We’re just a few hours away from this week’s releases, so I’m not going to waste any time!
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.
Batman/ Superman #4
Even from prison, the Batman Who Laughs is staying two steps ahead of the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel. His plan to infect heroes and turn them into the Dark Multiverse versions of themselves is starting to build steam, with Shazam and others already succumbing to his evil toxin. Batman and Superman are racing the clock to prevent the other three members of the Secret Six from being poisoned, but they realize they are too late when those three come looking for them instead-one of whom is a lot closer to Superman than expected and itching for a fight!
Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by David Marquez
Colored by Alejandro Sanchez
Cover by Rex Lokus and Emanuela Lupacchino
Josh’s Stance: Batman/ Superman is probably my favorite Bat book at the moment that isn’t a Black Label book. Who would’ve thought? I’ve never really cared for Joshua Williamson’s work, but I’m digging what he’s doing here! Can’t wait to read this chapter.
Batman News Critic: Casper
Batman: White Knight Presents Von Freeze #1
The world of Batman: White Knight expands with this standalone tale! On the night of Bruce Wayne’s traumatic birth, Victor Fries must intervene to save the lives of Martha Wayne and the future Batman. As the evening unfolds, Victor distracts Thomas with the incredible tale of his own father figures-one a Nazi, the other a Jew-and their complex connection to Wayne Laboratories. As the Third Reich roars into power, the deep friendship and working relationship between the Baron von Fries and his research partner, Jacob Smithstein, is in crisis. Ordered by Himmler to speed development of their cryotechnology in service of world domination, Smithstein is forced to go into hiding and compromise his moral code in order to save his wife and infant daughter, Nora, from persecution and certain death. When the S.S. ramps up surveillance over the project, young Victor begins to question his father’s true allegiance. Both families are driven toward an impossible choice and a sinister standoff, and Victor makes a pact with Smithstein that will ripple through generations.
Written by Tim Seeley
Pencils and Inks by Klaus Janson
Colored by Matt Hollingsworth
Cover by Matt Hollingsworth and Sean Murphy
Josh’s Stance: This could be a really, really good one-shot! I’m open to the concept, and I’m a fan of Tim Seeley, so that makes me hopeful. I can’t say I’m overly excited about Klaus Janson on art, but I guess you can’t win ’em all.
Batman News Critic: Michael
The Infected: Scarab #1
When Jaime Reyes is in trouble, a powerful scarab transforms him into a super hero. Jaime never asked to be the Blue Beetle, but he’s been doing his best to live up to the power within. Now the most sinister evil this or any other world has ever seen has his sights set on turning Jaime toward the darkness…and the Batman Who Laughs always gets what he wants. Spinning out of the events of Batman/ Superman and “Year of the Villain” comes the tale of a hero fighting the evil inside, and whose friends and family are about to pay the price…
Written by Dennis ‘Hopeless’ Hallum
Pencils and Inks by Freddie E. Williams II
Colored by Jeremy Colwell
Cover by David Marquez and Dean V. White
Josh’s Stance: I really enjoy Jaime Reyes, and I’ve always felt that his character has incredible potential if DC would actually let the character progress. They haven’t really ever jumped on that opportunity though, so I’m happy to see him thrust in the spotlight here – yes, even if it is an evil, infected version of the character. As far as the quality of the book, it could easily go either way. The thing that makes me hesitate more than anything is that Hallum’s nickname is apparently “Hopeless.” That’s not exactly a nickname to strike confidence in someone.
Batman News Critic: Nick
Justice League #36
How powerful is too powerful? Lex Luthor has assembled everything he needs to complete his plan of turning the world toward doom, including reviving the ancient goddess Perpetua and restoring her powers. But can he keep Perpetua from dragging the DC Universe into the abyss alongside the rest of the Multiverse? This is a question that hero and villain alike must ask, as the epic battle between the Justice League and the Legion of Doom across space and time comes crashing together. Everything that happens here sets the stage for the senses-shattering finale of the Justice/Doom War-and the fate of all existence hangs in the balance!
Written by Scott Snyder
Pencils and Inks by Francis Manapul and Howard Porter
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Francis Manapul
Josh’s Stance: I’m enjoying Snyder and Tynion’s work on Justice League, but there’s a large part of me that thinks, “This could be better,” every time I read it. It’s great, bombastic fun, but sometimes I feel as though it’s missing the character work and depth that would make it excellent.
