There are a lot of really good titles this week, and I’m having a little trouble containing my excitement! Before we get into this week’s releases though, I want to touch on the creative teams behind these books, the work they provide, and why we do what we do here at Batman-News.
The amount of work that goes into a comic book is incredible! These guys and gals put in some serious hours, and on top of that, they attend cons, hold interviews, and collaborate with other creators to help ensure everyone presents the best work possible… And they do this on an EXTREMELY TIGHT timeline (especially now that DC is double shipping). Take into consideration that most of the people behind these books have families, and I can’t help but feel amazed at the amount of work they’re able to complete each month. Jeff Lemire actually wrote a blog about his schedule/ work ethic after numerous fans asked him to detail his approach. I know Lemire isn’t working on any DC books at the moment, but if you want a glimpse into the life of a comic book writer (and to a degree, an artist), I recommend you take a few minutes to check out his post. It’s a detailed overview of how he manages his workload, and I promise you’ll finish the article with more admiration and respect for the men and women who grace us with these characters and stories.
Which leads me to the reviews we write. Creating something, in general, is a personal and emotional experience. When I write creatively, I often refer to certain projects as “my baby” because they mean so much to me. Naturally, when you assert so much time, effort, and energy into a project, the last thing you want to see is a critical review of your work… And let’s face it, sometimes we are critical here at Batman-News, but it’s not out of ill will. We want to read good books, and we want to see the creative teams succeed. The reason we take time to write these reviews – aside from the fact that we love discussing comics – is that we want to help you, the readers, determine where you should spend your money. If we were able to, I’m sure most of us would happily pay to read every book that intrigued us. Unfortunately, we have budgets, bills, and mouths to feed, so that limits what we can spend our money and time on… And that is why we provide critical reviews when we feel they’re necessary.
I don’t like being critical of books and creative teams, but I want to be honest. I don’t want to speak for our entire team, but I believe they share that sentiment. Too often, I find myself saying “good bye” to a really good title because sales aren’t strong enough to justify its continuation. In that same respect, when there’s outcry from fans because a book is canceled, publishers often respond with, “If you like it, you need to support (buy) it.” This is why we make a point to offer such detailed, and at times critical, reviews each and every week. We really want to examine the story in a way that you can assess the review, and decide whether a title is worth spending your money on. We could easily write reviews that only highlight what we enjoy or like in each issue, but then it wouldn’t be fair for you, the reader. And that’s who we’re here for. You! Our goal is to be a reliable source in offering you fair judgements of these books, so you can feel more confident in how you spend your money: which titles you pick up monthly, which titles you save for trades, and which titles you pass on altogether.
At the end of the day, the opinions we present are just that: opinions. My opinion will differ from the rest of the team’s, or even yours, but we strive to deliver an unbiased glimpse into the quality of the book we’re covering. We hope you appreciate what we do, and hope that the creative teams behind these books understand we’re not looking to trash them or their work, but are in the pursuit of ensuring that the “best works” are reaching appropriate audiences so we don’t have to continue to say goodbye to titles like Gotham by Midnight, Midnighter, or even talents like Genevieve Valentine (Catwoman/ Batman & Robin Eternal). If we’re critical of an issue, we make an effort to do so with the utmost respect, knowing the work and effort that goes into each of these titles.
To ensure we’re also supporting the creative teams though, we’re slowly expanding our coverage of comics here at Batman-News. We’ve started posting This Week in Comics to the homepage of our site each Friday, in hopes that we’ll bring more readers to our Comics page, and hopefully introduce new readers to comic books in general. On top of that, we’re committing to try and bring more substance to our comics page by writing more news based articles, posting teasers for upcoming releases, and by hosting more interviews. We enjoy what we do, and hope you do as well – whether you read comic books or contribute to them, we’re fans, and we’re here for you!
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…
“Better than Batman” part three! Nightwing and Raptor have become the pride of the Parliament of Owls, successfully completing missions for them across the globe—but Batgirl is not happy. Can she convince Nightwing he’s gone too far, or has he fallen too far under Raptor’s influence?
