**Updated to reflect the correct issues for Batman and Nightwing since dccomics.com can’t seem to get their act together.

I feel like I need to apologize for a comment I made in one of my reviews last week (JLA). I made a comment along the lines that Justice League of America is 50% of the reason I hate reviewing books every other week. I want to clarify… I love reviewing comics. I love writing for the site. I hate reviewing Justice League of America, Batgirl & the Birds of Prey, and Mother Panic… at the moment. They can be a bit draining to cover. Plus, it’s a double dose of badness every other week. I’ve always had a bad book or two, but this combo really pushes my limits sometimes. Bad writing – whether it be comics, television, film, etc –  tends to annoy me because I either know a number of people who could do better, or I feel confident that I could do better. I know, I know… I’m tooting my own horn a little bit and I don’t mean to sound jaded, but I’m being honest. As a writer, it’s difficult to see crap delivered each and every week while quality talent is essentially benched. I’m a firm believe in delivering the absolute best work possible, and can get a little over passionate when I don’t think that effort is being put forward.

Anyway, that’s my transparency for this week. Nobody said anything about my comment, but I felt driven to address it. I didn’t want any of you to think that I didn’t enjoy what I do, or the conversations I have with you all. And yes, I’m happy a number of you find my reviews for “bad books” entertaining! At the end of the day, it makes writing them worthwhile.

Alright, on to business! For a collection of our opinions pertaining to last week’s releases, make sure you check out This Week In Comics: General Zod Joins the Suicide Squad. 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, a random comment (or rant), and the Batman News team member that will be reviewing each book. After I’ve overshared my opinions, you’ll find notes pertaining to other DC Comics titles/ delayed releases, as well as our Graphic Novel Watch. And finally, we want to hear from you! What titles are you picking up? What do you hope to see? Etc. So, without further ado…

 

May 17th

 

The Flash #22
“THE BUTTON” part four! The cataclysmic events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 continue here! The Dark Knight and The Fastest Man Alive, the two greatest detectives on any world, unite to explore the mystery behind a certain blood-stained smiley button embedded in the Batcave wall. What starts as a simple investigation turns deadly when the secrets of the button prove irresistible to an unwelcome third party—and it’s not who anyone suspects! It’s a mystery woven through time, and the ticking clock starts here!

Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by Howard Porter
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Brad Anderson, Carmine Di Giandomenico, and Jason Fabok

Josh’s Outlook: I know I’ve expressed concern over Williamson taking the lead for this story, but this is honestly some of the best writing I’ve ever seen from him! The story has been highly entertaining, emotional, and intriguing. Williamson usually loses me due to a lack of attention to detail, but that’s not the case here.

Batman-News Critic: Brian

 

 

Super Sons #4
“When I Grow Up” part four! As our young heroes struggle to break free of the deadly Kid Amazo’s control, they discover the truth behind this young villain’s power! But with an army at his command, and his sights set on total domination, the boys will need to put up the fight of their young lives to stop him! Is the key to stopping him not beating him but helping him?

Art by Jorge Jimenez
Cover by Jorge Jimenez
Variant cover by Dustin Nguyen
Written by Peter J. Tomasi

Josh’s Outlook: Super Sons is an absolute joy! If you’re not reading this book, then you’re missing out on a lot of fun and heart. You need to check this out. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

Batman News Critic: Jay

 

 


Batman #23
“THE BRAVE & THE MOLD”! (There is currently no solicitation on dccomics.com or Comixology for this specific story.)

Art by Mitch Gerads
Cover by Mitch Gerads
Variant cover by Tim Sale
Written by Tom King

Josh’s Outlook: I’m 50/50 on this team-up. It’s not the first choice I’d make, but it’s definitely an interesting one.

Batman News Critic: Brandon

 

Injustice 2 #2
A new Suicide Squad has been assembled for a mission—but it doesn’t turn out to be the one they originally expected. Who is the mystery villain pulling their strings? Plus, has Batman really gone over the edge?

Art by Juan Albarran and Bruno Redondo
Cover by Scott Williams and Jim Lee
Variant cover by Bruno Redondo
Written by Tom Taylor

Josh’s Outlook: I thoroughly enjoyed the debut, and I already have a number of questions based on that single issue. Tom Taylor is a welcomed return, and I can’t wait to see what else he has up his sleeve for us.

Batman News Critic: Elena

 

 


Nightwing #21
“SPLIT SECOND” (There is currently no solicitation on dccomics.com or Comixology for this specific story.)

Art by Christian Duce
Cover by Brad Walker
Variant cover by Oclair Albert and Ivan Reis
Written by Michael McMillian and Tim Seeley

Josh’s Outlook: I’m always down for a Dick and Wally story, especially outside of Titans so that these two can really work off of one another.

Batman News Critic: Jay

 

 

Teen Titans #8
“THE LAZARUS CONTRACT” part two! The Teen Titans collide with the Titans after both groups are targeted by the World’s Deadliest Assassin—Deathstroke! But when Robin interrogates Nightwing about his history with Deathstroke, dark secrets are revealed and alliances are broken!

