In case you missed the news, Dan DiDio is no longer Co-Publisher at DC Comics. While there’s no official word, all signs point to him being let go rather than leaving of his own will. Rumor is that the decision was made due to DC Comics losing quite a bit of talent who cited DiDio as the reason for their departure. While I’m sure many of you will be excited to hear this news, one has to wonder what comes now. While I questioned many decisions that DiDio presumably made – a lot of talent have now come forward claiming he was the single reason a number of our favorite books were ever given the green light.

With DiDio’s departure, there are many things that need to be addressed. For one, will DC assign another Co-Publisher? The structure of having two people serve as publisher is quite weird, so I suspect that they’ll just keep Jim Lee in the position for now. The question is whether or not he’ll succeed in the political aspects of the job considering he typically keeps himself removed from that. That’s something that only time will reveal though. If there is something I expect to see action on rather quickly, it is the rebuilding of a more-solid structure within the company. I expect Bob Harras to gain more pull, and I expect to see some growth from editors. I also expect to see someone assigned to a Creative Director position to help focus the line. The easiest assumption would be Geoff Johns, but I’m not sure if he would want it. You also have to look to the likes of someone like Jeph Loeb, who recently found himself looking for a new venture.

Regardless of how DC realigns their structure – if at all – the real question is how they plan on course correcting their line. The rumored 5G (or Generation 5) was supposed to help accomplish this, but I’m not sure if that plan will remain. I believe DC is too far in to completely scrap 5G, but I suspect that it will end up being much different/ less impactful than original rumors had hinted. Either way, DC needs some help, and they need it on many fronts. What do you think? What are you hoping to see take place? What do you think is the worst scenario? Share your thoughts below!

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.

FEBRUARY 19th

TAKE MY MONEY

Detective Comics #1020
As Gotham City continues its rise from the ashes of “City of Bane,” some familiar faces have returned to keep Gotham City exactly where they want it: Two-Face is back. But this time, he’s recruited some like-minded individuals to help him in his cause. With an elite team of split-personality special forces at his side, Two-Face and Batman square off in what could be their final battle, as a new ally arrives to help the Dark Knight…Harvey Dent?!

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Brad Walker
Inks by Andrew Hennessy
Colored by Brad Anderson and Nathan Fairbairn
Cover by Nathan Fairbairn, Andrew Hennessy, and Brad Walker

Josh’s Stance: Brad Walker hinted that this story would be a continuation of Tomasi and Gleason’s Two Face arc from the New 52’s Batman & Robin, so I’m really excited to dive into this story. Now, I wish we could pretend that “City of Bane” never happened considering how it unfolded, but… It is what it is. Regardless, I’m expecting some quality storytelling from both Tomasi and Walker during this arc.

Batman News Critic: Casper

 

Suicide Squad #3
It’s Task Force X’s first mission as a brand-new team of blood enemies, and things have already gone horribly wrong! As Squad members start to turn on each other, the mission rapidly falls to pieces-but new team leader Lok will let no bad deed go unpunished. Who will take the fall? One thing’s for sure: there will be hell to pay…

Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils and Inks by Bruno Redondo
Colored by Adriano Lucas
Cover by Adriano Lucas and Bruno Redondo

Josh’s Stance: Tom Taylor’s Suicide Squad has been incredibly fun so far, and hasn’t been afraid to shed some light on the current political climate. It’s not too late to catch up if you haven’t been reading!

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

INTRIGUED

Batman: Curse of the White Knight #7
Bruce Wayne and Batman have come undone. Powerless after learning the truth behind his family’s name and legacy, Bruce prepares to shed all of his secrets and make one final appeal to the people of Gotham as Azrael takes control of the city.

Written by Sean Murphy
Pencils and Inks by Sean Murphy
Colored by Matt Hollingsworth
Cover by Matt Hollingsworth and Sean Murphy

Josh’s Stance: Curse of the White Knight hasn’t packed the punch that Murphy’s debut did, but it’s still been a solid story. For that reason, I’m looking forward to this issue.

Batman News Critic: Brian

 

Batman/ Superman #7
In the aftermath of “The Infected,” Batman and Superman create new measures to prevent hidden and dangerous super-villain plots in the future. Using new technology to track villains throughout the DC Universe, the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel are startled to discover that General Zod has returned to Earth-and that his new target is…Ra’s al Ghul! What is Zod’s plan, and what does it have to do with the destroyed bottle city of Kandor? Find out in the first chapter of a two-part epic featuring the work of artist Nick Derington!

Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by Nick Derington
Colored by Dave McCaig
Cover by Nick Derington, David Marquez, and Alejandro Sanchez

Josh’s Stance: I’m not going to lie, it does feel odd that the infected storyline ended in this title, but it’s still kind of going on elsewhere. DC is a mess right now with their storytelling. Anyway, we’re on to something new and I’ve enjoyed Batman/ Superman more than anything else Joshua Williamson has ever delivered. Also, Nick Derington on art is never a bad thing.

Batman News Critic: Casper

 

Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #3
Apex Lex Luthor’s first run-in with the Infected didn’t go as planned, and the Batman Who Laughs’ influence is continuing to spread. Now Lex must find out who in the world can think like the Batman Who Laughs-and there are only two folks who come to mind. The first is Batman, who probably has his own ideas for Lex; the other is The Joker, who also likely has his own ideas, but who just maybe wants to see this twisted doppelgänger sent back to the Dark Multiverse he came from. It’s a gamble Lex has to take, because the Infected are gearing up for round two!

Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Steve Epting and Javier Fernandez
Colored by Nick Filardi
Cover by Steve Epting

Josh’s Stance: Look, typically the idea of Batman, Lex Luthor, and Joker teaming up would have me super stoked, but as I referenced above, the seams of these overlapping story have been rather… loose. The pure mismanagement of Year of the Villain has ruined (for me anyway) what should’ve been an epic story.

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

Red Hood & the Outlaws #43
We’re living in strange times! Magic and metahumans are everywhere, but good and evil are easy to spot-right? The heroes of the world would never let anything happen to it…unless it happened already. Red Hood and the Outlaws are about to discover that the line between moral and immoral is very thin indeed.

Written by Scott Lobdell
Pencils by ChrisCross
Inks by Scott Hanna
Colored by Arif Prianto
Cover by Rex Lokus and Dan Mora

Josh’s Stance: Meh. I’ve said this before, but Red Hood is back to it’s New 52 ways and I’m not crazy about it. I, unfortunately, feel that the book is so far removed from what made it great during the beginning of Rebirth that it’ll be extremely difficult for it to find it’s way back to that level of quality storytelling anytime soon.

Batman News Critic: Matina

 

Batgirl #44
Gotham City lies in ruin after the events of “City of Bane”! Good neighborhoods have turned bad, and bad neighborhoods have turned worse. As Barbara Gordon’s friends and neighbors try to rebuild their homes, she faces a conflict she can’t win with her fists: “Who Really Owns Gotham?” Batgirl intends to find out!

Written by Cecil Castellucci
Pencils and Inks by Cian Tormey
Colored by Jordie Bellaire and Chris Sotomayor
Cover by Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Cam Smith

Josh’s Stance: Batgirl has really gone off the rails since Scott left the book, and I’ve honestly had no desire to read this title for a few months now. I’ve continued to check in and see what’s up, but I haven’t found much reason to encourage people to pick up this book. All of this nonsense with Bard definitely isn’t helping.

Batman News Critic: Matina

 

NO!

Batman Beyond #41
In her pursuit of Blight, Batwoman finally discovers the fate of Batman, but doing so leaves her with a choice: take the villain into custody or free her friend and take him home. That is, if enough of Batman’s mind is left that he’ll even know what “home” means. Also, how will all of Batman’s allies react when they discover the Batwoman’s true identity?

Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils by Sean Chen
Inks by Sean Parsons
Colored by Chris Sotomayor
Cover by Dustin Nguyen

Josh’s Stance: Yeah, I’m still not reading this book… Will the reveal of Batwoman spark enough interest to change my mind? We’ll see. Probably not, but anything could happen.

Batman News Critic: Michael

 

  • Additional releases from DC Comics: Action Comics #1020, Amethyst #1, Basketful of Heads #5, Books of Magic #17, Dial H for Hero #12, Far Sector #4, John Constantine: Hellblazer #4, Justice League Dark #20, The Last God #5, Leviathan Dawn #1, Shazam #11, and Wonder Woman #752.

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH

Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse – After the events of Dark Nights: Metal, a gateway into the Dark Multiverse has opened, and its stories are revealed! Journey into twisted and tragic worlds where Bruce Wayne never reclaimed the mantle of the Bat from Azrael, Lois Lane became the Eradicator, and more! Collects Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Knightfall #1, Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Death of Superman #1, Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Blackest Night #1, Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis #1, and Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Teen Titans: The Judas Contract #1 Plus these inspirational issues Batman #497, Superman #75, Blackest Night #1, Infinite Crisis #1 and Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3

  • Additional releases from DC Comics: Wonder Woman by Gail Simone Omnibus.