Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a fun and safe celebration to bring in 2018! With the new year, we have more announcements pertaining to our review team… Unfortunately, Travis unexpectedly had to step down, so we have to say goodbye to him. We’re happy to have had him on the team for the short tenure, and we’ll continue to follow his Instagram, Saturday Morning Batman – and we hope he continues to weigh in on the site! With his departure though, we then had an open spot… But thankfully, we knew the perfect person to fill the role: Daniel Cheeseman.
Dan auditioned with our recent call to arms, and it actually came down to Casper, Dan, and Travis. We all weighed in on the three of them, were big fans of each of them, and kind of pushed to bring all three on… So, I’m extremely happy that Dan is joining us now! Also, Dan already feels like he’s part of the Batman-News family because he’s been commenting on our reviews for as long as I can remember! So here he is guys and gals, Dan!
Hi, I’m Daniel. I’m a lifelong Batman fan and I live in the U.K. with my wife, who I indoctrinate daily with new facts about the Dark Knight. I mostly survived on the animated series and the Tim Burton movies until I moved to a city with a comic shop. Here I’ve become a prolific comic reader, graduated with a degree in Literature and started working in the boring day job I still currently hold. I love writing and drawing, especially comic book inspired art. My favourite series in Bat history is The Long Halloween. I also collect the figures, play the video games and attend conventions as Batman characters! I’ve read every review on the site and am very excited to join the team and start contributing my own!
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: White Knight #4
Jim Gordon and the GCPD are thrown into disarray when Jack Napier leads a show stopping campaign to become councilman of the politically abandoned neighborhood of Backport. Civic backlash brews as Mayor Hill struggles to find creative ways of criminalizing Napier’s democratic aspirations, and Batman’s interference blooms into a liability for the GCPD’s public image. Through it all, the new Joker plots to derail everything—and new secrets about Harley’s past are revealed.
Written by Sean Murphy
Pencils and Inks by Sean Murphy
Colored by Matt Hollingsworth
Cover by Matt Hollingsworth and Sean Murphy
Josh’s Stance: I’m a huge fan of what SGM is doing in Batman: White Knight, and highly recommend you catch up if you haven’t been reading! It’s an original take on the Batman-verse, and the character work with Joker and Harley is thrilling!
Batman-News Critic: Brian
“THE UNTOUCHABLES: RELENTLESS”! Bodies are piling up in Blüdhaven! Tracking down the killer will lead Nightwing into a web of corruption and intrigue—and put him in the crosshairs! Dick Grayson’s greatest cold case is coming back to haunt him, and if he doesn’t solve it this time, it could destroy everything he’s built in his adopted hometown.
Written by Sam Humphries
Pencils and Inks by Bernard Chang
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo
Josh’s Stance: Humphries and Chang had a stellar debut in the previous issue of Nightwing, and I can’t wait to jump back into this world they’re creating. This is a street-level story with great characters that reminds me of Brian Michael Bendis’ run of Daredevil. Go get this book!
Batman-News Critic: Josh
The Shadow/ Batman #4
The veins of the Silent Seven have bore their way into the very heart of modern society. Their every move can be hidden, and there is no move that can be made in secret from them. And that includes Batman and the Shadow. When one of the Seven invades Wayne Manor, a horrifying revelation casts Batman’s entire mission in doubt. The only one that can save him? The Shadow. But can the Master of Men liberate both Wayne Manor and the Dark Knight’s mind without losing his own?
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Giovanni Timpano
Josh’s Stance: Orlando and Timpano are doing some outstanding work in this book, and if you’re a Batman fan, you should be reading it!
Batman-News Critic: Josh
“THE ORIGIN OF BRUCE WAYNE!” If Mattie could grow up to be anybody, he’d grow up millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. But what would happen if he was forced to relive the worst tragedy of Bruce’s life and his parents were murdered? Batman’s hunt for the killer puts him face to face with a strange mirror version of his own past.
Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Travis Moore
Colored by Giulia Brusco
Cover by Tim Sale and Dave Stewart
Josh’s Stance: This appears to be a filler issue to buy some time for the next arc. Typically I’d say I’m not excited for a filler, but King loves to play into themes and this lets him do so freely. He’s also written some damn good one-and-done issues during his time.
Batman-News Critic: Brandon
Injustice 2 #17
Harley Quinn and Lucy pay a visit to Harley’s sister, leading to an encounter between Harley and Poison Ivy. Plus, tensions grow between Gorilla Grodd and Solovar over Ra’s al Ghul’s plans. Meanwhile, Professor Ivo unleashes his weapon of mass destruction: Amazo!
Art by Juan Albarran and Bruno Redondo
Cover by Juan Albarran
Written by Tom Taylor
Josh’s Stance: Tom Taylor’s Injustice is like an “Ol’ Faithful” that you can always count on for a high-energy, action-packed read. It’s easily one of the most entertaining books DC is publishing, and the range of characters has a lot to do with it!
