This Week in Comics: Deadshot terrorizes plane crash victims…WITH TRIVIA!

Hi! If this is your first time clicking on a This Week in Comics article, it’s basically a podcast that you have to read. Or a printed, multi-party interview that you have to read instead of listen to. Or something.

Anyway, here you’ll find all of the Batman News reviewers discussing the week’s releases. We also have links to full reviews from the Comics portion of the website– it’s the best part of Batman News, by the way. Tell your friends.

Detective Comics​ #1010

Credit: Christian Duce, David Baron, and Rob Leigh

Bruce Wayne and his rich friends have crash-landed on a remote island with the help of Deadshot. But with the deadly mercenary holding the other passengers at gunpoint, can the weakened Wayne summon his alter-ego and save the day?

Nick: ​I just may have to take back what I said about this run not being super memorable. There’s a certain novelty in what are essentially modernized stories of what you might find in the Golden or Silver Age, or an episode of ​Batman: The Animated Series​. I’m not sure I completely believe 90 year olds surviving in the jungle for so long, but it’s okay BECAUSE it’s embracing that style (and also, you know, it’s a comic book lmao). I love makeshift Bat-Costumes so this issue scratches a nice itch for me. I could have sworn we’ve read the “what happens if Nora wakes up” story in a comic book before, but I imagine Tomasi has a good spin on it.
Only thing that caused me to do a double take was Bruce’s very, um… optimistic spin on the end of World War 2.

Matina: ​I loved the makeshift Bat-costume. That’s some dedication to take time out to sew together a cowl, and I adored every bit of it.

Michael​: You’re right on the money about this feeling like a throwback type of storyline. I’m less engaged on the whole Mr. Freeze subplot, but mostly because I feel like it keeps making the main storyline’s ending pages feel abrupt. I thought the art here was great and I’ve grown more fond of Duce’s art than I was before. The only thing that didn’t quite work for me was the relationship between the two pilots, but that might be because I’ve seen it done before (though in a movie). This series has been a breath of fresh air lately and I’d love if it kept these types of storylines going.

Jay: ​It may just be because I just read a ton of them, but this arc feels like a Bob Haney-scripted ​The Brave and the Bold​ story. It’s super weird and silly, starting off fairly straightforward before taking a hard left into Zanyland.

In short, I love it.

Matina​: I agree that I feel like I’ve seen the story of the pilotes before. While I didn’t mind those parts, I was more engaged in what was going on with Deadshot and the other people.

I’m curious to see how this whole story wraps up. It’s been a lot of fun so far, and I agree I’m really enjoying the Golden/Silver age feel a lot of Tomasi’s run has had so far.

Nancy:​ I also liked the old lost in the jungle plot, and Deadshot causing the plane crash was a nice twist. Like Michael and Matina, I’ve seen stories of enemies marooned together. I think it may even be a trope in science fiction. The idea of people putting aside their differences and working to survive has a lot of appeal. One of the things I’ve enjoyed about ​Detective​ is that the story moves along. I don’t feel as though we’re treading water or reading filler while we lead up to something big. The Mr. Freeze backstory is less appealing to me, too. There isn’t enough of it to be very developed, and it cuts the pages available for the main story. Assuming we’re leading up to Mr.Freeze, I prefer the lead-in done this way rather than with scattered panels in the main story that out of place and break its flow, but I would really rather we just go with the story when it’s time.

Casper:​ I like the adventure aspect of this arc. Bruce isn’t in Gotham, doesn’t have his gadgets, and doesn’t know the lay of the land very well, so he’s out of his element. That’s not anything new, but Tomasi and Duce just put together a fun comic. And I’m always down for a good old Batman versus Deadshot spectacle. I, too, think that the Mr Freeze portion is a little bit weird but I think it’s going to lead into a Mr Freeze arc. I’d rather have a couple pages at the end to set up that arc than an entire issue that is purely setup. However, I’m still a bit confused about the whole plane crash — planes can take lightning, but was this a specific kind of lightning? What’s going on here? Oh, and by the way, that Jae Lee cover is pretty cool!

Would you recommend buying this for $3.99?

