Upcoming Comics: December 18, 2019

I’ve dreaded writing this, but this week’s review of Doomsday Clock will be Jay’s final (monthly) review with Batman-News. Jay has his own goodbye written, so I’ll refrain from writing too much, but I want say this… When I decided to start writing for Batman-News, I thought it would be nothing more than a hobby. I never knew I’d make the friendships I’ve made, particular my friendship with Jay. Jay is one of those friends you hope you make in your life because he’s the definition of what a great friend is. No matter what kind of day I’m having, whenever I talk or see Jay, he always makes my day better. This isn’t sentiment, this is just pure honesty. He’s a great guy, and I hope that Batman News and Comics Now are just the first of many great things he does in the world of comics! So, without further ado, you can read Jay’s farewell letter here.

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.



Doomsday Clock #12
This is it! The final showdown between Dr. Manhattan and Superman shakes up the DC Universe to its very core! But can even the Man of Steel walk out from the shadow of Manhattan?

Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils and Inks by Gary Frank
Colored by Brad Anderson
Cover by Brad Anderson and Gary Frank

Josh’s Stance: There’s no doubt that this won’t have the impact on the DC Universe that it was originally supposed to have, but I’m still super excited to read this final chapter. Every issue has been a masterclass in making comics, and both Johns and Frank should be very happy with the work they’ve done!

Batman-News Critic: Jay


Joker: Killer Smile #2
Ben Arnell promised his wife and child one thing: even though he spends his days attempting to reach the bottom of The Joker’s insanity, he would never bring that madness home. No matter how dark the work gets, he would never allow The Joker’s craziness to tear their family apart.

And in that, he failed.

The Eisner-winning creative team of Gideon Falls kick their blackhearted chronicle of The Joker’s destructive influence into high gear with an issue that turns the entire story on its head, with disastrous consequences for Dr. Arnell!

Written by Jeff Lemire
Pencils and Inks by Andrea Sorrentino
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Cover by Andrea Sorrentino

Josh’s Stance: I loved the debut of Joker: Killer Smile, and love that Lemire didn’t try too hard to make Joker crazy or sadistic. Instead, he’s opting for more of a cerebral, psychological story that is really damn good! If you didn’t check it out, then you missed out! Catch up now while you can.

Batman-News Critic: Casper


Suicide Squad #1
Task Force X-nicknamed the Suicide Squad-unites some of the DCU’s unlikeliest villains for its bloodiest series yet! The Squad’s new mission is to neutralize a new group of international super-terrorists known as the Revolutionaries-and not everyone on either side will make it out alive! But when the U.S. government’s most deniable team of do-badders realizes that the surviving Revolutionaries will be joining the Squad, all hell breaks loose! Who can Harley Quinn and Deadshot trust when their new teammates are the very people their crew was assigned to kill? The Suicide Squad doesn’t just need to worry about surviving their next mission… now they have to survive each other! The acclaimed Injustice creative team of writer Tom Taylor and artist Bruno Redondo reunite for the wildest incarnation of the Squad ever seen!

Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils and Inks by Bruno Redondo
Colored by Adriano Lucas
Cover by Joe Prado, Ivan Reis, and Alex Sinclair

Josh’s Stance: Tom Taylor? SOLD! No, no. I don’t need to know what it is, “Tom Taylor” was more than enough to convince me to spend my money! What’s that? It’s Suicide Squad and he’s writing Harley again? Yeah… I can buy like six copies, right? Great!

Batman-News Critic: Matina



Batman: Last Knight on Earth #3
Gotham City has been remade. Omega reigns supreme. Can Batman finally accomplish what no other hero has and free the world from his dark reflection’s shadow? Or is it too late for the recreated Caped Crusader?

Written by Scott Snyder
Pencils by Greg Capullo
Inks by Jonathan Glapion
Colored by FCO Plascencia
Cover by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia

Josh’s Stance: This will be the last Batman book from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo for some time, so if you stan these two, then you will definitely want to pick this up! I’m eager to see what the duo has in store for us with this conclusion, and if the first two issues are a sign of what’s to come, then we’re going to get one, big, crazy story!

