I have a confession to make… I still need to read last week’s comics. I know, I’m a terrible bat-fan, but I’ve spent the past week reading through non-DC/ Bat titles because my stacks (yes, plural) were getting outrageously high! Thankfully, I whittled it down a little and am ready to return to the world of the Bat!

Also, it’s worth mentioning that June solicitations should drop on Monday, so I’d expect some announcements. We were already graced with some announcements including the new creative team for Detective Comics as well as a five-issue special by Tim Seeley leading into Batman #50 (the wedding). There appear to be some exciting things in the future, and I’m positive this is only the tip of the iceberg!

Alright, on to business! For an overview of our coverage for last week’s releases, check out This Week In Comics: The New Gods Are in the News – and the Delivery Room. 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 21st

TAKE MY MONEY

The Brave & the Bold: Batman & Wonder Woman #2
Batman finds himself drawn further into a world of Celtic myth and supernatural mysteries as Wonder Woman calls on the Dark Knight Detective to investigate the murder of a once-powerful Irish god. In a world where the normal rules of investigation don’t apply and any clue can be obscured by charms and magic, the two Justice Leaguers must rely on each other to unlock a murder someone is trying to hide.

Written by Liam Sharp
Pencils and Inks by Liam Sharp
Colored by Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Cover by Romulo Fajardo, Jr. and Liam Sharp

Josh’s Stance: I really enjoyed Sharp’s debut of The Brave & the Bold because it felt different! He appears to be pulling a lot from Scottish folklore to infuse it into a DC Comics story, and with Wonder Woman serving as a bridging character, the marriage of these two worlds came together quite well! I’m looking forward to what else he has planned!

Batman-News Critic: Casper

 

Injustice 2 #22
Then, the Gorilla City rebellion explodes, putting Ra’s al Ghul and his mission in jeopardy. It’s up to the Suicide Squad to get him out alive—but Ra’s has a trick or two up his sleeve. Later, Amazo is sent on another mission of mass destruction, but a new champion wearing the “S” shield is out to stop him.

Art by Juan Albarran, Mike S. Miller, and Bruno Redondo
Cover by Bruno Redondo and Juan Albarran
Written by Tom Taylor

Josh’s Stance: I’ve been saying it and I’ll continue to say it… Injustice is one of the most entertaining books in publication at the moment. I always know I’m going to have a good time with each issue. There’s comfort in that. Also… When can we get Tom Taylor on a book that’s in continuity!

Batman-News Critic: Elena

 

Super Sons #14
“MOTHER’S DAY” part two! Talia al Ghul is back in Damian’s life, for better and for worse! As the world’s deadliest mom forces Robin to make the ultimate choice between his past and future, Superboy finds himself caught in the middle. But the specter of Damian’s murderous past life has shaken the bond between the Super Sons, and the body count is far from final.

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Carlo Barberi
Inks by Art Thibert
Colored by Protobunker and Alejandro Sanchez
Cover by Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez

Josh’s Stance: Super Sons, I adore you, and I’m still sad your leaving us… But I’m confident there will be great things for you in the future!

Batman-News Critic: Jay

 

 

INTRIGUED

Batman #43
“EVERYONE LOVES IVY” part three! The quest to end Ivy’s domination heads toward a close, but can Batman offer Ivy redemption on the other side of this crime? It’s an epic showdown between the Caped Crusader and one of his most popular foes, brought to you by the creative team behind “THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES.”

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

Josh’s Stance: I got some push-back last week for mentioning that the way King writes themes and the relationship between Bruce and Selina make-up for the plot issues. I want to be clear, that doesn’t mean I don’t care about the plot, I do, and I would like to see it improve, but I doubt it’s going to. The opportunities with the plot in King’s Batman narratives have been consistent since “I Am Gotham.” I’m merely just coming to terms with this reality so I’m able to enjoy the character moments more. If I were reviewing the title, I’d be right there with Brandon giving it the scores he’s been issuing for each chapter.

Batman-News Critic: Brandon

 

Batman: Sins of the Father #2
It’s a deadly game of cat and mouse as Batman tries to stop Deadshot from killing former Arkham Asylum employees, while also trying to determine just who he is and why he’s targeting them. Then Batman goes up against the Black Spider—does he work for Deadshot or one of the new mystery figures making waves in the Gotham underworld?

Art by Raffaele Ienco
Cover by Raffaele Ienco
Written by Christos Gage

Josh’s Stance: The debut of Batman: Sins of the Father was quite strong! I’m personally a huge fan of Christos Gage – he penned some great runs on Angel & Faith and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which you all know I love), as well as dozens of other books – and I sincerely hope that this run pushes him into a more permanent role within the DC Universe!

Batman-News Critic: Dan

 

Batwoman #13
“THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF KANE” part one! After her deadly trip around the world hunting the infamous Many Arms of Death, Batwoman returns to her childhood home in Brussels, the site of her most brutal losses and memories. As the clock begins to tick on a new cycle of violence, Kate must overcome her haunted past to prevent an attack more terrible than any before!

Written by Marguerite Bennett
Pencils and Inks by Fernando Blanco and Scott Godlewski
Colored by John Rauch
Cover by Dan Panosian

Josh’s Stance: I’m finally interested in what’s happening in Batwoman! It’s a shame that it’s taken a year to get to this point, but it’s finally here. Now let’s get to the family drama – AKA Alice.

