Has everyone recovered from New Year’s Eve? I would assume yes, but I’m sure many of you have now, begrudgingly, returned to work and are thinking back, fondly, to the yesterdays when you were off for holiday… You know, if you were off. I work in sales, so I definitely wasn’t one of those lucky people. Anyway, no matter what your situation, you can at least smile knowing that you’ve got new comics delivering this Wednesday, including Batman with a new creative team! That’s exciting, right? Yeah, we’ll see how it is but I’m hoping for the best!

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.

JANUARY 7th

TAKE MY MONEY

INTRIGUED

Batman #86
It’s a new day in Gotham City, but not the same old Batman. With Bane vanquished and one of his longtime allies gone, Batman has to start picking up the pieces and stepping up his game. Batman has a new plan for Gotham City, but he’s not the only one. Deathstroke has returned as well, under a mysterious new contract that could change everything.

Beginning a whole new chapter in the life of the Dark Knight, the epic art team of Tony S. Daniel and Danny Miki are joined by new series writer James Tynion IV!

Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils by Tony Salvador Daniel and Guillem March
Inks by Guillem March and Danny Miki
Colored by Tomeu Morey
Cover by Tony Salvador Daniel, Danny Miki, and Tomeu Morey

Josh’s Stance: James Tynion takes the reigns with this week’s Batman as we embark on a new adventure under a new creative team. For many of us, this is a welcomed change, but now the real question is: “Will it be good?”

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

Batman & the Outsiders #9
Ra’s al Ghul and his army of assassins have turned their attention away from the Dark Knight-and toward Black Lightning! They’ve done something terrible to him that can never be fixed, and Black Lightning will need the Outsiders to stop him from crossing a line that could change his life forever.

Written by Bryan Edward Hill
Pencils and Inks by Dexter Soy
Colored by Veronica Gandini
Cover by Tyler Kirkham and Arif Prianto

Josh’s Stance: Outsiders has become one of the titles I look forward to reading the most each month because he’s really taken his time to craft a story that builds upon itself from issue to issue! This issue has me excited to see what Ra’s has planned for Jefferson now that he’s gotten into the minds of Sofia, Duke, and Cassandra.

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

MIXED

Gotham City Monsters #5
Melmoth has summoned the Monster League of Evil from the depths of the Multiverse to serve as his minions and destroy the Gotham City Monsters. Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy and…Frankenstein?! It’s Frank versus Frank in this showdown to save the Multiverse as we know it!

Written by Steve Orlando
Pencils and Inks by Amancay Nahuelpan and Trish Mulvihill
Cover by Hi-Fi and Howard Porter

Josh’s Stance: Orlando didn’t necessarily take off on the best footing with Gotham City Monsters, and the reality of the story he’s trying to tell vs the issue length he’s given forced him to force a lot of things to happen, but last months issue was quite good, and I’m hoping he can keep that momentum here.

Batman News Critic: Michael

 

Young Justice #12
It’s an epic Wonder Comics crossover: Naomi, the Wonder Twins, and Young Justice all come together for the first time to confront the secrets behind the entire first year of the teen team’s series. Where did Connor Kent come from? Why does Bart Allen remember everyone but no one else does? How does it all connect to Jinny Hex’s trunk? It’s a Wonder Comics blockbuster!

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils and Inks by John Timms
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb
Cover by Gabe Eltaeb and John Timms

Josh’s Stance: I’m intrigued to see this crossover, but I’m also nervous. Young Justice, as a whole, has felt rather rudderless since it’s debut, and while Naomi will mesh perfectly with the team, I’m not quite sure the Wonder Twins will incorporate as seamlessly. Also, Bendis has a knack of doing crap just to do it, so I can’t help but wonder if he actually has a story to tell here, or if he’s just going for the “cash grab” by having a crossover?

Batman News Critic: Matina

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

Catwoman #19
The fight between Catwoman and Raina Creel turns personal, as the Creel goons descend on the pawn shop. Their target? Catwoman’s right-hand man, Carlos. If your opponent has better weapons than you, it makes sense to take out the supplier. Especially when you have a new enforcer coming into town to put the hammer down.

Written by Joelle Jones
Pencils and Inks by Aneke, Geraldo Borges, and Inaki Miranda
Colored by FCO Plascencia
Cover by Laura Allred and Joelle Jones

Josh’s Stance: Early on in Joelle Jones’ Catwoman, I commented that the book didn’t feel as though it knew which story it wanted to tell, and that remains true today at issue #19. The book is honestly all of the place, and while there are interesting things that are happening, the lead-up and execution of these moments is leaving a lot to be desired. Selina’s stories in the greater DC Universe also don’t fit in here, so… yeah. There’s that too. I would say you could look forward to some beautiful art, but Jones isn’t illustrating this issue, and I’m not familiar with Aneke or Borges off the top of my head.

Batman News Critic: Michael

 

Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy #5
Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy have had it up to here with the Floronic Man’s attacks, and now they’re ready to bring the fight to him. The only problem is…they don’t know where to find him! So they seek out the help of Batwoman-who’s hesitant to believe in the good intentions of former villains. Will Harley and Ivy convince Batwoman that they can be trusted in time to save their own skins from the Floronic Man?

Written by Jody Houser
Pencils by Adriana Melo
Inks by Mark Morales
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Mikel Janin

Josh’s Stance: I didn’t read last month’s issue. I don’t plan on reading this issue. And I still feel that this is nothing more than a wasted opportunity.

Batman News Critic: Nick

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

Batman: Arkham: Black Mask – Don’t miss out on this collection of chaos in Gotham City caused by the Black Mask, featuring the villain’s introduction and much more! Along the way, Black Mask causes mayhem with a total city blackout, and Catwoman faces a dead villain that she was responsible for killing-the original Black Mask! Collects Batman #386-387, #484-485, and #648, Detective Comics #553, Catwoman #16 and 83, and Black Mask: Year of the Villain #1.

 

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year 5 – The Complete Collection – In the war between Superman and Batman, all the heroes have chosen sides. For five years, former friends and allies have fought bitterly, with casualties on both sides. Now, at an impasse, both Batman and Superman realize that to gain ground in their battle, they’ll have to do the unthinkable: recruit their former enemies to attack their former friends. Collects Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five #1-20 and the Annual #1.