How is it already March? When I was a kid, I’d always hear adults talk about how time goes by faster as you get older, and I always thought they were crazy! No, seriously, I thought there was something wrong with them… and then I became an adult. I started a career. Got hitched (well, I’m technically not married, but I’m in a ten-year relationship). Started a family (though my family is of the furry variety). I eventually moved back to my hometown to be near extended family (ie: holidays, birthdays, soccer games, graduations, weddings, family reunions, etc)… And suddenly, I’m one of those crazy adults now! There are nights when I’ll finally sit down and think, “Alright! ‘Me time!’” only to look at the clock and realize, “If I go to bed now, I’ll actually get six and a half hours of sleep…” The struggle is real!

Anyway, all of this is to say that I’ve been disciplining myself to reserve time for writing. Not for the site necessarily, but to be faster and more efficient in all of my responsibilities so I can focus on my creative writing… and it’s been wonderful! I feel like I’ve found a long, lost friend again, and I’ve been brainstorming so many different stories and plots, that I’ve had a serious case of ADD pertaining to what I want to focus on! Hopefully, by next summer, I’ll have some original work available for everyone to read. There are a couple of artists in my back pocket, and some industry writers have been more than gracious enough to lend their expertise in various ways. I’m hoping this is just the beginning this if just the beginning of things to come!

Alright, on to business! For an overview of our coverage for last week’s releases, check out This Week In Comics: Batman’s Got Blood On His Hands. 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.

March 7, 2018

TAKE MY MONEY

Batman: White Knight #6
Gotham City’s strongest alliance comes to an end when Gordon’s trust in Batman reaches its limit. On the verge of resignation, the commissioner attempts a final act of public service, but an unlikely intervention allows the Dark Knight to fight another day. Meanwhile, Jack’s mission takes a hit when his pills lose effect—and under cover of all this chaos, Neo Joker is positioned to take the city hostage.

Written by Sean Murphy
Pencils and Inks by Sean Murphy
Colored by Matt Hollingsworth
Cover by Matt Hollingsworth and Sean Murphy

Josh’s Stance: White Knight is easily one of my favorite books in publication right now. I look forward to it every month, and I’m looking forward to see how he wraps things up over the remaining issues. Beyond that, I can’t wait for White Knight 2, because you know it will come in the distant future!

Batman-News Critic: Brian

 

Batman #42
“EVERYONE LOVES IVY” part two! Poison Ivy has taken control of every man, woman and child on the planet, and only Batman and Catwoman have escaped her influence. But will the pair of them be enough to nip this in the bud?

Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Mikel Janin
Colored by June Chung
Cover by Mikel Janin

Josh’s Stance: Here’s the thing, we’re tough on King’s Batman. I’m not seeing the critical eye is undeserving – his plots haven’t always been the strongest – but his focus on Batman as a character, the introspective look at him beneath everything, has been some of the best I’ve ever read… and this is with a character who has been around for decades and had thousands of stories written about him. For me, what’s sealed the deal and really made King’s run feel unique, is Bruce’s relationship with Selina. I get so excited to read their story every other week, that I’ve been completely won over. If King really is sticking around until issue 100, then I hope we see Bruce and Selina all the way to the end and beyond!

Batman-News Critic: Brandon

 

Injustice 2 #21
Booster Gold trains Blue Beetle, while over in Kahndaq, Wonder Woman trains Supergirl. Damian heads to Gorilla City to join Ra’s al Ghul and his allies, only to walk into the middle of Grodd’s rebellion against King Solovar.

Art by Daniel Sampere and Mike S. Miller
Cover by Tyler Kirkham
Written by Tom Taylor

Josh’s Stance: Injustice is essentially the equivalent to your summer blockbuster movie, but it’s one of those movies that gets rave reviews from critics and audiences because despite predominately being an action romp, the writing, plot, and characterization are all just as strong!

Batman-News Critic: Elena

 

The Shadow/ Batman #6
For centuries, the Silent Seven has held Earth in its evil grip…but nothing lasts forever. The Shadow and Batman have infiltrated the Seven’s personal stronghold, hidden off the map and away from history, at great personal cost. They didn’t expect to find one of their own standing against them once they arrived. It’s Robin versus Batman with society itself in the balance as the Shadow steps into the one place even he has feared to go: The Deadly Mind of Shiwan Khan. Can three generations of crimefighting overcome centuries of evil? It’s a crucible they can only overcome through the one thing none of them have: trust.

Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Giovanni Timpano

Josh’s Stance: Why? Why does this have to be the last issue? The Shadow/ Batman is easily my favorite book to review, so I’m a little disappointed this is my last chance to sink my teeth into this wonderful narrative that Steve Orlando and Giovanni Timpano have crafted. I’m selfish, and I want more! If in your heart, you feel the best Batman stories came from the 80’s/90’s, then this book is for you. If you want a Batman that is as intelligent as he is brutal, then this book is for you. If you miss the father/son vibes Peter J. Tomasi was serving up between Bruce and Damian in Batman & Robin, then this book is for you! If some of your favorite Bat-moments in the history of Batman are conversations between Bruce and Alfred, then this book is for you! Are you getting the picture yet? If you like Batman, this book is for you! It’s an incredible run, and there aren’t enough people talking about this story!