Yes:​ Nick, Michael, Matina, Nancy, Casper, Brian, Jay

No: Nobody

Check out Jay’s full review here

Justice League​ #30

Credit: Jorge Jimenez, Alejandro Sanchez, and Tom Napolitano

The “Justice Doom War” starts here! The Lex Luthor the League has known and fought is no more, replaced by an apex predator version of Lex, powered by Perpetua with a goal of bringing tragedy to the DC Universe. Now that Lex has powered up villains across the cosmos, he marshals his own troops, sparking a war between the Legion of Doom and the Justice League that will span space, time and the Multiverse itself. This is the start of the next big Justice League event, with consequences affecting “DC’s Year of the Villain” and beyond!

Nick: ​This is getting exciting!!! I’m happy to see more Kamandi content, and the JSA is obviously a big pull (in a story that could still make sense with Doomsday Clock!). I must admit I’m getting a little exhausted with the central theme, though. I’m grateful that each arc has had a very distinctive and exciting style or gimmick to it, because when you boil it down, each story is essentially “Doom is winning, there is NO chance you can beat it with Justice, none, never, in 5 bazillion possibilities you can never… unless… you Justice ​even harder??????​”. It gives me a bit of fatigue. That and the pages on pages of monologuing make it feel like I’m watching the ending of a ​Danganronpa​ game, if you replace “Doom” and “Justice” with “Despair” and “Hope”. Or maybe an episode of CW’s ​Flash.​ Not only that, but I just don’t find Perpetua particularly enthralling – the lore is interesting, but to put her on such a Lovecraftian status and then to just make her a woman in a dress with space eyes feels underwhelming. Nothing Perpetua has done compares to the horrifying vision we saw of her in the very first issue, and I feel we should have stuck with a design like that – this is an incomprehensible threat, so it’s a shame that she’s such a comprehensible evil.

I did actually like it though, don’t mistake my complaints for disdain for the story.

Matina​: I enjoyed this issue quite a bit! I feel like out of all the year of the villain titles, reading this really makes the event seem like more than a bunch of bad guys getting better at being bad. This story gives it the drive and purpose I was looking for across the titles. And it actually gives me a reason for them feeling so disparate. I will agree that the book got a bit wordy at times. I too enjoyed the lore, but I’m ready to dive into all that promised action and world saving.

Nancy​: I like stories that are complex and build, like this one, but the building here has taken a while. I’m glad to see the book reach crunch time. Stories where the heroes face terrible odds showcase the traits that make the heroes admirable. This story kicks off its battle phase by putting the League in situations where they’ll need to use everything they have and, even then, may fail. That engages me and keeps me reading. I agree with Nick that Perpetua just doesn’t seem very menacing, maybe because we’ve been told more about her capabilities than we’ve been shown.

Michael​: Well, I liked the opening and ending a lot but I found the middle to exemplify everything that doesn’t work for me in Snyder’s writing. It’s impenetrable, dense in all the wrong ways, and worst of all, boring. I’m sure this arc will end up being pretty exciting, but there must be a way to relay this information in a more engaging way. I’m with Nick in that I just feel fatigued by all of this.

Casper:​ I started reading this but I didn’t manage to finish it. As far as I’m concerned, we could just skip all the planning and plotting stuff and just jump right into the action, and then provide all the information that readers need at the right moment in the story. Now we’re spending an entire issue just watching people talk about what they are going to do in the next issue, and so I got bored pretty fast. I stopped reading at a certain point, but did skip ahead and was pleased to see Kamandi and the Justice Society … but I’ll guess I’ll just wait for the next issue when, hopefully, the battle itself commences.

Would you recommend buying this for $3.99?

Yes:​ Nick, Matina, Nancy, Brian

No:​ Michael, Casper

Check out Brian’s full review here

Batgirl​ #38

Credit: Carmine DiGiandomenico, Jordie Bellaire, and AndWorld

New series writer Cicl Castellucci continues to take Batgirl in an exciting new direction! First up—the Terrible Trio is now a quartet?! After the reawakening of Oracle, the Trio has decided to team up with her and show Gotham City what they’re really made of. Meanwhile, Batgirl has her hands full with a real pest problem…Killer Moth! Can our hero exterminate his evil plans before it’s too late?

