We’ve got a solid week of books ahead of us! There are some great trades hitting shelves this week, and we’re getting new issues of Detective Comics and The Batman Who Laughs! Even if I just got those two issues, I’d be pretty happy. Just being honest. So… Is it Wednesday yet?

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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.

FEBRUARY 13th

TAKE MY MONEY

The Batman Who Laughs #3
All the pieces are starting to fit together as the Batman Who Laughs acquires another key element in his plan—one that is linked to the founding fathers of Gotham City and to a legacy started by the Wayne family and protected by none other than Oswald Cobblepot. While the Penguin goes head-to-head with the darkest version of his mortal enemy, Batman is forced to compromise his principles and purge the serum that protects his heart from the deadly Joker Toxin! It’s a no-win situation as writer Scott Snyder and artist Jock return to the sociopath they created in “Black Mirror”: James Gordon Jr.

Written by Scott Snyder
Pencils and Inks by Jock
Colored by David Baron
Cover by Jock

Josh’s Stance: To me, this really takes me back to classic Scott Snyder. Seeing his story illustrated by Jock takes me back to their “Black Mirror” days, so I’m happy to see a reference here. As you all know, that’s probably my favorite Batman story by Snyder, with “Court of Owls” tied or at a close second! The Batman Who Laughs has been great so far, so if you passed this title up because you weren’t that crazy about Metal (like me), give this book a shot!

Batman-News Critic: Casper

 

Detective Comics #998
Batman’s tried everything on Earth to stop the menace hunting his friends and family…now it’s time to turn to things not of this Earth! In the past, whenever Batman’s encountered the supernatural, he’s turned to Jason Blood for guidance—and to Etrigan, the demonic entity living inside him! But securing their help is never simple, and what Blood has to show him will shake Batman to his core!

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Doug Mahnke
Inks by Jaime Mendoza
Colored by David Baron
Cover by David Baron, Doug Mahnke, and Jaime Mendoza

Josh’s Stance: Anyone remember that character that Kristen Wiig would play on SNL where she couldn’t keep a secret and would run through walls and stuff? Yeah, that’s pretty much me every time I realize Detective Comics is coming out.

Batman-News Critic: Elena

 

MIXED

The Flash #64
“THE PRICE OF JUSTICE” part two! The two greatest detectives in the DC Universe take on the one cold case that will tear them apart!

As chief architect of the Sanctuary program that cost so much for so many, especially Wally West, Batman will be held accountable…by the Flash!

A cold case from the Justice League’s past has mysteriously re-opened, and Batman and the Flash—the only two heroes who stand a chance of cracking the case—are at each other’s throats! Our heroes must combat a demon from the past while burying their own inner demons in the process…and neither the World’s Greatest Detective nor the Fastest Man Alive will ever be the same again! But who is really pulling the strings here? And how does Gotham Girl fit into all this? Friendships will be tested and blood will be spilled in this titanic crossover event…

Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils by Rafa Sandoval
Inks by Jordi Tarragona
Colored by Tomeu Morey
Cover by Chris Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn

Josh’s Stance: I was rather underwhelmed by “The Price of Justice” Part 1, but I’m hopeful that it will play out well. Joshua Williamson’s writing style isn’t my favorite, but there have been instances here and there where he has surprised me. Will it happen here? We’ll see… I am a little disappointed that we’ve got a different artist for this issue. I really wish DC would try to stick with a single artist for each story, but… It is what it is.

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

Red Hood & the Outlaws #31
Red Hood and Arsenal began this investigation of the Underlife together in Beijing, and this is where it ends: in an abandoned prison in Mexico. With Roy Harper having passed, Jason Todd finds himself teamed with an ally he couldn’t have imagined—Wingman! (But wait—wasn’t Jason the face beneath Wingman’s mask in BATMAN INCORPORATED?!) When it is all over, Red Hood arrives at a conclusion that will shake the streets of Gotham City…forever?

Written by Scott Lobdell
Pencils and Inks by Pete Wood
Colored by Rex Lokus and Pete Woods
Cover by Cully Hamner, Rex Lokus, and Pete Woods

Josh’s Stance: I wouldn’t say Red Hood is bad, but it’s not as good as it was. The book itself is solid, I’m just finding that I’m not as excited as I used to be when this title would hit shelves each month.

Batman-News Critic: Brian

 

NOTES:

  • Books we’ll cover in This Week in Comics: Justice League Dark, as well as the titles listed above.
  • Wonder Twins #1 by Mark Russel and Stephen Byrne debuts under the Wonder Comics imprint.
  • Additional releases from DC Comics: Electric Warriors #4, Goddess Mode #3, Hawkman #9, House of Whispers #6, Scooby Apocalypse #34, Supergirl #27, Superman #8, Titans #34, and Wonder Woman #64.

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 2 – This collection of 1980s Batman tales includes the legendary story “A Lonely Place of Dying,” in which a new Robin emerges in the form of computer hacker Tim Drake, who rescues Batman from The Joker and Two-Face. This volume also includes the mystery story “The Many Deaths of Batman,” and a run of stories in which the Dark Knight must stop crime boss Zucco. Collects Batman #433-444 and Batman Annual #13.

 

DC: The New Frontier (DC Black Label Edition) – Darwyn Cooke’s acclaimed epic is back in a new title collecting the 6-issue miniseries plus JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER SPECIAL #1! When Cold War paranoia outlawed the heroes of the Golden Age, stalwarts such as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman continued to fight for truth and justice. But as the world hurtled toward an uncertain future, a new breed of hero would define the American Way!

 

Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay – Amanda Waller has her “Get Out of Hell Free” card, but why did she go to such lengths to acquire it? Setting her Squad loose on the high seas, will the Wall regret her decision to lead this mission? Back on dry land, Deadshot returns to Waller’s service. Jason Blood promised aid to Waller’s team, but his idea is surprisingly unhelpful. Now that Scandal knows one of Waller’s secrets, whose side is she on? Collects the 12-chapter digital-first series.

 

Titans Vol. 5: The Spark – Can anything stop the metagene pandemic unleashed through the events of Justice League: No Justice? The Titans are on the case. With Nightwing leading this new squad, these former sidekicks must stop the fallout from an intergalactic threat before it consumes the planet! Collects issues #23-27 and TITANS SPECIAL #1.

 

 

 

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