Written by Tim Seeley
Pencils and Inks by Javier Fernandez
Colored by Chris Sotomayor
Cover by Javier Fernandez and Chris Sotomayor
Random Blurb of Excitement: If you’re surprised this title tops my list, then you clearly don’t know me, and I’m going to assume you haven’t been reading the issues leading up to this! The only title I would say I might enjoy more than Nightwing at the moment, is Detective Comics… Most of the Rebirth titles we cover are killing it, but Seeley is really doing something special with Nightwing.
Batman News Critic: Jay
“I Am Gotham” part five. In the final chapter of this epic, is Batman truly the hero Gotham City deserves—or does it deserve better? In this ultimate showdown, where the line between allies and enemies blurs, the question will finally be answered…and the fate of Gotham will be decided.
Written by Tom King
Pencils by David Finch
Inks by Matt Banning and Sandra Hope
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Cover by Matt Banning, Jordie Bellaire, David Finch, and Danny Miki
Random Blurb of Excitement: King has taken an interesting approach with his first arc by not having the issues dovetail one another concerning the narrative. He’s allowing “gaps” in the narrative of each issue, and is making a point to focus on arcing themes more so than an arcing plot. This strategy creates a slight disconnection from issue to issue, while still managing to tell a complete story. When I break down his structure, I find it quite refreshing, and appreciate that he’s doing something a little different. For those of you that feel the arc has been a little slow so far, this issue is supposed to be amazing! I’m personally looking forward to what King has in store for us, and I’m curious as to how the themes he’s presented will impact future issues.
Batman News Critic: Brandon
Batgirl & the Birds of Prey #1
“Who Is Oracle?” part one! Someone has stolen the name Oracle right out of Barbara Gordon’s past! Hot on this false Oracle’s trail, Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress are all tracking the same mafia capo…so it makes sense to team up, right? Problem is, Barbara and Dinah need the secrets locked up in Oracle’s brain…and Helena Bertinelli would rather put a crossbow bolt right through it!
Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson
Pencils and Inks by Claire Roe
Colored by Allen Passalaqua
Cover by Nathan Fairbairn and Yanick Paquette
Random Blurb of Excitement: I’m super stoked for this issue! You all know I’m a huge fan of Helena Bertinelli, and I’m giddy with excitement that the Huntress is back and kicking ass! These three ladies make for a great team, and the opening story is sure to be a great considering it’s focusing on Oracle. So. Freaking. Excited!
Batman News Critic: Josh
Injustice: Gods Among Us Year 5 #16
Batman and Batgirl hatch a plot to break into Cyborg’s database and get their hands on footage of Superman’s many executions. Their goal is to broadcast it to the world, and turn everyone against the regime. Meanwhile, an enraged and kryptonite-armed Hawkman finally has his confrontation with the Man of Steel!
Art by Marco Santucci
Cover by David Yardin
Written by Brian Buccellato
Random Blurb of Excitement: Buccellato deserves every single praise he gets for this run of Injustice. I don’t know what happened, but he kicked thinks into high gear with Year Five. If you’re not reading this run, then you’re missing out!
Batman News Critic: Elena
“SON OF SUPERMAN” part five! The Eradicator is unstoppable and it has forced Superman to leave Earth behind to keep his son from harm.
Written by Patrick Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Doug Mahnke
Inks by Jaime Mendoza
Colored by Wil Quintana
Cover by Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, and John Kalisz
Random Blurb of Excitement: It looks like Bats is popping up in this week’s issue, so we’re going to provide a full review. I felt as though Superman started a little slow, but the past two issues have really improved with the Eradicator’s presence.
Batman News Critic: Brian
Suicide Squad #1
“The Black Vault” part one! When a mysterious and definitely super-important cosmic item falls out of the heavens and into enemy hands, America has only one option: Task Force X, Amanda Waller’s strike team of incarcerated super-criminals. A one-stop-shop for plausibly deniable espionage and ultra- violence, this “Suicide Squad” only handles missions they’re not expected to survive. An insane new era of SUICIDE SQUAD begins here with superstar artist Jim Lee and red-hot writer Rob Williams (UNFOLLOW, MARTIAN MANHUNTER).
