Wherever you look, there are inspirational teams all around us. The Justice League. The Outsiders. The Titans. The Teen Titans… But how would you like the join the best team of them all? The Batman-News Comic Review Team (the team name is a work in progress, but does not take away from the epicness of this opportunity). Well, here’s your chance. We’re looking for the next Jay Yaws, Brian Warshaw, Andrew Asberry, Elena Carrillo, or Casper Rudolph… and that person could be you! So, are you interested in joining the Batman News team as a comic book reviewer? Here’s how:

STEP #1

We’re looking for a team of hardcore Batman fans with free-time on Wednesdays to write commentary on all of the Batman comics, and we mean all of them! An over-abundance of available comic books (and rumors of even more this fall) means that reviewers will have to select multiple titles they wish to review, otherwise, we would end up with a writing staff of over 25 and that’s just ridiculous. Pick out the books you’re most interested in, but don’t pick something you hate just because you think it would be fun to bash it month after month. Negative reviews can be entertaining and more often than not you’ll get more hits if your review is extra venomous, but that’s not something you should ever strive toward. We want people who are passionate about the mythology and want to write about a comic because they love these characters, not because they’re anxious to act snarky in front of a large audience. Also, be realistic about how many titles you can handle. We want good, insightful copy. A paragraph or two per comic review isn’t going to cut it (be insightful, be funny, find your own voice and, most importantly, be interesting) and your readers will expect a review to be posted that very Wednesday!

 

STEP #2 

Introduce yourself. We want to know who you are and what kind of schedule you keep. What do you think makes you a decent writer? Have you read “Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art” by Scott McCloud? What about “Story” by Robert McKee? Ever been published? Are you studying writing right now? What about artwork? Are you an artist yourself? Have you studied comic art and have an understanding of the various techniques? Despite there being so many comic reviews online today, very few actually offer high-quality commentary on the artwork. I know I struggled often to go into detail about the pencils and inks myself. It would be fantastic to find a reviewer who can devote as much attention to the illustrations as the story and characterization.

Also, during your introduction, we would like to know a little something about your connection to The Dark Knight. Remember how we said we were looking for passionate people? Move us with your romanticized, nostalgic view of the mythology or impress us with how far your obsession has taken you. Got a Bat-tattoo? Built your own Batcave? We’re not looking for casual fans. We’re only going to pass on this opportunity to people who ball-up their fists when they hear someone say “Batman: The Animated Series is overrated” or get glassy-eyed while describing the plot of “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?”

 

STEP #3

Give us a rundown of your experience with these characters. The more comics you’ve read, the better. List what comic book eras you specialize in and what eras you’re mostly unfamiliar with. What unread classic graphic novels are you most ashamed of never touching? What are your favorite Batman stories of all-time? Have you seen every movie and TV show? Played every video game? The more info you give us, the more seriously you’ll be considered.

 

STEP #4

Write a review. Is there any better way to know what you’re made of? Write a review for any Bat-comic that we didn’t write full review for and submit it. If it’s good and we want you to join the team, then we’ll go ahead and post it once the comics section relaunches if you’d like. We’re not looking for someone to imitate our style. Heck, you don’t even need to share the same opinions. Just prove that you’re a capable writer who is willing to pour their heart and soul into a commentary about the book. Also, keep in mind how we do scores around here. The entire 1-10 scale is utilized. 1 is awful, 5 is “just okay,” and 10 is a must-read.

 

SUBMIT

Send your application to: ReviewerTryouts@gmail.com in the form of a typical email or a Word document. There’s no immediate deadline. We won’t stop taking submissions until the right team is put together!

If we like what we see then we’ll start an email correspondence with you, working out what comics you’re the right fit for handling. It would be great to have a team assembled within the next 2 weeks, but that can only happen if we get enough variety in the submissions. And we better not get 90 emails from people saying that they want Batman and Batman only. The more open you are to handling the lower tier books, the quicker we can get this show on the road. So, what are you waiting for? Throw your cape on and pull your submission together! We’re waiting!

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.

