As is usually the case, I’m frantically playing catch-up following SDCC! Because of that, I’m keeping this intro short and sweet, and getting right to real reason you’re here… COMICS!

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 25th

TAKE MY MONEY

Doomsday Clock #6
The critically acclaimed super star team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank continue this groundbreaking event as the Mime and the Marionette take center stage in DOOMSDAY CLOCK #6.

Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils and Inks by Gary Frank
Colored by Brad Anderson
Cover by Brad Anderson and Gary Frank

Josh’s Stance: So… It appears as though this will slowly fade into obscurity… Nobody at DC has outright said that this is no longer continuity, but despite Johns and Fabok claiming Three Jokers is in continuity, other members of DC have claimed otherwise. I have to imagine it’s only a matter of time before the same happens with Doomsday Clock. Anyway, I plan on enjoying this for what it is, while we have it (which apparently will be for another 30 years…)

Batman-News Critic: Jay

 

 

INTRIGUED

DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys Summer Special #1
It’s summertime in the DCU and the bad guys are taking over! Beat the heat with 10 all-new stories by top comics talent starring DC’s most spectacular super-villains! In this issue, find out what Mr. Freeze does on the hottest day of the Gotham City summer! Learn what made Grodd such a bad gorilla! Then, while in a small beach town, Deathstroke gets hired for murder by the last person he’d expect! And The Joker and Bizarro team up for a truly weird summer bromance!

Written by Vita Ayala, Corinna Sara Bechko, Lee Bermejo, Paul Dini, Shea Fontana, and More…
Pencils by Laura Braga, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Carlos D’Anda, Gabriel Hardman, Minkyu Jung, and More…
Inks by Laura Braga, Carlos D’Anda, Gabriel Hardman, Minkyu Jung, John Paul Leon, and More…
Colored by Steve Buccellato, June Chung, Luis Guerrero, John Kalisz, John Paul Leon, and More…
Cover by Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts

Josh’s Stance: I’m not expecting much from this, but I suspect there will be a number of fun stories. Isn’t that what we all expect from this?

Batman-News Critic: Elena

 

Detective Comics #985
Then, Black Lightning, the Signal and Cassandra Cain are showing how well they work together…but now they’re up against a foe who can tap into their worst emotions and play them like music! When you’ve seen the kinds of horrors these poor souls have, there’s plenty of trauma to work with…and with that, you can turn these heroes into deadly weapons! Meanwhile, Batman’s “side project” has been revealed—what are the Brainiac Files, and what exactly does Batman plan to do with them?

Written by Bryan Edward Hill
Pencils and Inks by Phil Briones
Colored by Adriano Lucas
Cover by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Adriano Lucas

Josh’s Stance: For the most part, I enjoy what Hill is doing with Detective Comics. A villain that thinks Batman’s allies make him weak isn’t exactly new territory, but I’m enjoying the interaction between these specific heroes. It’s also nice to see Black Lightning get more of a spotlight. And no, we didn’t get an announcement of an Outsiders book, but I’m still (almost) certain it’s coming. Both Tom Taylor and Jimmy Palmiotti have announcements that they’re going to make soon, and I can’t imagine DC utilizing Hill for this arc, only to let him go until another fill-in. So, I’m sure there will be additional announcements soon.

Batman-News Critic: Elena

 

Justice League: Dark #1
From the pages of JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE! Earth’s magic once belonged to them. Now they want the magic back. But who exactly are they? It’s up to the new Justice League Dark to find out and stop this nightmarish new threat at all costs! After the events of NO JUSTICE, team leader Wonder Woman guides the misfit magic mix of Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Man-Bat and Detective Chimp against enemies too fantastic even for the Justice League. Plus, what awful things are coming through the Tree of Wonder? Dark days ahead…

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

Josh’s Stance: I’m going to be honest… I’m not a fan of Tynion’s writing. He has a problem with over-writing. I open his books and almost always think, “God, why are there so many words? Writing comics is supposed to be efficient. This isn’t efficient. This is… way too many words! Where’s the art?” That being said, I’m curious to see what he does here.

Batman-News Critic: Dan

 

The Silencer #7
Reeling from her previous encounter with Talia al Ghul, The Silencer wants a permanent end to hostilities vis a vis several bullets into al Ghul’s face. But first, a family vacation. When another pair of high-powered killers, Cradle and Grave, end up on the same flight out of town, The Silencer has no choice but to take them both out before the plane lands…or risk the underworld discovering that she has a family! It’s terror at twenty thousand bullets in “FLY HARD WITH A VENGEANCE!”

