More books are coming to a “close” this week as we creep closer to Rebirth. We will be saying goodbye to the likes of Batman/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Catwoman this week, so enjoy every page you can get of those books before they’re “gone.” I’m personally counting down the days until Rebirth, and I can’t wait to get my hands on that special! With so many fill-in creative teams writing mostly fluff at the moment, I’m eager to get back to some good, impactful storytelling. I want to be clear in sharing that I don’t think it’s necessarily the fault of the current creative teams that books are a little lackluster at the moment, I just think they’re hands are tied with what they’re allowed to do. DC is definitely saving all of their “big guns” for their fresh start. What are you looking forward to most with Rebirth? What title are you sad won’t continue? (*cough* Midnighter *cough*)
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). Finally, at the very bottom, we’ve included a Best Cover Poll for April Variant covers. Make sure you vote in that poll as well! 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…
Echoes from Batman’s past ripple out into Gotham City’s future…
Written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Pencils by Riley Rossmo
Inks by Rafael Albuquerque, Brian Level, and Riley Rossmo
Cover by Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, and FCO Plascencia
Random Blurb of Excitement: One of the biggest issue I had with Snyder’s run, is that he confused “big” with “good.” Almost every single story of his ended with Gotham being completely destroyed, and it got really old for me. I don’t think “big” is “bad,” but it needs to be textured here and there, not serve as the knockout punch for every story. That being said, in many ways, I think Snyder is one of the best writers in comics today. When he steps back, focuses on the characters, and personal moments, he knocks it out of the part. That’s why last month’s issue was so good in my opinion, and considering that it looks as though this issue will be another reflective issue on who Batman is, and how he affects Gotham, I’m looking forward to it!
Batman News Critic: Brandon
In issue #12, the Bombshells face triumph and tragedy as the Battle of Britain concludes. Nereus continues to pound London with his horde of undead, ocean-based Tenebrae. The giant Kraken has been defeated, but now an even bigger and deadlier menace rises up to take its place. Not even the combined might of all the Bombshells looks as if it can prevail, leading one person to make an unprecedented sacrifice.
Art by Laura Braga and Mirka Andolfo
Cover by Ant Lucia
Written by Marguerite Bennett
Random Blurb of Excitement: I feel like a broken record when I talk about this book, because I always say, “this title doesn’t get enough recognition” or “it’s not just a gimmick, it’s actually good” and I still feel that way. So if you’re not reading Bombshells, then you should give it a shot. And for those of you that are reading this book, I’m sure that you were as surprised as I was to discover that this title would be continuing past the month of May.
Batman News Critic: Elena
Batman/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6
The crossover event of the year comes to its thrilling conclusion. The Turtles have one last, desperate shot at going home. But will they take it, knowing what nefarious plans Shredder has for Gotham City? It’s full-on ninja warfare as our heroes go up against the combined forces of the Foot Clan and the League of Assassins. Co-published with IDW.
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Freddie E. Williams II
Colored by Jeremy Colwell
Cover by Freddie E. Williams II
Random Blurb of Excitement: This has been a fun ride, and while I’m not a fan of what happened at the end of last month’s issue, I’m still going to sad to see this one go. It was a fun mashup of two amazing things from my childhood!
Batman News Critic: Jay
Action Comics #52
“The Final Days of Superman” continues as two Supermen meet at last: pre-New 52 Superman meets the current Kal-El. But solar Superman wants to be the only Man of Steel left standing. And divided they may fall as one Clark Kent must choose the safety of his family before either version of himself.
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Dale Eaglesham and Scot Eaton
Inks by Dale Eaglesham and Wayne Faucher
Colored by Tomeu Morey
Cover by Klaus Janson, John Romita Jr., and Dean White
Random Blurb of Excitement: I’m starting to question this run… I’m not completely sure who the antagonist is, and it’s starting to feel like it’s a rundown of random villains. I’d almost prefer to deal without the small-timers, and just focus on Superman’s waning health while going against this imposter. Still, I’m hoping for the best. With Superman dying in a non-dramatic fashion, there’s an opportunity for Tomasi to write a lot of sincere goodbyes that writers typically wouldn’t have the chance to jump on… so he better!
Batman News Critic: Brian
As secrets about the Faceless mask and the history of the False Face Society come to light, Catwoman’s own past comes back to haunt her. And where the False Face Society is involved, Black Mask is never far behind—and with him, a dark secret regarding his connection to Selina’s past. And when it’s revealed, that secret will change Catwoman’s life forever!
