After such a great week in comics, it sucks that rather than gush over the quality of the books we received last week, I’m here, yet again, to talk about another tragedy. Another shooting. More senseless deaths. The following weeks are going to be spent discussing this sick kid that did this, his motivation, gun reform… Some of this conversation is needed, but some will sensationalize this terrible individual. So, let’s flip the script. While the media and other people consistently press to understand this person’s actions, let’s talk about the good we see in the world. Let’s highlight the positive we encounter. If you see someone help an elderly person across the street… Talk about it. If someone buys a homeless person food… Talk about it. If you or a group volunteer your time for charity… Talk about it. No matter how big or small the action, share it. Be better. Be the change. Be the hero.
Alright, on to business! Some of you have been asking about Cover Talk. It will return this weekend, so keep an eye out for that! This week’s releases are listed according to our anticipation scale, with titles listed in alphabetical order within each sub-header. 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. Following that, you’ll find notes pertaining to other DC Comics titles, as well as our Graphic Novel Watch. And finally, we want to hear from you! What titles are you picking up? Why are you excited? What do you hope will happen in the book? Etc. So, without further ado, review our Anticipation Scale, and comment away!
The Anticipation Scale
NO! – A comic I downright dread reading and if I wasn’t a reviewer, I would never buy it.
“You Don’t Have to Thank Us” – The idea of reviewing it doesn’t make me ill or angry, but it definitely sounds like it’s going to be a chore. Still, I’m reading it for you. I’m putting it at the bottom of the pile, but I’m reading it for you.
Mixed – A middle of the pile comic. It’s probably got the same chance of being dreadful as it does of being stupendous. I’m neither looking forward to it or avoiding it, whatever happens… happens.
Intrigued – I think this comic has potential to be a fantastic read. There’s some slight hesitation there, but it’s definitely going to be at the top of the pile.
TAKE MY MONEY – Everything about this issue has me excited. If I don’t get to read this book on Wednesday, I will be furious. I would pay extra just to have it in my hands right now! That’s how much I’m looking forward to it!
And as a reminder, our review scale is based on a 10-point system. A rating of “5” means the book is mediocre/average, and the more toward “10″ we go, the more awesome/worth buying it is. The more toward “1″ we go the more awful/not worth buying it is. That’s how we rate things. It’s not like most video game review scores where everything under 8 is crap, and it’s not like a school report card where everything under a 7 is failing or close-to-failing. Please keep this in mind when reading our reviews.
TAKE MY MONEY
Detective Comics #968
“A LONELY PLACE OF LIVING” finale! Tim Drake is back on Earth — but if the deadly threat he brought back with him from outside of time has its way, it won’t be for long…and this shadowy figure wants to take one of Batman’s team down with him, too! Everything Tim died for the first time is at risk, if he can’t survive this attack!
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils by Alvaro Martinez
Inks by Raul Fernandez
Colored by Tomeu Morey
Cover by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Adriano Lucas
Josh’s Stance: “A Lonely Place of Living” is an epic combination of Tim Drake’s return and “Titans of Tomorrow.” Also, this team now officially has a name… they’re the Gotham Knights… Which, ironically, is what I’ve been saying this title should have been since day one. Regardless, I’m super excited for this issue!
Batman-News Critic: Brandon
Harley Quinn #31
“VOTE HARLEY” finale! It’s all come down to this: Harley and her adversary, Mayor DePerto, have trotted out every dirty trick in the book…and now it’s up to the people to decide who will lead New York City into the next decade! No matter who wins, let’s be honest with each other: it might be time to consider moving to L.A.!
Written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
Pencils by John Timms
Colored by Alex Sinclair
Cover by Amanda Conner and Alex Sinclair
Josh’s Stance: I… I really want to see Conner and Palmiotti write Harley in LA. I want that arc soooooo bad. But for now, the conclusion of “Vote Harley.” Yes, please!
Batman-News Critic: Elena
Red Hood & the Outlaws #16
“BIZARRO REBORN” part three! They may only use the title “Outlaws” as cover for Red Hood’s clandestine war on crime—but their status as Gotham City’s most wanted has landed them in the prison yard at Belle Reve Penitentiary! But are they locked in with the Suicide Squad—or is the Suicide Squad locked in with the Outlaws? Harley Quinn, Killer Croc and Deadshot go out of the way to make Red Hood, Artemis and Bizarro feel right at home in this maximum-security prison…while Amanda Waller rustles up three new brain bombs!
