Happy New Year!!! Ok, I know we’re not quite there yet, but we will be soon enough. The real question is who will be the real comic fans and waiting at their comic shop first thing on New Years Day!
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.
TAKE MY MONEY
Detective Comics #1018
In the aftermath of “City of Bane,” the Dark Knight has found himself cold, alone, and missing one of the very foundations of his life as both Bruce Wayne and the Batman. But personal problems will have to wait-a mysterious series of deaths have been peppered throughout Gotham and it seems an element of the supernatural is at play in the form of a monstrous pagan spirit. Can Batman silence the demons within to stop the killing? Or will this silent night be for keeps?
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils and Inks by Scott Godlewski
Colored by David Baron
Cover by John Kalisz, Rafa Sandoval, and Jordi Tarragona
Josh’s Stance: If there’s one thing that Tomasi excels at, it’s characterization. Depending on how much time he devotes to remember Alfred, this could easily be the best “memorial” issue for him out of all of the Bat titles. Hopeful it gets a good balance of the page count, and isn’t just a throw-away page or two.
Batman News Critic: Casper
Joker/ Harley: Criminal Sanity #2
Jim Gordon and the GCPD have turned to profiler Harley Quinn for assistance. She’s intrigued by the level of care and detail this new, depraved serial killer is putting into his crime scenes; there must be clues to his pathology in his artful staging. His level of meticulous preparation is unusual, but will it lead to or help delay his capture?
Written by Kami Garcia
Pencils and Inks by Jason Badower, Mike Mayhew, and Mico Suayan
Colored by Mike Mayhew
Cover by Francesco Mattina
Josh’s Stance: Criminal Sanity is fine, but I wouldn’t consider it great. If you’ve read any standard crime story, then you’re probably like me and think this is just another, solid crime story. Nothing more, nothing less. Will I read it? Absolutely! Am I excited? Sure.
Batman News Critic: Nick
With Oracle calling the shots in Burnside, Batgirl must figure out how to survive her nightmare opponent. But how do you defeat a nemesis who does you better than you? Does the answer lie within? Our hero just might have to forget everything she knows in order to beat these impossible odds!
Written by Cecil Castellucci
Pencils and Inks by Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Cover by Carmine Di Giandomenico and Ivan Plascencia
Josh’s Stance: There are a number of titles that I won’t go so far to say that I dislike, but I feel they’re incredibly generic. They have some good moments, but nothing about it really excites me or encourages me to pick the book up. Batgirl is one of those titles. There’s just nothing special here for me.
Batman News Critic: Matina
Red Hood & the Outlaws #41
(This solicitation clearly isn’t correct, but it’s what DC has posted, so…) J’onn J’onzz and Diane Meade must save the town of Midleton from the combined forces of Charnn and the Vulture Gang. Their newfound partnership will be put to the test-as will J’onn’s faith in himself! If Charnn wants to punish J’onn for the crimes of Mars, J’onn will have to stop punishing himself to best Charnn.
Written by Scott Lobdell
Pencils and Inks by David Messina
Colored by Rex Lokus
Cover by Dan Mora
Josh’s Stance: You know what I said about Batgirl? Apply that here as well. Granted, I’m finding myself a little more surprised with Red Hood at the moment because Lobdell is moving hard and heavy into his New 52 territory – which I hated – and I’m not necessarily hating this. Plus, having the original Rebirth Outlaws slowly come back into the fold is always welcome!
Batman News Critic: Matina
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”
Batman Beyond #39
The mystery of Neo-Gotham’s newest protector deepens! With Terry McGinnis missing, a new, unidentified person has stepped up to replace him as protector of Gotham! Even the greatest detective of all time, Bruce Wayne, is unable to determine who’s hidden behind the mask. Gotham’s newest hero appears capable, but does she have what it takes to combat Terry’s greatest enemy-the murderer of his father-Derek Powers, a.k.a. Blight? Or will her time as the city’s guardian end in tragedy?
Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils by Scot Eaton and Inaki Miranda
Inks by Inaki Miranda and Sean Parsons
Colored by Chris Sotomayor
Cover by Dustin Nguyen
Josh’s Stance: I’m still not reading this book… I considered dipping my toes back in, but the general feedback I hear about Batman Beyond continues to become more and more negative, so I’ll continue to pass.
Batman News Critic: Michael
Harley Quinn #69
Harley Quinn is great at kicking jerks in the face. Paying her taxes? Not so much. Things turn from bad to worse when Harley’s new accountant, an ex-con called the Hambezzler, runs into trouble with his old crew and they come to Coney Island with one thing on their minds: payback!
Written by Mark Russell
Pencils and Inks by Sami Basri
Colored by Ivan Plascencia
Cover by Guillem March and Arif Prianto
Josh’s Stance: Mark Russel? I might give this a read to see what he has to offer. Maybe. MAYBE!
Batman News Critic: Matina
GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH
Batman: Gotham Knights: Transference – A horrifying crime attracts Batman’s attention and forces him to revisit the ghosts of his past as Oracle, Nightwing, and Robin attempt to help him solve the mystery! Batman engages in a psychological war with a stronger, smarter-than-ever Hugo Strange, but the aftermath of this battle will be a nightmare from which Batman and his associates may never recover. Collects Batman: Gotham Knights #1-12.
Birds of Prey: Huntress – In these stories from Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood #1-6, the Huntress is framed for murder, and while avoiding the G.C.P.D. and the Bat-Family, she revisits her childhood in hope of discovering the true culprit. But as she and the Question seek clues to prove her innocence, more murders implicating her are committed, forcing Batman and Nightwing to confront her in a showdown with unexpected results!