Apologies for bringing you a rundown of tomorrow’s releases so late, however, we are working on something new that will post on Friday! I don’t want to speak for the rest of the team, but I’m excited about the new post, and look forward to getting your feedback and responses on it! I don’t want to give too much away, so that’s all I’m going to tease you with… Just make sure you check back on Friday after reading our reviews this week!
Also, happy Hanukkah to all of our Jewish friends who frequent the site! May you have eight days full of comics, family, and fun!
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
Adventures of the Super Sons #5
The Super Sons need a break!! After the space adventures of the past few issues, Jon (Superboy) and Damian (Robin) take what they think is a peaceful diversion to what winds up being a miracle-machine planet (as tends to happen in deep space). There, they get a look at their potential future selves, including a surprising preview of parenthood!
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Carlo Barberi
Inks by Matt Santorelli and Art Thibert
Colored by Protobunker
Cover by Dan Mora
Josh’s Stance: This sounds like it should be an absolute riot! Damian as a dad… I mean, come on! I love it!
Batman-News Critic: Jay
Doomsday Clock #8
The critical and commercial hit series by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank continues following the shocking revelations of last issue. As the truth behind Dr. Manhattan’s actions against the DC Universe are revealed, Ozymandias turns to the only being who can stop him: Superman.
Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils and Inks by Gary Frank
Colored by Brad Anderson
Cover by Brad Anderson and Gary Frank
Josh’s Stance: After the events of the last two issues, I’m super invested and excited to see where Johns takes this story now that it’s reaching its climax. I wish the title carried the weight it had when it was announced, but with the abandonment of Rebirth at DC, it’s clear that it will never fully live up to that potential.
Batman-News Critic: Jay
Justice League #13
It’s on—the Totality will totally total the Multiverse! What could possibly go wrong when the Legion of Doom gets their hands on it? Plus, what is the connection between JUSTICE LEAGUE and the new BATMAN WHO LAUGHS miniseries from Scott Snyder and Jock?
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Francis Manapul and Guillem March
Colored by Francis Manapul, Tomeu Morey, and Arif Prianto
Cover by Francis Manapul, Guillem March, and Tomeu Morey
Josh’s Stance: Justice League has consistently been a reliable and engaging book, so I’m definitely looking forward to it. The Batman Who Laughs doesn’t necessarily boost my excitement though. While I find the character intriguing, I wasn’t exactly a fan of Metal, and the abrupt ending of the book kind of takes away the fear element this character had… We’ll see though.
Batman-News Critic: Brian
Suicide Squad Black Files #2
Trapped inside her Soultaker sword, the soul of Katana is torn between staying with her murdered husband or rejoining the world of the living. Meanwhile, Kobra’s Queen, Eve, makes nefarious use of Katana’s body as she infiltrates the Suicide Squad. Also in this issue, Suicide Squad Black tries to leave its first deadly mission in the past and get one step ahead of the apocalypse warlock, Sebastian Faust. To beat the sorcerer, this magically fueled task force needs something he covets. But like all things Suicide Squad, their next mission is no ordinary smash-and-grab, but rather a jewel heist on Gemworld!
Written by Mike W. Barr and Jai Nitz
Pencils by Phil Briones and Scot Eaton
Inks by Phil Briones and Wayne Faucher
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb and Guy Major
Cover by Ivan Nunes and Cliff Richards
Josh’s Stance: We have a mixed back here. One story should be quite a bit a fun, while the other will most likely be a hot mess. Hot, hot mess. Maybe someday Katana will actually get a decent mini or maxi series.
Batman-News Critic: Josh
Red Hood: Outlaw #29
Batwoman joins the fight! Both Kate and Jason find themselves exiled from Gotham for taking the law into their own hands. But just because they both angered Batman doesn’t make them allies…does it? Maybe not, but both are on the trail of a rogue player in the Underlife—the secret cabal of criminal conspirators who play by a shared set of rules—and teaming up could be the only way to take him down. What’s actually hiding under the seemingly perfect surface of Appleton? The Red Hood might not live to expose it!
