I know I’m late to the game, but I recently started listening to podcasts! They’ve been my go-to background noise when writing. The main podcast I’ve been checking out is Holy Batcast or Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman – strictly the ones featuring comics writers/ creators – and I find them fascinating. I love hearing writers talk about their journey, what inspired them or certain stories, original plans for stories that never saw the light of day, etc. So, as I said, I’m late to the game, but I love drowning myself in comic talk, so if you know of some good comic book podcasts, let me know!

Alright, on to business! For a recap of last week’s coverage, check out This Week In Comics: Red Hood is On the Verge of a Shocking Discovery. 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.

 

January 17th

TAKE MY MONEY

Batman #39
“SUPERFRIENDS” finale! Since the beginning, the friendship between Batman and Wonder Woman has stood at the heart of the DC Universe. Now that friendship is coming apart, and as it does the universe itself begins to crumble. Don’t miss the conclusion of Batman’s epic team-up with Wonder Woman!

Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Joelle Jones
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Cover by Jordie Bellaire, Mikel Janin, and Joelle Jones

Josh’s Stance: Clearly the solicit for this issue is wrong since it’s the first issue of Batman and Wonder Woman’s team-up, but regardless, I think there’s one thing we can all agree on… Tom King has hit his stride with Batman! And because of that, I’m super excited for what 2018 will bring!

Batman-News Critic: Brandon

 

Injustice 2 #18
Batman discovers more heroes he can recruit in the battle against Ra’s al Ghul, but first he’s going to have to rescue them from the Phantom Zone. That means a trip to the abandoned Fortress of Solitude—which may not be as free of occupants as Batman thought.

Art by Xermanico
Cover by Dale Keown
Written by Tom Taylor

Josh’s Stance: Phantom Zone? New heroes (aka: a surge of energy due to new dynamics)? Yes, please!

Batman-News Critic: Elena

 

Nightwing #37
“THE UNTOUCHABLES: RUTHLESS”! Nightwing’s investigation leads him to a former costumed crimefighter and ally! In a special flashback issue illustrated by superstar artist Klaus Janson, Dick Grayson will revisit his time as Robin and see if his past mistakes are the key to the mystery he must resolve today!

Written by Sam Humphries
Pencils and Inks by Jamal Campbell and Klaus Janson
Colored by Jamal Campbell and Marcelo Maiol
Cover by Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez

Josh’s Stance: Yes! The characterizations are on-point. The plot is engaging and entertaining. Chang’s art is fantastic! And now we get a backstory to everything that’s going on illustrated by Klaus Janson? Just yes!

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

 

INTRIGUED

Batman/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #3
Batman and the Turtles go on the offensive in the belief that they can take Bane down while he’s weakened, due to a lack of Venom on the Turtles’ world. But that’s not true any more! The Turtles’ foe Baxter Stockman has found a way to reproduce the deadly substance that feeds Bane—which means the Dark Knight and the Heroes on a Half-Shell are in for the fight of their lives.

Written by Ryan Ferrier and 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: The second issue was much better than the first, but the series still hasn’t managed to reach the glory of the first run. I’m hopeful it will get there though, because I really want to love this book!

Batman-News Critic: Jay

 

Harley Quinn #35
“MAN-BATTER UP” part one! Harley’s in a dark, dark place after the hard right turn her life took…so when the citizens of Coney Island say it was a mysterious “bat” that kidnapped one of her friends, she is not going to take it lying down!

Written by Frank Tieri
Pencils and Inks by Inaki Miranda
Colored by Alex Sinclair
Cover by Hi-Fi and Amanda Conner

Josh’s Stance: Let’s be honest… Frank Tieri has big shoes to fill… BUT, I think he’s the perfect person to step in following Conner and Palmiotti. Why? Well for one, he’s written or co-written various issues of Harley, some of which he did with Jimmy Palmiotti. Also, Tieri – as far as I can tell – is really close to Conner and Palmiotti, so I’m willing to assume that it will be a smoother transition than people expect. Harley is in good hands.

Batman-News Critic: Elena

 

Justice League #37
“JUSTICE LOST” part four! As public confidence in the League continues to fall, strained relationships within the team are set aside when Simon Baz is kidnapped by the mysterious figure known as the Fan: a zealous Justice League acolyte who was inspired by the team as a youth and who now deals death to the League’s enemies. The Fan knows literally every detail about the League membership’s powers and tactics, and easily turns their own systems and resources against them “for their own good.

Written by Christopher Priest
Pencils and Inks by Phil Briones
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb
Cover by Pete Woods

Josh’s Stance: Priest has a really interesting writing style, and it’s clear he has a vision for Justice League. There’s a sense of realism to his writing, and while I know many people don’t enjoy realism in their comics, I’m a fan. His story appears to be hitting it’s stride now, and I’m anxious to see how everything unfolds. I will admit that I question some of his characterization, but it’s a very small gripe if I’m being honest.

