We have a heavy week ahead of us, along with some quality books that will be hitting shelves! We also have two debuts – both of which are Black Label titles. But to turn our attention to the site itself, I did want to share that we will cancel This Week in Comics for the time being. When it comes down to it, there’s barely anyone reading the article each week, and it doesn’t make sense to continue it considering the amount of time that goes into it. We’re looking into different things to bring to the table, and freeing everyone up a little should help open each of us up to provide more general coverage.

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.

October 9th

TAKE MY MONEY

The Batman’s Grave #1
The World’s Greatest Detective must try to inhabit the mind of a murder victim to solve a case-without filling the empty grave next to those of his parents. Can Batman imagine the life of a corpse with a half-eaten face without dying himself?

Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, one of the most legendary creative partnerships of the modern age, reunite in this maxiseries about life, death and the questions most are too afraid to ask.

Written by Warren Ellis
Pencils by Bryan Hitch
Inks by Kevin Nowlan
Colored by by Alex Sinclair
Cover by Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair

Josh’s Stance: Warren Ellis writing the script and Bryan Hitch delivering the art? Hell yeah I’m excited! And they start the solicitation with, “The World’s Greatest Detective must try to inhabit the mind of a murder victim…” That makes me feel like detective work will be heavily featured in the story. I’m pretty damn excited!

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

Joker/ Harley: Criminal Sanity #1
In Gotham City, where heinous acts of violence are a daily occurrence, the GCPD relies on Harley Quinn, a young forensic psychiatrist and profiler, to consult on their toughest cases. But Harley is haunted by one unsolved case-the night she discovered her roommate’s body marked with the signature of a notorious serial killer known as The Joker.

Five years later, the case remains unsolved and a new series of horrific murders occur throughout the city. As the murders escalate, Harley’s obsession with finding the depraved psychopath responsible leads her down a dangerous path. When the past and the present finally collide, Harley has to decide how far she is willing to go-and how many lines she is willing to cross-to solve these cases once and for all.

Written by Kami Garcia
Pencils and Inks by Mike Mayhew and Mico Suayan
Colored by Mike Mayhew
Cover by Francesco Mattina

Josh’s Stance: In general, I think I’m just desperate to read Harley in a different light. The over-the-top, ultra-crazy, slap-stick schtick of the main title has over-stayed it’s welcome in my opinion, and I just want something different. But, the main reason I’m excited for this is because the art I’ve seen from Mike Mayhew and Mico Suayan is incredible! This will definitely be worth checking out.

Batman-News Critic: Nick

 

INTRIGUED

Batman: Universe #4
Batman and Green Lantern have followed the trail of Vandal Savage back to the Old West-and right into an encounter with Jonah Hex! But before they can stop Savage from finding the mysterious Fabergé egg, Green Lantern disappears-and Batman lands back where his story began: Crime Alley! Originally published in BATMAN GIANT #9 and #10.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils and Inks by Nick Derington
Colored by Dave Stewart
Cover by Nick Derington

Josh’s Stance: When all is said and done, Bendis and Derington are delivering one hell of a fun and entertaining story. This is definitely a book I look forward to each month simply because it makes me smile.

Batman-News Critic: Jay

 

Batman & the Outsiders #6
While the mission is a success, the Outsiders do not feel like winners. Measures are taken to deprogram Sofia and understand the extent of her abilities, while Ra’s al Ghul’s power and influence grows enough for him to establish a new league in Khadym, unsullied by distractions and temptations of the earthly plane.

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: Now that Hill has everything in place, I’m actually looking forward to see what he does with the book. He had a lot of hurdles and speed bumps early on, but now the book is in his hands. I’m hoping for the best…

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

Detective Comics #1013
Mr. Freeze is so close to reviving Nora but Batman can’t let it happen. Mr. Freeze has never been more vicious or more deadly. There’s nothing more dangerous than a desperate man with a cold gun and Gotham City is going to learn that firsthand!

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Doug Mahnke
Inks by Christian Alamy and Keith Champagne
Colored by David Baron
Cover by David Baron and Doug Mahnke

Josh’s Stance: Tomasi is playing this very carefully, and I think he’s incredibly smart by doing so. The idea of Freeze bringing Nora back is definitely a plot fans should question, but Tomasi is handling it really well. That is keeping me invested and curious, and Mahnke’s art is outstanding, so there’s a lot to like here!

