rely on to do this is none other than Lex Luthor of the Gaslight World! Collects INFINITE CRISIS: FIGHT FOR THE MULTIVERSE #7-12.

 

Multiversity Directors Cut
The Multiversity #1 & 2 Director’s Cut (Softcover)
– The bookend issues that opened and closed the epic known as THE MULTIVERSITY are re-presented here in this new Director’s Cut Edition, with script pages, sketch material and the art of Ivan Reis presented in pencil form.

 

Nightwing Vol 3
Nightwing Vol. 3: False Starts (Softcover)
– Acclaimed creative team of Chuck Dixon, Scott McDaniel and Karl Story is joined by guest talents Devin Grayson, Greg Land and Bill Sienkiewicz!

Dick Grayson has left Gotham City and made Nightwing a name to be feared. But in the wake of a devastating earthquake, Nightwing must come to terms with his decision to start a new life in Blüdhaven instead of remaining in Gotham.

Meanwhile, Nightwing teams up with the Huntress to take down one of the biggest crime families in the country. The two lonely heroes begin to realize that their partnership may be more than just professional.

At the same time, Dick still has to deal with the imposter Nite-Wing. When super-villains and corrupt cops come after this phony hero, Dick Grayson is all that stands between them and their target. After all this mayhem, it would be a great time for a visit from his brother-in-crime-fighting Tim Drake-a.k.a. Robin!

Collects NIGHTWING #19-25, NIGHTWING #1/2 and NIGHTWING/HUNTRESS #1-4.

 

 

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 23, 2015: Robin, Son of Batman #7 by Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, and John Kalisz with 15% of the votes.

Robin Son of Batman 7

 

  1. Dark Knight III: The Master Race #2 by Brad Anderson, Klaus Janson, Andy Kubert, Trish Mulvihill, and Eduardo Risso (15%)

Dark Knight 3 2

 

  1. Gotham by Midnight #12 by Bill Sienkiewicz (12%)

Gotham by Midnight 12

 

  1. Batman & Robin Eternal #12 by Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Carlo Pagulayan, and Jason Paz (10%)

BR Eternal

 

  1. Justice League of America #6 by Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair (9%)
  2. Deathstroke #13 by Tyler Kirkham and Tomeu Morey (9%)
  3. Batman ’66 Meets the Man From U.N.C.L.E. #1 by Mike Allred (8%)
  4. Titans Hunt #3 by Hi-Fi, Nathan Fairbairn, Yanick Paquette, and Paulo Siqueira (7%)
  5. Bombshells #7 by Ant Lucia (5%)
  6. Justice League 3001 by Hi-Fi and Howard Porter (5%)
  7. Teen Titans #15 by Brad Anderson and Ethan Van Sciver (1%)

 

 

December Variant & Harley’s Little Black Book Variant Cover Poll

Batman HLBB
Batman #47
by Alex Ross – Harley’s Little Black Book Variant

 

Harley HLBB
Harley Quinn #23
by Bruce Timm – Harley’s Little Black Book Variant

 

Harley Little Black Book HLBB
Harley’s Little Black Book #1
by John Timms – Harley’s Little Black Book Variant

 

JLA HLBB
Justice League of America #6 b
y Howard Porter – Harley’s Little Black Book Variant

 

Batman Europa 2 Variant
Batman Europa #2
by Francesco Mattina and Diego Latorre – December Variant

 

Harley 23 Variant
Harley Quinn #23
by Amanda Conner – December Variant

 

Robin War 1 Variant
Robin War #1
by Lee Bermejo – December Variant