I feel like I’m in a pseudo slog with comics from DC at the moment. I’m speaking generally when I say this, but I’m not overly excited about much that’s out right now. That’s not to say I’m not excited for what’s coming in a few months, just that right now so many titles appear to be stalling or treading water until the end of Metal/ No Justice. Mostly I’m just in the mindset of, “Is it May yet?”
Alright, on to business! For an overview of our coverage for last week’s releases, check out This Week In Comics: Batman Lovingly Caresses the Joker’s Face. 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
Red Hood & the Outlaws #20
“HENCHED!” Have you been thinking about breaking bad? There’s never been a better time help your favorite super-villain take over the world, defeat an archnemesis or rob a bank. Even the bad guys need a little help, and with the Henched app you can find the perfect evil boss for you! Just don’t be surprised if Red Hood and the Outlaws show up to your budding henchmen convention and stop your dreams dead in their tracks.
Written by Scott Lobdell
Pencils and Inks by Dexter Soy
Colored by Veronica Gandini
Cover by Antonio Fabela and Trevor Hairsine
Josh’s Stance: Red Hood & the Outlaws has consistently been one of the more enjoyable reads since Rebirth, and I’m curious to see if these upcoming changes will impact the story any. But seriously… The award for most consistent storytelling has to go to Scott Lobdell!
Batman-News Critic: Brian
Detective Comics #976
“BATMEN ETERNAL” part one! With his team completely shattered, Batman must confront Red Robin about the future of their partnership…if there even is one!
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Javier Fernandez
Colored by John Kalisz
Cover by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Adriano Lucas
Josh’s Stance: Who knows what direction Detective Comics will take following Tynion’s run. I’m not going to say I will necessarily miss him. What I hope, is that following his departure, someone, somewhere, picks up Tim and continues to respect him and feature him as a character!
Batman-News Critic: Brandon
Justice League of America #26
“NEW LIFE AND DEATH” finale! As the battle for the soul of Angor rages on, Batman and Black Canary face Lord Havok and his mad army of loyal servants. But it will be up to the Adjudicator to decide who will have any say over Angor’s rebuilding—and who will die!
Written by Steve Orlando
Pencils by Miguel Mendonca
Inks by Wayne Faucher and Dexter Vines
Colored by Chris Sotomayor
Cover by Mikel Janin
Josh’s Stance: I suspect that the stories we will get from Orlando are much more condensed than what was originally planned, so I’m less excited about the narrative, and more excited to experience more of these obscure characters that are being featured. For me, those characters alone are worth my time and money.
Batman-News Critic: Jay
“TITANS APART” part two! Arsenal hits rock bottom when he is betrayed by his closest ally and left for dead, and to make matters worse, his oldest friends, the former Titans, don’t seem to trust him anymore. How far will Roy Harper go to discover the truth behind the conspiracy that no one else can see? And will the truth set him free…or will it destroy him?
Written by Dan Abnett
Pencils by Paul Pelletier
Inks by Andrew Hennessy
Colored by Adriano Lucas
Cover by Brett Booth, Andrew Dalhouse, Andrew Hennessy, Adriano Lucas, Paul Pelletier, and More…
Josh’s Stance: If any title feels as though it’s receiving negative implications from the upcoming No Justice story, it’s Titans. The book already felt like it was stalling to tell stories until the release of Doomsday Clock, and now it feels as though it is stalling to get to the conclusion of No Justice and whatever changes may come with it. So, looking back at Titans, I can’t help but feel as though it’s just been spinning its wheels for about a year, with nowhere to go. And I don’t blame Dan Abnett for this. I feel as though he’s doing what he can with what he has to play with, but I do think there’s a commentary on the importance of titles having a clear and distinct trajectory. Too many titles feel like they exist because they’re “popular,” but there ultimately not serving much of a purpose in the grand scheme of things. And even with this title in particular, it took DC the same amount of time to put this team together as it did to disband it. Abnett is focusing on individual characters to keep things somewhat interesting, but most of it feels as thought we’ve “been there and done that.”
Batman-News Critic: Dan
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”
Suicide Squad #37
“DRAIN THE SWAMP” finale! Hack is out for blood now that her killer has stepped forward. While the Squad tries to protect themselves from Hack’s onslaught, Waller does everything she can to keep her secrets buried.
Written by Rob Williams
Pencils by Jose Luis
Inks by Jordi Tarragona
Colored by Adriano Lucas
Cover by Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez
Josh’s Stance: Let’s be honest, Rob Williams is a solid writer and I think he’s proven that with his run on Suicide Squad. My problem with the title at the moment is that it feels a little uninspired now, and is lacking the energy that made it so special and engaging at the beginning of Rebirth. And even with Hack returning, I find myself thinking, “Yeah, I’ll read this issue at some point.”