Nancy:​ This issue picks up where the last one left off, in mid-fight. It should have been a dynamic start, but the tension was undercut by wordy captions. There was too much inner monologue in the opening, while Babs was plummeting toward death, and not enough further in to bring new readers up to speed about why she lives in a rundown neighborhood or has no spare suits. I liked Babs’s ingenuity and the strategy she devised to lure Killer Moth into battle. Her ability to analyze and plan is something I’ve always liked about her. Jason Bard also had a nice moment or two with Babs (and I say that as a staunch member of Team Dick/Babs). Unfortunately, the book spent a lot of time setting up the Terrible Trio and the Oracle android as the villains of the next arc. Oracle’s character was particularly well done, but these sequences took up too much of the book. I would rather have seen more about Babs preparing to fight Killer Moth or trying to pull her life together. It’s a decent issue but not an especially good one.

Michael: ​I agree with you, Nancy, in that the entire issue felt very wordy and a tad repetitive in the Oracle scenes. But I really like the general atmosphere Castellucci is bringing to the book. The world feels lived in and I love the idea that Barbara has run out of batsuits and needs to stitch her last one up. A lot of recent ​Batgirl​ runs have tried to tap into the struggles of living in a city as a twenty-something year old, but I think this run so far has done the best job of making it feel authentic. Oracle holds promise as a villain, but I’d prefer more scenes of Barbara trying to get her life together instead of the moderately funny Terrible Trio.

Casper:​ I thought this was all right. I really dig Bellaire’s colors, as always, but sometimes the page layouts were kind of messy. Panel borders sometimes are a bit vague too, and panels can be really crowded which gets in the way of the flow of the story. Other than that, it’s an entertaining story, but I’m not terribly excited about this. There are a lot of books on stands, and I don’t see why I would spend my money on this one (yet). Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Barbara Gordon fan, but I guess we’ll see how the story develops.

Nancy: ​Michael, you make a good point about the world seeming lived in. I think superheroes should run out of suits, gadgets, etc., once in a while, but if they’re out at the start of an issue, I would like a recap for new readers. And I say that despite my many complaints about the agonizingly prolonged recaps in ​Nightwing.​ A sentence or two would suffice.

Would you recommend buying this for $3.99?

Yes: ​Nancy, Michael

No:​ Casper (not yet)

Check out Nancy’s full review here

Batman Beyond​ #35

Credit: Rick Leonardi, Ande Parks, Chris Sotomayor, and Travis Lanham

“Lost Days” continues! Move over, Robin! Batman has a new partner, and it’s…the Splitt?! Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon join forces to try and stop this madness, but the original Batman may have to call in an old friend to save the day—and his young protégé—this time around.

Michael​: I have the general sense that this book has been forgotten, but having caught up on it, I’ve found it to be a consistently entertaining series. I’m in a love-hate relationship with the art in this current arc, but it’s so strange to me that I found myself looking at it longer than in most books. I’m partial to the ​Beyond​ world, so I think mileage may vary, but I think Jurgens has been doing a great job and this issue is no different. Each arc is full of fun surprises and great “villain of the week” types, which is something I’ve found to be lacking in a lot of modern superhero books. Though between False Face and Black Mask making it into my reading rotation so close together I think I’m good on stolen identity storylines for a while.

Matina​: This was the first issue of ​Batman Beyond’s​ Rebirth run that I read. I’ve always been a fan of the tv series, so you’d think I’d have picked up this title sooner to read, but it’s been on the outskirts of my attention for a while now. Still, I agree, it was a pretty good issue and something that makes me want to look into more of what’s been going on in Terry’s world. Especially since I’m a fan of “villain of the week” type stories.

Would you recommend buying this for $3.99?

Yes:​ Michael, Matina

No: Nobody

Check out Michael’s full review here

Batman: Curse of the White Knight​ #2

Credit: Sean Murphy, Matt Hollingsworth, and AndWorld

The Joker’s plan is in full swing—with a single devastating secret and his puppet strings controlling the elites, the Clown Prince and his new recruit, Azrael, are ready to eliminate Batman and obliterate the Wayne family’s legacy. With Gotham City’s identity and institutions hanging in the balance, Gordon makes a surprising public announcement—but The Joker’s response will send the Bat-family and the GTO spiraling.

