Sorry for my delays this past week. I was away for a work conference – where two other conferences were being held at the same hotel – and their wifi clearly was not strong enough to support that many people (I could get a signal for about five minutes…). On top of that, on Tuesday, my phone got crushed, so I was phoneless until Friday afternoon, where I then spent two days in a number of various airports trying to get home because of the storms in Dallas… It’s been a week… Anyway, let’s focus on the positive now! We’ve got a lot of great books this week – as well as a ton of trades being released – so I hope your wallets are ready!
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.
TAKE MY MONEY
You can’t go home again. But that’s just where Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl, is forced to go when the chip granting her mobility keeps shorting out in the aftermath of her clash with Grotesque. Will Commissioner Gordon drive Babs totally bonkers with his bedside manner? Or will the malfunctioning tech impact more than just her legs? Plus, what’s the deal with killer art critic Grotesque and his murderous new M.O.? It’s all in part two of “Art of the Crime.”
Written by Mairghread Scott
Pencils by Paul Pelletier
Inks Norm Rapmund
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Cover by Matt Hollingsworth and Sean Murphy
Josh’s Stance: Mairghread Scott has completely won me over on Batgirl, and the book is the best it’s been in years! If you’re not reading, then you’re missing out! And she’s just started her run, so it’ll be easy to catch up if you’re a little behind.
Batman-News Critic: Elena
Heroes in Crisis #1
There’s a new kind of crisis threatening the heroes of the DC Universe, ripped from real-world headlines by C.I.A.-operative-turned-comics-writer Tom King: How does a superhero handle PTSD? Welcome to Sanctuary, an ultra-secret hospital for superheroes who’ve been traumatized by crime-fighting and cosmic combat. But something goes inexplicably wrong when many patients wind up dead, with two well-known operators as the prime suspects: Harley Quinn and Booster Gold! It’s up to the DC Trinity of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman to investigate—but can they get the job done in the face of overwhelming opposition?
Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Clay Mann
Colored by Tomeu Morey
Cover by Clay Mann and Tomeu Morey
Josh’s Stance: I fear what will happen in this book, but I have no doubt that it will be a quality book. In other words, I’m going to have a love/ hate relationship with Heroes in Crisis.
Batman-News Critic: Josh
Justice League Dark #3
Wonder Woman! Swamp Thing! Zatanna! Man-Bat! Um…Detective Chimp! The JL Dark team may not be strong or deep enough to stop the omnipotent Upside-Down Man from taking over our entire plane of existence. UDM takes the JLD apart one by one, but Wonder Woman might have enough mojo to keep everyone alive. Turns out Diana had a power not even she knew about that bursts to the surface, but will it be enough to turn the Upside-Down Man on his head, or is it just a lot of mystical mumbo jumbo?
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: James Tynion is doing an incredible job with Justice League Dark, and I’m completely invested in the story, characters, and direction of the book. This is easily one of my favorite reads right now! I mean, Wonder Woman, Detective Chimp, Zatanna, Constantine, Manbat… There’s a lot to like here!
Batman-News Critic: Dan
The Silencer #9
Is there anything worse than a family vacation? Your spouse grouses, the kids complain, rest-stop food is gross—to make things worse, Silencer finds not one, but TWO deadly assassins on her tail! Talia al Ghul is in desperate need of a Lazarus Pit bath, and to get one she needs her top assassin Wishbone to throw Silencer off the trail! Problem is, Silencer isn’t the only one on the hunt. Her rival Quietus needs Talia out of the picture, and the whole thing devolves into a mind-bending shootout at the amusement park, where Silencer’s hubby and kiddie get caught in the crossfire. That’s it—next year it’s a “staycation”!
Written by Dan Abnett
Pencils and Inks by Patch Zircher
Colored by Mike Spicer and Dean V. White
Cover by Viktor Bogdanovic,Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Jonathan Glapion, FCO Plascencia, and Dean V. White
Josh’s Stance: After some minor fumbles, The Silencer is back on track, and proving month after month why it’s the one New Age of Heroes book that deserves your intention. Last month Abnett opened us up to a whole new world of possibilities by introducing mystical elements into the story. If The Silencer isn’t on your pull list, then you missing out!
