The pilot episode of Titans released on the DC Universe app recently. Have you taken the time to check it out yet? I thought it was… Ok. I’m not invested yet, but I’m also not ready to completely hate it in the way that I hate Gotham. They’ve made Dick Grayson too angry, and I’m a little uncertain of Raven. I am, however, really interested in Starfire’s story despite the fact that she’s WAY OUT OF CHARACTER. I’ll give it a few more episodes and see where it goes. I do think DC needs to re-evaluate their characters across the board though. They have too many heroes turning into anti-heroes. We have plenty of those as it is, let’s not add more.
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
Injustice 2 #36
Events align leading up to the storyline in the Injustice 2 video game. Gorilla Grodd takes center stage as Earth’s deadliest menace, while secretly in the service of the intergalactic menace known as Brainiac. Which heroes will survive to face him? And what role might the imprisoned Superman play as events come to a head?
Art by Juan Albarran, Bruno Redondo, and Daniel Sampere
Cover by Bruno Redondo
Written by Tom Taylor
Josh’s Stance: Say it ain’t so!!!! It’s the final issue (other than the upcoming Annual). Oh well, I’d rather see a good thing come to an end rather than have it turn into an awful thing. Plus, Taylor is penning an upcoming Batman Annual and apparently has another project that will be announced soon (or maybe that announcement was the Batman Annual…) Either way, I’m excited.
Batman-News Critic: Jay
Justice League #10
THE ROAD TO “DROWNED EARTH”! When Wonder Woman learns that Cheetah gained new powers and killed the Greek sea god, Poseidon, that sets Aquaman off on a search for answers, bringing him into conflict with an entity known as the Flood, a herald for long-dead ocean gods with an ancient grudge against Poseidon, Atlantis and, well, everyone else on Earth. Who are those guys? Some very big fish—and you know what big fish do? Eat smaller fish like Aquaman and his Justice League buddies!
Written by Scott Snyder
Pencils and Inks by Francis Manapul
Colored by Francis Manapul
Cover by Francis Manapul
Josh’s Stance: Just imagine a clap with each of these words: Scott. Snyder. Is. Killing. It. But seriously, I’m LOVING his Justice League run, and I’m so happy he’s on this title. I’ve been critical of some of his work in the past, but I believe his writing style has been heading towards this for a few years… For now, Scott and Justice League are a perfect fit. It’s fun, engaging, and completely entertaining!
Batman-News Critic: Brian
Justice League Dark #4
“The Witching Hour” part three! Everything the Justice League Dark thought they knew about Wonder Woman and Hecate has proven to be wrong…and the Parliament of Trees is about to pay the price! Hecate knows this world isn’t strong enough to resist the Otherkind, so she’s going to burn it down and replace it with a world of her own…starting with that ancient grove!
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils by Alvaro Martinez
Inks by Raul Fernandez
Colored by Brad Anderson
Cover by Brad Anderson, Raul Fernandez, Alvaro Martinez, and Riley Rossmo
Josh’s Stance: Speaking of fun, engaging, and completely entertaining, Justice League Dark is equally impressive! I’m loving the character dynamics, and the current story is a winner winner chicken dinner! (Whatever that means… It just seemed like the right thing to say).
Batman-News Critic: Dan
The KGBeast isn’t working alone. As the Cold War between Batman and the Russian killer heats up, Batman’s nose for mystery gets to twitching when he suspects there’s more to the KGBeast’s attacks than initially thought. Not only does this tie back to the court case Bruce Wayne sat on involving Mr. Freeze, there’s another villainous Gotham ghoul in play—but whom?
Written by Tom King
Pencils by Mark Buckingham and Tony Salvador Daniel
Inks by Tony Salvador Daniel, Danny Miki, and Andrew Pepoy
Colored by Tomeu Morey
Cover by Tony Salvador Daniel, Danny Miki, and Tomeu Morey
Josh’s Stance: I’m not going to lie, I’m eager to see how this unfolds, and I thought the previous issue was solid (though I would’ve liked a little bit of a reaction to Dick being shot)… But then again, I know how Tom King writes Batman, and I don’t think it’s going to be very climactic… I guess we’ll know by Wednesday. At this point, if King wrote a straight story, it would be shocking and unexpected so maybe he should try it.
Batman-News Critic: Elena
Teen Titans #23
The Teen Titans head to Gotham City, where they must thwart a plot to assassinate Commissioner Gordon! So who is the mysterious figure giving Robin his intel, and how does he know so much? Speaking of Robin, is he developing real feelings for the magical Djinn, or is he falling under the spell of her mystical ring? Meanwhile, more secrets come to light and more drama unfolds, putting Kid Flash and Red Arrow at odds!
Written by Adam Glass
Pencils and Inks by Bernard Chang
Colored by Hi-Fi and Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Bernard Chang, Nick Derington, and Marcelo Maiolo
Josh’s Stance: Teen Titans has been a relatively fun book to read! The revelation of Damian’s involvement with Red Hood was a nice surprise, and I’m curious to see where Glass takes the book next. I also appreciate that Glass is harkening back to an “old school” approach to writing comics as far as story structure is concerned. Each issue feels like a stand-alone story, but still carries plot threads throughout the title.
Batman-News Critic: Josh
And while Nightwing struggles to uncover the truth behind the “fear germ” that is killing people in their sleep, he must also try to overcome his own sudden struggles with heights and vertigo. He has lost his primary skill set as a hero and will have to focus on his brilliance as a detective instead. And a distracting love triangle certainly isn’t helping him focus…This new storyline spins out of events in BATMAN #55. Don’t miss the start of a new direction in Nightwing’s crimefighting career!