Written by Frank Tieri
Pencils by Giuseppe Cafaro, Pop Mhan, and Inaki Miranda
Inks by Pop Mhan and Inaki Miranda
Colored by Eva de la Cruz
Cover by Josh Middleton
Random Blurb of Excitement: Ah Catwoman, you will be missed! I have to give props to Tieri and team for keeping this title interesting during this transition period as well. It’s a shame he’s getting such a short amount of time on this book, while “she who shall not be named” ran this book into the ground for more than a year. Hopefully our favorite thief will pop up in other titles during Rebirth.
Batman News Critic: Josh
Earth 2 Society #12
What role do superheroes play on a new world where society has to rebuild itself from the ground up? Two cities are about to go to war over limited resources and this new Earth-2 is beginning to look as familiar as the old one. Can Captain Steel and Power Girl stop the fighting before it starts?
Written by Dan Abnett
Pencils and Inks by Iban Coello
Colored by David Lopez
Cover by Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez
Random Blurb of Excitement: This is one of those titles where I just don’t care what’s going on because I was never completely hooked, and this run is closing out… Sorry…
Batman News Critic: Cat
Gotham Academy #18
As the “Gotham Academy Yearbook” storyline comes to an end, Olive, Maps and the gang wrap up the year with stories that will reveal secrets about the Academy you won’t want to miss!
Written by Natasha Alterici, Brenden Fletcher, Faith Erin Hicks, and Steve Orlando
Pencils by Moritat, Natasha Alterici, Adam Archer, and Faith Erin Hicks
Inks by Moritat, Natasha Alterici, and Sandra Hope Archer
Colored by Natasha Alterici, Adam Archer, and Serge Lapointe
Cover by Mingjue Helen Chen
Random Blurb of Excitement: I LOVE Gotham Academy. I called it “Gotham’s shining light” in one of my reviews… but I have not been a fan of “Yearbook.” Each issue has progressively gotten better though, and last month’s chapter was actually quite enjoyable. I’m hoping lightning strikes twice because I’m ready for this book to get back to normal.
Batman News Critic: Brandon
Harley Quinn & Her Gang of Harleys #2
With Harley missing, the Gang springs into action to find her…but they’re definitely not prepared for the sinister mastermind behind the kidnapping! Who in the world is Harley Sinn?!
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Frank Tieri
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Amanda Conner and Alex Sinclair
Random Blurb of Excitement: Oi… To spare myself from a Harley overdose, I’m deciding to trade-wait this run… I just need some “fresh air” at the moment, and out of all of the Harley-centric books, this one interests me the least. Also, between Harley Quinn, Harley’s Little Black Book, and this title (plus the previous Harley Quinn & Power Girl as well as the various specials), the schtick is beginning to feel repetitive… You’re fun Harley, but I think we need a little space. It’s not you, it’s me. And this isn’t goodbye, just a “see you soon.” Here’s your giant mallet. Oh, and here’s Kitty, the goldfish we bought together. You should have him.
Batman News Critic: Elena
Red Hood & Arsenal #12
Arsenal confronts his greatest mistake: the mercenaries known as the Iron Rule! Good thing Red Hood is there to help him—but will Jason’s methods tear down the partnership they’ve been trying so hard to build? Plus, Joker’s Daughter faces her greatest challenge yet: high school!
Written by Scott Lobdell
Pencils by Joe Bennett
Inks by Belardino Brabo
Colored by Jose Villarrubia
Cover by Tyler Kirkham and Arif Prianto
Random Blurb of Excitement: I read about a page of this book last month, and then decided I had better things to do with my time. That means I won’t be reading this issue either…
Batman News Critic: Cat
- Justice League of America #10 has been pushed back to May 25th.
- Justice League #50 has been pushed back to May 25th.
- The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade #1 has been pushed back to April 20th May 25th.
- The Dark Knight III: The Master Race #5 has been pushed back to June 29th.
- The Dark Knight III: The Master Race #6 has been pushed back to August 24th.
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 May 4th, 2016 is a four-way tie between Midnighter, Batman Beyond, New Suicide Squad and the Flash, each with 18% of the votes.
Midnighter #12 by ACO and Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
New Suicide Squad #20 by Juan E. Ferreyra
The Flash #51 by Joe Prado, Ivan Reis, and Alex Sinclair
Batman Beyond #12 by Elmer Santos and Philip Tan
- Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five #9 by David Yardin (12%)
- Batman/ Superman #32 by Nathan Fairbairn and Yanick Paquette (9%)
- Detective Comics #52 by Guillem March (7%)
Graphic Novel Watch:
Batman ’66 Vol. 5 – Zounds! The questions abound for Batman! All will be revealed in BATMAN ’66, VOL. 5—the adventure series inspired by the classic Batman television series.
WHO is to blame for raising Solomon Grundy from a Gotham cemetery, or forming a mega-malleable monstrosity like Clayface?
WHAT latest emerald enchantment allows Marsha, Queen of Diamonds, to control the minds of men—not to mention Robin, the Boy Wonder?