Batman-News Critic: Jay

 

Gotham City Monsters #2
Melmoth’s attack on Gotham City has immediate consequences for the denizens of Monster Town, and the losses suffered by Frankenstein and the other monsters have suddenly made this very, very personal. It’s up to Frankie to convince his cohorts that they need to band together against this common threat, lest all of Gotham-nay, the Multiverse!-fall to the might of his old master. But before they can do that, they must first answer the question: Who is the Red Phantom?

Written by Steve Orlando
Pencils and Inks by Amancay Nahuelpan
Colored by Trish Mulvihill
Cover by Jay David Ramos and Philip Tan

Josh’s Stance: Orlando introduced a number of interesting ideas and concepts in the debut of Gotham City Monsters, and that has me looking forward to what else he has in-store. He has a knack for writing weird things, but this book appears to have a happy balance. I’m on-board for now!

Batman-News Critic: Michael

 

Joker: Year of the Villain #1
In the Year of the Villain, what’s a Clown Prince of Crime to do when the world has started to accept doing bad as the only way to live? Out-bad everyone else, of course! The Joker is on a mission to get his mojo back and prove to the world that there is no greater villainy than the kind that leaves you laughing.

This special one-shot is co-written by legendary film auteur John Carpenter (The Thing, Halloween) and Anthony Burch (the Borderlands video games), making for a Joker comic that’s twisted in ways you never imagined!

Written by Anthony Burch and John Carpenter
Pencils by Philip Tan
Inks by Marc Deering, Jonathan Glapion, Danny Miki, and Philip Tan
Colored by Jay David Ramos
Cover by Marc Deering, Jay David Ramos, and Philip Tan

Josh’s Stance: On one hand: John Carpenter! On the other hand, I haven’t been overly impressed with any of the Year of the Villain one-shots, so we’ll see…

Batman-News Critic: Casper

 

Secrets of Sinister House #1
Witness what hides within the Sinister House-the DCU’s most horrific secrets and mysteries! Travel alongside Harley Quinn, John Constantine, Detective Chimp, Zatanna, the Atom and others as they face this macabre devastation firsthand! And in the bowels of this dark mansion…we return to the world of the legendary Red Rain to meet once again with the dreaded vampire Batman. Don’t miss this year’s DC Halloween special-because if you do, it’ll haunt you!

Written by Rafael Albuquerque, Paul Dini, Che Grayson, Bryan Edward Hill, John Layman, and More…
Pencils and Inks by Rafael Albuquerque, Jorge Fornes, Phil Hester, Sumit Kumar, Miguel Mendonca, and More…
Colored by Hi-Fi, Jordie Bellaire, Jeromy Cox, Bill Crabtree, Romulo Fajardo, Jr., and More…
Cover by Nathan Fairbairn, John Romita Jr., and Bill Sienkiewicz

Josh’s Stance: If you come into collections like this knowing what you’re going to get, then they can be really fun. The Halloween collections, in particular, tend to be some of my favorites. Will there be some bad stories? Of course, but I also know there will be a few gems as well to serve as the perfect preparation for Halloween!

Batman-News Critic: Michael

 

MIXED

Catwoman #16
Selina Kyle joins the Year of the Villain! Finally, Lex Luthor’s gift to Catwoman is revealed. While she wants to remain on the side of good, some habits are too hard to break, and some treasures too tempting. Plus, the gift puts Catwoman one step ahead of her top criminal rival in Villa Hermosa, the diabolical Raina Creel. In this big new story arc, Eisner-nominated writer/artist Joëlle Jones brings together the many plot threads she’s been building since the series’ launch, prepping Catwoman for her next grand adventure. But will she come out the other side as a hero…or villain?

Written by Joelle Jones
Pencils and Inks by Joelle Jones
Colored by Laura Allred
Cover by Laura Allred and Joelle Jones

Josh’s Stance: Catwoman has been all over the place for a while now. I’m happy to see Jones return, but I’m even more excited to see that all of these random plot threads will come together  finally… Well, you know… Unless it “comes together” in the same fashion that King’s Batman “is all connected.” Meaning it’s just a bunch of talk and not nearly enough narrative to support it.

