How was your Batman Day? Mine was pretty incredible! I hit up my local comic shop (shout out to Ground Zero in Tyler, TX), grabbed a few Bat books, chatted with some local comic fans, discussed the current direction of the industry, and before I’d known it, two hours had passed! Anyway, I was happy with the day, and I’m happy with my loot! If you took part in the Bat festivities, be sure to share your score in the comments section!

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.

SEPTEMBER 19th

TAKE MY MONEY

Batman: Damned #1
DC BLACK LABEL, the highly anticipated new imprint from DC Comics, starts here!

The Joker is dead.

There is no doubt about that. But whether Batman finally snapped his scrawny neck or some other sinister force in Gotham City did the deed is still a mystery.Problem is, Batman can’t remember…and the more he digs into this labyrinthian case, the more his mind starts to doubt everything he’s uncovering.

So who better to set him straight than…John Constantine? Problem with that is as much as John loves a good mystery, he loves messing with people’s heads even more. So with John’s “help,” the pair will delve into the sordid underbelly of Gotham as they race toward the mind-blowing truth of who murdered The Joker.

BATMAN: DAMNED is a bimonthly super-natural horror story told by two of comics’ greatest modern creators—a visceral thrill-ride that proudly puts the “black” in BLACK LABEL.

Written by Brian Azzarello
Pencils and Inks by Lee Bermejo
Colored by Lee Bermejo
Cover by Lee Bermejo

Josh’s Stance: I’m excited for this book for a number of reasons! For one, it’s the first “official” release under the Black Label brand (Sean Gordon Murphy’s White Knight is technically a Black Label book now), and that alone is exciting. Azzarello and Bermejo have also done some great work together in the past as well, so that’s another positive. Then there’s the story itself! Considering this story isn’t in continuity, if gives the creative team quite a bit of room and freedom to simply tell a good story, and I think that’s all we really want at the end of the day.

Batman-News Critic: Elena

 

Injustice 2 #34
Batman is convinced by his closest allies to do the unthinkable: meet with Ra’s al Ghul and try to negotiate a settlement through which they can save the world together. Meanwhile, Grodd encounters an alien visitor who may render meaningless any agreement between Batman and Ra’s.

Art by Daniel Sampere and Bruno Redond
Cover by Bruno Redondo
Written by Tom Taylor

Josh’s Stance: I’ll be singing praises for Injustice for years to come! It’s just a fun, engaging book that contains a little bit of everything: action, emotion, humor, great characters, and a lot of heart. I’m going to be sad to say goodbye when the title comes to an end in the near future… but… I’m greatly looking forward to the announcement of Tom Taylor’s next project with DC. He’s been teasing it for a few months now!

Batman-News Critic: Jay

 

Justice League #8
Part two of the “Legion of Doom” storyline focuses on Lex Luthor’s recruiting efforts—and this time around, he’s targeting both Cheetah and Black Manta for membership! Lex knows just what buttons to push to acquire his super-powered muscle, and this issue it’s all about getting revenge on Wonder Woman and Aquaman, respectively. We bet they sign right up as soon as they find out Lex has METAL’s Batman Who Laughs locked up in Doom HQ!

Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils by Mikel Janin
Colored by Jeromy Cox
Cover by Mikel Janin and Jorge Jimenez

Josh’s Stance: Yo… We’ve got the Batman Who Laughs showing up, so you know $#!% is about to get real! I wasn’t the biggest fan of Metal, by Snyder’s Justice League has rocked my world since day one! If you’re not reading this book, you’re seriously missing out!

Batman-News Critic: Brian

 

 

INTRIGUED

Batman #55
The KGBeast lives! The Russian super-assassin is back—but under whose orders? Does he have a specific mission, or is this simply some leftover Cold War mayhem? Nyet, comrade—it has to do with Bruce Wayne’s recent court case involving Mr. Freeze. Something is rotten in Gotham, and you can still smell it, even if it’s on ice!

Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Tony Salvador Daniel
Colored by Tomeu Morey
Cover by Tony Salvador Daniel and Tomeu Morey

Josh’s Stance: I’m… I’m not looking forward to this issue, only because I know what it entails. I haven’t read it yet, so I’m not saying it’s bad… I just don’t want to face what’s coming.

