I’m sure a majority of you are scrambling to finish your holiday shopping, but make sure you set aside enough cash to pick-up each week’s comics! Comic books are a balanced part of your daily nutrition for the soul, after all. You should probably buy comics for other people as well… You can never have too much of a good thing! Speaking of holiday shopping, we just posted our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide! Make sure you check it out for gift ideas for all of the Bat fans in your life!
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
“THE RISE OF TROIA!” Wally West is dead, the Titans are all but beaten and Donna Troy must go toe to toe with her worst nightmare—Troia—a twisted version of herself from the not-so-distant future, bent on destroying her friends and pushing Donna toward her own dark fate. Don’t miss the stunning issue that’s destined to change the Titans forever!
Written by Dan Abnett
Pencils by Brett Booth
Inks by Norm Rapmund
Colored by Andrew Dalhouse
Cover by Brett Booth, Andrew Dalhouse, and Norm Rapmund
Josh’s Stance: Troia’s appearance really gave Titans a jolt of energy that it needed. After months of set-up, the story was beginning to feel a little stale, but all cylinders appear to be firing here! I’m excited to see where Abnett takes the story now, and the repercussions it will have on the title itself.
Batman-News Critic: Travis
Justice League of America #20
“SURGICAL STRIKE” finale! As Vixen and Prometheus’ battle reaches its climax, Afterthought goes toe to toe with the Justice League in the most disgusting and dangerous place in the universe—the inside of Lobo’s body! Will the League be able to defeat Afterthought in time to save Vixen? Or will Prometheus prove once and for all that Justice is hollow and the League is destined to die?
Written by Steve Orlando
Pencils and Inks by Hugo Petrus
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Carlos D’Anda and Ivan Reis
Josh’s Stance: For the most part, I’ve enjoyed “Surgical Strike.” I’m curious to see how Orlando ends this story, especially considering the cliffhanger of the previous issue. Is the book perfect? No, but I do feel it’s getting better with each issue.
Batman-News Critic: Josh
Red Hood and the Outlaws #17
“BIZARRO REBORN” part four! Meet the newest reluctant members of the Suicide Squad—Red Hood, Artemis and Bizarro! The Outlaws are forced to join Harley, Deadshot and the rest of the Squad for a mission to the Arctic. If the cold doesn’t kill them, and they don’t kill each other, what’s hiding in the wreckage of the Colony will definitely finish the job!
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: Red Hood and the Outlaws has been a consistently good read, and this take on Bizarro is really intriguing. The Gotham Knights appeared in the previous issue, and now the Suicide Squad is showing up… Needless to say, things should get pretty interesting.
Batman-News Critic: Brian
Detective Comics #970
“FALL OF THE BATMEN” part two! Spoiler and the team still have unfinished business to resolve…and unfortunately for everyone, the Victim Syndicate feels the same way!
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils by Joe Bennett
Inks by Sal Regla
Colored by Jason Wright
Cover by Guillem March
Josh’s Stance: The Victim Syndicate is probably my least favorite portion of Tynion’s run, so I’m not overly excited about this arc. I’m hoping for the best… But we’ll have to wait and see.
Batman-News Critic: Brandon
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”
Suicide Squad #31
“THE SECRET HISTORY OF TASK FORCE X” part five! As the Suicide Squad continues to fight a war on two fronts, Harley Quinn is faced with an impossible choice—bring her former teammate Rick Flag back from the Phantom Zone…or send the monstrous Red Wave beast into oblivion. Meanwhile, Deadshot and company discover the identity of the person who started this war—and the truth is too shocking to believe!
Written by Rob Williams
Pencils by Barnaby Bagenda and Wilfredo Torres
Inks by Jay Leisten and Wilfredo Torres
Colored by Adriano Lucas
Cover by Eddy Barrows, Tony Salvador Daniel, Eber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas, Danny Miki, and More…
Josh’s Stance: We’re at the point where all hell should break loose! The Red Wave monster has been released and is slowly taking control of everyone around. That doesn’t bode well for the Squad or the earth, but I suspect Waller, Deadshot, and team will learn something to turn the tides in this chapter. Unfortunately, I feel that this story is just ok, and would much rather spend my time reading the back-up over the main story.
Batman-News Critic: Josh
Batgirl & the Birds of Prey #17
“MANSLAUGHTER” finale! A mysterious plague has infected all the men in Gotham City! The Birds of Prey have united the city’s female heroes to stop whoever’s behind this manfluenza, but even their combined might may not be enough to defeat the Daughters of Gotham and their mysterious leader, Patient Zero. They’ll have to act quickly if they want to save Batman and the men of Gotham before they succumb and the virus spreads far beyond the city limits.
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: The only thing I expect from this is poor writing and an illogical plot.
Batman-News Critic: Josh
- Additional DC titles releasing this week: Action Comics #993, Bug!: The Adventures of Forager #6, Gotham City Garage #5, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #34, Mister Miracle #5, New Super-Man #18, Ragman #3, Supergirl #16, Superwoman #17, The Flash #36, and Wonder Woman #36.
