Well, this weekend was interesting. No? We received review copies of Batman #50 and spent a good chunk of Friday and Saturday discussing it, only to be shocked by DC and The New York Times on Sunday when they decided to spoil the issue. If you want to know how we feel about DC spoiling their own book, we’ve got you covered. If you want to know our opinions on the issue itself… You’ll have to wait for Elena’s review on Wednesday.

Other than that, Independence Day is on Wednesday for us here in the states! So along with reading new comics, we’ll most likely be grilling, visiting lakes or beaches, and setting off tons of fireworks! If you have plans, be safe. Don’t drink and drive. Also, don’t blow yourself up! Just remember to ask yourself “What Would Batman Do?” before performing any questionable acts… Actually, don’t measure this based on what Batman would do. He’s better than you. Find another character that’s more suitable. How about Harvey Bullock? Let’s go with that! Would Harvey Bullock drink and drive? Probably not. He’s a cop. Would Harvey Bullock eat three hot dogs, a hamburger, multiple side dishes, and – roughly – six different desserts since it’s a holiday? Probably…  See? It all works out! WWHBD!

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.

July 4th

Batman #50
It’s the wedding you never thought you’d see! The Batrimony is real as Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are set to tie the knot in a can’t-miss, extra-length milestone issue that will reshape Gotham City. All their friends (and a few enemies?) will be party to a comic book coupling for the ages.

Superstar scribe Tom King officiates the sure-to-be-offbeat nuptials, joined by an all-star lineup of guest classic Bat-artists doffing their hats to the lucky couple in a series of pre-wedding flashback scenes sure to set the romantic mood.

Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Neal Adams, Rafael Albuquerque, Lee Bermejo, Greg Capullo, Becky Cloonan, and More…
Colored by Hi-Fi, Rafael Albuquerque, Brad Anderson, Jordie Bellaire, Lee Bermejo, and More…
Cover by Mikel Janin

Josh’s Stance: I’m going to avoid placing this issue in my anticipation scale. What I will say, is that I’m glad the wedding is here so we can FINALLY move on. DC has been milking this for months! I’ve expressed this opinion for a few weeks now, so I’m just happy it’s here.

Batman-News Critic: Elena

 

TAKE MY MONEY

Catwoman #1
The wedding night’s barely over, but Catwoman’s back on the streets, this time to expose a copycat who’s pulling heists around Gotham City. As Selina cracks the whip on her former criminal cohorts, she’s attracting unwanted attention from one of Gotham’s most dangerous groups. The mob? Nope. Try the GCPD. And as if the Bat-Bride didn’t have enough problems, don’t miss the debut of an all-new villain determined to make trouble for all nine of Selina’s lives. Don’t miss the start of an all-new monthly series written and illustrated by Eisner Award-nominee Joëlle Jones!

Written by Joelle Jones
Pencils and Inks by Joelle Jones
Colored by Laura Allred
Cover by Laura Allred and Joelle Jones

Josh’s Stance: I’m excited for this book! I’m excited that Selina has her own title again! Jones is an incredible artist, now we just need to see how she is as a writer!

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

Injustice 2 #29
Seems like everyone wants a piece of Blue Beetle. First he gets some surprise visitors to his home, then later he finds himself the target of a certain well-known intergalactic bounty hunter. But who ultimately wants Jaime Reyes in their clutches and why?

Art by Bruno Redondo
Cover by Bruno Redondo
Written by Tom Taylor

Josh’s Stance: There’s A LOT going on in Injustice at the moment, and it’s all good! Tom Taylor continues to deliver a consistent, entertaining book that’s full of surprises.

Batman-News Critic: Jay

 

Justice League #3
John Stewart: Ultraviolet Lantern? Believe it! Under the influence of the Ultraviolet Spectrum, John Stewart engages in some ultraviolence against his teammates Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Meanwhile, the rest of the League investigates the scene of the fallen Source Wall fragment, and encounters not only a horde of giant monsters, but a pair of longtime archenemies using stolen Atom technology to literally get under their skin. Best to stock up on Cortizone for that sort of itch! All this and…the Turtle? Yep.