Written by Dan Abnett
Pencils by Viktor Bogdanovic and Patch Zircher
Inks Viktor Bogdanovic, Jonathan Glapion, and Patch Zircher
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb, Mike Spicer, and Dean V. White
Cover by Gabe Eltaeb, Dean V. White, and Patch Zircher

Josh’s Stance: Things are starting to plateau a bit, so I’m hoping this issue will give a little boost to help drive the plot. While the book is still quite good, I do feel as though the direction of the book is beginning to show early signs of a dip in quality.

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

Teen Titans #20
Batman has no idea what he’s doing. Superman? Not a clue. Wonder Woman? Whatever. Damian Wayne is Robin, and he’s done with the bleeding-heart approach favored by the heroes of the senior circuit. New plan of action: recruit a new Teen Titans. Kid Flash, Red Arrow and newbies Roundhouse, D’jinn and…wait, Lobo has a daughter? That’ll end well. And then build something in secret deep beneath the new Teen Titans HQ. Secret from his teammates, secret from even Batman. It’s a secret that will change the way you look at Robin forever!

Written by Adam Glass
Pencils and Inks by Bernard Chang
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Bernard Chang, Marcelo Maiolo, and Wil Quintana

Josh’s Stance: I’m… Looking forward to this! I liked the special from Adam Glass last week, and I really liked what he had to say about this book and these characters at SDCC. The guy seems really smart concerning various forms of writing, and has some interesting concepts about teenagers in general. Because of that, I’m in!

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

 

MIXED

Batman Beyond #22
Batman’s got a bullseye on his back in part four of “Target: Batman.” Thanks to the machinations of the Scarecrow, the entire city of Neo-Gotham is looking to take aim at Batman-including his own partner, Robin! Will hero turn against hero when fear is in the air? Elsewhere, former Royal Flush Gang member Melanie Walker looks to upgrade her image and take on a new heroic mantle, so she seeks advice from newsman Jack Ryder-unaware that he’s a total costumed Creeper!

Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils and Inks by Will Conrad and Shane Davis
Colored by David Baron and Wil Quintana
Cover by Shane Davis and Viktor Kalvachev

Josh’s Stance: I don’t know whether I’m intrigued or scared to see this version of Scarecrow. I can definitely say that I’m not a fan of the design… at all. Despite any hesitation I may have though, I’m excited to see Jack Ryder (the Creeper).

Batman-News Critic: Dan

 

Notes:

  • Additional releases from DC Comics: Action Comics #1001, The Flash #51, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #49, The Hellblazer #24, Mera, Queen of Atlantis #6, Mother Panic: Gotham AD #5, Scooby Doo Team-Up #40, The Terrifics #6, and Wonder Woman #51.

 

Graphic Novel Watch:

Batman Vol. 6: Bride or Burglar – The sixth volume of this critically acclaimed, best-selling series is here in BATMAN VOL. 6! Author Tom King and artist Mikel Janín continue to take Batman to places he’s never seen…and doesn’t want to revisit.

A young admirer of Bruce Wayne’s, Mattie, wants nothing more than to grow up to be like his millionaire idol. But what would happen if Mattie was forced to relive the worst tragedy of Bruce Wayne’s life and his parents were murdered? Batman’s hunt for the killer brings him face to face with a strange mirror image of his own painful past.

This stunning series continues as Batman and Wonder Woman’s storied friendship–one that has stood at the heart of the DC Universe since the beginning–unravels while the universe itself begins to crumble around them.

The superstar creative team of Tom King (GRAYSON, The Vision) and Mikel Janín (JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK) unite to tell another epic tale in the Dark Knight’s mythology. Collects BATMAN #38-44.

 

Trinity Vol. 3: Dark Destiny – THE MYSTIC TRINITY RISES…AND FALLS?

Batman gathers a trinity of dark, mystical heroes to help him, Superman and Wonder Woman save the world! But what sort of threat could possibly require the additional power of Zatanna, John Constantine and Deadman? And what hope is there if even those heroes can’t resist the power of Wonder Woman’s greatest rival?

Circe has a plan that transforms Red Hood, Bizarro and Artemis into even deadlier foes than they were before! And when Deadman falls to the power of the mysterious Pandora Pits, the tide may turn against the heroes once and for all, because now he’s able to possess Superman himself! Can Batman and Wonder Woman stand against the power of a Superman who won’t hold back?

Writer Rob Williams (Suicide Squad, Unfollow) teams with artists V Ken Marion (Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps) and Guillem March (Catwoman) in Trinity Vol. 3: Dark Destiny, collecting Trinity #12-16 and Annual #1!