This is an El Nino year for us, so we’ve been facing more storms than usual in Los Angeles. I love the rain, because it gives me an “excuse” to slow down and be a little lazy. Well yesterday the storms were so heavy that it knocked out electricity all over the city, and I was one of those statistics. I worked on a few things (including this post) until my battery was about to die… and then I as stuck with reading comics for the rest of the day… it was terrible… (no it wasn’t, it was AMAZING!)
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…
Detective Comics #49
Caught up in an cold case from his days on the force, James Gordon grapples with the new freedom he has as Batman to investigate the crimes of Gotham City…and the slippery slope that this freedom can be. Does the system he’s believed in all this time still work? Or is it the only thing he has left to hold on to?
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Fernando Pasarin and Marcio Takara
Inks by Matt Ryan and Marcio Takara
Colored by Chris Sotomayor
Cover by Tyler Kirkham, Tomeu Morey, and Andrew Robinson
Random Blurb of Excitement: If this issue matches the quality of last month’s issue, then we’re in for a real treat! Issue 48 was SO GOOD, that if you didn’t get it, you need to! Based on the first issue of this arc, when people ask me in the future about my opinion of Gordon as Batman, I’m going to tell them to check out this story (hopefully).
Batman News Critic: Brandon
Batman & Robin Eternal #18
Everything that can go wrong does in both the past and the present! Batman spent years believing Mother was dead…and when you see their blood-soaked confrontation, you’ll know why! Now that she’s returned in the modern day, Batman’s allies will find themselves under siege from a world-destroying weapon they never saw coming! And on top of everything…Harper Row learns a devastating secret that will change her life forever—and potentially make her the most dangerous foe the Robins have ever faced!
Written by Ed Brisson, Scott Snyder, and James Tynion IV
Pencils by Scot Eaton and Andrea Mutti
Inks by Wayne Faucher and Andrea Mutti
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb and Allen Passalaqua
Cover by Tony Salvador Daniel and Tomeu Morey
Random Blurb of Excitement: I debated having this issue in the top spot because I have a feeling that it will be really good. I expect to find out what happened to Harper’s mom – which I’m sure is tied to Cassandra – as well as other intriguing little secrets from the past! Also, kudos to the creative team for finally getting me onboard with Blue Bird. Batman & Robin Eternal is the first time I have actually enjoyed Harper. There haven’t really been any moments where I’ve groaned at the thought of her being the centric character for a story.
Batman News Critic: Brandon
Spyral wants the deadly Perdition Pistol back—so they turn to the only man who stands a chance of recovering it: Midnighter! The only problem is who has possession of it now…the near-unbeatable Suicide Squad!
Written by Steve Orlando
Pencils and Inks by ACO and Hugo Petrus
Colored by Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Cover by ACO, Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Carlo Pagulayan and Jason Paz
Random Blurb of Excitement: Last month’s issue irritated me because it felt like a waste of time. We’re finally going to get the Spyral/ Suicide Squad cross that’s been teased for a few months now, and that excites me! When it comes down to it, these are all morally ambiguous people, and that should make for some great storytelling!
Batman News Critic: Josh
Injustice: Gods Among Us Year 5 #3
Killer Frost has Catwoman on ice, trying to coerce her into coming over to the side of the Regime. When Batman comes to her rescue, Frost brings some muscle to the fight: Superman’s newest henchman, Bane! Meanwhile, Damian has a pivotal encounter with Alfred.
Art by Juan Albarran, Mike S. Miller, and Bruno Redondo
Cover by David Yardin
Written by Brian Buccellato
Random Blurb of Excitement: I’m going to be honest, I’m more excited for the Damian/ Alfred talk than anything else! Buccellato hasn’t been able to really hit me emotionally since he took over the series, so I’m hoping he can do it here. With everything that’s set-up for this arc, I really wish Tom Taylor had come back for this final year. That being said, there could be someone far worse than Buccellato overseeing this title, so I’ll refrain from complaining. It’s just a matter of it being good vs epic.