Written by Scott Lobdell
Pencils and Inks by Dexter Soy
Colored by Veronica Gandini
Cover by Romulo Fajardo, Jr. and Mike McKone
Josh’s Stance: I had some reservations concerning how Lobdell would handle the confrontation between the Outlaws and the Gotham Knights, but it was executed really well! Now we just need to see how things progress with the Suicide Squad joining the fray!
Batman-News Critic: Brian
Batman: Lost #1
Trapped in the Dark Multiverse, batman must face his greatest fears!
Written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and Joshua Williamson
Pencils by Jorge Jimenez, Doug Mahnke, and Yanick Paquette
Inks by Jorge Jimenez, Jaime Mendoza, and Yanick Paquette
Colored by Alejandro Sanchez
Cover by Olivier Coipel and Dave Stewart
Josh’s Stance: Batman: Lost is the epitome of the “Mixed” ranking. On one hand, there are some great creative minds behind this issue… Then again, this issue was developed and inserted late in the game, and appears to be three mini-stories… Who knows what we’ll get?
Batman-News Critic: Brandon
Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps #32
BATS OUT OF HELL” part two! The Dawnbreaker descends on Coast City, ready to suck its light away before moving on to the rest of our world. Backed up by the power of the Justice League, Hal Jordan stands ready to stop the perverted Lantern—until the Batman Who Laughs steps out of the shadows.
Written by Robert Venditti
Pencils and Inks by Ethan Van Sciver
Colored by Jason Wright
Cover by Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright
Josh’s Stance: The debut of “Bats Out of Hell” was solid – mainly due to Cyborg’s role in the issue. I’m uncertain about the plot itself, and I have some reservations concerning where the story will go now. I’m sure I’d feel more excited if I thought our heroes were actually in danger, but we know they’re not. I want to find these evil Batmen scary, but the more I see of them, the more generic the begin to feel. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best though.
Batman-News Critic: Brian
Justice League of America #18
“SURGICAL STRIKE” part one! After Batman leaves the team, the JLA is at each other’s throats! As Vixen tries to affirm her role as team leader and fill the vacuum, the villain Prometheus arrives in Happy Harbor to prove to the world that the Justice League must be destroyed and lay waste to the heroes once and for all. And he’s brought a friend.
Written by Steve Orlando
Pencils and Inks by Hugo Petrus
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Carlos D’Anda, Marcelo Maiolo, Joe Prado, and Ivan Reis
Josh’s Stance: Alright, confession time… I was a little too critical of the last issue of Justice League of America. I let expectations get the best of me, and let that impact my opinion more heavily than it should “Surgical Strike” appears as though it will be a more focused story, so I’m hoping for the best. This isn’t Orlando’s first time using Prometheus either. If he can deliver on the level that he did with Midnighter, then we’ll be in for a real treat.
Batman-News Critic: Josh
Suicide Squad #29
“THE SECRET HISTORY OF TASK FORCE X” part three! What happened to the Suicide Squad of the 1950s? Led by Rick Flag Sr., the original Task Force X defended the world from aliens, robots and even dinosaurs before vanishing into myth. But when Amanda Waller learns the shocking truth, it will fall to Harley Quinn to complete her predecessors’ final mission to save the world! The most surprising Suicide Squad story of all time continues here!
Written by Rob Williams
Pencils by Barnaby Bagenda and Wilfredo Torres
Inks by Jay Leisten and Wilfredo Torres
Colored by Adriano Lucas
Cover by Tony Salvador Daniel, Danny Miki, and Tomeu Morey
Josh’s Stance: I’ve gotten to where I don’t know what to expect with Suicide Squad anymore. Williams will be leaving the book before too long, so I don’t expect any crazy stories during the remainder of his time overseeing the book. In the meantime, I’m just going to enjoy it for what it is: a fun, crazy book.
Batman-News Critic: Josh
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”
“THE WORLD STOPS!” part two! As the Titans face their darkest hour, the terrible truth about the team’s traitor is finally revealed! But how did it come to this? What could possibly turn friend against friend? All the cards are on the table in this stunning issue destined to change the Titans forever!
Written by Dan Abnett
Pencils by Minkyu Jung
Inks by Mick Gray and Norm Rapmund
Colored by Blond and Andrew Dalhouse
Cover by Brett Booth, Andrew Dalhouse, and Norm Rapmund
Josh’s Stance: Titans feels as though it’s been stalling for months now, and that feeling has kept me from becoming excited. It’s far from a bad book, it’s just not carrying much weight or impact at the moment.
