I finally read last week’s DC Nation, and, yet again, I’m quite disappointed with some of the content. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse when I say this, but if you couldn’t tell, the vision Didio had when creating the New 52/ DCYou is back in full effect. I really want to rant about the Superman/ Heroes In Crisis tease, but since this is a Batman site, I’ll spare you. (Feel free to hit me up on Twitter though.) I will, however, speak to the tease concerning the Bat family. The tease for the Bat family isn’t about how they’re a family at all, but how divisive and untrusting they are with one another… Which is exactly what Didio did with the Bat family in the New 52. Aside from some nice moments, this ultimately was not a pleasant run for Bat comics, nor were they very enjoyable. If I’m being honest, I’m looking forward to Batgirl and I’m curious to see where Red Hood leads, but other than that… I’m not very interested. I have a suspicion that Tim Drake will die soon in Heroes In Crisis (no basis, just a hunch that I assume might change only because it’s a little obvious). Dick has his “trauma” coming up. I know what happens, and I’m NOT looking forward to it. In fact, I think it’s cheap, cliché writing that completely undoes everything that makes Nightwing books great. And then, of course, Tom King’s Batman will continue to deconstruct Bruce is ways that are unbefitting of the character… But, hey, at least we have Tomasi’s Detective Comics on the horizon, right? And Batman & the Outsiders. There’s some hope for the Bat family…
I know this might sound like nagging, but I can’t help but feel DC’s vision is skewed. They’re wanting to tell certain stories – which is fine – but they’re using the absolute worst characters to tell these stories. I don’t mean that these characters are bad, just that they are essentially abandoning everything that defines certain characters to tell these stories. This is also resulting in a lack of natural growth and progression for the characters. Beyond that, there are characters that are fitting of these stories that could use the spotlight, and they’re getting passed over. I hope I’m proven wrong and forced to eat crow, but previous trends tend to support my theory.
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.
The secret shot-caller who’s been borrowing Catwoman’s M.O. for a series of crimes steps out of the shadows in this issue, and her “secret origin” is unlike anything Selina’s run into before! Meanwhile, the police close in on Catwoman as well, as they believe she killed a cop during one of the crimes she’s been framed for. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, Catwoman’s running out of her nine lives fast!
Written by Joelle Jones
Pencils and Inks by Fernando Blanco and Joelle Jones
Colored by Laura Allred and John Kalisz
Cover by Laura Allred and Joelle Jones
Josh’s Stance: Last month’s Catwoman didn’t pack the punch that I’d hoped for, but I’m still optimistic. When it comes down to it, we still have interesting characters, and intriguingly disturbing villain, and the groundwork for a strong story!
Batman-News Critic: Josh
Detective Comics #988
Kicking off an arc guest-written by James Robinson (writer of the Batman classics “Blades” and “Face the Face”) with art by rising star Stephen Segovia! It looks like the kind of murder case too ordinary to draw the attention of Batman…but once the World’s Greatest Detective gets involved, the identity of the victim completely unravels—and leads to a conspiracy among some of the Dark Knight’s strangest foes!
Written by James Robinson
Pencils and Inks by Stephen Segovia
Colored by Ivan Plascencia
Cover by Ivan Plascencia and Stephen Segovia
Josh’s Stance: I’ve been trying to contain my excitement for Detective Comics until Tomasi takes over, but I’d be lying if this solicitation and cover doesn’t completely amp me up for this issue! I’m hoping for the best!
Batman-News Critic: Elena
Red Hood & the Outlaws #26
Jason Todd’s about to take this vigilante game to a whole new level. His partners, Bizarro and Artemis? Gone! His mentor, Batman? Out! His base of operations, Gotham City? Abandoned. Cast out and alone, Red Hood embarks on a bold, brutal new mission, with a new costume, new weapons and a new plan to punish evildoers across the DCU. Plus, Pete Woods (JUSTICE LEAGUE) joins writer Scott Lobdell as this new era begins!
Written by Scott Lobdell
Pencils and Inks by Pete Woods
Colored by Pete Woods
Cover by Pete Woods
Josh’s Stance: Jason is a bad boy again, and that’s exactly where I want to see him. As much as I’ve loved the run up to this point, I prefer Jason as an anti-hero that flirts with crossing that line of becoming an actual villain. And while he’s solo now, I suspect we’ll see some new additions to the book soon to keep the “Outlaws” title relevant. (And no, I don’t think Bizarro or Artemis will be returning…. But if I’m right, who would you like to see join the book?)
Batman-News Critic: Brian
Suicide Squad #46
The Aquaman crossover continues in part three of “Sink Atlantis”! The squad slinks deeper into Atlantis on their mission to sink the risen undersea kingdom. But when Harley reveals that they’ve got a nuclear bomb in tow to get the job done, the team might just tear one another apart before they’re able to complete the task at hand. Aquaman confronts the Squad with a gang of his own just as Mera’s coronation begins, and the moment you’ve all been waiting for arrives: Killer Croc versus King Shark!
Written by Rob Williams
Pencils by Jose Luis
Inks by Jordi Tarragona
Colored by Adriano Lucas
Cover by Ivan Plascencia, Rafa Sandoval, and Jordi Tarragona
Josh’s Stance: Some aspects of this arc are good, and others are…. Umm… not great. There’s still a chance for this to end on a high note, so I’m hoping for the best!
