This weekend, Donny Cates called a guy out on Twitter for openly admitting he pirates comic books. Aaaannnndddd things pretty much spiraled from there in the comic-twitter verse. I jumped in on a few conversations as well, and figured I’d bring my opinions here.
Simply put, pirating is theft. Don’t steal.
If your excuse is that you’re poor, then find legal services that allow you to read for free (there are a number of them: Ubergizmo has a list of options on their website, but there’s also Comixology, Hoopla, or other services provided through your local library). If your justification for pirating comics is that you don’t know if the book will be any good or not, then you’re a dick. That’s what review sites – like ours – are for. That’s what previews are for. Hell, that’s what friends are for!
Look, we all know that I’m the first person who will harshly criticize creative teams and publishers for the quality of their books, but that doesn’t mean we should steal the content because we don’t want to pay for it. Please understand that this negatively impacts the business. As readers and comic book fans, we want quality content to hit shelves, but if there’s no money to be made in the industry, then quality creators won’t stick around. Just something to consider.
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.
Detective Comics #1016
Defeating her now-estranged husband, Mr. Freeze, isn’t enough to sate Nora Fries’s bloodlust as she usurps his frozen throne, establishing herself as the first ice queen of Gotham. The Dark Knight will have his hands full as Nora unleashes an icy hell unlike any other on his city’s streets.
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Tyler Kirkham and Doug Mahnke
Inks by Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Mark Irwin, Tyler Kirkham, and Doug Mahnke
Colored by David Baron
Cover by David Baron, Doug Mahnke, and Jaime Mendoza
Josh’s Stance: I’m enjoying many aspects of this – Tomasi is one of my favorite writers for a reason – but I’m still uncertain of Nora Freis’ role in all of this. I’m just not sure I enjoy the idea that she’s so evil and cold-hearted. It’s surprising and unexpected, but I don’t know…
Batman News Critic: Jay
Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis #1
DC’s mega-event “Infinite Crisis” saw the destruction of the Trinity, the rise of Alexander Luthor and Superboy-Prime, and the rebirth of the Multiverse…but it all started with Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle, who saw it all coming and died with secrets that could’ve saved the world. But…things happened differently in the Dark Multiverse! Not only does Blue Beetle survive- he thrives! And after killing Maxwell Lord himself, Ted sets off a chain of events that irreversibly alters the lives of the Justice League and his best friend, Booster Gold. In trying to prevent a crisis, Blue Beetle becomes the Crisis…and the Dark Multiverse will never be the same.
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils by Aaron Lopresti
Inks by Matt Ryan
Colored by Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Cover by Brad Anderson and Lee Weeks
Josh’s Stance: These issues have been entertaining, so I’m looking forward to this. This story doesn’t look as though it will just fall victim to, “Here’s an evil (insert character here),” but might actually have an interesting plot as well.
Batman News Critic: Nick
Batman: Creature of the Night #4
Bruce Wainwright is not the man he believed himself to be. He never was. But when you’ve unleashed horror on the world…what can you do about it? Is Bruce human after all? Or has he become more than a man? It’s the unmissable finale of one of the best-reviewed miniseries of the year, sure to go down as a modern Batman classic!
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by John Paul Leon
Cover by John Paul Leon
Josh’s Stance: Wasn’t this originally supposed to wrap up nearly a year ago? I honestly can’t remember. I can’t even remember full details at this point. I remember Alfred is gay, and thinking that it was an interesting take with great art from JPL… But I also remember disliking the cursive font, and the story being a little boring at times. So, who knows what we’ll get here. I’m not sure what led to the delays, but there’s no doubt it damaged whatever momentum this title had.
Batman News Critic: Brian
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”
After a disastrous defeat at the hands of Oracle, Batgirl must find a way to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. But all the while Babs must ask herself how she can defeat a nemesis who knows her every move before she makes it!
Written by Cecil Castellucci
Pencils and Inks by Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Cover by Dustin Nguyen
Josh’s Stance: I’m continue to be hot and cold with Castellucci’s Batgirl, but mostly cold. When it comes down to it, I don’t feel as though, yet again, the idea of an “Oracle” other than Babs is being used as well as it could. There’s definitely potential there, but the creative teams and editors just can’t seem to get it right. Then there’s all the weird crap with Bard. Add in some questionable dialogue, and the overuse of the Terrible Trio, and it’s a pass for me.
Batman News Critic: Matina
Batman Beyond #38
After all these years, Derek Powers, long thought dead, returns! The lethal villain who now goes by the name Blight is back to terrorize Neo-Gotham while he hunts down Bruce Wayne! With Terry McGinnis wanted by the police and on the run, the only person who can stop him is Batwoman! But how do you stop a walking nuclear reactor when you barely know how to use your own high-tech suit?
Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils by Sean Chen
Inks by Sean Parsons
Colored by Chris Sotomayor
Cover by Elizabeth Breitweiser and Lee Weeks
Josh’s Stance: I haven’t read this title for months now, so I can’t honestly speak to the quality of the book at the moment. I don’t feel as though I’m seeing anyone share any excitement though, so I guess it’s still not great? Let me know.
Batman News Critic: Michael
Red Hood & the Outlaws #40
After their first mission in the field, all the Outlaws want is to head back to the Block for some R&R. Unfortunately, no sooner do they get home than they find themselves under assault from Shay Veritas’ clones! It’s like Night of the Living Duplicates in there, and Red Hood is nowhere to be found. Is he teaching them a dangerous (but hopefully valuable) lesson with his absence, or is he dealing with something even bigger and more terrifying?
Written by Scott Lobdell
Pencils and Inks by David Messina
Colored by Rex Lokus
Cover by Sandu Florea, Rex Lokus, and V. Kenneth Marion
Josh’s Stance: In a number of ways, Red Hood has been kind of fun, but at the same time, it’s quite clear none of these stories or characters are going to go anywhere, and that makes the story feel irrelevant. Also, there are many reflections of Lobdell’s New 52 run, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Batman News Critic: Matina
Batman vs Ra’s al Ghul #3
Batman and Robin take to the streets of Gotham City, but who is beneath the cowl and cape of the Dark Knight? Meanwhile, tucked away in a hidden dimension, the real Batman fights for his freedom…and maybe his life!
Written by Neal Adams
Art by Neal Adams
Cover by Neal Adams
Josh’s Stance: Yeah, this nonsense is a hard no for me. I’m sure for some people this is one of those things where it’s so good that it’s bad, but it doesn’t fall in that category for me. I’m sure Nick’s review will be a blast to read though!
Batman News Critic: Nick
- John Constantine: Hellblazer #1 debuts this week.
- Additional releases from DC Comics: Basketful of Heads #2, Books of Magic #14, The Flash #83, Freedom Fighters #11, Justice League Dark #17, The Last God #2, Martian Manhunter #10, Shazam #8, Supergirl Annual #2, The Terrifics #22.
GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:
There are no Batman-themed graphic novels being released this week.