Written by Rob Williams
Pencils by Jim Lee
Inks by Scott Williams
Colored by Alex Sinclair
Random Blurb of Excitement: Now that I feel confident with the tone I can expect from Suicide Squad, I’m excited to see what the opening arc will be like! The only complaints I had about the Rebirth issue were Harley’s characterization and Deadshot’s costume design. Aside from that, I consider this new take on the Squad a win. Now I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for a strong arc…
Batman News Critic: Josh
Harley Quinn #2
“Die Laughing” part two! As the plague of zombies on Coney Island continues to spread, Harley must rescue one of her own from the undead hordes…and try to uncover the cause of this corpse-y catastrophe!
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: Look, I openly admit that I’m experiencing Harley fatigue, but I though the first issue of this book was a riot of fun! I’m honestly looking forward to this issue to see how Harley deals with these zombies (and to see how Red Tool is doing…).
Batman News Critic: Elena
Justice League #3
“The Extinction Machine” part three! The hive-mind entities known as the Awakened take their vendetta against the Justice League to the next level by changing ordinary people into grotesque monsters bent on hunting down super-humans all over the world. Meanwhile, Superman journeys to the center of the earth to stop the catastrophic quakes that are taking lives all over the world.
Written by Bryan Hitch
Pencils by Tony Salvador Daniel
Inks by Sandu Florea
Colored by Tomeu Morey
Cover by Tony Salvador Daniel, Sandu Florea, and Tomeu Morey
Random Blurb of Excitement: Hitch isn’t starting his run as strongly as I’d hoped, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying it. With the conflict mostly established, I’m curious to see where he takes the story from here, but I hope he begins to move away from this idea of mind control, and citizens becoming influenced to turn on the Justice League. Hitch is better than that, and we deserve something a little different considering that’s essentially what was taking place in Justice League of America.
Batman News Critic: Brian
- Additional Rebirth releases this week: Aquaman #5, Green Arrow #5, Green Lanterns #5, and Supergirl: Rebirth #1.
- Harley’s Little Black Book #4 has been pushed back to
July 13th August 3rdAugust 24th.
- The Dark Knight III: The Master Race #6 has been pushed back to August 24th.
- Justice League of America #9 has been scheduled for
August 17thAugust 31st.
- Harley Quinn & Her Gang of Harleys #5 has been pushed back to August 31st.
- Justice League of America #10 has been scheduled for
August 31stSeptember 14th.
- Justice League of America #11 has been scheduled for September 14th.
- Justice League of America #12 has been scheduled for September 28th.
- Justice League of America Annual #1 has been scheduled for November 30th.
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 August 10, 2016 is Detective Comics #938 by Raul Fernandez, Alvaro Martinez, and Tomeu Morey with 55% of the votes.
- All Star Batman #1 by Danny Miki, John Romita Jr., and Dean White (31%)
- Red Hood & the Outlaws #1 by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, and Dean White (13%)
Variant Cover Poll Results:
Below you’ll find results for the July Variant Cover Poll, Justice League #1 Variant Cover Poll, and Harley Quinn #1 Variant Cover Poll. The winning covers will advance to the Q-3 Cover Poll later this year.
July Variant Cover Results:
The best July variant cover is Titans #1 by Mike Choi with 15% of the votes.
- Nightwing #1 by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado & Brad Walker (14%)
- Batman #2 by Tim Sale (11%)
- Batman #3 by Tim Sale (10%)
- Justice League Rebirth #1 by Joe Madureira & Alex Sinclair (10%)
- Detective Comics #936 by Rafael Albuquerque (9%)
- Detective Comics #937 by Rafael Albuquerque (8%)
- Nightwing Rebirth #1 by Babs Tarr (8%)
- Batgirl #1 by Francis Manapul (7%)
- Harley Quinn #30 by Amanda Conner (6%)
- Red Hood & the Outlaws: Rebirth #1 by Bengal (2%)
- Batgirl & the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1 by Ben Caldwell (2%)
Justice League #1 Variant Cover Results:
The best Justice League #1 variant cover is Justice League #1 by Gabriele Dell’Otto with 26% of the votes.