Batman-News Critic: Josh
Batman Beyond #24
Bruce Wayne gets to creeping around with his old cohort Jack Ryder (a.k.a. the Creeper) to thwart the Scarecrow’s attack on Neo-Gotham. But will they be in time to stop Batman and the new Robin from pummeling each other to death? Out of costume, Terry McGinnis must choose between two women who’ve stolen his heart. Who will win the hand of the Bat-chelor? Find out in the conclusion to “Target: Batman”!
Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils and Inks by Will Conrad
Colored by David Baron and Wil Quintana
Cover by Viktor Kalvachev
Josh’s Stance: This has been a solid arc, and I like that they’ve tied back to the past. Terry’s aspects of the arc are – once again – the least interesting part of the story, and we’ve yet to see Creeper, so I hope he makes a last-minute appearance!
Batman-News Critic: Dan
Batman: Kings of Fear #2
Scarecrow is loose in the streets of Gotham City, and Batman must drag him back to Arkham Asylum! To make matters worse, he’s doused Batman with the strongest batch of fear gas in his arsenal, turning the city the Dark Knight Detective protects into his worst nightmare and enemy!
Written by Scott Peterson
Pencils and Inks by Kelley Jones
Colored by Michelle Madsen
Cover by Kelley Jones and Michelle Madsen
Josh’s Stance: Scott Peterson and Kelley Jones delivered a stellar debut, and even if Jones’ art isn’t for everyone, I can’t help but find myself drawn to it. He’s created some of the most iconic Batman covers of all time, and that essence is in full force in this book… Plus, it’s nice to read a story where the world isn’t ending…
Batman-News Critic: Casper
Detective Comics #989
Fighting off Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum and two versions of the pyro-maniac Firefly shouldn’t be too difficult for Batman…but the real threat comes from the fact that they’re pairs! For some reason, Two-Face doesn’t want Batman to discover the truth behind the murder he’s investigating…but what’s his angle?
Written by James Robinson
Pencils and Inks by Stephen Segovia
Colored by Ivan Plascencia
Cover by Ivan Plascencia and Stephen Segovia
Josh’s Stance: James Robinson knew exactly what he wanted to do with Detective Comics, and he’s doing it! I’m loving this “back to basics” tone to a number of Bat-books right now, and that has me looking forward to this chapter!
Batman-News Critic: Elena
Doomsday Clock #7
The critically acclaimed team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank continue the groundbreaking miniseries bringing the world of WATCHMEN to DC. In this chapter, the truth behind Dr. Manhattan’s curiosity with the DC Universe is revealed as the planet teeters on the edge of the Super-War.
Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils and Inks by Gary Frank
Cover by Brad Anderson and Gary Frank
Josh’s Stance: I… Honestly don’t even remember what’s going on right now. I just know we’re halfway through the book, and nothing has really blown me away yet… so…
Batman-News Critic: Jay
Justice League Odyssey #1
Spinning out of JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE! When a cosmic menace threatens worlds beyond our own in the Ghost Sector, it falls to a new Justice League team to answer the call to battle! Cyborg, Starfire, Green Lantern Jessica Cruz and an out-of-his-element Azrael head to deep space inside a commandeered Brainiac Skull Ship. But as these wildcard teammates try to stop Despero from slave-trading Coluan refugees, they discover something that nothing in the universe could have prepared them for: Darkseid…who says he’s there to help?!
Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by Stjepan Sejic
Colored by by Stjepan Sejic
Cover by Stjepan Sejic
Josh’s Stance: I’ve been critical of Joshua Williamson in the past, but the Justice League books have been excellent so far, so that’s giving me quite a bit of hope for this title! Also… Stjepan Sejic is one of the best artists in the industry, and there’s no doubt that Justice League Odyssey will look spectacular!
Batman-News Critic: Josh
Spinning out of events in issue #25, Donna is on the trail of the newly revitalized Blood Cult, whose evil experiments have transformed an entire town into bloodthirsty zombies! Plus, Miss Martian must wrestle with her own inner demons before she completely loses control!