Batman News Critic: Elena
Batman Europa #4
As they reel from the effects of the Colossus virus, Batman and The Joker make their final stand in the ruins of Rome’s Coliseum. At last, their true enemy reveals his identity for one final showdown. Weakened by sickness and forced into an uneasy alliance with his greatest foe, how can Batman focus on what he needs to do to survive?
Written by Brian Azzarello and Matteo Casali
Pencils by Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inks by Gerald Parel
Cover by Gerald Parel
Random Blurb of Excitement: This has been an interesting book. I’ve enjoyed it and it’s been entertaining, but it hasn’t been that cohesive as an arcing story. I’m confident in saying that I’ll enjoy this issue as well, but when it’s all said and done, I don’t think I’m going to be gushing over Europa… I was hoping it would end up being one of those under-the-radar must-reads…
Batman News Critic: Elena
Batman ’66 Meets the Man From U.N.C.L.E. #3
The Caped Crusader and the Men From U.N.C.L.E. are on to the next big THRUSH operation—a heist in Europe. But the secret organization has a chilly new operative on this case: none other than the icy Mr. Freeze, who is assisted by that deadly songbird known as The Siren. And then the new, secret head of THRUSH is revealed. All this and Batgirl too!
Art by Karl Kesel and David Hahn
Cover by Mike Allred
Written by Jeff Parker
Random Blurb of Excitement: While I miss some of the pizazz of the standard Batman ’66 book, this is still a highly enjoyable read! If you like Batman ’66, you’ll like this. If you never read Batman ’66, then you should give this book a try. It’s a fun read.
Batman News Critic: Jay
Batman Beyond #9
Let the doctor make you strong,
Let him give you the tools to survive…
While the world flocks to Neo-Gotham, Batman tracks Terry’s brother, Matt, to the former City of Tomorrow: Metropolis! But they both get more than they bargained for when they meet the new muscle in town. Check out the DC Universe debut of the Splicers, previously seen in the Batman Beyond animated TV series!
Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils and Inks by Bernard Chang
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Ellery Santos and Philip Tan
Random Blurb of Excitement: I’m 50/50 on this book. There are aspects of it that I really enjoy, but it doesn’t feel very relatable. That makes this title a hard sell. I’m holding out hope, but I’m beginning to think that this title might be a casualty of whatever is taking place in June.
Batman News Critic: Cat
When Batgirl is down, it’s Black Canary to the rescue! Dinah and Barbara reteam to try to discover the identity of the malevolent mastermind making their presence felt in Burnside!
Written by Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart
Pencils and Inks by Babs Tarr
Cover by Babs Tarr
Random Blurb of Excitement: Speaking of casualties in June… can this be one of them? Or at least the creative team? This book has gone to the dumps…
Batman News Critic: Elena
Harley’s Little Black Book #2 has been pushed back to February 10th.
Graphic Novel Watch:
Batman: Arkham – Scarecrow (Softcover) – The Scarecrow, one of the Dark Knight’s greatest foes, stars in this new best-of collection that includes tales from DETECTIVE COMICS #73, 389, 486 and 540, BATMAN #189, 296, 373, 523 and 524, DETECTIVE COMICS #23.3, BATMAN ANNUAL #19, JOKER’S ASYLUM: SCARECROW #1 and WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #3!
Identity Crisis (New Edition – Softcover) – Novelist Brad Meltzer’s #1 New York Times best-selling miniseries that rocked the DC Universe and influenced new storylines for years to come.
When Sue Dibny, wife of the Elongated Man, is murdered in her own home, the superhero community is devastated. They come together in mourning, hold their loved ones closer, and immediately begin a worldwide search to find her killer.
But a handful of heroes think they already know who murdered Sue Dibny.
Years ago, to protect Sue and others like her from super-villains, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Black Canary, the Atom and Zatanna crossed a line. Now, their long-buried secret will break the superhero community apart.