Batman-News Critic: Dan

 

Justice League #41
“JUSTICE LOST” part two! What does justice mean in a lawless world? This is the question the team must struggle with when the League finds itself trapped between warring factions, helpless refugees and mercenaries with advanced weaponry, all manipulated by Deathstroke’s frenemy the Red Lion. Meanwhile, Batman forces a showdown between himself and the League’s biggest fan.

Written by Christopher Priest
Pencils and Inks by Phil Briones and Pete Woods
Colored by Jeromy Cox and Pete Woods
Cover by David Yardin

Josh’s Stance: The previous issue didn’t love up to what we’ve grown to expect in the short time that Priest has been on Justice League, so that has me a little nervous for the future. Perhaps we’ll see a return to form with this issue.

Batman-News Critic: Brian

 

 

MIXED

Batman/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 #5
A Venom-charged Donnie wages a brutal, one-Turtle war on the Foot Clan. Batman has to stop him and remind him of who he really is; someone who uses smarts—not brawn—to take down the bad guys. Damian and Raphael pay a visit to the Lazarus Pit to try and help a wounded Splinter. Then Batman tries to turn a former foe into an ally as part of a desperate attempt to finally end the reign of Bane.

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: I dropped this title after three issues because it wasn’t working for me… and the moment I did, it seemed to pick up. I’m going to keep a close eye on Jay’s reviews because if it maintains or improves on this quality, then I’ll have to circle back and read it!

Batman-News Critic: Jay

 

Harley Quinn #40
“ANGRY BIRD” part four! After the death of Mason Macabre, Harley refuses to put any more of her friends in harm’s way…but what happens when they just won’t stay out of it? Does Harley’s vow to keep them safe extend to getting herself killed? Or will she accept a little help from her friends?

Written by Frank Tieri
Pencils and Inks by John Timms
Colored by Alex Sinclair
Cover by Amanda Conner

Josh’s Stance: Harley Quinn has too many toys in the toy box at the moment, and it’s damaging the quality of the narrative. This is definitely an example of “less is more,” because there are so many villains getting featured that none of them have much of an identity. I can’t help but feel it’s a bit of a wasted opportunity.

Batman-News Critic: Elena

 

Nightwing #41
“THE UNTOUCHABLE: FINAL JUDGMENT!” Nightwing has twice failed to stop the Judge—and if he falters a third time, Dick Grayson may never recover! “The Untouchable” reaches its pulse-pounding conclusion as Nightwing corners his nemesis. Will the Judge find a way to corrupt the most incorruptible man in Blüdhaven, or will Nightwing find a way to bring hope back to his adopted city and stop the Judge’s reign of terror?

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

Josh’s Stance: This is it folks. We’ve reached the conclusion of Humphries’ arc! I know I’ve been critical of aspects of his run, but overall I have enjoyed it… I just wish there could have been some alterations to story structure so that the story could have breathed and played out better.

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

Notes:

Additional DC titles releasing this week: Aquaman #34, Deadman #5, Bombshells United #14, Cave Carson Has an Interstellar Eye #1, Damage #3, Green Lanterns #43, and Superman #43.

 

Graphic Novel Watch:

Batman: New Gotham Vol. 2 – Batman: New Gotham Vol. 2 brings you the exciting follow-up to No Man’s Land!

Sasha Bordeaux was hired by the board of Wayne Enterprises as the personal bodyguard to the company’s owner, millionaire Bruce Wayne. She’s supposed to be offering him round-the-clock protection, but night after night, her infuriating charge gives her the slip. He clearly wants to keep his activities private, but what does a superficial playboy have to hide?

As Sasha gets closer to discovering Bruce Wayne’s double life, she and Batman begin a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. If the bodyguard learns the Dark Knight’s identity, can she be trusted to protect it? Or will the whole world learn the truth?

Featuring the Mad Hatter, Superman, Two-Face and more, Batman: New Gotham Vol. 2 collects Detective Comics #755-765 and Superman #168, from beloved writer Greg Rucka (Wonder Woman, Batwoman) and artists Shawn Martinbrough (Thief of Thieves), Rick Burchett (Batman Adventures) and more.

 

Batman: Tales of the Man-Bat – More feral than ever, Kirk Langstrom has only one consuming wish: to see his family again.

A series of brutal murders committed by a winged creature terrorize Gotham City, S.W.A.T. teams mobilize to take down Man-Bat. But behind the true killer’s rampage lie secrets to chill even the blood of Man-Bat…secrets that could cost Langstrom’s wife her very life.

Collects SHOWCASE ’94 #11, MAN-BAT #1-3 (1996) and MAN-BAT #1-5 (2006).

 

Justice League Task Force Vol. 1: Purification Plague – The world is a dangerous place, and sometimes you need heroes who are equally dangerous. When a specific threat needs to be dealt with and the Justice League is just too large to tackle it, the United Nations needs a special task force—the Justice League Task Force!

Led by Hannibal Martin, a United Nations ambassador and strategist, and handpicked by their field leader, the Martian Manhunter, the Justice League Task Force is charged with dealing with specific threats that the U.N. would prefer just disappear. Be it disposing of misguided freedom fighters and their sonic death weapon or protecting the United States from the bioengineered plague of the Aryan Nation, the Justice League Task Force is ready for action!

Writer David Michelinie (Action Comics), artist Sal Velluto (Black Panther) and others introduce the world to a new, edgier Justice League in the classic tales from JUSTICE LEAGUE TASK FORCE VOL. 1: The Purification Plague.

Collects JUSTICE LEAGUE TASK FORCE #1-12!