Written by Scott Lobdell
Pencils and Inks by Pete Woods
Colored by Rex Lokus and Pete Woods
Cover by Pete Woods
Josh’s Stance: I’ve been a huge fan of Red Hood, but last month’s issue completely derailed. I’m not giving up on the book or Lobdell by any means, but I hope he course corrects quickly. Also, I don’t know if you’ve ever read the original Midnighter run by Garth Ennis and Keith Giffen, but this arc reminds me of the arc where Midnighter travels to Harmony.
Batman-News Critic: Brian
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”
Batman takes on a new partner, and it’s…the Penguin? After rejecting Bane’s crime-boss co-op, Cobblepot finds himself in the crosshairs of some very teed-off villains. The feathered felon turns to his old foe to snitch on Bane’s scheme, but has to prove his intentions to avoid a Bat-beatdown. Along the way, this Gotham odd couple begins to bond—could there be a new bird joining the Bat-Family? Not if Bane has anything to say about it…
Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Jorge Fornes and Mikel Janin
Cover by Mikel Janin
Josh’s Stance: I write for a Batman site because I love Batman, but I can’t bring myself to get excited for Batman anymore. I just can’t. This isn’t Batman. And if I’m being completely honest, I also have no interest in what Bane is doing. There’s no feeling of suspense or natural progression, just a random occurrence of events. Sorry. (Not sorry.)
Batman-News Critic: Elena
Harley Quinn #55
It’s a Harley ho-ho-holiday special! Nothing’s worse than spending the holidays with your uninvited, unannounced family—just ask Harley. Her brothers won’t stop fighting, her dad wants peace and quiet, and her mom just wants everyone to get along. But the dysfunctional family dynamic masks a major secret that the whole Quinn family is keeping from Harley. Will the big reveal mean an even bigger family blowout, or can Harley’s clan end their squabbling and remember the true meaning of the season?
Written by Sam Humphries
Pencils and Inks by John Timms
Colored by Alex Sinclair
Cover by Guillem March, Tomeu Morey, and Arif Prianto
Josh’s Stance: Ho-Ho-No thanks!
Batman-News Critic: Casper
The repercussions of the cataclysmic events of BATMAN #55 continue as a scarred Dick Grayson has given up his vigilante persona in favor a normal existence. A new job, new friends, new life—all are compromised when a safehouse full of old Nightwing gear falls into the wrong hands. Confronted with a past he’s worked so desperately to escape, will Dick Grayson answer the challenge by becoming Nightwing…or something else? The newest chapter in the evolution of Dick Grayson reaches its next level!
Written by Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza, and Benjamin Percy
Pencils by Garry Brown, Will Conrad, and Christopher Mooneyham
Inks by Garry Brown, Will Conrad, and Klaus Janson
Colored by Tamra Bonvillain and Nick Filardi
Cover by Nick Filardi, Dave McCaig, Christopher Mooneyham, and Mike Perkins
Josh’s Stance: “Reaches its next level”? If that level is “awful,” then sure. There is no positive outcome to this concept other than it ending…
Batman-News Critic: Josh
GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:
Batgirl Vol. 4: Strange Loop – The best-selling Rebirth series by Hope Larson returns in Batgirl: Vol. 4, a chilling metropolitan mystery for the ages! It’s the holiday season in Burnside, and everyone is getting into the spirit…including Harley Quinn and the Penguin!
After the maid of mischief infects Barbara Gordon’s company party with a killer virus, Batgirl must embark on a wild-goose chase around the city to find a cure. Meanwhile, a massive blizzard hits Gotham City without warning, and Batgirl must brave the bitter cold to discover the truth behind the storm.
When the storm finally clears, Batgirl begins a thorough investigation into a string of attacks targeted toward women in Burnside. But she’s not the only one searching. Can a father-daughter duo put their differences aside long enough to crack the case?
New York Times best-selling creators Hope Larson (A Wrinkle in Time) and Rafael Albuquerque (American Vampire) present Batgirl Vol. 4. Collects issues #18-23.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (DC Modern Classics Edition) – DC introduces DC Modern Classics, collecting groundbreaking, genre-defining works in new hardcover editions, presented in a beautifully designed slipcase.
In these tales from THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS #1-4, it is 10 years after an aging Batman retired, and Gotham City has sunk deeper into decadence and lawlessness. Now, as his city needs him most, the Dark Knight returns in a blaze of glory. Joined by the new Robin, Carrie Kelly, Batman takes to the streets to face the mutant gangs that have overrun his city.