Written by Dan Abnett
Pencils by Brent Peeples
Inks by Matt Santorelli
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Ben Oliver and Dean V. White
Josh’s Stance: I felt like Titans improved slightly last month, and while I can’t I’m excited for this issue, I am hopeful. I have many questions pertaining to the book – especially concerning Dick’s future considering the recent events in Batman – but I’m just going to let myself go along for the ride and pray for the best… I still miss the old team though… I really, really miss the old team…
Batman-News Critic: Dan
- Additional releases from DC Comics: Action Comics #1003, The Flash #55, Looney Tunes #245, Raven, Daughter of Darkness #8, Scarlet #2, Scooby Doo Team-Up #42, Terrifics #8, and Wonder Woman #55.
GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:
Batman: Hush Unwrapped – The amazing hardcover that presents Jim Lee’s artwork in pencil form, with lettering and in black-and-white is back! Relive the thrilling mystery of the best-selling BATMAN: HUSH from BATMAN #608-619 as the Dark Knight sets out to discover the identity of a mysterious mastermind using The Joker, the Riddler, Ra’s al Ghul and the Dark Knight’s other enemies—and allies—as pawns in a plan to wreak havoc.
Batman: Knightquest: The Crusade Vol. 1 – Bruce Wayne is out of commission, but Batman must continue!
A new era begins as a new Batman arrives in Gotham City. Bruce Wayne, battle-broken and unavailable for field duty after an epic showdown with Bane, has appointed a new Dark Knight as his temporary surrogate. Jean-Paul Valley (a.k.a. Azrael) has assumed the role of the Caped Crusader, but without his mentor’s integrity and experience, he quickly spins out of control. His undisciplined behavior is especially worrisome to both Robin and Commissioner Gordon.
The fourth installment of the Batman: Knightfall saga, Batman: Knightquest: The Crusade Vol. 1 collects Detective Comics #667-670, Robin #1-2, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #19-20, Batman #501-504 and Catwoman #6-7, plus bonus material!
DC Super Hero Girls: Search for Atlantis – The critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling DC Super Hero Girls series is back, and this time the class is joined by new students Mera and the Teen Titans’ Raven! The celebrated series by author Shea Fontana continues with an underwater adventure in DC Super Hero Girls: Search for Atlantis.
Things are going swimmingly for new students Mera and Raven, until the girls go on a field trip to Mera’s hometown of Atlantis and find that the underwater city has vanished! Batgirl, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Bumblebee, Raven, Miss Martian and Starfire discover that Atlantis has been shrunk and bottled by the powerful villain Brainiac!
This gigantic problem calls for a small solution. To infiltrate Brainiac’s bottled-city collection, Bumblebee and Raven combine technology with magic and shrink the heroes. But will they save the lost city of Atlantis, or will their little plan lead to even bigger trouble?
Final Crisis: The 10th Anniversary Omnibus – The event that asked, “What happens when evil wins?” is collected in an omnibus edition that features every tie-in miniseries and chapter, as Superman, Batman and the Justice League must face this reality when Darkseid and his followers win the war between light and dark! Includes BATMAN #676-683 and #701-702, BIRDS OF PREY #118, DC UNIVERSE #0, DC UNIVERSE: THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT #1, FINAL CRISIS #1-7, FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF THREE WORLDS #1-5, FINAL CRISIS: REQUIEM #1, FINAL CRISIS: RESIST #1, FINAL CRISIS: REVELATIONS #1-5, FINAL CRISIS: ROGUES’ REVENGE #1-3, FINAL CRISIS SECRET FILES #1, FINAL CRISIS: SUBMIT #1, FINAL CRISIS: SUPERMAN BEYOND #1-2, THE FLASH #240-241, TEEN TITANS #59-60 and TERROR TITANS #1-6.