Batman-News Critic: Josh
Batgirl & the Birds of Prey #16
“MANSLAUGHTER” part two! As an illness that affects half of Gotham City’s population grows, Batgirl, Black Canary and Huntress pick up some unexpected help from Catwoman, Ivy and Harley, as well as some welcome backup from Batwoman, Spoiler, Gotham Girl and Wonder Woman. But as the Birds of Prey grow closer to discovering the source of the outbreak, what they find won’t end the plague and might only make it grow faster.
Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson
Pencils and Inks by Roge Antonio
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Nathan Fairbairn and Yanick Paquette
Josh’s Stance: We don’t get paid to contribute to this site, but I’m tempted to start paying someone to review this title for me… Just to spare myself the headache of reading it each week.
Batman-News Critic: Josh
- Additional DC titles releasing this week: Action Comics #991, The Flash #34, Gotham City Garage #3, Mister Miracle #4, New Super-Man #17, Ragman #2, Supergirl #15, Superwoman #16, Wildstorm: Michael Cray #2, and Wonder Woman #34
Graphic Novel Watch:
Batman: Hush 15th Anniversary Deluxe Edition – The best-selling and critically acclaimed HUSH storyline is here: re-experience the entire thrilling adventure in one complete deluxe volume! This special 15th anniversary deluxe edition also includes sketches, character designs, altered art and annotations by artist and DC publisher Jim Lee!
Gotham City is infected by a crime epidemic and all of Batman’s enemies have emerged to throw his life into utter chaos. But little do they know that they’re all pawns of the villainous Hush in an elaborate game of revenge against Bruce Wayne. Pushed past his breaking point, Batman will need to use more than the world’s greatest detective skills to uncover the true identity of this mysterious mastermind before it’s too late.
This truly unforgettable story by three of comics’ top talents, writer Jeph Loeb (BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, BATMAN: DARK VICTORY) and artists Jim Lee (JUSTICE LEAGUE, SUICIDE SQUAD) and Scott Williams (ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, SUPERMAN), present the Caped Crusader’s most personal case yet!
Collects BATMAN #608-619 and a story from WIZARD #0.
Batman & Robin by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason Omnibus – Teaming Batman with his son Damian, a.k.a. Robin, Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s run was one of the standout titles in the New 52. Mixing in dark themes from Damian’s childhood with the League of Assassins with touching stories of a father and son, this creative team invented some of the greatest Batman and Robin stories ever told! Collects BATMAN & ROBIN #20-22, BATMAN & ROBIN #0-40 from the New 52 series, BATMAN & ROBIN ANNUAL #1-3, ROBIN RISES: OMEGA #1, ROBIN RISES: ALPHA #1 and a story from SECRET ORIGINS #4.
Justice League Vol. 2: Curse of the Kingbutcher – DC characters Vixen, Lobo, the Ray, the Atom, Black Canary and Killer Frost are no one’s idea of Earth’s greatest heroes…and yet they’ve all been brought together by Batman to form a new incarnation of the Justice League and all that it stands for.
This new League was founded on principles of hope, on the idea that everyone deserves a second chance…and yet those same ideals now threaten to tear the team apart. When the team rescues Makson, a strange man from a hidden land of monsters, it seems like he’s ready for that exact kind of second chance.
But Batman has his doubts. If he’s wrong about Makson, does he really believe in the optimistic vision that the team was founded on? And if he’s right, does anyone ever deserve the Justice League’s trust again?
Writer Steve Orlando (MIDNIGHTER AND APOLLO) and artists including Felipe Watanabe (CYBORG) and Andy MacDonald (DETECTIVE COMICS), Jamal Campbell (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) and Neil Edwards (JUSTICE LEAGUE) test the limits of the strangest team to ever call themselves the Justice League of America! Collects issues #7-11.
Titans: The Lazarus Contract – They are the greatest young heroes this world—or any world—has ever known. They are the Titans. And now, from the void between the worlds, one of their most legendary members has emerged.
Wally West, a.k.a. Kid Flash, has returned. Powered by the Speed Force, he’s brought the secrets of time and space following in his wake.
And with those secrets comes a prize that Deathstroke, the most lethal foe the Titans have ever faced, would do anything to claim: the rebirth of his long-dead son.
Now Titans from every team—past, present or future—must unite to stop the killer called Slade from claiming his sinister prize. Can the Titans and the Teen Titans work together to stop this evil? Or will the two teams turn on each other, leaving Deathstroke to seize control?
Discover the answer in TITANS: THE LAZARUS CONTRACT! One of the greatest Titans tales ever told, from the creative team of Christopher Priest, Dan Abnett and Benjamin Percy! Collects TITANS #11, TEEN TITANS #8, DEATHSTROKE #19-20 and TEEN TITANS ANNUAL #1.