Well, after a rather warm winter, we finally got hit with a cold snap here in Texas, and I’m loving it! Cold, gloomy weather makes me want to do nothing more than curl up in a chair and read some comics! Which, by the way, is exactly what I’ve been doing. Hopefully, this trend will continue for the next two weeks since I only have a 4-day workweek. Fingers crossed.

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 15th

INTRIGUED

The Batman’s Grave #4
Why did a blackmailer become a murderer? How does the Batman survive an opponent who can kill him with his own mind? Find out all this and more in the latest chapter of the 12-issue series from writer Warren Ellis and artist Bryan Hitch!

Written by Warren Ellis
Pencils and Inks by Bryan Hitch
Colored by Alex Sinclair
Cover by Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair

Josh’s Stance: The quality of writing it still solid, but Ellis is going to need to reveal some plot direction if he plans on keeping readers engaged. The book isn’t bad, but the actual narrative hasn’t had anything to actually hook a reader yet, and on a monthly release schedule, it’s easy to move on or forget about it.

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

MIXED

Nightwing #68
Being a superhero often means layers of identities. For Ric Grayson, he once had a life as a sidekick to Batman, a life he forgot when a terrible gunshot wound erased his memories. When his long lost grand-father, who is also a super-assassin called Talon, returned to his life and implanted false memories into his brain, that added another layer. Now, with Talon vanquished, Ric Grayson has to shake loose the truth. Is he the man he has created for himself, or is there still some of the old Nightwing lurking around inside his head? Even if he wanted to, could Ric be Nightwing again when four other people have put on the mask and picked up where he left off? Whichever it is, Talon made a mess of his current life, and now Ric has to start putting it all back together.

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

Josh’s Stance: So… I’m actually enjoying Nightwing right now. I know, I know! I want Dick Grayson back as well, but I’ve always kind of wanted Dick to become Talon since I first saw that potential future all the way back in the New 52 (pre Grayson days). Let Dick become Talon, Tim can become Nightwing (because this whole Drake thing isn’t working… at all), and let Damian be Robin. There. Settled.

Anyway, this book still isn’t great, but it’s WAY better than it was!

Batman News Critic: Michael

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

Teen Titans #38
The Other’s identity has been revealed… and it’s someone very close to Damian! Now that he understands the Other’s mission, will Damian be tempted to join him? How will the rest of the team react to Roundhouse’s rescue attempt after he so cruelly betrayed them? And will Djinn ever escape her ring?

Written by Adam Glass
Pencils by Bernard Chang
Inks by Bernard Chang and Scott Hanna
Colored by Hi-Fi and Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Bernard Chang, Marcelo Maiolo, FCO Plascencia, and Wil Quintana

Josh’s Stance: Meh… Teen Titans is fine. The reveal of The Other was a bit of a let-down, and that plot had already lost so much momentum due to it being on the back burner for so long, that this book doesn’t really have much intrigue to it. The stories are also becoming quite repetitive. A team member does something bad – the rest of the team fights. It’s quite old at this point.

Batman News Critic: Matina

 

  • Additional releases from DC Comics: Aquaman #56, Detective Comics #359 Facsimile Edition #1, The Flash #86, Flash Forward #5, Freedom Fighters #12, He-Man & the Masters of the Multiverse #3, Justice League Odyssey #17, Legion of Superheroes #3, The Low, Low Woods #2, Lucifer #16, The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #2, and Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #7.

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

Batman: The Golden Age Vol. 6 – The adventures of Batman and Robin reach the mid-1940s with these fast-paced tales.

Gotham’s famed Caped Crusader, Batman, is joined by Robin, the Boy Wonder, in these classic tales from the Golden Age of comics. The Dynamic Duo is aided by Batman’s butler, Alfred Pennyworth, as they fight to keep Gotham City safe. In these iconic stories, Batman and Robin take on familiar foes including the Joker, Catwoman, and the Penguin, as well as recent additions to the rogues gallery, like the Cavalier. This volume also features the first appearance of the most famous lair in comics history–the Batcave!

Batman: The Golden Age Volume 6 collects the early adventures of Batman, Robin, and Alfred from Detective Comics #82-92, Batman #21-25, and World’s Finest Comics #12-14.

 

Birds of Prey: Black Canary – Rock star. Public menace. Martial artist. Superhero. Dinah Drake, a.k.a Black Canary, is all these things and more–and she’s got the legions of friends, fans, and foes to prove it. But there’s a part of her life she’s never been able to get a handle on, and a role she’s never been able to play: daughter. Her mother went missing and took the secrets of Dinah’s past with her.

Now a mysterious cult–fronted by a ninja who may outmatch even Black Canary–is determined to dig those secrets up. And if that means digging them directly out of Dinah’s soul, so be it. They won’t stop until the Canary Cry is silenced for good…

Follow the incredible adventures of Dinah in Birds of Prey: Black Canary! This volume features epic tales by writer Brenden

Fletcher (Batgirl) and artists including Annie Wu (Hawkeye), Sandy Jarrell (DC Comics: Bombshells), and Pia Guerra (Y: The Last Man). Collects Black Canary #1-12 and DC Sneak Peek: Black Canary #1.

 

Nightwing by Peter J Tomasi – When the bodies of nefarious villains and fallen heroes begin to disappear from their final resting places, Dick Grayson is drawn into a mysterious, life-altering adventure!

Nightwing falls binto a web of intrigue involving Talia al Ghul and the diabolical Dr. Creighton Kendall. As the stakes get higher, Nightwing finds not only his own life in danger, but quite possibly the future of the entire country.

New York Times bestselling author Peter J. Tomasi pens a tale of classic mystery and epic adventure in line with some of his other great works like Green Lantern Corps, Brightest Day and Emerald Warriors.

Collects Nightwing issues #140-#153

 

  • Additional releases from DC Comics: John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 22: Regeneration, and Scooby Apocalypse Vol. 6