Art by Wade Von Grawbadger and Khoi Pham
Cover by Mike McKone
Variant cover by Phil Jimenez
Written by Christopher Priest, Benjamin Percy, and Dan Abnett

Josh’s Outlook: This issue of “The Lazarus Contract” will most likely inform us of what to expect throughout the rest of the story. I felt that the first issue was solid, but so full of set-up and exposition that it made it hard to judge. Here’s to hoping we get a strong chapter this week.

Batman News Critic: Brian

 

 

Batwoman #3
“The Many Arms Of Death” part three! Batwoman’s identified the cancer spreading through the lawless nation of Coryana, but to fight back, she’s going to need an army…and the only soldiers at hand belong to the island’s deadly warlords and gang leaders! Can Kate rally every one of these cutthroats to a common cause? Or will Coryana collapse into the same wretched hive of scum and villainy it’s always been? The fate of one of Kate’s greatest loves hangs in the balance…

Art by Steve Epting
Cover by Steve Epting
Variant cover by J.G. Jones
Written by James T Tynion IV and Marguerite Bennett

Josh’s Outlook: Now that “The Many Arms of Death” has been set-up, I feel as though Batman can really start to grow and develop into a strong book. I’m expecting to see a jolt of energy in this issue, and I hope I’m right. As good as Batwoman has been so far, it could use a little kick start.

Batman News Critic: Elena

 

 

Harley Quinn #20
“FUTURE KILL” part one! You’ve seen her story begin to unfold in prior issues…who in the world is Bat-Fan, and why does she think Harley Quinn must die to save existence itself?! And in the backup story “Harley Loves Joker” part four, Harley’s mistakes have forced her to hide out with The Joker in a low-rent motel…unfortunately, they’ve had to bring their entire goon squad—and a pack of very poorly behaved hyenas—along!

Art by Chad Hardin
Backup Art by Bret Blevins
Backup Written by J. Bone, Paul Dini and Jimmy Palmiotti
Cover by Amanda Conner
Variant cover by Frank Cho
Written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti

Josh’s Outlook: Security! We’ve got another stalker/ crazed fan! Plus, more Paul Dini! What’s not to love?

Batman News Critic: Elena

 

 

Trinity #9
“ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER” part one! The Trinity is trapped in the Justice League Watchtower, and there’s a traitor in their midst! No one is what they seem as our heroes fight back against their own home turf!

Art by Francis Manapul
Cover by Francis Manapul
Variant cover by Bill Sienkiewicz
Written by Francis Manapul

Josh’s Outlook: It’s a new arc! The last few issues haven’t connected with me as strongly as I’d hoped. I did, however, enjoy the issue with the dark trinity (no, not Red Hood and team, the other dark trinity), and wonder when/ if that will come back around.

Batman News Critic: Brian

 

 

Justice League/ Power Rangers #4
Superman is determined to help the Power Rangers return to their dimension before the teens learn the pain of losing their entire planet. Billy and Cyborg have a plan that could save the day, but it seems impossible—unless there’s a Large Hadron Collider available? Co-Published with BOOM! Studios.

Art by Stephen Byrne
Cover by Karl Kerschl
Written by Tom Taylor

Josh’s Outlook: JL/PR is a fun book, but I honestly feel as though this needed to be a twelve issue story. Considering this crossover involves two teams (as opposed to Batman and a team of four), there’s not much time for depth. The emotion is kept at a surface level for the sake of the plot. I know some people prefer this, but I’m a character guy, and wish I could get a little more depth. (Just a little.)

Batman-News Critic: Elena

 

 

Justice League #21
“ENDLESS” finale! In order to save the lives of a fallen friend and many innocents, the League must make the dangerous time loop work for them and stop it all from happening. All that stands in their way is one man’s hatred—and a hammer that can bend time!

Art by Daniel Henriques and Bryan Hitch
Cover by Bryan Hitch
Variant cover by Yanick Paquette
Written by Bryan Hitch

Josh’s Outlook: I have no idea what’s going on in “Endless.” You know why? I stopped reading Justice League.

Batman News Critic: Brian

 

 

Notes:

  • Additional DC Releases slated for this week: Aquaman #23, Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye #8, Bombshells #27, Green Arrow #23, Green Lanterns #23, Superman #23, The Odyssey of the Amazons #5, and The Wild Storm #4.
  • Justice League vs Power Rangers #5 has been pushed back to May 31, 2017.

 

Graphic Novel Watch:

Suicide Squad Vol. 6: The Phoenix Gambit – Amanda Waller has been imprisoned for a year, and her Task Force X disbanded after they fled her custody while taking down LOA. But the U.S. government isn’t finished with the Suicide Squad.

Political unrest in the Eastern European country of Vlatava causes Sarge Steel to turn to the dirtiest black ops team in the business, but this time Waller has a price: full autonomy. The Suicide Squad are now free agents.

With the help of Batman, Waller reassembles her team of former-prisoners-turned-reluctant-government agents, and from Vlatava to Israel, Task Force X is free to follow where the mission–and the money–takes them.

But when a deadly enemy they thought they’d defeated rises from the grave, can the Suicide Squad survive long enough to enjoy their newfound freedom?

It’s a new era for the Suicide Squad in this collection by acclaimed creators John Ostrander, Kim Yale, Geof Isherwood and Luke McDonnell. SUICIDE SQUAD: THE PHOENIX GAMBIT collects issues #40-49 of the classic series.