Welcome to another This Week in Comics! If this is your first time clicking on a This Week article, this is where the Batman News review team gets together to discuss the latest Batman-related comics. In this week’s article, we’re talking about turtles, Doomsday Clock, Harley and Ivy’s latest shenanigans, slasher movie vibes in DCeased, the JSA and the JLA, and Adams’ latest Bat-book.

So kick back, relax, enjoy—and don’t forget to check out our full reviews in the Comics Section!


Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #5

Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles think they’ve figured out how to tear apart Krang’s Combined Multiverse and restore their reality. But Krang has planned this moment for years. With his robot army, he’s ready to destroy them all. And if Batman can’t remember the last missing piece in his life, there may be no hope left!


Casper: I actually managed to catch up with this series right before the end! And you guys were right about the art: Eastman and Williams II really fit well together. This is such an interesting way of doing comic art, sharing panels and everything. I can’t think of any other book that has done this before, and I especially love how it’s not just like this because it’s cool, but that there’s an actual story reason for it. The story itself is pretty straightforward and the pace is pretty fast, but I’m enjoying this so far. Hopefully the creative team will pull off a solid ending next month.

Matina: I had a lot of fun reading this issue. I don’t mind how straightforward the story was since things are really gearing up for the end, the momentum is nice and I’m excited to see how it all wraps up. Plus, any story that gives me a Batman boldly declaring he doesn’t work alone is a win in my book.

Casper: Absolutely! Batman working with his family, rather than pushing them away, is what I want to see!

Would you recommend buying this for 3.99?

Yes: Casper, Matina
No: Nobody

Check out Jay’s full review here.


Doomsday Clock #11

The critically acclaimed series by the renowned team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank marches toward its conclusion. In this penultimate issue, the truth behind “Rebirth” is revealed as Batman searches for the one person he believes can help him save the world…Rorschach!


Nick: HOW THE HELL ARE THEY GONNA WRAP THIS ALL UP IN ONE ISSUE????

I loved it.

Josh: My first thought after finishing this was also, “How are they going to wrap all of this up?” Haha! 

I thought it was alright. This issue didn’t pack as much of a punch as previous issues did for me. 

Michael: By the end the issue totally won me over, but I definitely wasn’t feeling the first few pages. Some plot points were pretty hokey, particularly Lex being there to see Wally and Barry reunite in Rebirth, and I feel like some characters have just fallen off in importance, like Reggie, and their purpose grows increasingly vague. But it’s hard to deny how thrilling the last pages with Superman and Manhattan are.

Josh: Part of me wonders if Reggie has become less important because the importance of Doomsday Clock has changed. It’s clear the title isn’t going to carry as much weight—if any—as it was originally intended to. 

Nancy: Doomsday Clock isn’t the kind of story I usually warm to, but I appreciate the intricacy of it and the way plot threads seem to be converging. I’m reading it because it’s such a comprehensive look at the DCU. As a Legion of Super-Heroes fan, I’m not sure how I feel about the developments on that front in this story, and I agree with Michael about some bits being hokey. But I also am looking forward to what comes after that last panel.

Casper: Still waiting for the trade, guys. One day I’ll have read all of this. One day…

Matina: I’m with you, Casper. This is one I’m waiting on the trade for, the breaks between issues are just too long for me to want to keep up with.

Would you recommend buying this for 4.99?

Yes: Michael, Nancy, Josh, Jay, Nick
No: Nobody

Check out Jay’s review here.


Harley Quinn #65

After an unimaginable loss, “The Trials of Harley Quinn” come to a screeching halt. As Harley attempts to pick up the pieces and move forward, Mirand’r comes to her with a new offer…one that she can’t refuse!


Casper: I thought that this issue was entertaining, but the fun stuff got in the way of the sad stuff a little bit, and so the sad stuff was harder to take seriously and lost some of its power, which is a shame because I think that the sad stuff is also the strongest stuff in the book at the moment.

Matina: I agree that the sad moments are the strongest part of the book. I think there’s a lot of potential for Harley’s growth built into this storyline, and I’d hate to see it brushed aside for jokes. This issue did a better job balancing things than previous issues have, but it could benefit from lingering on the serious tone more.