Batman-News Critic: Casper
The Titans split into three separate squads to combat the growing Source Wall Event threat in this anniversary issue! As Raven, Steel and Beast Boy contain an alien-robot outbreak, and Donna Troy tracks down the Blood Cult, who claim to have knowledge of why the Source Wall cracked, Nightwing and Miss Martian are fighting each other while also fighting for survival against a new metahuman threat with a penchant for creating pocket dimensions. Can Dick and M’gann put aside their differences, or will her terrible secret derail the whole thing before they resolve anything?
Written by Dan Abnett
Pencils by Guillem March, Denis Medri, Brent Peeples, and Brandon Peterson
Inks by Guillem March, Denis Medri, Brandon Peterson, and Matt Santorelli
Colored by Ivan Plascencia
Cover by Brandon Peterson
Josh’s Stance: I like the concept presented in Titans, but the characterization is off. If Abnett could present these characters so that they’re true to themselves, then this could be an incredible book… But everyone here is just angry. And, to be clear, I don’t blame Abnett for this. I suspect it’s mandated considering DC’s current direction. I’m also curious to see how Nightwing’s upcoming trauma will impact this title, or if it even will…
Batman-News Critic: Dan
- Additional releases from DC Comics: The Flash #54, Hawkman #4, The Immortal Men #6, Plastic Man #4, Scooby Apocalypse #29, Sideways #8, Supergirl #22, Superman #3, Wild Storm: Michael Cray #11, and Wonder Woman #54.
GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:
Absolute Batman: The Killing Joke – One of the most popular graphic novels of all time, this twisted tale of insanity and perseverance is presented as an Absolute Edition for the first time. Looking to prove that any man can be pushed past his breaking point to madness, the Joker attempts to drive Commissioner Gordon insane. Refusing to give up, Gordon struggles to maintain his sanity with the help of Batman in a desperate effort to best the madman.
This edition collects BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE with Bolland’s reimagined colors and the original edition’s colors, a story from BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE and Joker artwork from Bolland’s long career with DC, including never-before-published artwork.
Batman: Knightfall Vol. 1 (25th Anniversary) – The inmates of Gotham City’s Arkham Asylum are loose, and Batman is in hot pursuit of The Joker, the Riddler, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, Scarecrow and more. Pushed to the limit, the Dark Knight comes face to face with Bane, a hyper-pumped-up monstrosity, who delivers a crippling blow that changes Batman’s destiny forever.
Batman: Knightfall Vol. 1 presents the epic battle between Batman and one of his greatest foes of all time, Bane. Part two of a massive nine-volume celebration of the entire Batman: Knightfall saga, this collection follows the story arc begun in Batman: Prelude to Knightfall and features Batman #492-497 and Detective Comics #659-663 along with supplemental character sketches and more.
Batman: The Arkham Saga Omnibus – Collecting the comics inspired by the Rocksteady Studios video game series in a single volume, this omnibus includes BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT #1-12, ARKHAM KNIGHT ANNUAL #1, ARKHAM KNIGHT: BATGIRL BEGINS #1, ARKHAM KNIGHT: THE ROAD TO ARKHAM #1, BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY #1-5, ARKHAM UNHINGED #1-20, BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT ROBIN SPECIAL #1, ARKHAM KNIGHT – GENESIS #1-6, BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT – BATGIRL AND HARLEY QUINN #1 and more!
Justice League Vol. 7: Justice Lost – The team’s greatest fan has turned into their greatest threat as he uses their secrets against them—all in the name of getting their focus back on what matters. To accomplish his twisted goal, he cripples the Watchtower and brings the Justice League literally back to Earth!
The doomed headquarters has crashed in Africa, and a fight over salvage rights turns into a humanitarian crisis. The Red Lion, ruler of a ravaged country, has hired ruthless villain Deathstroke to intervene on his behalf, and the team becomes the only thing standing in the way of a slaughter.
The first Rebirth incarnation of the Justice League concludes, mixing action with human consequences as the team is forced to confront issues that can’t be settled with superpowers. Collects Justice League #39-43, by Eisner Award-nominated writer Christopher Priest (Deathstroke) and artists Pete Woods (Robin), Ian Churchill (Teen Titans) and Philippe Briones (Aquaman).
Nightwing Vol. 6: The Untouchable – The killer whom Nightwing could never catch is back in Blüdhaven!
A bold new creative team sends Nightwing on a mission to stop the first killer he ever let escape…as the body count climbs and the murders on his conscience push Dick Grayson to the brink!
Back when he was first fighting crime by Batman’s side as Robin, Dick Grayson let a crime boss called the Judge slip through his fingers. Ever since, he’s been haunted by the trail of bodies left in the Judge’s wake…murders committed by seemingly ordinary people who were offered their fondest desires by the Judge.
Now, just as Dick is starting anew in Blüdhaven, both as Nightwing and as the owner of a new business, the Judge has returned-and so have the murders.
Can Nightwing solve the mystery of who the Judge really is and why he’s turning Blüdhaven into a city of killers? Or will the citizens take the deal when they’re offered their deepest wishes…in exchange for the death of Nightwing?
Writer Sam Humphries (Green Lanterns) and Bernard Chang (Batman Beyond) plunge Nightwing into a centuries-spanning mystery…and a fight for his life! Collects Nightwing #35-43.