We’ve got a full slate ahead of us this week, and not all of the titles are books that we typically cover. With Year of the Villain/ Doom War, the entire infected arc, and the teases coming from Tale from the Dark Multiverse, there’s so much crossover and expansion that needs to be covered to keep a pulse on the bigger picture. Am I excited? For a few of these issues, sure!
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.
TAKE MY MONEY
The Batman’s Grave #2
A man was murdered, and the Batman is in his head-and he knows how it happened. All he has to do now is survive his own deduction. Don’t miss the second chapter of this new thriller from writer Warren Ellis and artist Bryan Hitch!
Written by Warren Ellis
Pencils and Inks by Bryan Hitch
Colored by Alex Sinclair
Cover by Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair
Josh’s Stance: Warren Ellis, Bryan Hitch, and Alex Sinclair delivered one hell of a debut last month, and I can’t wait to get my hands on this issue! If you’ve felt that Batman hasn’t been very “Batman” for a while now, then this is definitely a book you’ll want to pick up.
Batman News Critic: Josh
Batman & the Outsiders #7
Unable to cope with Black Lightning and Batman’s methods, Duke Thomas finds refuge in the philosophy of Ra’s al Ghul, becoming the latest acolyte of the Demon, as Ra’s at last begins to rebuild his empire!
Written by Bryan Edward Hill
Pencils and Inks by Cian Tormey
Colored by Adriano Lucas
Cover by Jonboy Meyers
Josh’s Stance: There are many things that Hill is doing well in Batman & the Outsiders, and there are many things that I wish were executed better. His use of Ra’s al Ghul has easily created my favorite moments of the series though, so seeing as this issue will focus heavily on him, I’m pretty excited.
Batman News Critic: Josh
Detective Comics #1015
For centuries children have been told to be careful about what they wish for, and after years of yearning for his beloved to return, Mr. Freeze finally gets it. But frozen hearts don’t melt easily, and after years in cryostasis, Nora Fries is the ultimate ice queen. Gotham and Victor Fries will never be the same again.
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Jose Luis and Doug Mahnke
Inks by Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Mark Irwin, and Matt Santorelli
Colored by David Baron
Cover by Paolo Pantalena and Arif Prianto
Josh’s Stance: I still feel that the whole approach of bringing Nora Fries back is “tread carefully” territory, and that in and of itself makes me a little anxious, but Tomasi has handled incredibly well so far. Are we really surprised though? No. If there’s one writer at DC who really strives to craft stories that have a foundation in character development and relationships, it’s Peter Tomasi. I do find it a little hard to believe Nora would so willingly become a villain, but I’m remaining open because I trust Tomasi.
Batman News Critic: Jay
Corrupted with an infection concocted by the Batman Who Laughs, Carter Hall’s psyche is overpowered by the darkest of all his past lives: the Sky Tyrant, the villainous Hawkman of Earth-3! A merciless winged warrior with no remorse and no rival, Sky Tyrant is unleashed on our Earth. The only chance of stopping him lies with the fading consciousness of Carter Hall. The series that reinvented Hawkman’s mythology to encompass all of time and space takes its next adventurous leap into the Multiverse!
Written by Robert Venditti
Pencils by Patrick Olliffe
Inks by Tom Palmer
Colored by Jeremiah Skipper
Cover by Patrick Olliffe, Tom Palmer, and Jeremiah Skipper
Josh’s Stance: Yep! We’re covering Hawman! Why? Because it’s touching on the “Infected” story arc from Batman/ Superman. I’m rather intrigued with the Batman Who Laugh’s current plan (it’s actually the most interested I’ve been in any of his stories thus far), and I’m anxious to see more of these infected heroes. Plus, Robert Venditti is an excellent writer, and that alone is enough to warrant giving the book a shot!
Batman News Critic: Casper
Supergirl-the infected! Brainiac-1 attempts to contact Supergirl at the Fortress of Solitude, but for what nefarious purpose? No matter what he has planned, things are about to go from bad to worse as Supergirl heads on a collision course with the Batman Who Laughs! He’s targeted Superman as part of his plan to infect heroes and transform them into their twisted Dark Multiverse counterparts-but Supergirl gets caught in the crossfire, and the Year of the Villain stakes get even higher!
Written by Marc Andreyko
Pencils by Eduardo Pansica
Inks by Julio Ferreira
Colored by Chris Sotomayor
Cover by Dan Mora
Josh’s Stance: Speaking of the infected, we’re also covering Supergirl this week. As with Hawkman, I’m curious to see the direction of the title. I’m more lukewarm to Marc Andreyko’s work, but he’s definitely delivered some great stories before (Manhunter), so I’m curious to see what he brings to the table here. Also, I haven’t been reading his run on Supergirl, so if it’s something I should be reading, let me know.
Batman News Critic: Casper
Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Blackest Night #1
What could be blacker than the Blackest Night? From the pages of Dark Nights: Metal comes a Dark Multiverse retelling of the Green Lantern event that changed the DC Universe forever…only this time, the Black Lanterns win! Now, 23 days after the apocalypse, witness the rise of Sinestro as the Limbo Lantern! Trapped between life and death as a White and Black Lantern, Sinestro seeks to save the universe-or end his miserable life-once and for all! Joined by Dove, Lobo, and Mister Miracle, the last living beings in the universe will put everything on the line to give their world one final chance.