Casper: Yeah, I guess you could argue that the jarring shifts in tone reflect Harley’s own mood swings, but it also makes for a somewhat disjointed narrative from time to time. It can be hard to keep up with the story when the story itself doesn’t really know what it wants to be. But I agree with you, Matina, that this issue does a better job at balancing things for sure!

That said, Basri’s art is amazing. That artist really should not be underestimated! His sequential art is on point and his character designs are solid.

Matina: Yes! Basri’s art is stunning. It really took this story and elevated it.

Josh: I gave this a read. It isn’t really my cup of tea. I just haven’t been able to connect with this book since Humphries took over. I feel as though he’s trying to be Palmiotti and Conner, and he’s not. And I don’t mean that as a dig to him…I’d just rather see what he can bring to the table. Right now I feel like Humpries is kind of split three ways: following mandates from DC, trying to carry on what worked so well for the previous creative team, and trying to find places to inject himself.

Casper: Yeah, having reviewed this title since Humphries’ start and up until now, I’ve been thinking about that too, Josh. This book has been struggling with its identity for a while, and although I’ve seen improvements recently, I don’t think it’s quite there yet. Hopefully Humphries finds his rhythm soon, because this does have potential.

Casper: Well, in that case, let’s move on to the next title!

Would you recommend buying this for 3.99?

Yes: Casper, Matina
No: Josh

Check out Matina’s review here.


DCeased: A Good Day to Die #1

While the mainstays of the Justice League—Superman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman—battle the worldwide infection in the pages of DCEASED, a group of other heroes work to stop the impending apocalypse—no matter who they have to kill!

Mr. Terrific assembles a motley group of surviving heroes including Mister Miracle, Big Barda, John Constantine, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold as they attempt to fight back against the tide of death. Can this ragtag group save the world where the Justice League has thus far failed?


Josh: I thought this was fine. My problem with A Good Day to Die is that it doesn’t capture the themes or moments that makes the main DCeased storyline so good. 

Michael: I agree with Casper’s review in that it felt hard to connect with a group of characters that felt destined to die. I also totally agree that Darick Robertson’s art was a highlight and wish he had done the entire issue. Some of the shifts between artists was very jarring, particularly in how Constantine was drawn. DCeased in general has had a problem with feeling too fast paced, and while this one-shot did allow a bit of a reprieve from the main story, the pace remains breakneck and relies a lot on already having a relationship with the characters rather than creating something new to make you care when they eventually start dying. Hard for me to fully recommend, but it’s a worthy add if you’ve been following DCeased in general.

Matina: I haven’t actually been reading the main DCeased line, and I picked this up mostly for Constantine, and out of curiosity. I agree with you Michael, it had some rocky moments between the art shifts and pacing. I had fun reading it, though I’m not sure if it’s for everyone. 

Casper: I think that’s one thing I neglected to point out in my review, Michael—that this issue relies on already having a relationship with the characters. That’s a valid point!

In the end, like I said in my review, I think this entire issue is utterly pointless because the heroes just didn’t really accomplish anything. 

Josh: True.

Casper: But, in spite of that, I still had a lot of fun reading this. It has a kind of campy slasher movie vibe to it, and I really dig that. I just wish there was more to it, because now this is just a throwaway comic book to me. It doesn’t add a lot to the main series and it doesn’t really work as a standalone story either.

Josh: Completely agree with you on the campy slasher aspect. And especially considering we’re moving closer to Halloween, I’m finding myself wanting that. As for it not adding much to the main series, I agree, but there was the tease at the end of the issue, so I’m curious to see if and when the magical crew make an appearance in the main title. Even then, I’m not sure if it will make this issue needed or required.

Casper: Honestly, Josh, I have a feeling that this one’s entirely skippable. I still like it, but I think it’s really for the hardcore DCeased fans.

Would you recommend buying this for 4.99?

Yes: Casper, Matina, Jay, Josh
No: Nobody

Check out Casper’s review here.


Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #1

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are taking their show on the road in this new miniseries! They’ll have to evade villains and heroes alike while they explore their relationship and unpack their time and experiences at Sanctuary. Set after the events of HEROES IN CRISIS and smack in the middle of “Year of the Villain,” it’s a journey across the DC Universe that will change their friendship forever…if they live that long!


Michael: Well, I didn’t mind reading this, which is about as high of a compliment I expected to give it. I thought the art was nice and there’s a few moments in the dialogue that I found interesting. I like Houser as a writer, she’s got a good point of view that I feel she integrates into her character work pretty well without feeling preachy. These just aren’t my favorite characters to spend time with.

Casper: You know, I didn’t mind reading it either, which kind of surprised me. I went into this thinking this was going to be a chore for me, but I made it to the final page pretty fast. I can’t say I really enjoyed this, though, because I definitely would not revisit this issue, but it managed to hold my attention for a while. However, it did take forever to get anywhere. I got more interested in the story once Woodrue showed up, but that didn’t happen until the final pages! I guess I’ll check back next month, just to see where this is going. Seeing as this issue has been purely setup, I hope that this story gets moving next time.

Matina: I’m a bit torn on this title. I didn’t mind reading it, and I found it interesting but I agree with you, Casper, it felt like it was taking a while to really get going. I wish it had started out with more of a bang, especially since this is a limited run. Both these characters have the potential to be a lot of fun together, and while it had some moments that made me laugh, I think I was expecting a little more from the first issue. 

Nick: I found that it was nice to let these two characters breathe for a moment, though my positive opinions on this issue don’t mean that it doesn’t need to pick up speed next issue. There’s some good setup here, but the pieces still need to be used.

Josh: I just can’t help but feel that this book is completely pointless. It feels like DC is publishing this title just to publish it, rather than taking advantage of an opportunity to actually tell a quality story… And both of these characters are set-up for a quality story following the events of Heroes in Crisis. Unfortunately, I feel that by the end of this run, everything will just be back to normal. 

Would you recommend buying this for 3.99?

Yes: Nick
No: Casper, Michael, Josh

Check out Nick’s review here.


Justice League #31

“The Justice Doom War” part two! The culmination of Lex Luthor’s plan hinges on his beating the Justice League to the prize, ratcheting up the peril as the Year of the Villain continues! The Totality has shattered and its pieces have been tossed across space and time. Thus, the Justice League must also split apart, forming three search teams to comb the past, present, and future to re-combine the Totality before the Legion of Doom can get its villainous hands on the cosmic weapon. What allies will our heroes find in these other timelines? In the future, it’s the Last Boy on Earth, Kamandi! But in the past, there are the familiar faces of the Justice Society of America!


Jay: It goes through fits and starts, but I still liked it.  The scenes with the JSA were pretty delightful, and I love all the Hypertime wackiness.

Michael: My brain goes into a protective shut down mode when I see a ton of writing on a comic page. So I might have glossed over some of the technobabble that, to be frank, I don’t think is worth the amount of page real estate it takes up. JSA stuff is a ton of fun, though. I’m just starting to remember why these types of stories tend not to work for me. 

Casper: I agree with you, Michael. I’m the same. I love reading, but comics is a visual medium. Speaking of which, Jiminez’s art is outstanding. Seriously, I think this is even better than what I’ve seen from him before. It’s a lot of fun seeing his renditions of the JSA characters, Kamandi, and even Justice League Alpha from One Million. I do wish we just jumped into the action already, though. I want to see some action!

Nancy: “Fits and starts” is a good way to describe it. I like stories that go back and forth in time, and I like to see the heroes confronting really bad odds. Each of the sequences engaged me, especially the JSA one. I loved the “society versus league” bit. I also enjoyed Brainiac lurking in the background. Time travel is always fun, and the past event that closed out the book leaves our heroes up against the wall. Even if it hadn’t, the last panel would’ve sucked me in for the next issue. I agree with Casper that there could’ve been more action, but I still enjoyed the book. I also liked the art a lot, with one exception. Wonder Woman’s and Mera’s headpieces are so low on their brows, especially Mera’s, that they look as if the center front points would dig into the bridges of their noses. I found that a bit distracting, but it’s a small quibble.