Batman: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition – Book 3 – BEFORE THE WEDDING OF THE CENTURY…THE BATTLE OF A LIFETIME!
The modern-classic Batman run from writer Tom King continues, as Batman and Catwoman inch closer to their wedding day. But the course of true love never did run smooth…and before happily ever after, the couple will have to face unthinkable obstacles!
First, there’s the small matter of Catwoman being framed for 237 murders. To clear her name, she and Batman have to venture to a forbidden kingdom-one under the control of the mother of Batman’s son, Talia al Ghul! Talia is reputed to be the most dangerous woman alive…but she’s never met Selina Kyle!
And when Poison Ivy takes control of every being on the planet, it’s just Batman and Catwoman alone against the world. They might be able to stop Ivy…but can they take down Superman, the Flash and every other hero under her power?
Batman: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 3 collects the Bat and the Cat’s road to the altar in issues #33-44 and Annual #2 of the ongoing hit series by Tom King (Grayson, The Vision) and artists Joëlle Jones (Supergirl: Being Super, Catwoman) and Mikel Janín (Grayson).
Detective Vol. 8: On the Outside – The greatest superhero team in Gotham City history is gone…this time, for good. How will the Dark Knight pick up the pieces knowing that his squad of vigilantes is gone? Find out in BATMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS VOL. 8!
In the aftermath of the last stand of the Gotham Knights, Batman, Batwoman, Red Robin, Orphan, Azrael, Batwing and company took down a monster they helped create. How will they deal with the physical and psychological ramifications of this epic battle? And who will hang up their capes?
Duke Thomas. Cassandra Cain. They and other young heroes don’t intend to stand down, no matter what Batman thinks is best. Who can Batman trust to guide them? They need a teacher…and Black Lightning fits the bill!
The epilogue chapter to writer James Tynion IV’s acclaimed run on the series is here in BATMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS VOL. 8! Collects issues #982-986.
Harley Quinn Vol. 1: Harley vs Apokolips – You read that right. It’s Harley Quinn vs. Apokolips. The whole. Entire. Planet. Wait… what? A new era for Harley begins here in Harley Quinn Vol. 1, as writer Sam Humphries takes charge!
While on a tropical vacation, Harley Quinn is kidnapped by two Female Furies from Apokolips–and they’re making her an offer she can’t refuse: join the Furies, get super powers and do anything she wants! It’s a sweet deal, and all Harley has to do in return is hunt down rogue Fury Petite Tina. The bad news: Petite Tina is anything but petite!
Harley Quinn’s story starts a new era in this brand-new graphic novel! Writer Sam Humphries jumps behind the wheel, beginning with this all-new Vol. 1 jumping-on point. Collects Harley Quinn #43-49.
Injustice Vol. 4 – The follow-up story to the prequel tale of the smash-hit video game of 2017 is here with Injustice 2 Vol. 4! Batman and Superman are back at it each trying to save the world by rescuing it from the other one.
Steel (Natasha Irons) leads a task force in protecting the President-elect at the inauguration. Batman’s team is on the verge of breaking free from Ra’s al Ghul’s jungle stronghold, but the Dark Knight himself gets tangled up with Poison Ivy.
However, when a larger battle breaks out, Blue Beetle thinks he’s coming to save the day, but his inexperience leads instead to disaster…and death.
From best-selling writer Tom Taylor, scribe of the original Injustice: Gods Among Us graphic novel series, comes Injustice 2 Vol. 4! Collects issues #21-26.
Trinity Vol. 4 – Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman–the three greatest heroes in the DC Universe–embark on an unexpected odessy of their own in Trinity Vol. 4!
Batman and Superman help Wonder Woman rediscover Themyscira, but finding Diana’s lost homeland proves more difficult than these three heroes expected. While on their journey, a distress call from a nearby ship turns out to be more than meets the eye, and the Trinity find themselves marooned in the dread island of Skartaris. To make their way back home, our heroes will have to overcome Deimos, who will stop at nothing to seal off Skartaris from the rest of world forever!
Acclaimed writer James Robinson takes the reins here in Trinity Vol. 4! Collects issues #17-22.