So I spoke to soon yesterday when I sent a tweet out saying I’d caught up with everything, because roughly half an hour after that, I started getting phone calls from work… Clearly the lesson of this is that I should be unemployed so I can take care of what’s important (BatmanNews.com)… Ok, I’m joking… The real lesson is that I need to win the lottery so I don’t need to work… Again, joking… Kind of…
On a separate note, you will notice that we have a new member on our review team. His name is Brian, and he’ll be filling in for Jay this week. Brian will be stepping in on occasion to support us with reviews, because (as you can see above) sometimes life happens and we could use the support. He’s also going to start reviewing graphic novels in the near future, so you can look forward to that in the coming months! Make sure you say hello and welcome him to the Batman News team!
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. 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…
Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life & Death #1
Life. Death. Poison Ivy has power over both. But can she keep her friends and hold down a regular job at the same time? As Dr. Pamela Isley, she joins the prestigious plant sciences department at Gotham Botanical Gardens, but things quickly get complicated when a fellow scientist is murdered and it looks like the work of Ivy. Don’t miss the start of this new 6-issue miniseries!
Written by Amy Chu
Pencils by Clayton Thomas Mann
Inks by Seth Mann
Cover by Clayton Thomas Mann, Guillem March, and Laura Martin
Random Blurb of Excitement: I’ve been looking forward to this book ever since it was announced at SDCC! The story sounds good, the writing appears to be sharp, and the art is AMAZING! Ivy’s also one of those characters that’s diverse enough, while being mostly underutilized, that it should still feel fresh and interesting.
Batman News Critic: Cat
Batman & Robin Eternal #16
Red Hood must face the darkest corners of his psyche, and in those corners lives…The Joker.
Written by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, Scott Snyder, and James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Andrea Mutti and Roger Robinson
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb
Cover by David Finch & Jonathan Glapion
Random Blurb of Excitement: I don’t usually get excited when I see stories focusing on Red Hood – even though I think there’s a lot of potential for the character – so I’m a little hesitant about this issue. Yes, one of the best things that ever happened to Jason (in a manner of speaking) was the Joker killing him… but I feel like we’ve been there quite a few times. Either way, this book has been solid, so I don’t think this issue will be bad, just not as strong as what we’ve been seeing from this title.
Batman News Critic: Brandon
Robin, Son of Batman #8
Damian Wayne is back in Gotham City! Recovering from the events of the Robin War, Robin finds himself with the unlikeliest of partners: his mother, Talia! Damian gets back to his roots as an al Ghul…but will it take him farther from his quest for redemption?
Written by Patrick Gleason
Pencils by Patrick Gleason
Inks by Mick Gray
Cover by Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, and John Kalisz
Random Blurb of Excitement: With Damian back in Gotham, and with Robin War complete, I’m expecting some really good work to come out of this book. The reservations I had about Gleason ‘s writing were put to rest with issue 6, and I can’t wait to see what unfolds over the next few months with Damian.
Batman News Critic: Brandon
Harley Quinn #24
Harley’s got an endangered friend to save, but there’s just one problem: she’s got to get through Arkham Asylum first! Unsurprisingly, Harley’s not eager to set foot in the site of some of her darkest hours…and she definitely isn’t ready to face a certain someone who’s laughing at the end of a dark hallway…
Written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
Pencils and Inks by Chad Hardin
Colored by Alex Sinclair
Cover by Amanda Conner and Alex Sinclair
Random Blurb of Excitement: Let’s put it this way, I can always count on Harley Quinn for a good laugh, and she’s going to break into Arkham Asylum. I fully expect to see a crazy person’s commentary on a house of crazies… I feel like this issue is going to be pretty epic concerning one-liners and jokes of our favorite rogues.
Batman News Critic: Elena
Secret Six #10
“House of Strangers” concludes the war between the forces of magic and the Elder Gods—with the Six caught in the middle! Black Alice may hold the key to Earth’s survival, but Big Shot wants to make sure she doesn’t lose her humanity in the process. Plus, Etrigan reveals a deadly secret, and the Council of Magicians must make a fateful decision. How can our band of misfits survive, let alone make a difference, when they are so far out of their league? Guest starring…everyone!
Written by Gail Simone
Pencils and Inks by Tom Derenick and Dale Eaglesham
Cover by Dale Eaglesham and Jason Wright
Random Blurb of Excitement: I fully expect the Secret Six team members to shift a little with this issue or because of this issue. There should be quite a bit riding on this issue, so I’m anxious to find out if that’s the case!