- Justice League #1 by Yanick Paquette & Nathan Fairbairn (14%)
- Justice League #1 by Gary Frank (13%)
- Justice League #1 by Tyler Kirkham (10%)
- Justice League #1 by Terry & Rachel Dodson (8%)
- Justice League #1 by Michael Turner (7%)
- Justice League #1 by Eric Basaldua & Nei Ruffino (7%)
- Justice League #1 by Kevin Maguire (6%)
- Justice League #1 by Ed Benes (4%)
- Justice League #1 by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (3%)
- Justice League #1 by Darick Robertson (1%)
Harley Quinn #1 Variant Cover Results:
The best Harley Quinn #1 variant cover is Harley Quinn #1 by Stanley Lau with 11% of the votes.
- Harley Quinn #1 by Bill Sienkowicz (8%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Ed Benes (6%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Gabriele Dell’Otto (6%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Rachel & Terry Dodson (6%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Francis Manapul (5%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Warren Louw (5%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Babs Tarr (4%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Emanuela Lupacchino & Corry Brown (4%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Joe Linsner (4%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Michael Turner (1) (4%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Rafael Albuquerque (4%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Tyler Kirkham (4%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Ant Lucia (3%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Ben Oliver (3%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Mike & Laura Allred (3%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by MingJue Helen Chen (3%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Carlos D’Anda (2%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Jay Anacleto (2%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Khary Randolph & Emilio Lopez (2%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Michael Turner (2) (2%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Tom Raney (2%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Yanick Paquette & Nathan Fairborn (2%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Guillem March (1%)
- Harley Quinn #1 by Rodolfo Migliari (1%)
Graphic Novel Watch:
Batman/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 1 – THE DARK KNIGHT AND THE HEROES IN A HALF SHELL COLLIDE IN THE COMICS CROSSOVER EVENT OF THE YEAR!
NEW YORK CITY. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles face the battle of a lifetime, fighting both the fearsome Foot Clan and their leader the Shredder and the alien forces of General Krang…which is exactly Krang’s plan. Now a single dimensional warp can rid him of both of his greatest rivals at once.
GOTHAM CITY. From the Penguin to Killer Croc to Ra’s al Ghul and beyond, the caped crime-fighter called Batman already has his hands full protecting his city. Suddenly, a new enemy emerges—the Shredder and his ninja followers, transported to Gotham and unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. Now they’re on the hunt for the technology that will help them return home…and conquer Gotham City in the process with the help of Batman’s deadliest rogues.
But heroes come in all shapes, and the Dark Knight does not fight alone. As the Caped Crusader joins forces with Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Master Splinter, can the Bat, the Rat, and the Turtles take down the most vicious villains from two dimensions?
DC Comics and IDW Publishing proudly present BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES written by James Tynion IV (DETECTIVE COMICS) and illustrated by Freddie Williams II (ROBIN) collecting BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #1-6!
Injustice: God’s Among Us Year Four Vol. 2 – THE REIGN OF THE GODS
For four years, he has ruled humanity with an iron fist. His enemies have been scattered or slain, though some still fight on. He is Superman, the most powerful being in the world…but not in all worlds.
A stunning scheme has unleashed the Gods of Olympus on Earth, and they’ve seized the reins of power from the Man of Steel. But though they have ended his tyranny—for now—the cure may be worse than the disease. Now an unlikely alliance of friends and foes must fight to defeat these beings of indescribable magic and might using every weapon at their disposal.
And they must not forget that they’re not the only ones with weapons. Because if the war between gods and heroes doesn’t end soon, the nuclear-armed nations of Earth may all take aim together and end it once and for all…
The endlessly surprising saga of superhero dystopia inspired by the hit video game continues! Writer Brian Buccellato and artists Bruno Redondo, Mike S. Miller, Tom Derenick, and Xermanico conclude the Year of the Gods in INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US: YEAR FOUR VOL. 2, collecting INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US: YEAR FOUR #8-12 and INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US: YEAR FOUR ANNUAL #1!
PLUS: Original writer Tom Taylor returns for an all-star super-villain jailbreak that leads directly into the hotly anticipated YEAR FIVE!