Would you recommend buying this for 3.99?

Yes: Casper, Nancy, Jay
No: Michael

Check out Brian’s review here.


Batman vs. Ra’s al Ghul #1

Gotham City is under siege by terrorists, and Batman is determined to find the source. But when Boston Brand tries to intervene, he discovers an even more disturbing and deadly truth: the terrorists are led by an inhuman monster. Ra’s al Ghul has volunteered his own private security force to aid the GCPD, and now they are the only thing standing between nuclear terror and the townspeople!


Jay: Silver lining: it’s more linear than some of Adams’ recent work, so therefore more coherent.

Slightly.

Josh: Haha! I’m glad you found something positive! I don’t know… We covered a lot of books this week, and I feel like my thoughts for nearly all of them were, “Yeah… It was fine.” This was the one book that I actually thought, “Well that wasn’t very good.”

Nick: That’s always nice, because it gives you much more room to enjoy the art and the… “unique” writing style.

Michael: I think I loved this.

Jay: That should be a blurb on the trade. “‘I think I loved this.’ —Michael Escalante, Batman News.”

Josh: Hahahahaha! Yes!

Casper: If anyone at DC is reading this, please make this happen—haha!

Matina: I’m learning that Adams is one of those storytellers I enjoy more when I can read the whole thing together. This felt a bit chaotic for me as a single issue, but! I am eager to figure out why there’s two Robins running around.

Michael: I thought this was as coherent as an Adams book can get so that was a definite plus for me. I was surprised at how taken in I was in the opening pages. I loved the bit with the newscaster talking about what Batman is doing and thought it was a pretty effective way to deliver a truckload of exposition while still being exciting. And the book makes me laugh a lot, sometimes with it and maybe at it at times? It’s hard to tell. There’s nothing else like this on the stands and it felt like a breath of simultaneously fresh and stale air.

Casper: Honestly, this was pretty entertaining, but I’m also really weirded out by this (which was to be expected). As a standalone issue I can’t really recommend this, though, but maybe, as the story continues, I’ll change my mind. Also, I agree with Matina that it’s a bit chaotic, especially for a first issue. And those two Robins… like… what’s going on? All the characters are acting like it’s normal except for that one SWAT dude. It’s hilarious and weird and silly all at the same time. But maybe it’s not as complicated as it seems? I guess we’ll find out eventually!

Nancy: The last Adams-written story I read was Odyssey. I found it hard to follow and kind of incoherent. This is better, though I hated the beginning. Animals in jeopardy make me want to read something else. I also had issues with the beginning because it wasn’t definite when the story was set (despite references to No Man’s Land and Cataclysm, which made me wonder if this was a retcon of some sort) or why Deadman showed up all of a sudden. Despite the lack of explanation, I thought this was easier to follow than Odyssey. As Jay says, more linear.  I agree with Michael that the newscaster gave the story some cohesion. It also had actual Dick Grayson as actual Nightwing, which is not something to sneeze at as the “Ric” Grayson arc slogs on and on. The art was dynamic, as might have been expected, but some characters looked sort of cartoonish. The two Robins might’ve been twins, wearing very similar uniforms and slightly different hairstyles. The lack of distinction between them is disappointing coming from an artist of Adams’s abilities. I sort of assumed the shorter one was Damian and the taller, Tim, but that really should’ve been made clear. The ending was an interesting twist. So I’m cautiously recommending this.

Nick: One thing I only really hinted at in my review but wanted to touch on here was the “moral dilemma” Adams brings up, when Batman attacks a SWAT team for shooting terrorists instead of using non-violent means. It feels a little strange to me, especially because it’s not an issue Adams really dives into—more of a surface-level dilemma that literally just tells us “you decide what to think of it.” It was a little odd. I had fun though. Batman pretending to throw the dog was hilarious.

Casper: Well, I gotta give Adams that. Even as a dog person myself, that fake dog throw was hilarious indeed! I don’t think Batman would really do something like that, but @#$% it!

Would you recommend buying this for 3.99?

Yes: Michael, Nancy, Nick
No: Casper, Matina, Jay, Josh

Check out Nick’s review here.