Written by Tim Seeley
Pencils by Kyle Hotz
Inks by Dexter Vines, Walden Wong, and Danny Mikki
Colors by David Baron and Allen Passalaqua
Cover by Lee Weeks and Brad Anderson
Josh’s Stance: Continuing the trend of event-stories (seriously, DC really should’ve planned this better…), we get another chapter in Tales from the Dark Multiverse. It’s clear that a Crisis book of some sort is on the horizon considering multiple titles keep referencing one, and this story – along with Flash Forward – appears to be laying some groundwork that could lead to it. Anyway, the Knightfall story was excellent, while the Death of Superman story left a lot to be desired. Will this chapter fall in line with the former or the latter? Let’s hope it’s the former.
Batman News Critic: Nick
Selina Kyle reconnects with her criminal roots, but to be Gotham City’s top thief again, she has to take out the boss. Using the gift given to her by Lex Luthor, she finally has the key to everything Raina Creel wants-and Catwoman is going to get it first. Which all sounds dandy in theory, but Creel has come too far and put up with too much humiliation from Catwoman to let her win again. It’s a Year of the Villain showdown, but who here is the baddest baddie?
Written by Joelle Jones
Pencils and Inks by Joelle Jones
Colored by Laura Allred
Cover by David Finch and Steve Firchow
Josh’s Stance: While I don’t think Catwoman is bad, I’ve completely lost interest in the title. It’s so disconnected from everything that’s going on in the rest of the DC universe, and while I would normally be ok with that, the publishers are trying to connect it to Year of the Villain and the Doom War… But considering Catwoman’s current plot in Batman, none of it adds up properly, and kind of makes DC’s efforts to create a cohesive universe look like amateur hour. On a positive note, Joelle Jones’ art is always fantastic!
Batman News Critic: Michael
Event Leviathan #6
From the Eisner Award-winning team of superstar writer Brian Michael Bendis and groundbreaking artist Alex Maleev, the shocking conclusion to the biggest DC mystery of the year! Who is Leviathan? What do they want? How have they dismantled the most powerful secret agencies in the world? And what’s their next deadly move? The greatest detectives of the DC Universe descend on Leviathan, and all the answers are revealed! Don’t miss the shocking conclusion of this storyline!
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Alex Maleev
Cover by Alex Maleev
Josh’s Stance: Speaking of events, the book that literally has “Event” in the title and has been anything but eventful… Event Leviathan. This entire arc has been less entertaining and intriguing than the prelude in Action Comics, and hasn’t really done anything but pose the question, “Who is Leviathan?” It’s essentially taking us six issues to answer that question, and the journey to bring us to this point has been rather dull.
Batman News Critic: Brian
Gotham City Monsters #3
The monsters have united in the aftermath of Melmoth’s attack, but one of their own has gone missing! Andrew Bennett, a.k.a. I, Vampire, has gone straight to the source of the evil that threatens the city, but the fanged one finds attacking Melmoth’s acolytes is biting off a little more than he can chew. Frankenstein leads Killer Croc, Lady Clayface, Orca, and the mysterious Red Phantom on a chase through the Gotham underground to try to rescue Bennett and shut down whatever Melmoth has planned next. But will their showdown at the Gotham City Zoo attract the attention of any of Gotham’s other protectors? Batwoman, perhaps?
Written by Steve Orlando
Pencils and Inks by Amancay Nahuelpan
Colored by Trish Mulvihill
Cover by Marc Deering, Jay David Ramos, and Philip Tan
Josh’s Stance: I rather enjoyed the first issue, but last month’s chapter fell a bit in quality. I do feel most of the drop was due to Orlando’s need to unite the team considering the short issue run, so I’m hopeful that this issue will regain some of the quality it lost.
Batman News Critic: Michael
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”
Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy #3
Down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass, and what did Harley and Ivy find there? A tea party with some very unexpected and uninvited guests! It turns out the Mad Hatter has a game of his own to play, and Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn must decide between fight and flight. And is that gift Lex Luthor dropped off for Ivy actually of any use, or is it just a steaming pile of manure?
Written by Jody Houser
Pencils by Adriana Melo
Inks by Adriana Melo and Mark Morales
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Mikel Janin
Josh’s Stance: My thoughts on this are the same as they were after reading the debut issue… This is a wasted opportunity.
Batman News Critic: Nick
- Additional releases from DC Comics: Collapser #5, DC Superhero Girls Giant Direct Market #1, The Dolhouse Family #1, Far Sector #1, The Flash #82, House of Whispers #15, Justice League Odyssey #15, RWBY #2, Superman #17, and Wonder Woman #82.
GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:
Justice League Vol. 4: The Sixth Dimension – The Justice League has the map to the Sixth Dimension in hand-and with it, they have the key to saving the Multiverse from utter destruction! Meanwhile, Superman is trapped on a world with no light and hundreds of dead Supermen! The Multiverse is teetering on the brink, and Lex Luthor’s Legion of Doom is poised for victory. The final form of Perpetua takes shape, and the DCU will never be the same again! Collects issues #19-28.
Teen Titans Go!: Weirder Things – When Robin catches Starfire, Raven and Cyborg making paper airplanes, he warns them that they’re dangerously close to unlocking “The Deadliest Art”: origami. Then, the Titans are shunned by social media elites when a bad after-action photo reveals them as “Posers.” Can they finalize a successful stance in time to defeat their next great menace? Collects issues #31-36.