Written by Scott Lobdell and Benjamin Percy
Pencils by Garry Brown and Travis Moore
Inks by Garry Brown and Travis Moore
Colored by Hi-Fi and Tamra Bonvillain
Cover by Dave McCaig and Mike Perkins
Josh’s Stance: I’m going to stay open minded. I know many of you disagreed with my previous review, but I would like to call attention to the similarities and differences between Nightwing #50 and Heroes in Crisis #1. Both make bold, dark moves… One respected it’s characters and one fundamentally changed the character to the point that it is no longer that character at all. In fact, it’s a completely different book now. That’s going to alter my score. Anyway, I’m curious to see what Lobdell does here, but I do not envy him. He’s definitely got a difficult job on his hands… Nearly impossible? Perhaps.
Batman-News Critic: Josh
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”
Harley Quinn #52
Trapped in a future he doesn’t understand, Captain Triumph can’t battle his way out of our modern world, as all his efforts lead to disaster. That causes him to butt heads and trade punches with his would-be protector, Harley Quinn. Can Harley talk her way out of this clash? And more importantly, where’s she getting a time machine so she can send Captain Triumph home?
Written by Sam Humphries
Pencils and Inks by Sami Basri
Colored by Alex Sinclair
Cover by Julian Totino Tedesco
Josh’s Stance: Meh… I’m back in my, “I’m over Harley phase” at the moment. I’m interested in reading her in Heroes in Crisis and that’s about it… Sorry, Sam. Don’t take it personally. Harley and I have had a complicated relationship for years now.
Batman-News Critic: Casper
- Additional releases from DC Comics: Aquaman #41, Cover #2, Damage #10, Green Lanterns #57, New Challengers #6, Pearl #3, Scooby Doo, Where Are You #95, and Sideways #9.
GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:
Batman and the Justice League Manga – It’s the World’s Greatest Super Heroes in manga format!
Mangaka Shiori Teshirogi (Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas) creates an exciting new story, combining an authentic Japanese comics approach with the World’s Greatest Super Heroes. Translated into English and collected for a Western audience for the first time, Batman and the Justice League Vol. 1 is a great entry point for fans of the Justice League and manga alike. The book comes in standard manga size trim and reads right-to-left like traditional manga stories!
A young boy from Japan travels to Gotham City on a mission. A year before, his two parents—both scientists—were presumably killed in an explosion that destroyed an experimental power plant. But the boy believes they may still be alive. At the very least, he’s determined to find out what actually happened. But his quest soon leads to a run-in with some powerful forces—forces that require help from both Batman and the Justice League!
Batman: The Dark Knight Detective Vol. 2 – The streets of Gotham City seemingly get darker and more twisted as each night passes over the city, if it weren’t for the one beacon of hope fighting against the darkness—Batman. With a never-ending stream of villains stalking the city, can the Dark Knight hold the darkness back?
While the Ventriloquist is peddling a new designer drug called Fever, Batman sets his sights on cleaning up the streets and silencing the gangster’s dummy. As the fever breaks, rats swarm out of the sewers, marching to the commands of the mysterious Ratcatcher. Plus, can the Dark Knight survive the touch of the villainous Corrosive Man?
Writers Alan Grant (Batman: Shadow of the Bat) and John Wagner (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight) and legendary Batman artist Norm Breyfogle (Detective Comics), present Batman: The Dark Knight Detective Vol. 2, collecting Detective Comics #583-591 and Detective Comics Annual #1!
Batman: The Dark Prince Charming – Acclaimed European comics master Enrico Marini (Eagles of Rome, Le Scorpion) makes his American comics debut with this graphic novel starring unique interpretations of Batman, The Joker and Harley Quinn!
What secret connection do both Batman and The Joker share with a strange and mysterious young girl? After she’s kidnapped by The Joker, Batman must plunge deep into the underworld of Gotham City and race against time to find out where she’s being held. The stakes are high, and for Batman, it’s personal!
Beautifully painted in Marini’s unmistakable style, this tale portrays the Dark Knight, his greatest foes and Gotham City itself in a radical reimagination of the mythology. Celebrated throughout Europe for his incredible graphic works, this landmark hardcover brings one of the great Italian illustrators to DC! Collects Batman: The Dark Prince Charming #1-2.
Suicide Squad Vol. 7: Drain the Swamp – America is under attack. And America’s gonna fight back. The only question is which is worse for America’s dirtiest line of defense: Task Force X, a.k.a. the Suicide Squad!
First, a hive of brain-draining alien insectoids has infested one of the country’s most beloved theme parks. Faced with an all-out incursion, Amanda Waller sends in Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc and a team of the toughest criminals in Belle Reve Penitentiary…plus some poor sap named Juan. What’s this sad sack’s secret? And why is he the only thing standing between the Squad and destruction?
Then, the government unveils its latest plan to make America safe again: the Wall, a super-soldier commanded by Task Force X veteran Rick Flag and armed with enough power to take down every member of the Squad. And at the worst possible time, too: the super-cyberterrorist named Hack is back, and she’s out to unleash every single secret Amanda Waller has ever tried to bury.
Now Harley Quinn and company must fight to protect the secrets of the Squad—and save Washington from its own red, white and blue metahuman of mass destruction!
From writers Rob Williams (Trinity) and Si Spurrier (X-Force) and a squad of talented artists comes Suicide Squad Vol. 7: Drain the Swamp, a saga of action and adventure that trumps all the others! Collects issues #33-40 of the outrageous series.
Additional Graphic Novels releasing this week: Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands, The Flash by Mark Waid Book Five, Bombshells United: War Bonds, Deathstroke: The Fall of Slade, Green Arrow: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1, Raven, Daughter of Darkness, and Sideways: Steppin’ Out.