I don’t know about you, but I’m still on a high from Action Comics #1,000, and I’m also growing more excited for the creative changes that are on the horizon! DC released their solicitations for July last week, but there wasn’t really anything noteworthy that hadn’t already been announced independently. I still have suspicions that we’ll receive a few more announcements before SDCC though (both creative changes and new titles)… But that could just be wishful thinking.

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.

APRIL 25TH

TAKE MY MONEY

The Silencer #4
“PAYBACK TIME” part one! The Silencer has been targeted by every hit man, meta-mobster and weapons-depot dropout that the Leviathan organization has to offer—now it’s time for Honor Guest to take the fight back to them! Too bad Deathstroke has other plans. Silencer squares off against Slade Wilson as we kick off a brand-new epic! And this duo’s devastating past run-in will leave you speechless!

Written by Dan Abnett
Pencils and Inks by Viktor Bogdanovic
Colored by Mike Spicer
Cover by Sandra Hope, John Romita Jr., and Dean V. White

Josh’s Stance: I’m really excited to see Bogdanovic step in to take over art duties, and I’m curious to see where Abnett will take the character now that we have an established foundation. If I have one request/ wish, it’s that Abnett returns a focus to Honor and her family. That sense of relatability helped ground Honor, as well as the book itself.

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

 

INTRIGUED

Batgirl #22
“STRANGE LOOP” part one! After a routine mission to save the day, Batgirl realizes she’s been spending a little too much time in costume. Her life as Barbara Gordon is in a rut, and it’s time to focus on changing things for the better. Can the sudden reemergence of her former love interest, Kai, be a sign of good things to come? Or is he bringing all kinds of trouble with him? Things are not what they seem in Burnside, and it’s up to Batgirl to figure out why!

Written by Hope Larson
Pencils by Minkyu Jung
Inks by Jose Marzan Jr.
Colored by Mat Lopes
Cover by Dan Mora

Josh’s Stance: Hope Larson seems to have found a groove with her run on Batgirl, and that has me excited for the future of the book. I still think the title itself needs more of a purpose, but I’m happy to see that it’s consistently been good. I’m also excited that this story will put more of a focus on Barbara, and I hope she’s represented well. I am hesitant about the return of Kai though because he was my least favorite part of Larson’s debut arc.

Batman-News Critic: Elena

 

Justice League of America #29
“DAWN OF TIME” finale! Chronos has won. Superheroes are non-existent in the new timeline he’s manipulated into existence. The League will have to find each other, reform and fix the time stream or all of time will be at Chronos’s command.

Written by Steve Orlando
Pencils and Inks by Hugo Petrus
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Steve Buccellato and David Williams

Josh’s Stance: As with other titles, this is the end of Justice League of America, but for whatever reason, DC opted not to include “Final Issue” in the solicitation. That being said, I’ve had a lot of fun with the back half of Orlando’s JLA run, and I’m actually sad to see it come to a close. We got to see some fringe characters that honestly deserve a bit of the spotlight.

Batman-News Critic: Jay

 

 

MIXED

Batman Beyond #19
“THE LONG PAYBACK” finale! When Batman was at the mercy of Payback, Melanie Walker—a former member the Royal Flush Gang—swooped in to save his life. Now, with Melanie on the receiving end of Payback’s wrath, Terry will have to return the favor. But can a bruised and battered Batman save the day, or will he need the help of his mysterious new partner?

Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils by Phil Hester
Inks by Ande Parks
Colored by Mike Spicer
Cover by Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo

Josh’s Stance: “The Long Payback” almost feels as though it should have been titled “The Long Payoff.” It feels as though it’s taken forever for this story to go somewhere, and last month we finally received some momentum and energy. I’m crossing my fingers that this issue continues to build that momentum and end on a high note.

Batman-News Critic: Dan

 

Detective Comics #979
“BATMAN ETERNAL” part four! Ulysses Armstrong knows everything there is to know about Tim Drake’s future—including every inevitable step he’ll take on the road to becoming a dark version of himself! Unfortunately, Ulysses is perfectly happy to take everything from him…and use it to give birth to an unstoppable menace!

Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Phil Briones
Colored by John Kalisz
Cover by Brad Anderson, Raul Fernandez, and Alvaro Martinez

Josh’s Stance: Meh… It’s another OMAC invasion, so… You know, it’s probably going to be the same old thing we always get with Brother Eye and OMAC. Hopefully, we’ll get some nice character moments since Tynion’s run is coming to an end.

Batman-News Critic: Brandon

 

Teen Titans #19
“THE FOLLOWING” part three! Beast Boy has gone rogue, turned by the nefarious Puppeteer into an unstoppable killing machine, along with hundreds of innocent teenagers! Can the Teen Titans stop their former friend’s deadly rampage and put an end to the Puppeteer’s reign once and for all?

Written by Benjamin Percy
Pencils by Scot Eaton
Inks by Wayne Faucher
Colored by Jim Charalampidis
Cover by Dan Mora

Josh’s Stance: Percy’s Teen Titans has never been bad, but it’s also never really reached its potential. “The Following” has some great plot and character threads, but knowing that a creative change is on the horizon, I, unfortunately, don’t expect it to lead anywhere. For now, I’m just going to enjoy this title for what it is.

Batman-News Critic: Casper

 

Titans Annual #2
“TITANS APART” finale! Arsenal and Donna discover the truth about the Bliss conspiracy…only they’re too late! With the Justice League off the board and the Titans divided, who will stand against the evil Brain as he attempts to create his new world order—and kill everyone on Earth in the process?

Written by Dan Abnett
Pencils by Tom Derenick and Tom Grummett
Inks by Mick Gray, John Trevor Scott, and Cam Smith
Colored by Adriano Lucas
Cover by Andrew Hennessy, Adriano Lucas, and Paul Pelletier

Josh’s Stance: This is the last issue of Titans before the book goes on a hiatus so the team can deal with the events of No Justice.  More than anything, I’m just excited to know that Titans will have a sense of direction again after all of this. I do hope we at least get a worthy “goodbye” or “until next time” for the characters that won’t be returning though.

Batman-News Critic: Dan

 

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

Suicide Squad #40
“BREAK THROUGH THE WALL” finale! The Squad faces down the Wall as their fate hangs in the balance. If the Squad doesn’t stop the Wall, the U.S. government will be demolished!

Written by Rob Williams
Pencils by Jack Herbert and Jose Luis
Inks by Jack Herbert and Jordi Tarragona
Colored by Adriano Lucas and Ulises Arreola Palomera
Cover by Andy Kubert and David Yardin

Josh’s Stance: Much in the way that Batman Beyond is finally hitting a good stride with its current story, Suicide Squad appears to be doing the same thing. Nothing more would make me happier than seeing Suicide Squad return to the quality that it had at the beginning of Rebirth, but I’m not holding my breath.

Batman-News Critic: Casper

 

 

NO!

Batman & the Signal #3
As the sun sets, chaos erupts and the Bat-Family jumps into action to help the Signal (a.k.a. Duke Thomas) against the mysterious Gnomon and his minions. While his allies keep the battle going on the streets, Duke must go above and beyond to track down the malicious man who has single-handedly caused the dangerous boom in meta-activity in the Narrows. Little does he know, Gnomon holds the key to his past and the future of heroes in Gotham City!

Written by Tony Patrick and Scott Snyder
Pencils and Inks by Cully Hamner
Colored by Laura Martin
Cover by Cully Hamner and Laura Martin

Josh’s Stance: I gave Signal a chance… and I’m not a fan. Sorry, Duke. Sorry, Snyder. Mr. Thomas was way more interesting before all of the changes were made to him in All-Star Batman and Metal, and I hope, more than anything else, that he can return to being a normal guy somehow. Also, this book has essentially had a two-month delay (it debuted January 3rd) and it’s only three issues long, so that doesn’t really win the title any brownie points from me either.

Batman-News Critic: Dan

 

Trinity #22
“MAN DOWN” finale! The Trinity and Warlord have discovered Deimos’ plan to use the Skartaran Time Weapon to reduce his enemies to dust—but time itself is not on our heroes’ side! It’s up to Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman to save Steve Trevor, defeat Deimos and seal the breach with Skartaris before the entire world is consumed by magic powerful enough to melt millennia!

Written by James Robinson
Pencils and Inks by Patch Zircher
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb
Cover by Guillem March and Tomeu Morey

Josh’s Stance: I don’t recall ever seeing an official cancellation for Trinity… but as far as I can remember, there aren’t any solicitations for May, June, or July… So… I guess this is goodbye? Also, I’m completely ok with that for now.

