I’m currently in a World Cup fever! Depending on how long you have been frequenting the site, you may remember my love for soccer, and that when the last World Cup came around, I made a World Cup dream team… And all of them were members of the Bat-family! While I won’t do that again, I will remind everyone that World Cup is on, and I’m currently not sleeping because of it! Are you watching? Who are you backing? There’ve already been quite a few surprises, so I suspect we’re in for an interesting year!

Shifting the focus to Batman… DC announced release dates for their Black Label line. Included in this announcement is an uncensored collection of Batman: White Knight. It’s definitely something I’ll add to my collection. DC also announced other well-known graphic novels that will be released under Black Label, so I’m curious if we’ll see changes to those as well? My concern, though, involves the original content. Batman: Damned will be a three-issue story, but it will be released bi-monthly. With such a short issue count, I have to wonder if it’s even worth reading as it’s released? If you’re going to wait six months for three issues, why not just wait eight or nine months to read the collection? I’m all for this line, but I’m not certain this is the best release strategy. If it’s a matter of timing, then perhaps DC should have just delayed the debut… What are your thoughts? Share below!

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.

June 20th

TAKE MY MONEY

Batman #49
“THE BEST MAN” part two! Now it’s up to Catwoman to rescue her one true love. It’s the Cat vs. the Clown in one exciting showdown that sets the stage for our giant anniversary issue-and the biggest union in comics!

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

Josh’s Stance: I love that Joker is front and center! Tom King writes his insanity extremely well, and I love the sharp shift from humor to madness he manages to create! I’m looking forward to this chapter! (And there better be a *beeping* wedding in the next issue! I’m going to be pissed if DC gets cold feet and backs out after a year of teasing it.)

Batman-News Critic: Brandon

 

Injustice 2 #28
When the Red Lanterns attack the prison colony on the planet Harring, a powerless Hal Jordan finds himself on the side of an old enemy. The Green Lanterns’ dire situation forces Hal to make a desperate move.

Art by Juan Albarran and Bruno Redondo
Cover by Juan Albarran and Bruno Redondo
Written by Tom Taylor

Josh’s Stance: Another chapter of Injustice? Why, yes! I’d love to read another chapter of Injustice! Thank you!

Batman-News Critic: Jay

 

Justice League #2
“THE TOTALITY” part two! The League faced an impossible decision…and now they must face the consequences! While Martian Manhunter and Batman attempt to recruit an old ally back into the fold, The Flash and Hawkgirl are blindsided by new challenges that could rewrite their mythologies!

Written by Scott Snyder
Pencils and Inks by Jorge Jimenez
Colored by Alejandro Sanchez
Cover by Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez

Josh’s Stance: Scott Snyder’s Justice League feels like Justice League… I don’t think I’ve been able to say that about any Justice League book for a while now…

Batman-News Critic: Brian

 

 

INTRIGUED

Batman: Prelude to the Wedding: Red Hood vs Anarky #1
Red Hood has always been the one standing slightly apart from the rest of the Bat crew. Some see him as the Robin gone bad-which is exactly the kind of thing someone like Anarky can exploit. Now Red Hood is running security at Catwoman’s bachelorette party-and if Anarky can crash it, that could be the final straw for Jason Todd!

Written by Tim Seeley
Pencils and Inks by Javier Fernandez, Hugo Petrus, and Otto Schmidt
Colored by John Kalisz and Otto Schmidt
Cover by Rafael Albuquerque and Dave McCaig

Josh’s Stance: I’m still not sure why it’s Red Hood vs Anarky (it really should be Tim), but whatever… Seeley has done a solid job of giving us nice character moments, and that’s exactly what this wedding has needed. The encounters with villains is a little forced, but I suspect that was mandated by DC.

Batman-News Critic: Brian

 

The Brave & the Bold: Batman & Wonder Woman #5
There’s a grave missing detail of Batman and Wonder Woman’s investigation into the death of King Elatha—it’s not only about who killed him, but also what it means. As one king dies, another must arise…long live the new king Balor Evil-Eye! Now Batman and Wonder Woman must fight alongside Tir Na Nóg and destroy its causeways to our dimension!

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: Liam Sharp, if anything, has delivered an interesting, unique story, that has been quite consistent since day one. I was unsure of his ability to write heading into this, but he’s managing quite well. I love how Sharp embraces folklore, and allows it to live and breathe within the narrative. Also, Balor looks badass.

Batman-News Critic: Casper

 

 

MIXED

Batman: Sins of the Father #5
The war between Deadshot and Batman hurtles toward a deadly conclusion. While Batman tries to find a way to prove Floyd Lawton and Deadshot are one and the same, Deadshot focuses his quest for vengeance on Bruce Wayne, determined to take away everything he values in life.

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

Josh’s Stance: Most of my issues with Sins of the Father come from the universe itself, not necessarily this specific story. That being said, I’m really enjoying Gage’s work, and I like the head-to-head that’s building between Batman and Deadshot. It takes me back to Deadshot’s early days!

Batman-News Critic: Casper

 

Batwoman #16
“THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF KANE” part four! Alice’s deadly plague of virus-ridden bats may have been torn from the sky, but she still roams free. Now Batman must do whatever it takes to stop her-even if that means going through her sister, Batwoman, to do it. Blood ties and betrayal wage war in a clash for control that’s been in the making since the day Kate Kane put on the cowl: Batman vs. Batwoman!