Batman News Critic: Josh
Titans Hunt #4
Enter Hawk and Dove…drawn to a mystery that threatens to destroy the perfect balance of their partnership. And the lost and scattered Titans—Dick, Donna, Garth, Roy, Gnarrk, Mal and Lilith—battle to discover the dark secret that unites them, but time is running out. Can they make sense of their twisted dreams before the escalating nightmare overwhelms them?
Written by Dan Abnett
Pencils by Stephen Segovia and Paulo Siqueira
Inks by Art Thibert
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Hi-Fi, Ed Benes, and Paulo Siqueira
Random Blurb of Excitement: I think we can all agree that this book is more in-line with what we’ve been craving from the Titans brand since the launch of the New 52. Yes, the narrative is a little slow and there are still a few elements that aren’t completely adding up yet, but Titans Hunt is still head and shoulders above anything we’ve associated to the Teen Titans in years.
Batman News Critic: Cat
Mr. Bloom’s seeds have grown into an army that may turn all of Gotham City against its new Batman. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne meets a mysterious stranger who could start a chain of events no one can stop.
Written by Scott Snyder
Pencils by Greg Capullo
Inks by Danny Miki
Colored by Francisco Perez
Cover by Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, and Francisco Perez
Random Blurb of Excitement: If there’s ever a story that I feel has overstayed it’s welcome, it’s Super Heavy. Overall it hasn’t been consistent, and this narrative has introduced a number of themes, then abandoned them. I’m not sure if we’ll circle back to some of these plot points or not. The writer in me wants the closer of some of these aspects… but I’d really just rather move on. I’m a huge fan of Jim Gordon, but this interpretation doesn’t read as Gordon to me, and it definitely doesn’t read as Batman.
Batman News Critic: Brandon
Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five #2
Superman and Flash find themselves up against the deadly Doomsday. They could use more help from their allies, but Cyborg and Yellow Lantern are off battling the Parasite. The Regime is under siege from both sides. Meanwhile, the identity of the creature that escaped from Lex Luthor’s lab is revealed.
Art by Juan Albarran, Xermanico, and Bruno Redondo
Cover by David Yardin
Written by Brian Buccellato
Random Blurb of Excitement: While the first issue of Year Five wasn’t as strong as the Annual that set-up the current plot, it was still an improvement over Year Four and Year Five. I’m really looking forward to this final year because I feel that Buccellato is going to make a point to pull elements from the four previous years. Adding in the villain element also adds a new edge to the narrative, and it’s landing at the perfect time.
Batman News Critic: Elena
Batman Arkham Knight: Genesis #6
As a deadly alliance between the Arkham Knight, Scarecrow, and the rogues of Gotham City is formed, the stage is set for the ultimate showdown between Jason Todd and his former mentor: Batman! Don’t miss the final issue of this explosive miniseries!
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils and Inks by Dexter Soy
Colored by Dave McCaig
Cover by Stjepan Sejic
Random Blurb of Excitement: For me, Arkham Knight has pretty much run it’s course for me. Since it leads into the game, there isn’t going to be a shocking conclusion, so I feel that this will be the standard, open-ended narrative.
Batman News Critic: Brian
Batgirl’s about to lose the greatest weapon in her arsenal…her mind is failing her! Is her ragtag group of allies enough to pick up the slack?
Written by Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart
Art by Babs Tarr
Cover by Babs Tarr
Random Blurb of Excitement: Yikes… I’m starting to feel like I’m really negative today… Look… I’m not a fan of the direction for this book, so it’s very unlikely that I’ve going to have positive things to say about it unless something changes. I know a decent amount of people would disagree with me… but that’s just how I feel.
Batman News Critic: Elena
- Black Canary #8 has been pushed back to January 27th.
- Batman Europa #4 has been pushed back to February 3rd.
- Justice League #48 has been pushed back to February 10th.
- Dark Knight III: The Master Race #3 has been pushed back to February 24th.
Graphic Novel Watch:
Batgirl Vol. 1: Silent Knight (Softcover) – Kelley Puckett and Scott Peterson’s classic take on the fan-favorite Batgirl!
Cassandra Cain is a fighter like no other. At only 17, the teenage assassin takes down enemies three times her size without batting an eye. But her incredible skills come at a cost: unable to speak or write, Cassandra instead reads body language as naturally as breathing-an ability that makes her even deadlier.