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

 

INTRIGUED

Harley Quinn #39
“ANGRY BIRD” part three! So far, Harley’s been able to take everything the Penguin threw at her in their war to keep him out of New York City—but he’s been holding one of Gotham City’s vilest villains in reserve! How will Harley keep her cool when the Penguin unleashes that frosty fiend, Mr. Freeze?

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

Josh’s Stance: I think I’m more excited to see a silly take on Zsasz over anything else! I’m being honest… I can’t wait.

Batman-News Critic: Elena

 

Justice League #40
“JUSTICE LOST” part one! Trapped aboard the crippled Watchtower, the combined Justice League and Justice League of America teams clash over leadership and the urgent question of who can be rescued…and who will be left behind. Meanwhile, the Green Lanterns face critical choices over how to deal with the League’s two most powerful figures!

Written by Christopher Priest
Pencils and Inks by by Pete Woods
Colored by Chris Sotomayor and Pete Woods
Cover by David Yardin

Josh’s Stance: The only thing keeping Justice League out of the “take my money” ranking is simply the fact that on an emotional level, the book hasn’t connected with me completely. Other than that, the writing has been stellar, and Priest is doing some really interesting things! I love that this is very much equally about the characters as individuals as it is the team and their mission. It’s almost as if Priest understands the road to success is balance… Go figure.

Batman-News Critic: Brian

 

Nightwing #40
“THE UNTOUCHABLE: DEEP DIVE!” He’s already been shot and stabbed, and there’s no end in sight for Nightwing as he’s forced to face off against the League of Limousine Assassins in the Silver Springs Casino! Meanwhile, the Judge’s rise to power culminates with his most explosive move yet.

Written by Sam Humphries
Pencils and Inks by Bernard Chang
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo

Josh’s Stance: Overall, Humphries Nightwing has been satisfying. There have been some great moments, and I’m still hoping that Nightwing doesn’t catch the Judge – but I know that won’t be the case since Humphries run is limited and editorial won’t want Nightwing to look like a failure. Anyway, I have had problems with the arc, but they’ve all pertained to story structure, timing, and emphasis. Now that we’re at the end of the arc, I doubt we’ll see much of those opportunities, allowing Humphries to end “The Untouchable” with a bang!

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

 

 “YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

Harley & Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #6
The Gotham City girls are heading back to Riverdale after making a brief detour to Sabrina’s house. With any luck, they’ll get home before the real super-villains manage to cause any more trouble at the future home of Lodge’s Sweetwater Centre. And before Ronnie’s reputation is ruined by Ivy’s scholarly pursuits!

Written by Marc Andreyko and Paul Dini
Pencils and Inks by Laura Braga
Colored by Arif Prianto
Cover by Tula Lotay

Josh’s Stance: I went back and forth on whether I should rank this as “Mixed” or “You Don’t Have to Thank Us.” As you can tell, I went with the latter simply because this crossover has felt more like a chore to discuss as of late than a fun dive into a fun comic… And that’s the key word in all of this, “fun.” This book should be fun, and it hasn’t been for a few issues now. The story started off fun, but that element fizzled out rather quickly.

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

 

NO!

Bane: Conquest #10
To take on Kobra on its own turf, Bane will need an army. But what he needs and what he has are two different things…and what he has is twelve damned souls willing to follow him into Hell for a billion-dollar payday. But first they must be battle-tested and Bane-approved. And what better test than the abduction of one of Kobra’s elite? The action is building to a fever pitch and breakneck pace as this gangster epic roars toward its conclusion.

Written by Chuck Dixon
Pencils and Inks by Graham Nolan
Colored by Gregory Wright
Cover by Graham Nolan and Gregory Wright

Josh’s Stance: Is anyone still reading this? I’ll be honest, I stopped reading after the third issue, but Dan has been as BOSS, and has been catching up on the series for us! Hopefully, he’ll correct me in the comments if this should move to a different ranking for the final two issues!

Batman-News Critic: Dan

 

Notes:

  • Additional DC titles releasing this week: Black Lightning: Cold, Dead Hands #5, Bombshells United #13, Deathstroke #29, Green Arrow #38, Green Lanterns #42, Shade the Changeling Woman #1, Superman #42, and The Wild Storm #12.

 

Graphic Novel Watch:

Batman by Neal Adams Book One – Experience all of Neal Adams’ legendary Batman work—covers and stories—in chronological order! Batman by Neal Adams Book One contains Adams’ contributions to the Dark Knight’s legacy from 1967 through 1969, showing the process of introduction, adaption and innovation that the young artist brought to this legendary crime-fighter!

Over the years, only a handful of artists have truly shaped the look of DC Comics’ Batman. But since the original creation of the character in the 1930s by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, undoubtedly the most influential individual to take up the mantle of the Bat is Neal Adams.

