Friday, we lost a legend in the comic book industry, Denny O’Neil. If you’re not familiar with his work, I urge you to look up some of his stories. Viewed as the person responsible for returning Batman to his darker roots in the late ’60s, there’s no telling what Batman comics would look like today had he not taken these steps. So much of the mythos that we’ve come to know and love is a result of O’Neil, and while his contributions will never be forgotten, he will be greatly missed.

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.

JUNE 16th

TAKE MY MONEY

Batman & the Outsiders #13
Ra’s al Ghul has had everything taken away from him. His League of Assassins, his power…even his family. All he has left is his mission to bend the world to his will and save it from itself. He’s more dangerous than ever, and it’ll take the combined full might of the Outsiders team to take him down! Featuring art by Gleb Melnikov (Angel).

Written by Bryan Edward Hill
Pencils and Inks by Gleb Melnikov
Colored by Ivan Plascencia
Cover by Tyler Kirkham and Arif Prianto

Josh’s Stance: After Ra’s threat from the last issue, and the move he made against Lady Shiva, I can’t wait for this issue!

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

Dark Nights: Death Metal #1
Get ready for the earth-shattering encore! The legendary team behind Dark Nights: Metal and Batman: Last Knight on Earth take center stage and reunite for one last tour.

When the Earth is enveloped by the Dark Multiverse, the Justice League is at the mercy of the Batman Who Laughs. Humanity struggles to survive in a hellish landscape twisted beyond recognition, while Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman have all been separated and fight to survive. Unleash the beast and let the head banging begin!

Written by Scott Snyder
Pencils by Greg Capullo
Inks by Jonathan Glapion
Colored by FCO Plascencia
Cover by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia

Josh’s Stance: It’s DC’s big event that just seems to keep growing! I wasn’t the biggest fan of Metal, but I’m excited to see what Snyder and Capullo have planned for us here. There’s no doubt that this will be a huge, bombastic, crazy ride.

Batman News Critic: Casper

 

INTRIGUED

The Flash Annual #3
From the pages of Suicide Squad, Task Force X and Captain Boomerang are on the loose, and the Flash is in hot pursuit! But is he really the hunter-or the hunted? Barry Allen may be the Scarlet Speedster, but at the end of this crossover issue, will he still be the Fastest Man Alive?

Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils by Carlo Pagulayan, Brandon Peterson, and Stephen Segovia
Inks by Jason Paz and Brandon Peterson
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by David Marquez and Alejandro Sanchez

Josh’s Stance: If Tom Taylor were writing this, I’d be more excited, but, generally speaking, Williamson’s writing style just isn’t my cup of tea. Because of that, I’m only a little excited. I am happy that Jog is gone because if I had to read a book where Flash squared off against another speedster – especially under Williamson’s pen – I’d probably pull my hair out.

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

Young Justice #15
Young Justice versus S.T.A.R. Labs! What happens when a universe reboots right under you? Conner is about to find out! The entire Young Justice team confronts the evil genius behind S.T.A.R. Labs and the truth about Conner Kent. This will bring Conner to the doorstep of his namesake, Clark Kent, to find out more about himself and the DC Universe. Guest-starring Superman in a unique crossover with Action Comics.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker
Pencils and Inks by Scott Godlewski and John Timms
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb
Cover by Gabe Eltaeb and John Timms

Josh’s Stance: For the first time since the debut of Young Justice, I’m actually looking forward to this issue! Why? Because for the first time, it actually feels like this story will matter in the grand scheme of things!

Batman News Critic: Matina

 

MIXED

Nightwing Annual #3
Dick Grayson has been many things in his life-Robin, agent of Spyral, even Batman…but will he have a choice when the Condors try to recruit him for their cause? And will they take no for an answer? A thrilling, high-octane adventure awaits over the skies of Gotham City!

Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils and Inks by Inaki Miranda
Colored by Nick Filardi
Cover by Rex Lokus and Howard Porter

Josh’s Stance: Am I the only one who keeps wondering if these Condors have any ties to Condor from the New 52 Birds of Prey run?

Batman News Critic: Michael

  • Additional releases from DC Comics: Daphne Byrne #5, The Green Lantern: Season Two #4, Hawkman #23, Metal Men #7, The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage, Strange Adventures #2, Superman #22, Wonder Woman #757, and Wonder Woman: Dead Earth #3.
  • Digital release from DC Comics: Batman: Gotham Nights #9, DCeased: Hope at World’s End, Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #6,

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

Batgirl Vol. 7: Oracle Rising – Eager to prove himself as a guardian for the criminals of Gotham City, Killer Moth has set his sights on taking out one of Gotham’s finest heroes…Batgirl! But Lex Luthor has already beaten him to it-he’s brought Oracle back online. Oracle makes her move to confront the creator who abandoned her…Batgirl! With Oracle calling the shots in Burnside, Batgirl must figure out how to survive her nightmare opponent. Collects Batgirl #37-44.

 

Catwoman Vol. 3: Friend or Foe – Eisner Award-nominated writer/artist Joelle Jones continues her landmark series as Selina Kyle reconnects with her criminal roots! Lex Luthor’s “Year of the Villain” gift to Catwoman is revealed, and while she wants to remain on the side of good, some habits are too hard to break, and some treasures too tempting. Selina finally has the key to everything Raina Creel wants-and Catwoman is going to get it first. Which all sounds dandy in theory, but Creel has come too far and put up with too much humiliation from Catwoman to let her win again. Will Catwoman come out the other side as a hero…or villain? Collects Catwoman #16-21.

 

Doomsday Clock: Part 2 – The fate of the DC Universe is decided in a confrontation between Superman and Dr. Manhattan in this concluding hardcover collecting Doomsday Clock #7-12! With the Earth teetering on the brink of an international super-war, Black Adam and his followers make their move! And while our heroes are busy elsewhere, Dr. Manhattan has set his endgame into motion. The Doomsday Clock continues to tick toward midnight with the fate of the Multiverse hanging in the balance.

 

Joker: The Deluxe Edition – The award-winning creative team behind Batman: Damned, Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, present one of the most chilling Joker stories ever told, now in a Deluxe edition.

The Joker has been mysteriously released from Arkham Asylum, and he’s not happy about what’s been happening in his city while he’s been away. What follows is a harrowing night of revenge, murder, and manic crime as only The Joker can deliver. He will take everything that is owed to him from the likes of the Penguin, the Riddler, Two-Face, Killer Croc, and of course, Batman…This Deluxe edition includes a section of previously unpublished developmental art by Bermejo.

Also features an additional story by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo that will first be published in THE  JOKER 80TH ANNIVERSARY 100-PAGE SUPER SPECTACULAR #1.

 

Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen – DC’s “Year of the Villain” leaps into its final phase as the ultimate battle between Lex Luthor and the Batman Who Laughs rages! On one side are the super-powered “Apex” Lex’s forces of injustice-Captain Cold, Oracle, Solomon Grundy, Black Manta, and Lobo-and on the other are the Batman Who Laughs’ Infected, corrupted versions of heroes Supergirl, Shazam, Blue Beetle, Donna Troy, Hawkman, and Commissioner Gordon! But where does The Joker fit in? It’s a final showdown between two of DC’s most iconic villains, all to curry the favor of Perpetua. Whoever wins will take over the Multiverse alongside her! Collects Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1-4, plus DC’s Year of the Villain #1 and more!

  • Additional Graphic Novels from DC Comics: DC Comics: The Astonishing Art of Amanda Conner, Dial H for Hero Vol. 2: New Heroes of Metropolis, The Flash Vol. 12: Death and the Speed Force, and You Brought Me the Ocean.