Hey, you. Yeah, you! I’ve got a question for you! Want to join the Batman-News team as a comic book reviewer? We’re looking for another passionate Batman fan to add to our team, and that person just might be you! If you want to join Andrew, Brandon, Elena, Jay, Brian and I, here’s what you need to do!
Due to the ever-growing list of Batman-centric comics that DC is publishing at the moment, we’re looking for a hardcore Batman fan with free-time on Wednesdays to write a commentary on select books! Let us know the books you’re most interested in reviewing (whether it’s a title we’re already covering, a future title, or perhaps a title we haven’t been covering lately that is related to Batman), but don’t pick something you hate just because you think it would be fun to bash it month after month. Negative reviews can be entertaining, and more often than not you’ll get more hits if your review is extra venomous, but that’s not something you should ever strive toward. We want people who are passionate about the mythology and want to write about a comic because they love these characters, not because they’re anxious to act snarky in front of a large audience. Also, be realistic about how many titles you can handle. We want good, insightful copy. A paragraph or two per comic review isn’t going to cut it (be insightful, be funny, find your own voice and, most importantly, be interesting) and your readers will expect a review to be posted that very Wednesday!
Introduce yourself. We want to know who you are and what kind of schedule you keep. What do you think makes you a decent writer? Have you read “Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art” by Scott McCloud? What about “Story” by Robert McKee? Ever been published? Are you studying writing right now? What about artwork? Are you an artist yourself? Have you studied comic art and have an understanding of the various techniques? Despite there being so many comic reviews online today, very few actually offer high-quality commentary on the artwork. I know I struggled often to go into detail about the pencils and inks myself. It would be fantastic to find a reviewer who can devote as much attention to the illustrations as the story and characterization.
Also, during your introduction, I would like to know a little something about your connection to The Dark Knight. Remember how I said I was looking for passionate people? Move me with your romanticized, nostalgic view of the mythology or impress me with how far your obsession has taken you. Got a Bat-tattoo? Built your own Batcave? We’re not looking for casual fans. Andrew started the comics section from scratch and we’re only going to share this opportunity with people who ball-up their fists when they hear someone say “Batman: The Animated Series is overrated” or get glassy-eyed while describing the plot of “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?”
We want a rundown of your experience with the character. The more comics you’ve read, the better. List what comic book eras you specialize in and what eras you’re most unfamiliar with. What unread, classic graphic novels are you most ashamed of never touching? What are your favorite Batman stories of all-time? Have you seen every movie and TV show? Played every video game? The more info you give me, the more seriously you’ll be considered.
Write a review. Is there any better way to know what you’re made of? Write a review for any Bat-comic that and submit it – if possible, try to review something we haven’t covered. We’re not looking for someone to imitate the same style as one of us. Heck, you don’t even need to share the same opinions. Just prove that you’re a capable writer who is willing to pour their heart and soul into a commentary about the book. Also, keep in mind how we do scores around here. The entire 1-10 scale is utilized. 1 is awful, 5 is “just okay,” and 10 is a must-read.
Send your application to ReviewerTryouts@gmail.com in the form of a typical email or a Word document. There’s no immediate deadline. We won’t stop taking submissions until the right person(s) is found.
If we like what we see, then Andrew will start an email correspondence with you, working out what comics you’re the right fit for handling. It would be great to find someone within the next 2 weeks, but that can only happen if we get enough variety in the submissions. And we better not get 90 emails from people saying that they want Batman, and Batman only. The more open you are to handling the lower tier books, the quicker we can get this show on the road.
And finally, keep in mind that this will be a project of passion, not a paid position. We write for fun and for the love of these characters/ comics.
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: Harley Quinn Commits (Political) Suicide! 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
“DREAM OF ME” part three! Has the Caped Crusader passed the point of no return? Turns out he’s going to need a little help from his friends, but this help comes with a downside: Batman’s true intentions will be exposed.
Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Joelle Jones
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Cover by Jordie Bellaire and Joelle Jones
Josh’s Stance: It’s Selina vs Talia!!! Of course I’m excited! I’ve been waiting for this moment for years! I mean, clearly Talia is the better fighter, and I fully expect her to win, but even if Selina gets one good blow in, I’ll be happy. On a story and character front, this is turning out to be my favorite arc from King so far. He’s touching on themes like he’s done since the beginning, but he’s also telling a linear story that flows much better than any of his previous arcs. I’m also curious to see how Bruce’s relationship with the League will change over time by putting his love for Selina ahead of his loyalty to the League.
Batman-News Critic: Brandon
Super Sons #10
“SECRET HEADQUARTERS”! In the aftermath of “PLANET OF THE CAPES”, big changes challenge both Damian and Jon, as Superboy revels in his new power and a decision by Batman rocks Robin’s world forever. And as promised earlier, the debut of the Super Sons’ new secret headquarters!
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Jose Luis
Inks by Scott Hanna
Colored by Hi-Fi and Alejandro Sanchez
Cover by Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez
Josh’s Stance: “Planet of the Capes” fumbled a little there at the end, but was still a pleasant read. The boys having their own secret headquarters – where boys can be boys – sounds like a blast though!
Batman-News Critic: Josh
Dark Knights: The Batman Who Laughs #1
As the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL rock the DC Universe, the creatures of the Dark Multiverse stand ready to invade our world! How can the World’s Greatest Heroes stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful nightmare versions of familiar figures?
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Riley Rossmo
Colored by Ivan Plascencia
Cover by Brad Anderson and Jason Fabok
Josh’s Stance: The Batman Who Laughs probably has more potential than any other evil-Batman one-shot, so I’m feeling pretty hopeful concerning this issue. Tynion delivered a strong script for The Devastator, so I’m crossing my fingers that lightning strikes twice!