Batman-News Critic: Elena
Justice League #36
“JUSTICE LOST” part three! Footage of a major Justice League failure ends up on an extremist website, going viral across social media and prompting a Congressional investigation of the team. As public debate explodes over America’s trust in the Justice League, the team faces a crisis of confidence in Batman and his methods, which ultimately highlights fractures within the team over civil rights and methodology.
Written by Christopher Priest
Art by Pete Woods
Cover by Pete Woods
Josh’s Stance: Priest appears to be setting up a strong arc, and I’m finding myself more intrigued and curious with each issue. I hope this chapter continues that trend, and that he continues to touch on the complexities of the Justice League. Is it great? Not yet, but it definitely has the potential to be!
Batman-News Critic: Brian
“SUPER SONS OF TOMORROW” finale! With no other choice left, the Batman of Tomorrow brings in the Titans of Tomorrow to take on today’s Teen Titans—as the life of Superman’s son hangs in the balance! See the return of future Superman Conner Kent, Wonder Woman Cassie Sandsmark and Bart Allen Flash in the final battle of this epic crossover.
Written by Patrick Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Ed Benes and Sergio Fernandez Davila
Inks by Ed Benes and Vicente Cifuentes
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb and Dinei Ribeiro
Cover by Hi-Fi, Oclair Albert, and Ivan Reis
Josh’s Stance: “Super Sons of Tomorrow” has been a bit of a mixed bag, but hasn’t slumped down to the level of “bad” yet. It’s ranged from mediocre to good, and as far as Rebirth crossovers are concerned, it’s the best to date. I’m hoping it ends on a high note because I really love some of the ideas that are being introduced. And… I kind of want to keep these versions of Conner, Cassie, and Bart for this earth. I’m not the only one, right?
Batman-News Critic: Jay
Batman & the Signal #1
Batman may own the night, but with new villains emerging during the day he needs an ally to defend the city when he can’t. Only one teen is up to the challenge, Duke Thomas. After months of training, he’s ready to step out of the shadow of the bat to become his own kind of hero. Meet Gotham City’s newest protector: The Signal! Spinning out of adventures in ALL-STAR BATMAN and WE ARE ROBIN, comics superstar Scott Snyder and newcomer Tony Patrick take our young hero to new heights in this exciting miniseries with artwork by Cully Hamner.
Written by Tony Patrick and Scott Snyder
Pencils and Inks by Cully Hamner
Colored by Laura Martin
Cover by Cully Hamner
Josh’s Stance: *Sigh* Look, I’m going to give this book a chance… but I take serious issue with the entire concept of Signal. For one, this whole daytime bit is ridiculous. Why not let someone else rule the daytime? For instance, Gordon and the GCPD (because Gotham Central is an incredible book and we need something like that again). Let the vigilantes run the night. Then there’s Duke himself… I promise you, I like Duke. Unfortunately, Snyder has a tendency to create characters and shove them down our throats – and it often feels as though it comes at the expense of established characters we would rather see. Don’t believe me? The whole reason for the Gotham Knights team in Detective Comics is to train them so they can be ready to fight crime on their own…. But Duke, nah, he’s good enough… Give me a freaking break. Also, For he’s named “Signal.” Yet another character named after another Bat-object. We have a Signal. It’s on the roof of the GCPD. We don’t need another one.
Batman-News Critic: Dan
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”
Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #4
The Riverdale Vixens didn’t really need a makeover, but they’re getting one anyway, courtesy of a pair of super-villains masquerading as It girls. Well, Harley-as-Betty is up to no good for sure, but who knew Ivy would turn Veronica into a bookworm? And how are their counterparts faring in Gotham City? You may not want to know…
Written by Marc Andreyko and Paul Dini
Pencils and Inks by Laura Braga and Adriana Melo
Colored by Arif Prianto
Cover by Jenny Frison
Josh’s Stance: Harley and Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica has lost its way in the past issue and a half. The concept of having Harley and Ivy switch bodies with Betty and Veronica is fun, but doesn’t hold up well in the long run. It also removes an aspect that made this book so entertaining to begin with: relationships.
Batman-News Critic: Josh
- Additional DC titles releasing this week: Black Lightning: Cold, Dead, Hands #3, Bombshells United #9, Cyborg #20, Deadman #3, Deathstroke #27, Green Arrow #36, and Green Lanterns #36.
Graphic Novel Watch:
Suicide Squad: The Silver Age – The exciting origins of the original Suicide Squad are revealed in this Silver Age comics tale SUICIDE SQUAD: THE SILVER AGE.
When a large wave appears carrying an object capable of destroying anything in its path, the authorities try everything they can to stop it from making landfall. With all other options exhausted, the U.S. calls in their new team, Task Force X, led by Rick Flag! But what’s this? An island in the South Pacific inhabited entirely by giant dinosaurs? A line of brave soldiers is all that stands between civilization and their giant deadly claws. Can the Suicide Squad save humanity from these oversize monsters?
Collects THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #25-27 and #37-39 and STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES #110-111, #116-121, #125 and #127-128.