Michael: ​I’m surprised that I enjoyed the flashbacks the most in this issue. I think it’s a bit of a crutch lately to use some unknown story from Gotham’s past that comes to haunt the present, but I found myself very engaged by the opening. It might also be because it didn’t feel rushed in comparison to the rest of the book which felt incredibly messy to me. Each scene felt at least on page too short. Joker confronting Gordon on stage and his reveal of Batgirl’s identity didn’t work for me at all. I actually flipped back and forth a few times to make sure I wasn’t missing pages. The scene with Ruth and Bruce was interesting though and I liked how it showed all the consequences of Batman’s identity being revealed. Also, it’s mostly nice to see Murphy leaning back into the political angle of this book, but like how Brian mentioned in his review, he uses the word “elites” way too many times. I’m torn on this book, hard to not recommend, but I think it’s one issue away from me turning on it.

Jay:​ Agreed, Michael. Like the previous issue, I found the flashbacks to be the most interesting aspect. The modern day story picks up a little bit, but I’m much more fascinated by this new history of Gotham that Murphy is laying out.

Casper:​ Unfortunately I didn’t get around to reading this issue yet! I’ll make sure to do that before the next issue comes out so I can jump back into the discussion next month!

Would you recommend buying this for $3.99?

Yes:​ Michael, Brian

No: Nobody

Check out Brian’s full review here

Batman/Superman​ #1

Credit: David Marquez, Alejandro Sanchez, and John J. Hill

Up in the sky, in the dark of the night, trust no one—for the Secret Six walk among us. Spinning out of the devastating events of the Batman Who Laughs, Superman and Batman are together once more in an all-new monthly series—and they’re facing a terrifying new threat that could strike from anywhere. The Dark Knight and the Man of Steel must journey into the depths of Gotham City to learn which of their fellow heroes has been transformed into the horrifying horseman of their most dangerous and deranged foe ever. Our heroes will need to fight to survive, but an even more dangerous question lurks in the shadows: Can Superman and Batman even trust each other?

Nick: ​Not a half-bad start – almost felt like a direct continuation of ​The Batman Who Laughs,​with a different tone. Wasn’t a fan of the intro until I realized it was a Dark Multiverse retelling, and I like how the panels pretty effectively recreated the one-shot of the villain’s origin. I’m always a fan of Clark and Bruce comparing each other, though I don’t think it does anything particularly new at the moment. The impact of the book’s ending really falls apart when the final pages were the preview for the entire issue, and the stinger at the end of the issue is pretty much just the cover for issue 2. The art and premise are fantastic though, and I’m excited to see where it goes now that the setup has been achieved.

Matina​: I can see your point in talking about the ending falling apart because the preview was basically the end and how the stinger has been known for a while. It is frustrating. At the same time, I feel like the real joy of this book- for me at least- is less in the who’s infected, and more just getting to see Superman and Batman working closely together. I enjoyed their interactions a lot in this issue, and I’m really excited to see where they go from here.

Michael​: I hadn’t gotten anything spoiled for me in this book so the last few moments were pretty cool. I have real mixed feelings on the general premise of this book. The art is gorgeous, but I’m growing weary of seeing book after book figure out a way to have our heroes fight each other. I agree with Matina in that I’m here to see Batman and Superman interact and those scenes were my favorite, but I’m also with Nick in that I didn’t really see anything new brought to the table in those interactions. Having said that, I’m interested in seeing where this is going, but I’m not all in yet.

Casper:​ I don’t think we should hold the fact that the solicits spoiled the Billy Batson reveal against the book or the creative team. That’s a marketing thing, not a creative thing, and within the context of the book, I think that cliffhanger is pretty awesome. I’m looking forward to next issue; hopefully the story will only move forward from there on out, because I can only take so much exposition until I lost my mind. The Superman and Batman interaction was pretty cool, but I feel like so far it’s been rather superficial for the most part, so I hope that improves as we go along (except for the part where Superman compares Bruce’s cave to BWL’s cave and talks about how Bruce’s cave is like a glimpse into Bruce’s mind — that was great!).

Would you recommend buying this for $3.99?

Yes:​ Nick, Matina, Michael, Casper

No: Brian

Check out Casper’s full review here