Batman-News Critic: Elena
Injustice 2 #14
As the world reacts to the devastating assault on Washington, D.C., Batman and his team recover from the physical and mental wounds from the disastrous attack on Ra’s al Ghul’s base. Bruce Wayne comes under the scrutiny of an angry U.S. government and Jefferson Pierce (Black Lightning) assumes an important new role.
Art by Juan Albarran and Daniel Sampere
Cover by Juan Albarran, Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, and Bruno Redondo
Written by Tom Taylor
Josh’s Stance: Injustice continues to be one of the most consistent and entertaining books published by DC… So, yeah I’m excited!
Batman-News Critic: Elena
“FEAR AND LOATHING” part three! Drugged by the Scarecrow’s fear toxin and trapped in an unrelenting desert, Batwoman must find her way free of her fears as she avoids capture by the Many Hands of Death and her father’s agent, Colony Prime.
Written by Marguerite Bennett
Pencils and Inks by Fernando Blanco
Cover by Fernando Blanco
Josh’s Stance: I don’t think Batwoman is bad, but I do think it’s incredibly boring. I feel as though the book is so disconnected from everything that makes Kate interesting (as a character, and narratively in Rebirth), that readers aren’t warming up to the book. I’m hoping this will change soon, but to do that, Bennett’s going to need to give this story a jolt of energy before doing anything else.
Batman-News Critic: Elena
Justice League #33
“BATS OUT OF HELL” finale! it’s the Justice League versus the Dark Knights! FIGHT! The Dark Knights have taken a fallen Justice League to the frightening castle of [REDACTED] inside the possessed Gotham City, where they will be prepared as a sacrifice! The Justice League’s only hope is Cyborg, whose return from the Dark Multiverse has changed him forever!
Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by Mikel Janin and Tyler Kirkham
Cover by Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright
Josh’s Stance: “Bats Out of Hell” feels quite disjointed as a standalone narrative, and the pacing is all over the place. If there’s one thing about it that I find interesting, it’s Cyborg, so I’m happy to see that this issue looks like it will focus on him… That bumps up my intrigue a little, but just barely.
Batman-News Critic: Brian
“RAPTOR’S REVENGE” part four! The streets of Blüdhaven are burning. Raptor is punishing Nightwing for rejecting him. Nightwing must rally the city and the Run-Offs and hope that Blockbuster’s hatred of him doesn’t outweigh his loyalty to the people of the Blüdhaven.
Written by Tim Seeley
Pencils and Inks by Javier Fernandez
Colored by Chris Sotomayor
Cover by Javier Fernandez and Chris Sotomayor
Josh’s Stance: I’m a huge fan of Nightwing… Probably to a degree of being biased. That being said, this final arc is turning out to be ok at best. I like Raptor a lot, but I do prefer him as more of an anti-hero than a full-fledged villain. And while I think this story is safe/ strictly allowing Seeley the opportunity to wrap up his narrative, I’m still sad to see him go.
Batman-News Critic: Josh
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”
“DARK DESTINY” finale! Constantine’s quick thinking has bought the trinity some time, but is it enough for Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman to stop Circe and Ra’s al Ghul from unleashing the Pandora Pits? Uncertainties mount as Red Hood, Artemis and Bizarro rush in to…save the day?
Written by Rob Williams
Pencils by V. Kenneth Marion
Inks by Sandu Florea
Colored by Dinei Ribeiro
Cover by Elmer Santos and Philip Tan
Josh’s Stance: Look, at the end of the day, Trinity is fine. It’s not a terrible read, the story is ok, and it comes in above average every month… But the book lost it’s magic after it’s first arc, and I think many people are looking to that story as the bar, while this story falls far from that.
Batman-News Critic: Brian
Yay! There are no releases this week that appear to be terrible!
- Additional DC titles releasing this week: Aquaman #30, Bombshells: United #6, Bug!: The Adventures of Forager #5, Green Lanterns #35, Superman #35, Wonder Woman/ Conan #3, and The Wild Storm #9.
Graphic Novel Watch:
Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 4 – This fourth Golden Age collection includes dozens of stories from the mid-1940s in which the Dynamic Duo battle evildoers including the Penguin, The Joker, Two-Face and many more. Collects DETECTIVE COMICS #92-111, BATMAN #26-35 and stories from WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #15-22.
Batwoman Vol. 1: The Many Arms of Death – Fresh from her adventures in DETECTIVE COMICS, Katherine Kane returns with her own DC Rebirth title—and an intriguing new mystery to solve—in BATWOMAN VOL. 1: THE MANY ARMS OF DEATH.
Someone is selling cutting-edge weaponry on the black market, and their aim is to kill as many people—from as many nations—as possible. With help from her intrepid assistant, Julia Pennyworth, and their high-tech mobile command center, the yacht Sequoia, Batwoman quickly tracks the weapons to their source: a small, lawless island known as Coryana, home to pirates, outlaws…and a year of Batwoman’s life.
Back before she joined the Bat-Family, Kate Kane spent some time with Coryana’s unofficial matriarch—and nearly lost herself in the process. Now her past is quickly catching up to her, and if Batwoman can’t figure out who to trust, the next thing she loses will be her life!
Acclaimed writers Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV and artists Steve Epting (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Stephanie Hans and Renato Arlem launch Batwoman into an explosive new era in BATWOMAN VOL. 1: THE MANY ARMS OF DEATH, collecting the BATWOMAN: REBIRTH one-shot special and issues #1-6.
Justice League of America Vol. 2: Curse of the King Butcher – 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.