June 5th

TAKE MY MONEY

DCeased #2
Millions are dying every minute. Heroes and villains alike are falling. Can the Justice League unite to find a way to stop the spread of death? Can they save humanity from extinction? Can they even save themselves? The key to survival may hinge on the last moments of one of the World’s Finest Heroes…

Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils by Trevor Hairsine
Inks by Stefano Guadiano
Colored by Rainier Beredo
Cover by Tomeu Morey and Leinil Francis Yu

Josh’s Stance: Of course this tops my list! Tom Taylor delivered an outstanding debut last month that was full of action and shock! I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us in this chapter. If you didn’t pick this up last month, then catch up now! You won’t regret it.

Batman News Critic: Casper

 

Justice League #25
The “Sixth Dimension” storyline wraps up in this oversize issue as Superman faces down the World Forger to save the Justice League! Can Superman withstand the might of a being that can create worlds from nothing?! Plus, with the Justice League away, Mr. Mxyzptlk’s been wreaking havoc! Can anyone on Earth stand up to the fifth-dimensional menace?

Written by Jorge Jimenez, Scott Snyder, and James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Javier Fernandez and Jorge Jimenez
Colored by Hi-Fi and Alejandro Sanchez
Cover by Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez

Josh’s Stance: Mark my words, at the end of Scott Snyder’s career – which I hope is decades from now – his Justice League will be one of the run associated with his name. This book is an excellent, bombastically fun example of how great comics can be! Jorge Jimenez’s art is just the icing on the cake!

Batman News Critic: Brian

 

INTRIGUED

Batman/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #2
Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, joins series artist Freddie E. Williams II as guest artist for the second issue of BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III! Krang’s true power has been revealed, and now it’s up to Batman and the Turtles to stop him, but their only hope may lie with the strange, yet familiar, visitor from another world.

Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Kevin Eastman and Freddie E. Williams II
Colored by Jeremy Colwell
Cover by Jeremy Colwell and Freddie E. Williams II

Josh’s Stance: We got off to an entertaining start last month, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Tynion progresses the story. I am curious to see how they incorporate Eastman and Williams’ art as they’re two very different styles. Hopefully there narrative allows for a difference, and that we don’t get abrupt, distinct changes from page to page… I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Batman News Critic: Jay

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

Batman #72
“The Fall and the Fallen” part three! Is this the end of Gotham City? Bane’s army of villains is taking over the city, and Batman’s back is against the wall. With all the things Bane has done to him over the last year—from breaking up his wedding to trying to assassinate Nightwing, and then invading Batman’s mind to expose his most terrible fears—could this be the worst hate the Caped Crusader has ever encountered?

Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Jorge Fornes and Mikel Janin
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Cover by Jordie Bellaire and David Finch

Josh’s Stance: Just get to Batman #85… Just get to Batman #85….

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

Harley Quinn #62
Harley’s life has been turned upside down, and her best friends have turned against her. Now, trapped in a magically changed Gotham City, Harley Quinn is put on trial to do something she’s never been capable of: prove her sanity—or die!

Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Otto Schmidt
Cover by Guillem March and Arif Prianto

Josh’s Stance: I have no idea what’s going on in this book right now, but the Enchantress doesn’t do anything to stir interest for me.

Batman News Critic: Casper

 

NOTES:

  • Titles we’ll cover in This Week in Comics: Adventures of the Super Sons #11 and Young Justice #6, as well as the titles listed above.
  • Additional releases from DC Comics: Deathstroke #44, The Dreaming #10, Female Furies #5, The Green Lantern #8, and Shazam! #6.

 

Graphic Novel Watch:

Blackest Night Omnibus 10th Anniversary Edition – The war between the Corps rages as the prophecy of the Blackest Night descends on the DC Universe! Can Green Lantern Hal Jordan lead DC’s champions against an army of Black Lanterns made up of deceased heroes and villains? This massive hardcover collects Blackest Night #0-8, Adventure Comics #4, 5 and 7, Blackest Night: Batman #1-3, Blackest Night: The Flash #1-3, Blackest Night: JSA #1-3, Blackest Night: Superman #1-3, Blackest Night: Titans #1-3, Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1-3, Catwoman #83, Green Arrow #40, Green Lantern #43-52, Green Lantern Corps #39-47, Phantom Stranger #42, The Atom and Hawkman #46, The Power of Shazam! #48, The Question #37, Weird Western Tales #71 and more!