Beginning in the late 1960s and continuing through the 1970s, Adams’ reimagining of “the Batman” revitalized the Caped Crusader for an entire generation of fans, rescuing him from TV-inspired campiness and returning him to his roots as a shadowy urban vigilante. In Adams’ talented hands, Batman matured into “the Dark Knight”—a transformation that not only delighted readers and inspired his creative peers, but also planted the seeds for the 21st century’s explosive growth of comics and superheroes into every corner of the world’s popular culture.

Collecting stories from World’s Finest Comics #175-176 and The Brave and the Bold #79-85.

 

Batman & Harley Quinn – Head back to the universe of Batman: The Animated Series in Batman and Harley Quinn!

Harley Quinn’s name has always been synonymous with The Joker. The wacky duo has wreaked havoc upon the streets of Gotham as the Clown Prince and Princess of Crime, and caused mayhem together while truly, deeply, madly in love. But when The Joker pushes Harley’s buttons, she rats him out to Batman himself! Before Batman can haul Harley off to Arkham Asylum, her best friend Poison Ivy swoops in and rescues her. Harley and Ivy soon begin a plot of their own against Batman.

Harley just wants to have a little fun while she and Ivy scheme against Bats…but all-business Ivy isn’t having it. Harley sets out to prove that she’s more than Mistah J’s henchwoman and Ivy’s lackey. Can Harley make a name for herself and prove that she’s no one’s sidekick?

Featuring stories by author Ty Templeton (Batman and Robin Adventures) and Rick Burchett (Batman Adventures). Collects Batman and Harley Quinn chapters #1-7 and Harley Quinn and Batman chapters #1-5

 

Batman & Superman in World’s Finest: The Silver Age Vol. 2 – They had been fighting crime separately for years, but it wasn’t until the historic Superman #76 in 1952 that Superman, the Man of Steel, finally teamed up with the Caped Crusader himself—Batman. That story proved so popular that the team quickly became the main feature in World’s Finest Comics—and thus the greatest partnership in comics was born. Their adventures together would feature heroes and villains such as Robin, Batwoman, Lex Luthor, Bat-Mite, Mr. Mxyzptlk and more alien threats than might seem possible.

Batman & Superman in World’s Finest: The Silver Age Vol. 2 collects their super-team-ups from World’s Finest Comics #95-116.

 

Justice League of America Vol. 3: Panic in the Microverse – Finishing the story that began in DC Universe: Rebirth, acclaimed writer Steve Orlando (Midnighter, Supergirl), artists Ivan Reis (Justice League), Felipe Watanabe (Cyborg) and more take the JLA to a world like no other in Justice League of America Vol. 3: Panic in the Microverse!

Batman, Killer Frost and Lobo join Ryan Choi, the JLA’s Atom, on a size-shifting mission to find Choi’s missing mentor, Ray Palmer. The previous Atom vanished while exploring his greatest discovery—the Microverse. Far, far smaller than modern science has explored before, the Microverse makes up the foundation on which the atoms of our world are built.

Though tiny, the Microverse is vast, dangerous and almost completely unexplored. The League must navigate a bizarre and dangerous subatomic world of warring factions, deadly threats and hidden agendas, all leading to the Ignition Point. This fracture in the fabric of the Microverse, if left unchecked, could spread to destroy all reality!

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Vixen, Black Canary and the Ray continue their long battle against the Might Beyond the Mirror, as well as the mysterious villain Afterthought! Collects issues #12-17.

 

Super Sons Vol. 2: Planet of the Capes – What starts as a simple training mission becomes a dimension-spanning adventure for the sons of Superman and Batman, and Superboy teams up with the Teen Titans for the first time in the stunning second volume of Super Sons!

Superboy (Jonathan Kent) is excited to have a night out on patrol with Robin (Damian Wayne), at least until he learns that Robin thinks his job is to teach Superboy how to fight crime. But an emergency call from the Teen Titans leads to an encounter with a group of forgotten villains…one of whom bends time itself to make Robin too old to lead a team called the Teen Titans! And the battle’s aftermath leads Robin and Superboy to another dimension, where they must help the last survivors of a decimated world defeat a planet-sized menace!

All this, plus the long-awaited unveiling of the Super Sons’ secret headquarters, unfolds in the newest collection showcasing DC’s next-generation super-team!

Acclaimed writer Peter J. Tomasi (Superman) is joined by artists Jorge Jimenez (Earth 2: Society, Amazing X-Men), Carmine Di Giandomenico (The Flash), Jose Luis (Supergirl) and more in Super Sons Vol. 2: Planet of the Capes, collecting issues #6-10 of the popular series.

 

Tales of the Batman: Gene Colan Vol. 2 – These never-before-collected Batman tales from the 1980s spotlight the art of comics legend Gene Colan and include appearances by The Joker, Poison Ivy, Deadshot and the Scarecrow, plus two team-up tales co-starring Superman. Collects BATMAN #373, DETECTIVE COMICS #530-538 and 540-544 and WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #297 and #299.