Batman-News Critic: Elena

 

Teen Titans #22
The team’s dealing with an unexpected loss, but there’s little time to grieve. They must travel to Keystone City, where Golden Glider and Swerve plan to pull a heist at a children’s hospital. (That’s a new low, even for some Rogues!) There’s also plenty of drama to go around, as Kid Flash mulls quitting after his clash with Red Arrow, and Damian’s harboring a new, secret mentor, all while his secret prison’s about to blow up in his face.

Written by Adam Glass
Pencils and Inks by Bernard Chang
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Bernard Chang, Nick Derington, and Marcelo Maiolo

Josh’s Stance: Teen Titans is turning out to be a fun book that surprises me in a new way each month! Last month left us with a bit of a cliffhanger, so I’m excited to dive into this issue, spend a little more time with the new team members, and see where Glass plans on taking the team!

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

 

MIXED

Aquaman #40
The finale of “SINK ATLANTIS”, the four-part crossover with the Suicide Squad! The undersea kingdom of Atlantis is overrun with black-ops super-villains; a dethroned ex-King of the Seven Seas; and a former assassin-mermaid from the Bermuda Triangle, all locked on a collision course! The Suicide Squad, Aquaman and Mera: no holds barred!

Written by Dan Abnett
Pencils by Joe Bennett
Inks by Vicente Cifuentes
Colored by Adriano Lucas
Cover by Ivan Plascencia and Rafa Sandoval

Josh’s Stance: “Sink Atlantis” has been decent. For the most part it’s been fun, and certain aspects have been executed well. There have been moments that have felt a little cliché, but I’m curious to see how the story wraps. I think my final verdict on the story will depend on what – if any – repercussions come from this crossover event.

Batman-News Critic: Casper

 

Teen Titans Go! #30
The Teen Titans are going on a “Picnic”! Well, everyone but Raven, who doesn’t quite understand the invitation/riddle and is about to explode from frustration. Then, Beast Boy stomps off from Fiesta Friday dinner when he discovers his teammates chowed down on every single vegan burrito. Can he make it on his own? It’s “Food for Thought,” if nothing else!

Art by Erich Owen and Sandy Jarrell
Cover by Marcelo Di Chiara
Written by Amanda Deibert and J. Torres

Josh’s Stance: Yeah, sure… Why not? I’m traveling again this week and have some time to kill, so why not fish for a laugh or two?

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

Harley Quinn #50
In a special anniversary story, “Harley Saves the Universe!”—no kidding! While reading a mysterious Harley Quinn comic book, H.Q. accidentally breaks all of reality. And you know the saying: if you break it, you bought it! Now it’s up to Harley to travel through both time and space to fix all the continuity errors she created. Luckily, she’ll have a little help, ’cuz riding shotgun is none other than special guest star Jonni DC, Continuity Cop! Good thing, too, because if Harley fails, it means her own mom will be lost forever. Gulp! That doesn’t sound very funny!

Written by Sam Humphries
Pencils and Inks by Mirka Andolfo, Brett Booth, Jon Davis-Hunt, Agnes Garbowska, Tom Grummett, and More…
Colored by Andrew Dalhouse, Gabe Eltaeb, Romulo Fajardo, Jr., John Kalisz, Michelle Madsen, and More…
Cover by Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts

Josh’s Stance: Meh… I mean, I’m not dreading it, but it’s not like I’m struggling to contain my excitement. I’m probably more curious to see the different artists more than anything.

Batman-News Critic: Casper

 

NO!

Nightwing #49
What happens when the race is no longer against each other, but against Leviathan itself? As the head of the snake reappears, and as our heroes are allied against a common enemy, the bike race changes gears and the prize comes into focus—a chance for the winner to sit in the Mobius chair and ask one question.

Written by Benjamin Percy
Pencils and Inks by Amancay Nahuelpan
Colored by Nick Filardi
Cover by Dave McCaig and Mike Perkins

Josh’s Stance: *Sigh* Well, I’m not looking forward to this issue… at all. Percy has proven he just doesn’t have a grasp on who Dick Grayson is as a character, and last month he completely missed the mark with Silencer. I know his run is coming to an end with the next issue, and while I’d never take joy in someone “losing their job” (it’s still unclear what’s leading to the creative change), I’m super happy to see a new writer come to Nightwing.