After Batman witnesses her save the life of Commissioner Gordon during the events of No Man’s Land, the Dark Knight sees in Cassandra the successor to the Batgirl name. Now, under the tutelage of Barbara Gordon-the original Batgirl herself-Cassandra Cain must find a new purpose and make amends for her violent past.
But can someone who was born to kill ever be worthy to take up the cowl of a fallen legend?
Collects BATGIRL #1-12 and BATGIRL ANNUAL #1.
Batman: Shaman – New Addition (Softcover) – In this tale from LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #1-5, Batman returns from a case to find Alfred missing, while rumors of human sacrifice and strange, primitive rituals circulate in Gotham City. Now, Batman must find the madman who’s been terrorizing the city—but the trail leads back to Wayne Manor!
Grayson Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral (Softcover) – Unmasked, targeted and presumed dead, Dick Grayson’s world has been turned upside down. No longer Nightwing, former Boy Wonder, he’s now a man who doesn’t exist . . . which makes him the perfect double agent. Dick will have to leave behind the black and white world of super heroes to infiltrate the shadowy inner workings of the mysterious spy agency known as Spyral. Without a costume to hide behind, the would-be 007 must find the answer to one important question: just who is Dick Grayson? Co-writers Tim Seeley & Tom King team with sensational artist Mikel Janín for GRAYSON: AGENTS OF SPYRAL—a high-octane, highly acclaimed super-spy thriller that reveals an all-new side of one of the DC Universe’s most legendary heroes! Collects issues #1-4, GRAYSON: FUTURE’S END 1#, and a story from SECRET ORIGINS #8.
Grayson Vol. 2: We All Die At Dawn (Hardcover) – The next thrilling chapter of Dick Grayson’s life, and the mysterious underside of the DC Universe!
Former acrobat. Former Robin. Former Nightwing. Spy. Dick Grayson, now entrenched in the international spy organization known as Spyral, is on the hunt for the Paragon Protocol-metahuman biological organs that grant normal humans supernatural abilities.
But the secret lifestyle of a spy isn’t easy. Dick must survive a desert with a brutal man known as Midnighter, while protecting the life of an infant. Then there is the fatalistic rock band and the brain damaged Irish bomber. And what exactly is Mr. Minos, director of Spyral, up to?
Collects GRAYSON #5-8 and GRAYSON ANNUAL #1.
New Teen Titans Vol. 4 (Softcover) – The original Teen Titans always stood in the shadows of their larger-than-life mentors-young heroes like Robin, Wonder Girl and Kid Flash saw plenty of action, but it was Batman, onder Woman and The Flash who ultimately called the shots.
All that changed, however, with the arrival of THE NEW TEEN TITANS in 1980-and the lives of DC’s adolescent adventurers would never be the same!
Crafted by comics legends Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, this all-new super-team featured greater dangers, fiercer emotions and more tangled relationships than any that had come before. The Titans’ celebrated stories have ensured that the names of Starfire, Cyborg, Raven and Changeling will be passed down through history. Collects THE NEW TEEN TITANS #21-27 of the classic title as well as the pivotal THE NEW TEEN TITANS ANNUAL #1.
Showcase Presents: Batman Vol. 6 (Softcover) – In this new collection of tales from BATMAN #229-244 and DETECTIVE COMICS #408-426, Batman returns to his roots as the Dark Knight Detective, operating on his own in the shadows of Gotham City. With Robin away in college, Batman faces new foes and old, including Two-Face, Man-Bat and Ra’s al Ghul, making his debut appearance.
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 can be found in the spoiler tag.
Best cover of January 13, 2016: Robin War #2 by Emilio Lopez and Khary Randolph with 24% of the votes.
- Batman & Robin Eternal #15 by Brad Anderson, David Finch, and Scott Hanna (16%)
- Batman/ Superman #28 by Nathan Fairbairn and Yanick Paquette (13%)
- Starfire #8 by Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts (9%)
- New Suicide Squad #16 by Juan E. Ferreyra (8%)
- Batman/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 by Freddie E. Williams II (6%)
- Catwoman #48 by Josh Middleton (6%)
- Gotham Academy #14 by Mingjue Helen Chen (6%)
- Red Hood/ Arsenal #8 by Leonardo Manco (4%)
- Earth 2 Society #8 by Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez (4%)
- Batman ’66 Meets the Man From Uncle #2 by Mike Allred (4%)