Yesterday was free comic book day! Did you hit up your local comic book store to score some sweet freebies? Was your shop raffling anything special for the day? My LCS posted a video leading up to free comic book day showcasing all of their free comics, exclusive merch, and additional swag they were giving away, and that that resulted in a great turnout for such a small town/store. It made me happy to see so many people in the store looking for comics! So, if you have pics of your shop of the items you picked up from free comic book day, share them below!

Anyway, we have another title debuting this week! Batman & the Outsiders! I’m pretty excited because I love some of the characters involved, but I’m also a little hesitant since we’re getting this title five months later than originally planned. I mean, the delay could’ve been for a good reason, but I’m pretty sure the delay was due to mandates and interference, and we all know how that worked out for Justice League Odyssey… Anyway, I’m happy to see Cass and Katana on the roster, now DC just needs to add Huntress.

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.

May 8th

TAKE MY MONEY

Batman & the Outsiders #1
When the quest for justice drives Batman into some morally ambiguous areas, he calls in the most moral man he knows: Jefferson Pierce, a.k.a. Black Lightning, and his team of operatives known as the Outsiders!

Several years ago Batman personally put the Barrera family into hiding after they suffered through terrible experiments at the hands of an organization called the Ark. Now all but one of them has turned up dead…and Batman needs to locate Sofia Barrera before the wrong people get their hands on her-and her surprising power! But it wouldn’t be Batman without a hidden agenda, would it? And when Black Lightning, Katana, the Signal and Orphan find out what Batman is really up to, their every loyalty will be called into question!

Written by Bryan Edward Hill
Pencils and Inks by Dexter Soy
Colored by Veronica Gandini
Cover by Tyler Kirkham and Arif Prianto

Josh’s Stance: As I mentioned earlier, I’m excited for this! Bryan Edward Hill and Dexter Soy seem like a great team, and they’re both incredibly talented. The teams is made up of a good lineup, and I’m hoping for the best! Now… Let’s just hope this whole Year of the Villain thing doesn’t throw the title off of its tracks before it ever really begins…

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

Detective Comics #1003
Damian was so certain he could succeed against the Arkham Knight where his father failed-and not only was he wrong, but as it turns out, the Knight has a surprising plan for the son of Batman!

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Brad Walker
Inks by Andrew Hennessy
Colored by Nathan Fairbairn
Cover by Nathan Fairbairn, Andrew Hennessy, and Brad Walker

Josh’s Stance: I’m just along for the ride. I trust Tomasi, and I’m extremely curious to find out who the Arkham Knight is!

Batman-News Critic: Jay

 

 

INTRIGUED

The Batman Who Laughs #5
It’s a battle to the death as Batman goes head-to-head with the Grim Knight! The Caped Crusader is forced to not only fight off the most evil version of himself, but the growing desire to turn his back on his moral code and commit cold-blooded murder. Any other time, Batman would be able to stay on the straight and narrow, but as the Joker serum finally takes over his body, Bruce Wayne may just succumb to pure evil, and kill the Grim Knight. All of this is foreseen by the Batman Who Laughs, who has been planning for the corruption of Bruce Wayne, banking on him activating the “Last Laugh” protocol and turning Gotham City into an incubator for evil. All the Batman Who Laughs needs is one last “Happy Bruce” from another dimension to make his serum work…but only Batman knows where the last Bruce is going to show up.

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

Josh’s Stance: I’m going to be honest… There are things I love about The Batman Who Laughs, and then there are things that remind me of what I didn’t like about Scott Snyder’s Batman or Metal. In the end though, I do think this is an entertaining – at times creepy – book. My nitpicks are just that… nitpicks.

Batman-News Critic: Casper

 

 

MIXED

Red Hood & the Outlaws #34
Jason Todd heads to France to expand the Iceberg Lounge’s sphere of influence-or are his motives more ambitious? Meanwhile, the Penguin gains an unexpected ally in his bid to topple the Red Hood, but the DCU’s greatest Outlaw is busy battling a threat from his past who feels like his recent aspirations might threaten more than just Gotham City. Brace yourselves for the shocking return of Essence!

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

Josh’s Stance: Red Hood has been hit or miss. There are moments and ideas presented by Lobdell that are great, but I am finding that the title is getting lost in everything that’s going on within it. There are so many characters that the narrative feels a little manic and unfocused at the moment. I’m still interested though.

Batman-News Critic: Brian

 

NOTES:

  • Titles we’ll cover in This Week in Comics: Catwoman #11 and Justice League Odyssey #9, as well as the titles listed above.
  • Additional releases from DC Comics: The Flash #70, Hawkman #12, House of Whispers #9, Shazam! #5, Supergirl #30, Wonder Twins #4, and Wonder Woman #70.

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

Batman: Faces in the Shadows (DC Essential Edition) – The Joker has gone missing from Arkham Asylum, and even Batman cannot comprehend the grisly evidence the maniacal villain has left behind. It’s the work of a new villain…but who could be dangerous enough to outdo the Clown Prince of Crime? His name is the Dollmaker, and now Gotham City’s latest psychopath has kidnapped two more potential victims—a young girl and police commissioner Jim Gordon. To save them, Batman must offer up something more enticing to the Dollmaker as bait: himself! Collects DETECTIVE COMICS #0-12 and ANNUAL #1.

 

Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Vol. 2 – Worlds will live and worlds will die. See how the game changing-event Crisis on Infinite Earths affected your favorite characters and series in Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Vol. 2!

Crisis on Infinite Earths was an event too large to be contained within one series. Written and illustrated by a who’s who of famous and prolific authors and artists, Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Vol. 2 shows you the devastating effects of the Crisis as it reverberated throughout the DCU.

Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Vol. 2 is a must-have for all collectors and fans of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths series, and for those who have yet to see many of these stories recollected in print! Collects Detective Comics #558, DC Comics Presents #86, Swamp Thing #44, Losers Special #1, Legends of the DCU: Crisis on Infinite Earths #1, Infinity Inc. #18-25, Justice League of America #244-245, Infinity Inc. Annual #1 and New Teen Titans #13-14.

 

Justice League: Graveyard of the Gods Vol. 2 – In this second Justice League collection, Hawkgirl takes wing against Legion of Doom leader Lex Luthor; John Stewart faces off with old foe Sinestro; the Flash must run down the Still Force-empowered Gorilla Grodd; and Wonder Woman tackles the tag team of Black Manta and Cheetah—underwater! Then, in “Drowned Earth,” the Justice League is scattered across the Seven Seas, pursued by the Ocean Lords and an army of alien mercenaries. Collects Justice League #8-12, JUSTICE LEAGUE/AQUAMAN: DROWNED EARTH #1 and AQUAMAN/JUSTICE LEAGUE: DROWNED EARTH #1.