Batman-News Critic: Michael

 

Event Leviathan #5
From the Eisner Award-winning team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev, it’s the reveal of the biggest mystery of the summer. Who is Leviathan? And what is their true goal? You’re going to find out here! Plus, Lois Lane had a whole other team working this story the entire time,  and-oh man!-someone found something!

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils and Inks by Alex Maleev
Colored by Alex Maleev
Cover by Alex Maleev

Josh’s Stance: I feel like I got burned last month, so I’m not nearly as excited for this chapter. The reality is that Event Leviathan hasn’t come close to living up to the set-up featured in Action Comics, and the event is beginning to feel less like an event, and more like a set-up. At this point, there’s no reason this story needed to take place within it’s own title… It could’ve easily just been an arc within Action Comics. Also, DC is doing too much at once. Between Event Leviathan, “Doom War,” and Year of the Villain, it feels as though nothing is really getting the attention it deserves… Thus, it’s making everything feel less important than it should.

Batman-News Critic: Brian

 

Justice League Odyssey #14
An unknown warrior assembles Green Lantern Jessica Cruz and various heroes to form a new JLO as guardians of the Ghost Sector. Vastly outnumbered against Darkseid’s savage para-angel strikeforce, they’re going to have to fight their way through Darkseid’s new multi-planet realm of Apokolips to take control of Sepulkore or die trying. What choice do they have? The entire universe is depending on them…

Written by Dan Abnett
Pencils by Chris Cross and Cliff Richards
Inks by Scott Hanna, Danny Miki, Cliff Richards, and Le Beau L. Underwood
Colored by Rainier Beredo and Pete Pantazis
Cover by Rainier Beredo and Will Conrad

Josh’s Stance: I know Abnett is trying really hard to deliver here… But I stopped caring before he even took the title over. I kind of feel he should just wrap this story and move on.

Batman-News Critic: Nancy

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

Batman vs Ra’s al Ghul #2
While Bruce Wayne confronts his wards at Wayne Manor (they seem to believe there’s a Batcave in the basement?), Batman is having a far worse time. Ra’s al Ghul has arranged for him to suffer, and when the villain emerges from the shadows, the detective pays in pain!

Written by Neal Adams
Art by  Neal Adams
Cover by Neal Adams

Josh’s Stance: The debut was already questionable, but this solicitation and cover aren’t doing anything for me. In my mind, this is a hard no, but I’m going to give it a shot first…

Batman-News Critic: Nick

 

Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy #2
Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are on the run with the Floronic Man hot on their trail, desperate for Poison Ivy to understand her connection to the Green and join his new Parliament of Flowers. Knowing Gotham City isn’t the safest place for them under the new Bane order, Harley takes a hard left down a rabbit hole to seek sanctuary with a former patient and colleague, Jervis Tetch-a.k.a. the Mad Hatter-but his wonderland home isn’t all that it seems!

Written by Jody Houser
Pencils and Inks by Adriana Melo
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Mikel Janin

Josh’s Stance: Well, it looks my fears were valid. Rather than take advantage of the opportunity before them, DC is unsurprisingly choosing to waste it by having another pointless story that’s only intended to be a cash-grab. Harley sells. If they could put an ounce of effort to see beyond the dollar signs, then they would realize that they could actually tell a good story while also making a nice profit…. Seriously, this company needs some fresh leadership really bad… Really. Bad.

Batman-News Critic: Nick

 

NOTES:

  • The Batman Giant Direct Market Edition #1 and Villains Giant Direct Market Edition #1 will be released this week.
  • Leviathan will be featured in Supergirl #35.
  • Damian Wayne will be featured with Jon as the Super Sons in Superman #16.

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

Harley Quinn Vol. 3: The Trials of Harley Quinn – Harley Quinn has the cosmic opportunity of a lifetime-becoming the “Galactic Angel of Retribution” for the Lords of Chaos and Order! But to prove herself worthy, she must survive six suitably bizarre trials, including teaming up with Batman, getting turned into a giant bug, fighting space aliens, and surviving Gotham City after its transformation into a deadly medieval fantasy RPG. Collects issues #55 and 57-63.