Collects IDENTITY CRISIS #1-7
Justice League: Gods & Monsters (Hardcover) – The prequel to the critically acclaimed animated film, from an all-star lineup of creators including Bruce Timm (BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES), J.M. DeMatteis (JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL), Thony Silas (BATMAN BEYOND) and many more!
In this alternate universe, the Justice League isn’t a team of the world’s greatest superheroes who protect Earth from evil and save it from disaster. No-this Justice League is a trio of ruthless “heroes” who answer to no one and will stop at nothing to destroy their enemies. The names are the same, but not the people they’re attached to: Superman is the son of Zod, Batman is an inhuman vampire, and Wonder Woman is a tragic former resident of New Genesis. These are the world’s best and only hope.
Collects JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS #1-3, JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS SUPERMAN #1, JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS BATMAN #1, and JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS WONDER WOMAN #1.
New Suicide Squad Vol. 2: Monsters (Softcover) – Writer Sean Ryan (Nova) and artist Philippe Briones (Captain America Corps) set villain against villain in an epic battle for the greater good in NEW SUICIDE SQUAD VOL. 2: MONSTERS!
A splinter sect has broken off from the legendary League of Assassins. Like their predecessors, this new League is made up of some of the deadliest killers on the planet. But unlike Ra’s al Ghul’s followers, these renegade assassins have no plans to remain hidden in the shadows.
With countless innocent lives at stake, there’s only one team ready to handle this new terrorist threat: Deadshot. Black Manta. Captain Boomerang. Harley Quinn. Reverse Flash. Parasite.
It’s up to Amanda Waller’s Task Force X to destroy this terrorist organization from the inside, and that means going deep undercover. They’re being sent far behind enemy lines to face a foe like nothing they’ve ever encountered. And if they don’t all make it back? That’s why they’re called the Suicide Squad.
Collects issues #9-12, Annual #1 and DC SNEAK PEEK: NEW SUICIDE SQUAD #1.
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 27, 2016: Grayson #16 by Mikel Janin with 30% of the votes.
- Batman & Robin Eternal #17 by David Finch (23%)
- We Are Robin #8 by Lee Bermejo (13%)
- Teen Titans #16 by Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez (8%)
- Suicide Squad’s Most Wanted: Deadshot/ Katana #1 by Marc Deering, Gabe Eltaeb, Diogenes Neves, and Cary Nord (8%)
- Justice League of America #7 by Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair (8%)
- Black Canary #7 by Annie Wu (5%)
- Justice League 3001 #8 by Hi-Fi and Howard Porter (5%)
John Romita Jr. Variant Cover Poll Results:
Best John Romita Jr. Variant Cover: Batman #51 by John Romita, Jr. and Klaus Janson with colors by Alex Sinclair with 30% of the votes.
- Robin: Son of Batman #11 variant cover by John Romita, Jr. and Klaus Janson with colors by Brad Anderson (11%)
- Justice League #50 variant cover by John Romita, Jr. and Scott Hanna with colors by Alex Sinclair (9%)
- Grayson #19 variant cover by John Romita, Jr. and Danny Miki with colors by Laura Martin (8%)
- Justice League of America #10 variant cover by John Romita, Jr. and Danny Miki with colors by Dave McCaig (6%)
- Batman/Superman #31 variant cover by John Romita, Jr. and Klaus Janson with colors by Dave McCaig (5%)
- We Are Robin #11 variant cover by John Romita, Jr. and Danny Miki with colors by Brad Anderson (5%)
- Red Hood/Arsenal #11 variant cover by John Romita, Jr. and Klaus Janson with colors by Dean White (5%)
- Harley Quinn #27 variant cover by John Romita, Jr. and Klaus Janson with colors by Alex Sinclair (5%)
- Titans Hunt #7 variant cover by John Romita, Jr. and Scott Hanna with colors by Dave McCaig (3%)
- Teen Titans #19 variant cover by John Romita, Jr. and Danny Miki with colors by Dean White (2%)
- Detective Comics #51 variant cover by John Romita, Jr. and Scott Hanna with colors by Dean White (2%)