Batman News Critic: Brian
Teen Titans #36
Like father, like daughter! Apex Lex has given Lobo the power to control Crush, and together they’re going to take down the Teen Titans! Try as she might, Crush struggles to resist Lobo’s influence…but to her horror, she starts to enjoy the madness! And finally, after all this time, it’s time to meet…the Other!
Written by Adam Glass
Pencils and Inks by Bernard Chang
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Dan Mora
Josh’s Stance: I’m not head-over-heels with Teen Titans, but I always seem to enjoy the issues featuring Lobo the most… So, yeah. Why not?
Batman News Critic: Matina
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”
William Cobb has taken the Nightwings down one by one, leaving Ric on his own in a Blüdhaven that is literally aflame. Cobb offers Ric a chance to save his city by at last fulfilling his legacy as the Gray Son and becoming the new Talon and leading the Court of Owls into a new age.
Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils and Inks by Ronan Cliquet
Colored by Nick Filardi
Cover by Jonboy Meyers
Josh’s Stance: The current arc is easily the best of the Ric Grayson arc, and if I felt like any of this would actually have a lasting impact, I’d probably rank this issue higher. I’m still over Ric as a character, but Dan Jurgens is doing some interesting stuff with Cobb (and putting the other Nightwings on the backburner for the moment).
Batman News Critic: Michael
Titans: Burning Rage #4
The Titans have traced the source that induced paranoia in the streets-but Steve Dayton, the former Mento, had nothing to do with it! In reality, the mayhem was instigated by his disgruntled assistant, who now plans to kill Dayton-unless the Titans can stop him! Originally published in Titans Giant #4 and #5.
Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils by Scot Eaton
Inks by Wayne Faucher
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, and Alex Sinclair
Josh’s Stance: Titans: Burning Rage is probably the one book hitting stands that feels like a throwback to classic stories. For many reasons, that makes it a fun, family book… But then, on the other hand, it also means that the quality is quite different compared to today’s standard, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Ultimately, I’d say this one is for kids or comic fans that know and appreciate the history and progression of comics throughout the years.
Batman News Critic: Josh
It’s chapter nine of “City of Bane,” and it’s time for a reckoning in Gotham City! Thomas Wayne has joined forces with Bane, and that alliance threatens to throw a monkey wrench into Batman’s plans. And as Bane’s evil army begins to crumble, the Caped Crusader must face the real force behind it all. As the end of this epic tale grows near, Batman and his allies have a choice: let Bane stay in power and guarantee the city’s survival, or risk everything to break free!
Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Mikel Janin
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Cover by Mikel Janin
Josh’s Stance: I seriously can’t even pretend to be excited about this book anymore… Sorry.
Batman News Critic: Josh
- Additional releases from DC Comics: Aquaman #54, Dial H for Hero #9, Flash Forward #3, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #1, Lucifer #14, Metal Men #2, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #5, The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1, Wonder Woman: Come Back to Me #5
GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:
Adventures of the Super Sons Vol. 2: Intergalactic Showdown – Locked in an intergalactic juvenile detention facility, Superboy and Robin meet the youngest-and meanest-Green Lantern ever! Well, sort of a GL. Mostly a GL. Really more of a trainee, but don’t tell the bad guys, okay? Plus, Joker Jr. returns…the clown who may be the boys’ last, best hope to stop the Gang! Collects ADVENTURES OF THE SUPER SONS #7-12.
DCeased – What happens to the World’s Finest if the world ends? With death spreading across the planet, who will live and who will turn in this apocalyptic tale of heroism, sacrifice and annihilation? Fighting time, each other and all of humanity, Earth’s greatest heroes must rally together for what may very well be their last chance to save the world from the most terrible plague humanity has ever seen. The Anti-Life Equation has been released and is ravaging the world at the viral speed of social media. Once exposed, victims lose their minds, violently attacking all around them. The heroes of Earth are fighting a losing battle to save the world… and themselves! Collects DCEASED issues #1-6 and DCEASED: A GOOD DAY TO DIE #1.
The Death of Superman: The Wake – Revisit the story that rocked the world in this thriller that explores what happened before, during and after the battle with Doomsday that cost Superman his life! First, the Man of Steel must save an astronaut when a meteor crashes into a space shuttle, then stand between Major Lane and Metallo! Featuring additional chapters following the path of Jimmy Olsen in those fateful hours, plus the aftermath of the loss of a true hero. Collects the 2018 digital series THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN chapters #1-12.