Justice League of America Vol. 5: Deadly Fable – The Might Beyond the Mirror, the great threat that Batman assembled the Justice League of America to stop, has finally arrived in the form of the Queen of Fables. However, Batman is gone, and the Queen has granted Killer Frost her fondest wish-a cure for her condition. Caitlin Snow has now switched sides, leaving the team down two members. But then the League is joined by Immateria’s champion-Promethea. Can she help them, or will reality crumble at the Queen’s whim?
Speaking of reality, the Adjudicator, a being who lives beyond the Multiverse, has determined that the Extremists’ homeworld of Angor must remain dead. Batman and Black Canary have different ideas about that, and partner with former foes Dreamslayer and Lord Havok to alter reality or die trying!
All of this is prelude to the team’s final mission, as the JLA must stop the time thief Chronos from killing Ahl, the god of superheroes, preventing him from seeding Earth with the concept of the hero. If the team fails, they all will cease to exist, leaving Earth vulnerable to all manner of evil.
Steve Orlando (Midnighter, Supergirl) collaborates with artists including Neil Edwards, Hugo Petrus and Miguel Mendonça in what is one of the most offbeat and compelling lineups the Justice League of America has ever seen. Collects Justice League of America #22-29.
The Silencer Vol. 1: Code of Honor – She’s known as the Silencer, and for years she used her deadly skills and sound-dampening abilities to keep the criminal organization Leviathan in check as Talia al Ghul’s personal assassin. Six years ago she thought she’d accomplished the impossible-she got out. She took on a new identity as Honor Guest, got married, had a kid. It was bliss.
But bliss never lasts. A power struggle within Leviathan has removed Talia from command, and the new leaders aren’t as willing to simply let Honor walk away. Now, to protect the family that means everything to her, she has to go back to the life she swore she was done with.
The underworld had better watch out. The Silencer is back, and she knows what needs to be done to keep her family safe…and there’s no one better or deadlier at what she does! Collects The Silencer #1-6.
Super Sons Vol. 3: Parent Trap – The sons of Batman and Superman, Robin and Superboy, are used to stepping-or flying-out of their parents’ shadows. But while Jonathan Kent was brought up by kindhearted Clark Kent and the brilliant journalist Lois Lane, Damian Wayne’s parental supervision has a sinister edge. Sure, he’s been trained in the ways of crime-fighting by his Dark Knight dad, Bruce Wayne. But before he was Batman’s son-slash-sidekick, he was raised to rule the world by the League of Assassins and its killer queen, his mother-the Daughter of the Demon herself, Talia al Ghul.
Now Talia has returned to reclaim her son for the shadows, and not even the tumultuous team-up of the Super Sons may be enough to stop it. Because with the secrets of Robin’s dark past-and murderous methods-out in the light for the first time, Superboy may decide his friend really is an enemy after all.
The stage is set for a final showdown between Damian and…well, that’s the question. Will he join forces with his mom to take Superboy down for good, or will the Super Sons stick together, live fast and fly young?
Find out in Super Sons Vol. 3: Parent Trap. Featuring the art of Carlo Barberi and Paul Pelletier, it’s the final chapter in Peter J. Tomasi’s saga of the World’s Smallest Super Heroes-setting up the next stage in their incredible crime-fighting careers! Collects Super Sons #13-16 and Annual #1.
Titans Book One: Together Forever – Nightwing. The Flash. Starfire. Donna Troy. Beast Boy. Cyborg. Red Arrow. Raven.
Years ago they learned at the side of the World’s Greatest Heroes-until the threats became too dangerous for even their mentors to handle. Then these young superheroes struck out on their own, fighting against evil while united under their battle cry:
But long ago these friends and warriors went their separate ways, leaving the Titans mantle to other young heroes…and it’s that mantle that could get them all killed.
An all-powerful enemy from the team’s past has returned with a vengeance, aiming to destroy anyone who’s ever been a Titan. With their superhero successors caught in the line of fire, the original Titans must reunite to stop the onslaught, before the Titans fall forever…
Writer Judd Winick (Green Arrow, Outsiders) joins artists Ian Churchill (Supergirl), Joe Benitez (Wraithborn) and others to reform one of comics’ greatest teams! Collects Titans East Special #1 and Titans #1-11.