Batman-News Critic: Dan

 

Notes:

  • Additional releases from DC this week: The Demon: Hell is Earth #6, Doom Patrol #11, The Flash #45, Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps #43, The Hellblazer #21, Mera, Queen of Atlantis #3, Mother Panic: Gotham AD #2, Raven: Daughter of Darkness #4, The Terrifics #3, and Wonder Woman #45.

 

Graphic Novel Watch:

Batman Vol. 5: The Rules of Engagement – When Catwoman accepted Batman’s marriage proposal, she changed more lives than just Bruce Wayne’s and Selina Kyle’s. A union between the World’s Greatest Detective and one of Gotham City’s fiercest criminals is a shakeup that will rattle everyone in the Dark Knight’s life from the young vigilantes who make up his surrogate “family,” to his legendary friends in the Justice League, to old demons he’d long hoped to leave behind.

Now Batman and Catwoman are on a quest for redemption, a mission deep into a forbidden desert fortress to evolve into something better before they say, “I do.” Standing in their way is…well, everybody, including Batman’s lethal ex-girlfriend Talia al Ghul.

From desert sands to boardwalk lights, will the Bat and the Cat’s search lead them to happiness at last?

Find out in Batman Vol. 5: Rules of Engagement, a major new chapter in the lives of the Dark Knight and his feline fiancée from the acclaimed creative team of Tom King (Mister Miracle) and Joëlle Jones (Supergirl: Being Super), with guest artists Clay Mann and Lee Weeks! Collects Batman #3337 and the critically acclaimed tale from Batman Annual #2.

 

Injustice 2 Vol. 2 – Green Arrow and Black Canary’s walk down the aisle has devastating consequences for the Justice League, the Suicide Squad and more in Injustice 2 Volume 2, exploring the world of the bestselling fighting game Injustice 2!

What seems like a rare moment of peace and celebration is turned upside down when Damian Wayne performs a wedding-day kidnapping of the children of Arrow, Canary and Black Lightning, with the help of his grandfather, Ra’s al Ghul! Now Batman must work with a Justice League Task Force that includes Batgirl, Steel, Blue Beetle and even Plastic Man to take the fight to al Ghul’s hidden lair!

But Batman’s immortal villain has protectors of his own, including a Suicide Squad of Harley Quinn, Animal Man, El Diablo, Poison Ivy and an impostor Batman! And if they aren’t able to stop the real Batman, Ra’s has another plan that threatens the world, as a sleeper agent sets his sights on a presidential inauguration!

Injustice: Gods Among Us writer Tom Taylor (Batman/Superman, The Authority) and artists Bruno Redondo (Batman: Arkham Unhinged) and Daniel Sampere (Batgirl, Green Arrow) shift the balance of power in this action-packed collection of Injustice 2 #712!

 

Nightwing Vol. 5: Raptor’s Revenge – Assassin. Vigilante. Mentor. And now nemesis. From his career as one of the Court of Owls’ hired killers to his stint as Dick Grayson’s wouldbe partner and teacher, the man called Raptor has always been one of the world’s deadliest fighters. And now that Nightwing has rejected his offer, he’s poised to become the greatest foe the blackandblue guardian of Blüdhaven has ever known.

But Nightwing has other, older enemies in his adopted hometown. Now he’ll need to count on them as allies.

When Raptor’s vendetta threatens the lives of every man, woman and child in the Blüd, Nightwing is forced to turn to the man who hates him most, Blockbuster, for help. It’s a teamup like nothing Nightwing has ever knownas if Batman and The Joker joined forces.

That’s exactly what makes the alliance so dangerous. If it succeeds, Raptor will feel victory slip through his talons. But if it fails, the entire city of Blüdhaven will fall…

Nightwing Vol. 5: Raptor’s Revenge is a pulsepounding thriller that pits Nightwing against an unforgettable addition to his rogues gallery, from writer Tim Seeley (Batman Eternal) and artists Javier Fernandez (Red Hood/Arsenal), Miguel Mendonça (Wonder Woman) and Diana Egea (Smallville: Season Eleven). Collects Nightwing #30-34.