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

Josh’s Stance: We’re getting teased with Batman vs Batwoman here, but I think we all know that it won’t lead to anything serious. What’s a shame, is that these two could have a genuine conflict with one another, but DC never seems to fully commit. They have the same goal, but ultimately have two very different ways of going about it. That’s the Batwoman story I want to read… Also, considering this run is coming to an end, I’m curious if Shea Fontana is doing something with Kate in the future. She just went to Twitter asking fans about what makes the character for them… Either way, I feel like this run never hit its stride, so I’m not too sad to see it go.

Batman-News Critic: Dan

 

Harley Quinn #44
When Harley Quinn finds herself hammer-deep in a paranoid spiral, the last thing she needs is for someone to blow up her favorite bodega! Worse, the only clue she finds seems to indicate Harley herself was the actual target of the attack! What’s a girl to do when she’s pushed all her friends away just as someone decides to kill her?

Written by Christopher Sebela
Pencils and Inks by Mirka Andolfo and Max Raynor
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb and Alex Sinclair
Cover by Bilquis Evely, Mat Lopes, and Alex Sinclair

Josh’s Stance: This is a fill-in issue, so I’m indifferent towards it. I’m not expecting much, but hoping for the best type of situation.

Batman-News Critic: Elena

 

Teen Titans Go! #28
Control Freak’s latest plan? Sending the Teen Titans to the past! Will our heroes have fun in 1950s Hollywood? Maybe. But when they return to the present, Robin’s got some chores to do, and the rest of the team will need some superhero mentoring!

Art by Marcelo Di Chiara and Jeremy Lawson
Cover by Marcelo Di Chiara
Written by Sholly Fisch

Josh’s Stance: There will be shenanigans… and chores, apparently. Nobody likes chores.

Batman-News Critic: Jay

 

NOTES:

  • Additional releases from DC this week: Aquaman #37, Cave Carson Has an Interstellar Eye #4, Damage #6, Future Quest Presents #11, Green Lanterns #49, New Challengers #2, Man of Steel #4, The Wild Storm #14, and Scooby Doo, Where Are You #93.

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

Batman: The Dark Prince Charming Book 2 – Concluding the story begun in the critically acclaimed and sold-out first volume by European superstar artist Enrico Marini (Scorpion, Eagles of Rome). Batman hunts down The Joker in a desperate attempt to rescue the young girl who may or may not be the daughter of Bruce Wayne. But The Joker’s prisoner may be more formidable in her own right than he anticipated. And what role might Catwoman have to play in the final showdown between two sworn enemies?

 

Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 5 – In these tales from the late 1940s, the Dynamic Duo battle evil-doers including the Penguin, The Joker, Catwoman and many more. Collects DETECTIVE COMICS #113-132, BATMAN #35-45 and stories from WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #23-32.

 

Dark Nights: Metal: Dark Knights Rising – Seven nightmarish versions of Batman from seven dying alternate realities have been recruited by the dark god Barbatos to terrorize the World’s Greatest Heroes in our universe. They threaten life across the Multiverse, and the Justice League may be powerless to stop them!

We introduce you to:
The Batman Who Laughs: a lunatic driven mad by his world’s Joker.
The Red Death: a thief who stole his reality’s Speed Force power.
The Drowned: a female, amphibious Batman.
The Dawnbreaker: a twisted Green Lantern.
The Murder Machine: a deranged, deadly cyborg.
The Merciless: a warrior who wears the helmet of Ares.
The Devastator: a part-human, part-Doomsday monster.

Featuring stories from Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Peter J. Tomasi, Grant Morrison, Joshua Williamson, Ethan Van Sciver, Philip Tan, Tyler Kirkham, Francis Manapul, Riley Rossmo, Tony S. Daniel, Howard Porter, Doug Mahnke and many more! Collects the seven Dark Nights: Batman tie-in one-shots and Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1.

 

Detective Comics Vol. 6: Fall of the Batmen – Red Robin has returned, resuming his work in Gotham City as well as his romance with Stephanie Brown, the Spoiler. These two, along with Batwoman, Clayface, Batwing, Azrael and Orphan, help Batman reduce the threat of crime to the citizenry.

But their success comes with a horrible price.

The First Victim and his Victim Syndicate want one thing: to make Batman pay. They have turned the whole city against the Batmen in protest, abducted Clayface and threatened to release all of Arkham Asylum’s most dangerous villains if Batman doesn’t unmask on live television.

Everything Red Robin has built to ensure a new future for the team could crumble if the Victim Syndicate triumphs…or if one member of the team makes a detrimental decision that could tear them apart.

Plus, a full-length look at Basil Karlo’s tortured life, from being the son of a distant man-of-a-thousand-faces father to the accident that turned the rising celebrity into the shape-changing Clayface.

From writer James Tynion IV (Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and a spectacular art team including Philippe Briones (Aquaman) and Eddy Barrows (Nightwing) comes the newest volume of Detective Comics! Collects issues #969-974 and Annual #1.

 

Justice League Vol. 6: The People vs The Justice League – When Batman makes a careless error that results in loss of life, the heroes of the Justice League suddenly find themselves facing justice themselves. The team is brought before the law to be held accountable for their actions in a trial questioning the very existence of a Justice League.

And now, at the worst possible moment, a new threat strikes. Someone is using deadly means to defend the Justice League. Whoever it is seems to know everything there is to know about the team, from their deepest secrets to how to take down a Green Lantern.

Can the Justice Leaguers overcome this opposition when their confidence in their leader is shaken? Or will the League finally lose to the one enemy it can’t defeat—the will of the people it’s sworn to protect?

Eisner-nominated writer Christopher Priest (Deathstroke, Black Panther) and artist Pete Woods (Superman) bring the World’s Greatest Heroes into a crisis like nothing they’ve ever faced before! Collects Justice League #34-38.