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

Josh’s Stance: Before Rebirth even launched, I’d made comments about how Snyder needed to be writing Justice League. The first two issues of this run have only validated my thoughts. As much as I wish this would’ve happened sooner, I’m just glad it is happening! Two issues in, and I’m already hooked!

Batman-News Critic: Brian

 

 

INTRIGUED

Harley Quinn #45
While on a tropical vacation, Harley Quinn is kidnapped by two Female Furies from Apokolips-and they’re making her an offer she can’t refuse: join the Furies, get super powers and do anything she wants! It’s a sweet deal, and all Harley has to do in return is hunt down rogue Fury Petite Tina. The bad news: Petite Tina is anything but petite! Hope that hammer got an upgrade, Harley.

Written by Sam Humphries
Pencils and Inks by John Timms
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb, Alex Sinclair, and John Timms
Cover by Romulo Fajardo, Jr. and Guillem March

Josh’s Stance: I’m not going to lie… I’m intrigued by this! Also if you didn’t read Jay’s interview with Sam, you should!

Batman-News Critic: Casper

 

 

MIXED

Deathstroke #33
Forced to team with Deathstroke, a man he loathes, Damian Wayne must discover the truth of his lineage. Is he really Bruce Wayne’s son, or is Slade Wilson his true father? As Batman draws closer to finding them both, Deathstroke must complete a hit, while Robin shadows the killer for hire.

Written by Christopher Priest
Pencils by Ed Benes and Carlo Pagulayan
Inks by Ed Benes, Richard Friend, and Jason Paz
Colored by Jeromy Cox and Dinei Ribeiro
Cover by Brad Anderson, Daniel Henriques, Robson Rocha, and Lee Weeks

Josh’s Stance: This run is starting to wear thin… Just being honest. I feel like we thought Batman vs Deathstroke would be one thing, and it’s turning out to be something completely different… and ridiculous.

Batman-News Critic: Jay

 

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

Nightwing #46
A new high-tech corporation setting up shop in Blüdhaven claims to be the cure for what ails the crumbling city. But Night-wing learns it’s a very hostile takeover when he runs afoul of their metahuman operative, a digital phantom impervious to physical attack. Luckily, Nightwing has his very own I.T. backup: Batgirl! But can the two work together after their meeting in BATGIRL #25, also in stores this month?

Written by Benjamin Percy
Pencils by Christopher Mooneyham and Lalit Kumar Sharma
Inks by Scott Hanna, Klaus Janson, Christopher Mooneyham, and Lalit Kumar Sharma
Colored by Nick Filardi
Cover by Jordie Bellaire, Dave McCaig, Mike Perkins, and Declan Shalvey

Josh’s Stance: Come read Nightwing, featuring some dude that dresses like Nightwing but doesn’t really act like him.  Oh, and while you’re at it, pull context from an issue of Batgirl that hasn’t released yet! (I’m rolling my eyes…). Also, what in the hell is going on with Batgirl’s torso-butt-leg on this cover?

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

Notes:

  • Additional releases from DC: The Curse of the Brimstone #4, Green Arrow #42, Green Lanterns #50, The Man of Steel #6, Shade, the Changeling Woman #5, and The Unexpected #2.

 

Graphic Novel Watch:

Batman by Grant Morrison Omnibus Vol. 1 – This new Omnibus collection kicks off with the introduction of Damian Wayne! Then, Batman and a group of global heroes face a killer on a mysterious island, and Batman relives an adventure in the life of young Bruce Wayne: the hunt for his parents’ killer. And when Bruce Wayne disappears, the Club of Villains begins a crime spree through the streets of Gotham City, while Batman’s allies attempt to keep order. Collects BATMAN #655-658 and #663-683, stories from 52 #30 and 47 and DC UNIVERSE #0. This title also includes two new story pages written and drawn by Chris Burnham that recap events from “The Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul.”

