It’s official… We have new team members! It’s my pleasure to introduce the newest additions to the Batman-News Comic Review team: Casper and Travis!
Casper Rudolph (@CasperRudolph)
Hi there! I’m Casper Rudolph (some of you may have seen me posting here as “A comic fan”), and I hail all the way from Holland. I’m a Batman fan first and a writer second. Currently I’m studying English literature/linguistics at the University of Amsterdam, and I’m also Final Editor for Writer’s Block, the university’s student magazine. Besides this, I’ve published a few short stories, I’m working hard on a fantasy novel, I play in a rock band (called The Spoofs), and I read all the Batman comics that I can get my hands on! It’s hard to pick a favorite creator or book (because it really depends on what mood I’m in), but Morrison, Gaiman, King, Snyder, Capullo and Sale are certainly up there. I’m really looking forward to reviewing and discussing new comics, and I’m excited about joining the team! Let’s do this.
If and when the apocalypse happens, Travis hopes “Batman Historian” is a job needed in the new world because otherwise, he’s not sure he has other skills to avoid being eaten. Travis has been reading Batman comics and watching Batman films for over 25 years now. In his free time, he runs the Instagram account, @saturdaymorningbatman where he takes a deep-dive through Batman’s history by exploring his various appearances in animated shows and films. By day, Travis works in advertising as a creative director and plays husband to a patient wife and is the father of three boys (whom he lovingly refers to as his Robins- though he does feel bad for the middle child who is essentially a doomed Jason Todd in this analogy.)
Alright, on to business! 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
Batman/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1
The team behind the smash-hit crossover series is back to reunite the Dark Knight and the Heroes in a Half-Shell. When Donatello goes looking for a new mentor to help him improve his fighting skills, he opens a doorway to another reality, hoping to summon the Turtles’ one-time ally, Batman. But instead, he gets sent to Gotham City and someone else comes through the open portal—Bane! Suddenly, there’s a new gang boss in New York and he’s out to unite all the other bad guys under him. Can Donnie get back in time and bring Batman with him to help his brothers before Bane causes irreparable destruction? Co-published with IDW.
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Freddie E. Williams II
Colored by Jeremy Colwell
Cover by Jeremy Colwell and Freddie E. Williams II
Josh’s Stance: I. Am. Super. Excited! The initial run was a blast, and I expect nothing less from this sequel. I’m also pretty damn excited to enjoy some of Williams’ art again (in regards to Bat characters).
Batman-News Critic: Jay
Batman: White Knight #3
Tragedy strikes, and the Bat-family face the fight of their lives against an army of super-villains and waning public support. A new discovery reinforces Jack’s plot to jeopardize the Dark Knight’s standing in Gotham City, and Harley’s obsession with The Joker reaches a new height—and threatens to change the game for good!
Written by Sean Murphy
Pencils and Inks by Sean Murphy
Colored by Matt Hollingsworth
Cover by Matt Hollingsworth and Sean Murphy
Josh’s Stance: All I can say about this is kudos to Sean Murphy, because he’s delivered one hell of an interesting read, that’s equally interesting to look at! It’s clear he had a vision, and I’m happy that I’m getting to experience it!
Batman-News Critic: Brian
Injustice 2 #15
Mission: bust Wonder Woman out of a Themysciran prison. After being trained by Black Adam and Damian Wayne in Kandaq, Kara Zor-El is sent out to try and free her cousin’s most loyal ally. Is she up for the challenge? Several surprises await her.
Art by Mike S. Miller
Cover by Mike S. Miller
Written by Tom Taylor
Josh’s Stance: After recently taking a “breath” of sorts recently, I’m excited to jump back into the action. Injustice is consistently good, and I don’t expect it to suddenly change any time soon.
Batman-News Critic: Elena
The Shadow/ Batman #3
Centuries ago, the Silent Seven put their hand around the world’s neck. They’ve never let go. From generation to generation, the famed invisible hand guiding the global economy, guiding progress, has been a clenched fist. But with their previous leader murdered in the street, who is currently at the helm of this shadow conspiracy, and how have they maintained their quiet threat for so long? Batman and the Shadow may not have the answer, but it’s a good thing Bruce Wayne and Allard Cranston do.
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Giovanni Timpano
Josh’s Stance: I think “Take my money” really should say enough in this instance.
Batman-News Critic: Josh
“SUPERFRIENDS” part one! Batman and Superman. For so many years they’ve fought together for justice. Sometimes, they’ve even fought each other. Now, from the creators who broke your heart in “The Ballad of Kite Man” comes a look at how the flaws of each frightens the other and how the hope in each inspires the other. Don’t miss this two-part event that everyone will be talking about as the relationship between these two men is forever changed.
Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Clay Mann
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Cover by Jordie Bellaire and Clay Mann
Josh’s Stance: The whole “relationship between these two men is forever changed” bit makes me nervous… but also excited/ intrigued. King has had some great moments lately, but I feel he’s at his best with Batman when Catwoman is involved. Let’s see how he does with the likes of Superman (and eventually Wonder Woman).
Batman-News Critic: Brandon
Harley & Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #3
Betty and Veronica wake up in a place that seems nice—but something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the super-villain costumes they’re wearing. Or maybe it’s the henchmen chasing them and shouting about motorcycles and plants! Meanwhile, Riverdale doesn’t know what to do with certain members of the cheerleading squad. Co-published with Archie Comics.
Written by Marc Andreyko and Paul Dini
Pencils and Inks by Laura Braga and Adriana Melo
Colored by Arif Prianto
Cover by Kelly Fitzpatrick and Sandy Jarrell
Josh’s Stance: The clash of Gotham meets Riverdale has been a fun romp so far, and now with the conflict fully set-up, I can only imagine that it’s going to get better! Who knows what Harley and Ivy will get into in Riverdale, or what trouble Selina will get Betty and Veronica into on the mean streets of Gotham.
Batman-News Critic: Josh
Justice League #34
“LOST” part one! When the Justice League is confronted by three concurrent threats, a sleep-deprived Batman makes a crucial error that causes an unthinkable—and potentially unforgivable—tragedy. Legendary Eisner Award-nominated writer Christopher Priest (Deathstroke) is joined by artist Pete Woods for a brand-new must-read Justice League story like you’ve never seen before!
Written by Christopher Priest
Pencils and Inks by Pete Woods
Colored by Pete Woods
Cover by Pete Woods
Josh’s Stance: This will be our first glimpse of Priest and Woods’ run on Justice League. As much as I want to say, “It can’t be worse than what preceded it,” I’ve learned not to jinx myself in that way… So I’ll just say that I’m intrigued, and hoping for the best! (That being said, Batman’s face looks awful on this cover.)
Batman-News Critic: Brian
DC Holiday Special 2017 #1
DC Comics’ finest talents have assembled to bring you a holiday special like you’ve never seen before! Join Superman, Wonder Woman and the Flash as they deliver powerful messages of hope like only The Worlds Greatest Super-Heroes can! Plus: Sgt. Rock fights the Nazis on Hanukah, the Teen Titans take on the literal ghost of Christmas past, and Swamp Thing battles that creeping feeling of existential dread! And don’t miss the legendary Denny O’Neil’s return to comics with an all-new Batman story!
Written by Dan DiDio, Shea Fontana, Tom King, Jeff Lemire, Dennis O’Neil, and More…
Pencils and Inks by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Matthew Clark, Steve Epting, Bilquis Evely, Francesco Francavilla, More…
Colored by Jeromy Cox, Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Francesco Francavilla, Nic Klein, Dave McCaig, and More…
Cover by Brad Anderson and Andy Kubert
Josh’s Stance: Don’t be a bah-humbug, Grinch! Go get this! It’ll be fun, and could be a great Christmas read for the kiddos!
Batman-News Critic: Elena
“RAPTOR’S REVENGE” finale! With Nightwing injured, Raptor attempts to turn the citizens of Blüdhaven into monsters. It will take everything Nightwing has to stop Raptor. Will his rocky alliance with Blockbuster stand long enough to take down Raptor, or will Nightwing be forced to take down his two greatest foes alone?
Written by Tim Seeley
Pencils and Inks by Javier Fernandez
Colored by Chris Sotomayor
Cover by Javier Fernandez and Chris Sotomayor
Josh’s Stance: Oh, Mr. Seeley… What can I say? For years now, you’ve delivered some incredible Dick Grayson stories. I’m sad to see you go, but excited for your new ventures. Here’s to you.
Batman-News Critic: Jay
- Additional DC titles releasing this week: Bane: Conquest #8, Black Lightning: Cold, Dead Hands #2, Bombshells United #7, Cyborg #19, Deadman #2, Deathstroke #26, Green Arrow #35, Green Lanterns #36, Superman #36,
Graphic Novel Watch:
Batgirl & the Birds of Prey Vol. 2: Source Code – The origin of the new Oracle—the super-hacker who has become an invaluable ally to the Birds of Prey—is revealed in the newest collection of BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY!