Batman-News Critic: Brian

 

Super Sons #12
“SUPER SONS OF TOMORROW” epilogue! Superboy and Robin must face the repercussions of the events of “Super Sons of Tomorrow” and how the emotional toll will affect their relationships with each other, their parents and the Teen Titans. Meanwhile, the past rears its ugly head to haunt Damian Wayne—in the form of his mother, Talia Al Ghul!

Written by Patrick Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils and Inks by Jorge Jimenez and Tyler Kirkham
Colored by Tomeu Morey and Alejandro Sanchez
Cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Jorge Jimenez, Adriano Lucas, and Alejandro Sanchez

Josh’s Stance: “Super Sons of Tomorrow” has slipped in quality with each issue, but I’m hopeful concerning this conclusion because it should send us on a new trajectory. Here’s to hoping…

Batman-News Critic: Jay

 

 

MIXED

Batwoman #11
“PYGSTY”! It’s the New Year, and Professor Pyg needs new Dollotrons for his latest artistic endeavor. As Batwoman tries to put her personal demons to bed, she must stop the madman from carving out his sick intentions.

Written by K. Perkins
Pencils and Inks by Scott Godlewski
Colored by John Rauch
Cover by Bill Sienkiewicz

Josh’s Stance: I was under the impression that this was a permanent creative change, but as it turns out, it is just a pick-up issue for these guys. I’m still curious to see what they bring to the table though, because I feel like Batwoman is just mediocre at best so far. I don’t dislike the book, but I’m not exactly jumping out of my seat to read it each month. So we’ll see how this goes, and what the response is, because it’ll be interesting if readers respond to this story more strongly than the main run.

Batman-News Critic: Dan

 

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

Trinity #17
“NO HOME FOR YOU HERE” part one! Batman and Superman embarked on a quest to help Wonder Woman rediscover Themyscira, but finding Diana’s lost homeland proves more difficult than these three heroes expected. While on their journey, a distress call from a nearby ship turns out to be more than meets the eye, and the Trinity find themselves marooned on the dread island of Skartaris. To make their way back home, our heroes will have to overcome Deimos, who will stop at nothing to seal off Skartaris from the rest of world forever!

Written by Francis Manapul and James Robinson
Pencils and Inks by Patch Zircher
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb
Cover by Gabe Eltaeb and Patch Zircher

Josh’s Stance: Eh… Trinity has been ok lately, but it hasn’t had much of a presence or purpose, so I can’t make myself get excited for the series. This story also screams “filler” so that doesn’t bode well either. I want to be wrong and see Manapul succeed, but I feel my suspicions will be correct.

Batman-News Critic: Dan

 

Notes:

  • The New Age of Superheroes line debuts this week with Damage #1!
  • Additional DC titles releasing this week: Aquaman #32, Bombshells United #10, Green Lanterns #39, Wonder Woman/ Conan #5, and Superman #39.

 

Graphic Novel Watch:

Anarky: The Complete Collection – What motivates Anarky, one of the most lethal and distrubing villains in the DCU? He wants to tear down the very fabric of civilization, so that he can start everything over under his own mad philosophical ideas.

After first appearing in DETECTIVE COMICS, Anarky became a cult favorite villain of the 1990s and was featured in  two of his own series. He also made multiple appearances in other DC Comics series. While trying to spread his anti-establishment credo, Anarky crosses path with characters from the dark corners of the DCU like The Demon and Darkseid, as well as one of the world’s finest superheroes, the Dark Knight himself, Batman!

Collects ANARKY #1-8.

 

Nightwing Vol. 4: Blockbuster – Dick Grayson, also known as Nightwing, has adopted Blüdhaven as his home, and it’s his mission to keep the streets safe from the high-tech weapons that are suddenly pouring in…even if it puts his newly stable relationship with his girlfriend Shawn in jeopardy.

But for the super-strong criminal known as Blockbuster, Blüdhaven isn’t just an adopted home—it’s in his veins. So when he reaches out to Nightwing to help him rid the streets of these deadly weapons, will Dick find himself with a powerful new ally…or walking into a deadly trap?

Plus, Dick’s former identity as Grayson, Agent of Spyral comes back to pay a visit in the form of Huntress!

GRAYSON writer Tim Seeley (BATMAN ETERNAL) and artists Miguel Mendonca (WONDER WOMAN) and Javier Fernandez (RED HOOD/ARSENAL) continue Nightwing’s Rebirth by bringing back one of his most iconic villains! Collects NIGHTWING #22-28.