 

Batman: Thrillkiller New Edition – Back in print at last! It’s 1961: a world of jazz and smoky cafes, Italian suits and skinny ties, beatniks and bohemians. In Gotham City, two thrill-crazed youths calling themselves Batgirl and Robin are making headlines. But when Dick’s family is murdered, mere mischief becomes serious business as Batgirl and Robin arm themselves and set out to get justice. At it’s up to Detective Bruce Wayne to stop the young thrill-seekers and solve the mystery of the Grayson murders. Collects THRILLKILLER #1-3 and THRILLKILLER ’62 #1. Includes a new introduction by Howard Chaykin and never-before-published art by Dan Brereton.

 

Batman/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Deluxe Edition – New York City: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles face the battle of a lifetime, fighting not only the fearsome Foot Clan and their leader, the Shredder, but also the alien forces of General Krang … which is exactly Krang’s plan. Now a single dimensional warp can rid him of both of his greatest rivals in one fell swoop!

Gotham City: From the Penguin to Killer Croc to Ra’s al Ghul and beyond, the cowled crime fighter known as Batman has his hands full dealing with an already-overflowing gallery of rogues. Suddenly, a new enemy emerges in the form of the Shredder and his ninja followers, transported to Gotham and unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. Now they’re on the hunt for the technology that will allow them return home … and conquer Gotham City along the way!

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, however, and the Caped Crusader won’t be fighting alone. But even with their combined talents, can this all-star team of Batman, Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael and their teacher, Master Splinter, take down the most vicious villains from multiple dimensions?

Find out in Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Deluxe Edition, written by James Tynion IV (Detective Comics) and illustrated by Freddie E. Williams II (Robin). This special volume collects the entire six-issue miniseries from DC Comics and IDW Publishing and includes an expanded behind-the-scenes section featuring the complete script and pencils for issue #1 as well as character designs, variant covers and much more!

Collects Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1-6.

 

Harley Quinn: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition – Book 2 – If you thought breaking up with the Joker meant things would calm down for comics’ most adorable antihero … well, you ain’t met Harley!

It’s all-out nuttiness as Harley takes on the corrupt mayor of New York, a time-traveling assassin and her second-deadliest admirer, Harley Sinn, but the Mistress of Mayhem has it handled … at least until her parents show up!

Mr. and Mrs. Quinzel are in town for their li’l monster’s birthday, but is Harley ready for them to meet her crew, including gal-pal Poison Ivy and unstable mercenary Red Tool? By the time the folks’ own skeletons finally come bursting out of their closet, Harley’s birthday wish may be that she had just stayed in bed!

The unhinged adventures of Harley Quinn take a turn for the even weirder in Harley Quinn Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 2, a collection of the smash-hit action-comedy series from writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti and artist John Timms, with backup stories by Palmiotti, Paul Dini and Bret Blevins. Collects Harley Quinn #14-27 and Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special!

 

Justice League of America Vol. 4: Surgical Strike – After bringing together the weirdest, wildest, must unlikely Justice League roster ever assembled, the Dark Knight Detective has quit the team. Now it’s up to Vixen, the JLA’s powerful but unproven new leader, to give the group a reason to stay together—without ending up at each other’s throats.

She had better do it quickly, though, because one of the deadliest villains in the League’s history has just returned. His name is Prometheus, and he comes to the team’s Happy Harbor headquarters with a simple ultimatum: Vixen must face him in single combat, or everybody dies—and with his new psychic ally Afterthought at his side, there’s no way he can lose.

But not even a master tactician and genius-level strategist like Prometheus can predict the behavior of the JLA’s own secret weapon—the Main Man himself, Lobo. When the smoke from their final showdown clears, who will be left standing?

Find out in Justice League of America Vol. 4: Surgical Strike, from the acclaimed creative team of writer Steve Orlando and artists Hugo Petrus and Stephen Byrne, and featuring a special guest appearance by comics legend Kelley Jones. Collects issues #18-21 and Annual #1.