Birds of Prey releases this weekend, and while I was originally not interested – and you guys know I’m a huge Birds of Prey fan – the latest media, feedback, and interviews has me rather excited. I know many have preconceptions, but I also hope they give the movie a fair chance. I think that if we consider ourselves fans, we owe the film that at the very least.
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.
Justice League #40
The next chapter for comics’ premier superteam begins! An unexpected arrival from the stars brings a dire warning to the Justice League: A new breed of conquerors is on the march. Led by Superman’s nemesis Eradicator, a genetically engineered, super-powered strike team has come to subjugate Earth. To aid the Justice League, Batman makes the unprecedented decision of enlisting an ancient, unrivaled power, which calls into question who, exactly, is in charge. With the League on unsure footing, will they be ready to save the world?
Written by Robert Venditti
Pencils by Doug Mahnke
Inks by Richard Friend
Colored by David Baron
Cover by Bryan Hitch and Jeremiah Skipper
Josh’s Stance: A new creative team takes over with this issue, and I’m looking forward to it. Venditti and Mahnke are incredible talents, and they deserve this spotlight! I can’t wait to see what these two have in the pipeline.
Batman News Critic: Casper
The conspiracy that will rock Batman’s world continues to unfold as the Dark Knight travels to Arkham Asylum to get answers from the Penguin! What dark secret does he share with The Joker, the Riddler, and…Catwoman? Plus, the plague of assassins descending upon Gotham City in its weakest moments continues! Will this be the moment when Deathstroke finally takes down Batman?!
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Guillem March
Colored by Tomeu Morey
Cover by Tony Salvador Daniel, Danny Miki, and Tomeu Morey
Josh’s Stance: After a shakeup in art on the second issue, I’m hoping DC moves forward with March, even if just to maintain consistency in tone. After a strong debut though, I felt the second issue of Tynion’s run fell a little in quality. I’m hoping that was nothing more than a speedbump to help establish a foundation for the arc, and that this issue will improve back to the standards of the first issue.
Batman News Critic: Josh
Joker/ Harley: Criminal Sanity #3
Harley Quinn follows the evidence-and it leads her to a dangerous conclusion: she might know the true identity of the serial killer she’s hunting. But as Harley digs deeper into The Joker’s past, he is watching her…and leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. Gotham City has never needed a hero more!
Written by Kami Garcia
Pencils and Inks by Jason Badower and Mico Suayan
Colored by Annette Kwok
Cover by Francesco Mattina
Josh’s Stance: Joker/ Harley continues to be an interesting read, even if it is a bit generic. That being said, I do think the best is yet to come, and I hope that’s the case.
Batman News Critic: Nick
Young Justice #13
Another Wonder Comics extravaganza kicks off with Young Justice searching for Conner Kent as the teen Superboy find himself trapped in the mysterious world of Skartaris, the home of legendary DC character Warlord! Wonder Comics curator and Young Justice writer Brian Michael Bendis welcomes writer David F. Walker to the team alongside rising-star artist John Timms!
Written by Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker
Pencils and Inks by Mike Grell, Michael Avon Oeming, and John Timms
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb
Cover by Gabe Eltaeb and John Timms
Josh’s Stance: I haven’t been overly impressed with Young Justice… but…. David F. Walker joining the creative team has me incredibly excited! If you haven’t been reading Young Justice, now might be a great time to jump on.
Batman News Critic: Matina
Harley Quinn #70
Harley’s Los Angeles adventure takes an unexpected turn when she joins up with an underground wrestling troupe! With her penchant for drama, violence, and over-the-top behavior, Harley Quinn fits right in with her new group of friends, but when one of them winds up dead, Harley must track down the killer…before they strike again!
Written by Sam Humphries
Pencils and Inks by Sami Basri
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Guillem March, Tomeu Morey, and Arif Prianto
Josh’s Stance: Harley. Los Angels. Professional wrestling… I’m actually down for that!
Batman News Critic: Matina
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”
DC: Crimes of Passion #1
Passion. Betrayal. Murder. When you’re a private investigator, these are things you experience daily. But when you add capes to the mix-like Batman, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn? Things get even messier. The name’s Slam Bradley, and I’m telling you that this year’s Valentine’s Day special has more intrigue than you can shake a stick at. Ten tales of love-the kind of love that can push people over the edge. Don’t miss it…or I’ll make you pay.
Written by Jay Baruchel, Jordan Clark, Liz Erickson, Sina Grace, Mat Groom, and More…
Pencils and Inks by ABEL, Paul Fry, John Paul Leon, Kieran McKeown, Gleb Melnikov, and More…
Colored by Hi-Fi, Olyoptics, Steve Oliff, Jordie Bellaire, Jeromy Cox, and More…
Cover by Yasmine Putri
Josh’s Stance: You know, I’m looking at this list of creatives, and I either don’t know most of them, or I’m not exactly excited by them. So, that either doesn’t bode well, or it means that I’ll discover a talent and pray for their inclusion on a regular schedule.
Batman News Critic: Matina
- Additional releases from DC Comics: Daphne Byrne #2, The Dreaming #18, Justice League Odyssey #18, Lois Lane #8, and Martian Manhunter #12.
GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:
Batman: Arkham: Victor Zsasz – No remorse, no mercy…just ruthless death: Victor Zsasz has long been one of Batman’s most formidable enemies, and now his most infamous stories have been collected! This volume includes Zsasz’s debut story arc and much more, including a never before published story by writer Devin Grayson and artist Roger Robinson! Collects Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1-4, Batman: Streets of Gotham #10-11, a story from Batman Chronicles #3, Batman: Batgirl #1, Detective Comics #815-816, a story from Detective Comics (2011) #18, Rogues Gallery #1, and an unpublished story intended for Batman: Gotham Knights #12!
Harleen – It’s been months since Dr. Harleen Quinzel began interviewing criminals at Arkham Asylum, and she’s having strange dreams about one of them in particular: The Joker. What starts off as nightmares will soon evolve into fantasies. Despite warnings from the Dark Knight himself, she’s utterly fascinated by this man who seems the perfect expression of her theory; who says all the things she needs to hear; who seems to know her better than she knows herself. Harleen is a bold new reimagining of the origin of one of DC’s most beloved characters, as envisioned by writer/artist Stjepan Sejic. Collects Harleen #1-3.
- Additional graphic novels from DC Comics: The Books of Magic Vol. 2: Second Quarto, The Flash Vol. 11: The Greatest Trick of All, Green Arrow Vol. 8: The End of the Road, and Justice League of America: The Wedding of the Atom and Jean Loring