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

NOTES:

  • Additional releases from DC Comics this week: Damage #9, Green Lanterns #55, Injustice vs Masters of the Universe #3, Mister Miracle #11, New Challengers #5, Pearl #2, and The Wild Storm #17.

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

Bane: Conquest – The super-criminal Bane is determined to claim his place as the greatest villain who has ever lived!

In the dark waters off the coast of Gotham City, a mysterious crew of smugglers has made a deadly mistake-they tried to bring weapons of mass destruction into Bane’s city!

After tracing the illicit arms back to their source, Bane and his henchmen uncover a criminal conspiracy that seems to span the entire globe and encompass every illegal activity under the sun.

But if there really is a secret empire behind all of the world’s crime, Bane should-nay, must-be the one running it. And no one-not assassin cults, super-hackers, Catwoman or Batman himself-is going to stand in his way!

Twenty-five years after bringing Bane to life in Batman: Knightfall, creators Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan reunite to tell the most epic tale yet of one of Batman’s most dangerous foes! Collects issues #1-12.

 

Batman: The Golden Age Vol. 5 – The Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin becomes the Terrific Three when they are joined by Alfred Pennyworth.

From his very first appearance in Batman #16, the ever-resourceful valet proves to be a worthy ally for Batman and Robin as they encounter a never-ending string of Golden Age criminals such as The Joker, the Penguin, Two-Face, the Robber Baron, the Cavalier and the Crime Surgeon.

Batman: The Golden Age Vol. 5 collects the early adventures of Batman, Robin and Alfred from Batman #16-20, Detective Comics #75-81 and World’s Finest Comics #10-11.

 

Batman: Knightfall Vol. 2 (25th Anniversary Edition) – The diabolical brute known as Bane has finally defeated Batman and is one step closer to taking control of Gotham City. Without any options left, the Dark Knight must pass his iconic cape and cowl to a worthy ally. A new Batman arrives in Gotham, and his first order of business is to do what Bruce Wayne couldn’t do himself—defeat Bane.

Batman: Knightfall Vol. 2 is part of a nine-volume 25th-anniversary series that revisits Batman’s seminal clash with Bane. This volume collects Batman #498-500, Detective Comics #664-666, Showcase ’93 #7-8 and Batman: Shadow of the Bat #16-18, along with additional material from the creators.

 

Justice League: No Justice – The creative team of Scott Snyder, Joshua Williamson, James Tynion IV and Francis Manapul unleash new super-teams in Justice League: No Justice.

The events of Dark Nights: Metal have transformed the universe in ways both wonderful and terrifying…and unleashed four ancient entities with the power to destroy it all.

Mystery. Wonder. Wisdom. Entropy. These four forces govern all of existence, and now the godlike beings who embody them have awakened. All life is in jeopardy, and the only chance the superheroes of Earth have to stop the unthinkable lies in new alliances…the likes of which have never been seen before!

Superman, Starfire and Martian Manhunter search for the secrets of the cosmos in Team Mystery!

Batman, Beast Boy and Deathstroke battle chaos itself as Team Entropy!

Wonder Woman, Zatanna and Etrigan the Demon unlock bizarre alien technologies with Team Wonder!

And the Flash, Cyborg and Harley Quinn learn the astonishing truths of Team Wisdom!

Can these amazing new Justice Leagues stick together to stop universal annihilation? Some heroes will not live long enough to find out… Collects issues #1-4 and stories from DC Nation #0.

 

Titans Vol. 4: Titans Apart – When a series of mistakes by the Titans nearly leads to global catastrophe, the Justice League steps in to issue a directive-Titans no more! While Donna Troy is kept under observation in the Justice League’s watchtower to determine the link between Donna and her evil future self, Troia, the rest of the team is told to stand down and take a break.

That doesn’t sit well with Arsenal, though. Seemingly abandoned by his friends, Roy Harper pushes himself right to the edge to track down the source of a dangerous new street drug…even teaming up with his deadly ex, Cheshire. But while Arsenal may be in over his head, his investigation reveals a worldwide threat that even the Justice League proves unable to stop!

Now it falls to the Titans to save the world from destruction. And while they’re no longer a team, they are still a family…but will that be enough to unite them?

Writer Dan Abnett (Aquaman) and the art team of Paul Pelletier (Justice League), Andrew Hennessy (Green Lantern) and Adriano Lucas (Cyborg) close the book on this chapter of the Titans! Collects Titans #19-22 and Annual #2.