Oracle’s connection to the mastermind known as Calculator causes stain on his relationship with Batgirl, Black Canary and the Huntress. Black Canary goes undercover to discover the secrets of the woman called Blackbird, who can unlock any super-being’s true potential. But Blackbird doesn’t just enhance powers—she takes them for herself, making her an army of one who threatens the Birds of Prey’s biggest secrets. Can guest stars Green Arrow and Nightwing turn the tide against this incredible new foe? Or will they be Blackbird’s newest victims?
Gotham City’s greatest super-team is a force to be reckoned with in BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY VOL. 2: SOURCE CODE! From writers Shawna Benson and Julie Benson (TV’s The 100) and artists Roge Antonio (NIGHTWING) and Claire Roe (WONDER WOMAN). Collects issues #7-13.
Batman & Robin Adventures Vol. 2 – The adventure continues in this follow-up to the four-time Emmy-award-winning Batman: The Animated Series, including a sequel to the hit animated movie, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm! Join Batman and Robin as they fight crime against the deadliest, craziest villains Gotham City has to offer. The dynamic duo takes on the likes of Joker, Harley Quinn, Phantasm, Two-Face, Bane, Scarecrow, Catwoman and more as the streets of Gotham get darker and wilder.
BATMAN & ROBIN ADVENTURES VOL. 2 collects issues #11-18 and Annual #1, featuring the animated stories inspired by the television series and written by series creator Paul Dini (BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY, BATMAN ADVENTURES: MAD LOVE) along with Ty Templeton (BATMAN ’66 MEETS THE GREEN HORNET), Brandon Kruse (The Tick) and Rick Burchett (ALL-NEW BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD) and others.
Justice League/ Power Rangers – It’s team-up time! Two of pop culture’s greatest teams collide in the graphic novel you thought you’d never see in JUSTICE LEAGUE/POWER RANGERS! The Justice League have never met heroes like these teenagers with attitude before!
When a teleporter accident brings the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers from Angel Grove to Gotham City, Batman isn’t sure what to make of these masked martial artists and their highly suspicious giant robot dinosaurs. It’s time to call in the DC Universe’s greatest heroes — the Justice League!
But the League and the Rangers will have to get over their distrust quickly, because the fate of two worlds is on the line! When the Power Rangers crossed between worlds, they weren’t alone — Lord Zedd came with them. And when Zedd meets Brainiac, neither the DC Universe nor the Rangers’ home Earth is safe.
But when these two mighty teams join forces, they morph into a fighting force like neither world has ever seen!
Writer Tom Taylor (INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US) and artist Stephen Byrne (GREEN ARROW) bring together the classic Power Rangers lineup and the greatest superheroes of the DC Universe in this crossover sensation. Collects JUSTICE LEAGUE/POWER RANGERS #1-6.
Suicide Squad Vol. 7: The Dragon’s Hoard – Amanda Waller contracts out the Suicide Squad to the Japanese government for what should be a simple mission—track down a hoard of stolen Soviet weapons and destroy them before they’re sold to the Yakuza. But nothing is simple for the Squad.
Racing to find the weapons before the Soviets and Yakuza, “The Wall” brings on two high-liability, yet essential, members to get the job done: the invulnerable Steelwolf and unhinged new Thinker. With the Soviets and Japanese closing in and the new additions’ interference, the Squad find themselves in more trouble than ever before!
The Suicide Squad reaches new heart-pounding peril in this collection by acclaimed creators John Ostrander, Kim Yale and Geof Isherwood. SUICIDE SQUAD: THE DRAGON’S HOARD collects issues #50-58 of the classic series.
Teen Titans Go! Vol. 4: Smells Like Teen Titan Spirit – The comics stories of Cartoon Network’s most popular show are here in TEEN TITANS GO! VOL. 4! It’s time for more wild adventures starring the coolest superheroes around!
First, Beast Boy is ready to save the world using his new super-power—the power to smell the future! Then, is Robin really the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy? Can the team answer the Justice League’s call and take on the not-so-awesome responsibility of babysitting an infant Superman…Superbaby? And when a punk rock supervillain sentences Jump City to death by rock and roll, only the musical stylings of the Teen Titans can stop him!
From the beach to H.I.V.E. Tower to the Titans Tower bathroom, the Teen Titans are here to save the day in these and more all-ages stories in TEEN TITANS GO! VOL. 4: SMELLS LIKE TEEN TITANS SPIRIT, from writers Sholly Fisch (THE ALL-NEW BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD), Derek Fridolfs (SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU?), artists Lea Hernandez (Killer Princesses), Marcelo Di Chiara (SMALLVILLE SEASON 11), Jeremy Lawson (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) and more! Collects TEEN TITANS GO! #19-24.