Batman-News Critic: Casper
“NO HOME FOR YOU HERE” part three! War has erupted on Skartaris, and Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are caught in the middle and fighting for their very survival! As Deimos’ army lays siege to Shamballah, Jennifer Morgan reveals the core of the conflict to the Trinity: control
of time itself! Don’t miss the shocking conclusion that will leave the fate of one of the closest confidants of our heroes in deadly question!
Written by James Robinson
Pencils and Inks by Jack Herbert
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb
Cover by Guillem March and Tomeu Morey
Josh’s Stance: I’m going to be honest, I haven’t been reading Trinity lately, because this arc isn’t really my cup of tea. I’m sure I’ll dip back in next month to see what the new arc is all about.
Batman-News Critic: Dan
Batgirl & the Birds of Prey #20
“FULL CIRCLE” part two! With the Birds of Prey fractured by last issue’s events, the team must set aside their feelings of mistrust and work together to find the Calculator. Huntress wrestles with her feelings when she’s called to testify on behalf of her mother at a parole hearing, but is Helena ready to forgive her after everything they’ve been through? And while Black Canary struggles with her powers and Batgirl battles her guilt over keeping secrets from her teammates, the Calculator’s robotic assassin, Burnrate, makes an unwelcome return!
Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson
Pencils and Inks by Roge Antonio
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Rachel Dodson and Terry Dodson
Josh’s Stance: Last month I thought the Bensons had their best issue yet for an arc, and Brian gave it a 4 (which I don’t disagree with), so I feel as though you have to let that sink in as a reality concerning the quality of this comic. There have been some solid ideas during this run, but the execution – especially concerning characters and motivations – has been downright dreadful.
Batman-News Critic: Brian
- Additional DC titles releasing this week: Action Comics #999, Eternity Girl #1, Gotham Garage #11, Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps #40, Mister Miracle #7, New Superman & the Justice League of China #21, Ragman #6, Sideways #2, Supergirl #19, The Flash #42, Wildstorm: Michael Cray #6, and Wonder Woman #42.
Graphic Novel Watch:
All Star Batman Vol. 3: The First Ally – New York Times #1 best-selling writer Scott Snyder and artist Rafael Albuquerque, the Eisner Award-winning creative team of American Vampire, reunite for All Star Batman Vol. 3: The First Ally–a pulse-pounding thriller striking directly at the heart of the Bat-mythos!
Since he became Gotham City’s guardian, the Batman has faced an army of the deadliest villains the world has ever known. His path has been dangerous, his losses incalculable. But with the help of his right-hand man, Alfred Pennyworth, he’s emerged victorious every time.
But now the Dark Knight is facing a new enemy–the masked face of a conspiracy that spans generations. His name is Nemesis, and both Batman and the mysterious figure called “”the First Ally”” are on his hit list.
As old foes from the Penguin to Black Mask join the fray, Batman’s quest to uncover the truth will take him from Gotham to Miami to the U.K.–and deep into his own past.
Soon Batman must face an impossible choice: he must sacrifice either the mantle of the Bat, or the man he loves most…
Collects ALL STAR BATMAN #10-14.
Batgirl: Stephanie Brown Vol. 2 – It’s second semester at Gotham University for Stephanie Brown, which means hitting the books by day and getting schooled by Robin and Oracle by night. Stephanie works hard to prove she deserves the Batgirl mantle she’s inherited, but when a mysterious group calling itself “the Order of the Scythe” frames her for murder, “The Lesson” truly begins!
Suddenly facing speedster thugs, fending off her vigilante stalker Grey Ghost and going undercover for Batman Incorporated, Batgirl realizes she might not be able to rely on anyone but herself! Stephanie Brown will step out of the shadows of her predecessors to become the hero she was always meant to be.
Batgirl: Stephanie Brown Vol. 2 features classic stories from Bryan Q. Miller (Smallville) with art by Pere Perez (Action Comics), Dustin Nguyen (Batman: Li’l Gotham), Derek Fridolfs (Batman: Streets of Gotham) and others. Collects Batgirl #13-24, Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Batgirl #1 and Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1.
DC Comics: The Art of Darwyn Cooke – This beautiful book features the distinctive style of Eisner Award-winning writer/artist Darwyn Cooke, dating back to 1985’s TALENT SHOWCASE #19, and stories from BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS, LEGION WORLDS, JSA ALL STARS, JONAH HEX and more, plus dozens of covers! This new trade paperback edition adds over twenty covers not collected in the GRAPHIC INK: THE DC COMICS ART OF DARWYN COOKE hardcover!