Graphic Novel Watch:
Batman Vol. 4: The War of Jokes and Riddles – Early in Batman’s career, the Joker and the Riddler would seemingly be natural allies. But each man determined that he and he alone must be the one to kill the Bat…and either would sooner burn down Gotham than be beaten to the punch line.
Untold until now, one of the darkest chapters in Batman’s history sees all of Gotham’s villains choosing sides in a battle of wits that soon turns into a full-blown war—complete with civilian casualties. In the War of Jokes and Riddles, only one side can claim victory…but the scars it leaves will shape Batman’s future as he makes the most important decision of his life.
From the critically acclaimed, best-selling creative team of Tom King (GRAYSON, The Vision) and Mikel Janin (JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK), the epic graphic tale BATMAN: THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES has quickly embedded itself as one of the great stories in the Dark Knight’s mythology. Collects issues #25-32.
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 4: Deus Ex Machina – In these tales from DETECTIVE COMICS #957-962, Azrael and Zatanna join the ranks of Batman’s allies in Gotham City…unfortunately, someone from Azrael’s old home with the Order of St. Dumas has found him. The Order has unleashed a bizarre new evil on the world, and it’s convinced it must destroy Jean-Paul Valley!
DC Universe by John Byrne – Your favorite DC characters, written and drawn by the incomparable John Byrne!
In addition to John Byrne’s classic character-defining arcs of SUPERMAN and WONDER WOMAN, the writer/artist also created a trove of lesser-known DC Comics tales, starring characters from every corner of the DC Universe.
In these one-shot stories spanning more than 20 years, Batman thwarts a contest of wits between his greatest villains, an alternate-timeline ancestor of Superman helps the British win the Revolutionary War, and the Guardians of the Universe reveal their untold history.
With more than 300 pages of material never collected before, THE DC UNIVERSE BY JOHN BYRNE brings you the battle of the Teen Titans versus robot dinosaurs, the poignant Christmas tale of bygone hero Enemy Ace, the modern adventures of the Silver Age Hawkman and much more!
Collects NEW TEEN TITANS ANNUAL #2; OUTSIDERS #11; BATMAN #401, #433-435; VIGILANTE #35; BATMAN ANNUAL #11; HAWKMAN #10; LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #36; SECRET ORIGINS ANNUAL #1; TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #81; CHRISTMAS WITH THE SUPER-HEROES #1-2; POWER OF THE ATOM #6; BATMAN 3-D; GREEN LANTERN: GANTHET’S TALE; ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #6; BATMAN ADVENTURES ANNUAL #1; SUPERMAN: THE WEDDING ALBUM; SPEED FORCE #1; FLASH: 80-PAGE GIANT; BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #2; HAWKMAN #26; DC COMICS PRESENTS HAWKMAN #1; ACTION COMICS #827-828; DCU INFINITE HOLIDAY SPECIAL; SUPERMAN THROUGH THE AGES; LEGENDS: THE COLLECTION.
Suicide Squad Vol. 4: Earthlings on Fire – Amanda Waller, director of Task Force X, has hand-picked the members of her Suicide Squad to handle any dirty job she throws their way. This time, however, what she wants belongs to one of Superman’s deadliest antagonists—and getting it is more important than ever.
With a sprawling international conspiracy threatening to destroy everything she has built, the Wall must go toe-to-toe with none other than Lex Luthor to secure the key to controlling the living weapon of mass destruction known as General Zod.
But no matter what power Waller may hold over him, Zod kneels to no one, and it’s not long before he and the rest of Task Force X are at each other’s throats. Will Waller’s plan to make this Kryptonian war criminal a full-fledged member of the Suicide Squad live up to its enormous potential? Or will it actually doom the entire planet to devastation and alien enslavement? The answer may surprise you!
Superstar artist Tony S. Daniel (BATMAN: R.I.P.) joins acclaimed writer Rob Williams and guest artists Neil Edwards and Stjepan Sejic for SUICIDE SQUAD VOL. 4: EARTHLINGS ON FIRE—an all-out action spectacular featuring an entire platoon of Superman’s greatest enemies! Collects SUICIDE SQUAD #16-20.
Trinity Vol. 2: Dead Space – Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman—the superheroes known as the Trinity—have gone through a lot in the aftermath of the DC Rebirth epic event. But now the bonds of their friendship are tested like never before, as they must let their closest allies die in order to save the world!
An emergency summons to the Justice League Watchtower puts the icons face-to-face with an unexpected crisis: The other members of the League have been infected with a fatal alien virus that will destroy all humankind…unless the Trinity destroys the Watchtower, and the Justice League along with it!
Plus, the revelations of “Superman Reborn” require Batman and Wonder Woman to give their all to save Superman from his doubts about his very existence; and a trinity of villains—Lex Luthor, Ra’s al Ghul and Circe—concoct a scheme to use the mysterious Pandora Pits to put an end to the World’s Greatest Heroes.
Best-selling writer-artist Francis Manapul (THE FLASH) is joined by writer Cullen Bunn and artists Clay Mann and Emanuela Lupacchino in TRINITY VOL. 2: DEAD SPACE. Collects TRINITY #7-11!