WHERE will the Dynamic Duo find Poison Ivy as she plants her sinister seeds of sedition? Hopefully, not inside the maw of her topiary terror, the Jupiter Flytrap!
WHEN will the Joker-inspired villainess known as the Harlequin unleash her master plan of mayhem on Gotham? Could it happen before temp employee Barbara Gordon assists the city’s top ad agency in improving the image of its newest clients, including the Penguin?!
HOW will Batman, Robin, and Batgirl wrestle with the backbreaking brutality of the lethal luchador Bane, or his managerial prince of puzzles, the Riddler?
WHY does one chemical concoction grip the Cowled Crime-fighters with fear for the Scarecrow, while another transforms a two-bit enforcer into the jaw-snapping Killer Croc?
Collecting BATMAN ’66 #23-30, these Bat-tastic battles of heroism are inscribed by JEFF PARKER, RAY FAWKES, GABE SORIA, LEE ALLRED and artistically articulated by BRENT SCHOONOVER, GIANCARLO CARACUZZO, JON BOGDANOVE, JESSE HAMM, LUKAS KETNER, TY TEMPLETON, SCOTT KOWALCHUK, DEAN HASPIEL and MICHAEL ALLRED!
Catwoman (2002 – 2008) Vol. 5: Backward Masking – Will Pfeifer (TEEN TITANS) and artists Pete Woods (LEGION LOST) and David López (INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US: YEAR ONE) take Catwoman in a whole new direction as Selina rediscovers who she is and who she has to protect.
Who is Catwoman? That’s the question Selina Kyle is asking herself after discovering that her mind was altered by Zatanna and the Justice League, and she was changed to become more hero than villain. How does this affect her mission to protect Gotham City’s East End? Or her relationship with her friends Holly Robinson and Sam Bradley?
After learning the truth, Selina’s life becomes chaos, but Black Mask doesn’t care. He has his own idea of who Catwoman is, and he’s about to tell her in the most bloody way possible.
Collects CATWOMAN #50-65!
Grayson Vol. 3: Nemesis – Red-hot creative team TIM SEELEY (BATMAN ETERNAL) and TOM KING (OMEGA MEN) along with artist MIKEL JANÍN (JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK) continue the smash-hit adventure in GRAYSON VOL. 3: NEMESIS!
Dick Grayson is Agent 37, super spy extraordinaire, caught in a maze of mind games and hidden agendas. But with Batman dead, there is no one to bring this spy in from the cold. Now, someone is killing rival spies and setting it up to look like Dick is the murderer. With no one to trust, Grayson turns to the only people he can-those closest to him.
Unfortunately, all of them think he’s dead, and some of them are none too pleased to see him again.
Reunited with his fellow Robins, Batgirl, and even Superman, Dick is about to find out that there’s no escaping Spyral-even in Gotham City!
Collects GRAYSON SNEAK PEEK, GRAYSON #9-12 and GRAYSON ANNUAL #2.
Kingdom Come: 20th Anniversary – Deluxe Edition – The stunning 20th anniversary edition of writer Mark Waid (Archie) and artist Alex Ross’ multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning, seminal masterpiece KINGDOM COME.
In the near-future world of KINGDOM COME, superheroes are ubiquitous, but heroism is rare. After decades as Earth’s champions, the members of the Justice League have all retreated out of the public eye, replaced with a new generation of crime-fighters whose brand of harsh justice leaves humanity terrified, rather than inspired. But with the planet’s future in jeopardy, Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman must come out of retirement to make one last stand for truth and justice.
Collects KINGDOM COME #1-4 and more than one hundred pages of sketches, annotations and other extras!
Best April Variant Cover:
As mentioned above, we’ve pulled variant covers from the month of April, and have a poll for these releases. Please note that there are some covers from themed variants that should have been released during previous months, but were delayed. Check out the covers below, and vote for your favorite! The winner will be announced in next week’s Upcoming Comics.
Justice League: Darkseid War Special #1 Kim Jung Gi
Justice League: Darkseid War Special #1 by Neal Adams
Batgirl #50 by Kevin Nowlan
Harley Quinn and the Suicide Squad April Fools’ Special #1 by Sean Galloway
Harley Quinn and Her Gang of Harleys #1 by Amanda Conner
Harley’s Little Black Book #3 by Joseph Michael Linsner
Batman/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #5 by Kevin Eastman & Tomi Varga
Justice League #49 by Matteo Scalera & Moreno DiNisio
Harley Quinn #27 by Amanda Conner
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #4 by Rafael Albuquerque
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #4 by Klaus Janson & Alex Sinclair
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #4 by Jim Lee, Scott Williams & Alex Sinclair
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #4 by Paul Pope & Shay Plummer
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #4 by Frank Miller & Alex Sinclair