Batman-News Critic: Casper


Batman/ Superman #5
The Batman Who Laughs has unleashed his Secret Six! Now these infected heroes threaten to spread their dark infection across our world, and the only thing that might stop them is the combined might of the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel. If they fail, the planet will become the seed that grows a new Dark Multiverse—heroes will fall, villains will rise, and a new era dawns for the DCU in this explosive first arc finale that leads directly into Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1!

Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by David Marquez
Colored by Alejandro Sanchez and Dave Stewart
Cover by David Marquez and Alejandro Sanchez

Josh’s Stance: I’ve really enjoyed Williamson’s run so far, and I wish more attention had actually been put on setting up this book as opposed to some other stories. If there’s one “event” that really seems to be delivering, it’s the takeover of the Secret Six. Now we just have to hope it doesn’t fizzle out with Hell Arisen.

Batman-News Critic: Casper


Harleen #3
In which our doomed doctor makes a choice she can never take back-one that seals her dark fate and gives rise to one of the most legendary villains of all time!

Written by Stjepan Sejic
Art by  Stjepan Sejic
Cover by Stjepan Sejic

Josh’s Stance: So far, Harleen has been a solid read. There’s a good balance of character work here, and you can tell Sejic is more concerned with telling a good story rather than trying to do something crazy or different. I still think the Harley title worth checking out will be Tom Taylor’s Suicide Squad, but this is nothing to shake a stick at.

Batman-News Critic: Casper


Justice League #38
“Justice/Doom War” finale! Lex Luthor is triumphant. Perpetua is back to full power and ready to take on the Multiverse, to bend and twist the whole of existence to suit Doom. Has the Justice League finally come up against a foe they can’t defeat? Perpetua is the mother of their universe after all, the original creator. In war, there can only be one winner, and it just may be Doom’s turn to collect the spoils. This issue leads directly into Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1!

Written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Pencils by Jorge Jimenez and Daniel Sampere
Inks by Juan Albarran and Jorge Jimenez
Colored by Alejandro Sanchez
Cover by Francis Manapul

Josh’s Stance: This is the second “conclusion” before leading into Hell Arisen! The real question is if “Justice/ Doom War” will end feeling like a cohesive story, or if it will feel like nothing more than a bridge.

Batman-News Critic: Brian


Justice League: Hell Arisen #1
DC’s “Year of the Villain” begins its sinister conclusion! Lex Luthor has brought Perpetua back from her cosmic grave and restored her power! Now the Multiverse lives in fear that she might wipe out all existence. The only thing that could stop her are the forces of the Dark Multiverse- which means it’s Luthor’s mission to defeat the Batman Who Laughs! But if Batman and Superman couldn’t stop him, what chance does Luthor stand? Spinning out of the end of the “Justice/ Doom War” in Justice League #38 and the conclusion of the epic “Infected” arc from Batman/Superman #5, DC’s two top villains face off in a battle royal-and the fate of all reality hangs in the balance!

Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Steve Epting
Cover by Steve Epting

Josh’s Stance: Here it is, folks. The beginning of the end for the “Year of the Villain.” Can DC focus enough to deliver a cohesive story as we head towards 5G next summer? Mmmm…. We’ll see. As I said, I find the Batman Who Laughs vs Apex Lex interesting, so I’m really hoping for the best.

Batman-News Critic: Josh



The Infected: The Commissioner #1
Commissioner Gordon has dedicated his life to the safety of the citizens of Gotham City. Sure, he doesn’t wear a cape, but this hero has chosen a thankless job, because it’s the right thing to do. But what happens when Jim Gordon’s sense of duty and honor is stripped away? What happens when Gotham City’s greatest public pillar of justice finally says “enough”? Spinning out of the events of The Batman Who Laughs and Batman/Superman comes the story of a man who has finally given in to his worst impulses-and he might just take the entire city into the darkness with him…

Written by Paul Jenkins
Pencils and Inks by Jack Herbert
Colored by Adriano Lucas
Cover by Viktor Bogdanovic

Josh’s Stance: These one-shots have mostly been a mixed bag, but I’m curious to see the approach taken with Gordon since he’s human. If done well, this could be a great read… Also, that cover is bomb! Just saying…

Batman-News Critic: Casper


Nightwing #67
Accepting his destiny as the Gray Son, Ric Grayson joins his great-grandfather as the newest Talon! He’s cleaning up Blüdhaven and restoring order to a city that has been in complete and utter disarray for the past year. But at what cost? When he faces off against a new enemy whose metal tests his mettle, everyone’s values will be tested.

Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils and Inks by Ronan Cliquet
Colored by Nick Filardi
Cover by Nick Filardi and Bruno Redondo

Josh’s Stance: I haven’t been a fan of Nightwing for a while now, but the past few issues featuring the Court have been entertaining. Also, I’ve kind of wanted Dick to become a Talon ever since that page was teased was back in Nightwing #29 (I believe) from the New 52…. But I know I’m in the minority with this, so…

Batman-News Critic: Michael


Catwoman #18
Catwoman has made her choice: she will use the map Lex Luthor gave her to prevent Raina Creel from finding the Lazarus Pit and rebuilding herself. But has Selina fully weighed the cost? To go this route, she will effectively be taking over all crime in Villa Hermosa, a secret she will have to keep hidden from the Batman. That is, if she survives Raina’s deadly counter attack. The Creels have already been experimenting with life after death, and the assassins they send to stop  ̈ Selina will come armed with more than nine lives!

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

Josh’s Stance: I honestly don’t know anymore. Jones has been all over the place with Catwoman at this point that it’s hard to tell what story she’s actually trying to tell. There are a number of solid ideas, but the overall focus of the book has been like a dog chasing squirrels.

Batman-News Critic: Michael



Teen Titans #37
The identity of the Other is revealed at last! But what plans do they have for the Teen Titans? And what will happen to Crush now that she’s fully under Lobo’s control? Answers to all this and more inside a special story over a year in the making!

Written by Bernard Chang and Adam Glass
Pencils and Inks by Bernard Chang
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo

Josh’s Stance: I’m excited for this, and not at the same time. Teen Titans has had moments of greatness, but has mostly been inconsistent and random, without much direction or relevance. Let’s hope this chapter doesn’t fall into the latter, because if it does, it will essentially make the entire run feel like a waste as this point.

Batman-News Critic: Matina



Batman #85
The stunning conclusion to “City of Bane” is here! How will Flashpoint Batman be vanquished from our dimension? What will become of Gotham Girl now that she’s betrayed all she knows? How will the Bat team cope without Alfred? Will Catwoman stick around? Who will rebuild Gotham City? Is Batman ever going to be Batman again? The event of the summer now closes out the year, setting the stage for a whole new path for the Dark Knight Detective. You don’t dare miss the extra-sized concluding chapter to Tom King’s epic run on Batman-and it all leads to the new Batman and Catwoman series!

Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Mikel Janin and Hugo Petrus
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Cover by Tony Salvador Daniel and Tomeu Morey

Josh’s Stance: The time has finally come! Thank you, baby Jesus!

Batman-News Critic: Josh



Batgirl Vol. 6: Old Enemies – It’s Batgirl for Congress! Not to mention masked assassins and awkward exes! Barbara Gordon volunteers to campaign for an up-and-coming reformer candidate who wants to take on the GCPD. That puts Barbara in a tough spot against her father-police commissioner James Gordon. Plus, the Terrible Trio strike! Collects Batgirl #30-36.


Batman Vol. 11: The Fall & the Fallen – Now that Batman has escaped the “Knightmares,” he’s starting to see the forces rallying against him-and that his father from another universe has joined the other side. The Caped Crusader finally digs into the mystery of how Thomas Wayne, a.k.a. the Flashpoint Batman, escaped the collapse of his dimension and ended up in this part of the Multiverse. Get all the answers in this title that paves the way for “City of Bane”! Collects Batman #70-74 and Batman Secret Files #2.