What a week! After a dry spell of actual news, we finally got a few announcements this week! Matt Reeves will head a Gotham PD series on HBOMax! I can’t stress how excited this makes me, and I’m crossing my fingers that he pulls from Gotham Central. If you’ve read that book, then you know why. If you haven’t, then shame on you! Get after it. Also, we have a new Batwoman. I’d say I’m excited, but I watched the first four episodes, and then said, “peace out” after that because… Well, the CW shows have gotten awful. Sorry, not sorry. In this day and age, I’d rather not have a show/ film than have one that’s awful. Just my stance. Quality is important.

And speaking of quality… Comics need to get it together. I know this is subjective and debatable, but I feel that, overall, comics – especially comics from the “big two” – aren’t very good at the moment. It’s been a slow trend leading to this, and yes, there are clearly some exceptions, but a majority of the titles are getting by with mediocre-at-best stories… And we deserve better. I have a lot of thoughts on this, but I’m going to save that for an op-ed piece later this week. For now, I’ll just leave you with the teaser of, “we deserve better,” because we do.

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.

JULY 14th

TAKE MY MONEY

Dark Nights: Death Metal #2
Get ready to scream! Wonder Woman roars across the horrifying Dark Multiverse landscape in the world’s most demented monster truck, with Swamp Thing riding shotgun! The two arrive at the ghoulish cemetery base of Batman and his army of zombies, but can the former friends stand each other long enough to form a plan and take back the planet? Plus, what’s Lobo doing in space?

Don’t miss the second chapter of the wildest ride in the DC Universe, from the epic team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo!

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

Josh’s Stance: As someone who didn’t care much for the original Metal, I was surprised at how much I loved what Snyder and Capullo delivered for Death Metal! It was a crazy, fun, wild way to launch the book, and the ending was epic (and also highly satisfying)!

Batman News Critic: Casper

 

INTRIGUED

Catwoman #23
Even Catwoman needs a break from the city sometimes! Featuring a story by Eisner Award winner Sean Murphy (Batman: White Knight) and the DC debut of co-writer Blake Northcott (Vampirella), join Catwoman on this two-part story as she leaves for the jungle to blow off some steam in the best way she knows how…stealing the world’s largest diamond from an annual super-secret supervillain auction, of course!

Written by Sean Murphy and Blake Northcott
Pencils and Inks by Cian Tormey
Colored by FCO Plascencia
Cover by Matt Hollingsworth and Sean Murphy

Josh’s Stance: So, this is our first glimpse into the extended “Murphyverse,” and I’m quite excited to see what Murphy, Borthcott, and Tormey have planned. I’m a little surprised DC decided to just inject this into the main Catwoman line, but I’m not disappointed. I’m crossing my fingers for something good!

Batman News Critic: Michael

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

Teen Titans #43
Robin begins a hunt that leads him to the KGBeast, the same assassin who wounded and nearly killed the first Robin, Dick Grayson. Will Damian Wayne cross the line to enact brutal revenge on the Russian villain-or can the Teen Titans temper the current Robin’s rage?

Written by Robbie Thompson
Pencils by Jesús Merino
Inks by Julio Ferreira
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo

Josh’s Stance: Meh. There are moments where Teen Titans delivers, but mostly I feel as though it lingers or revisits the same themes too often. I’m hoping Robbie Thompson can elevate and streamline the book, but, if I’m being honest, my status is currently: cautiously optimistic.

Batman News Critic: Matina

 

NO!

Justice League #49
“The Rule of War” part two! After the devastating events of last issue, the League is separated and labeled as alien visitors on a war-torn planet. With events spiraling out of control, and no leader to guide planet Trotha’s citizens, how can the League save this world without interfering? As the team battles rogue factions, Batman makes a startling discovery that will threaten any hope the team has of returning home!

Written by Simon Spurrier
Pencils by Aaron Lopresti
Inks by Matt Ryan
Colored by David Baron
Cover by David Baron, Eddy Barrows, and Eber Ferreira

Josh’s Stance: Si’s Justice League two weeks in a row? Is DC trying to punish us, or are they just ripping off the band-aid? I said this last week, but I’ve never read anything from Surrier that I’ve enjoyed… So, yeah…

Batman News Critic: Nick

 

Nightwing #72
Dick Grayson has learned the truth: that “fixing” his identity lies with none other than Barbara Gordon. He must go to Gotham to find Batgirl-and runs into The Joker’s new henchperson, Punchline. Unlike Harley Quinn, Punchline’s deadpan black humor matches the deadly knives she uses on her victims…and for her next joke, Ric Grayson is the punchline.

Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils and Inks by Ronan Cliquet
Colored by Nick Filardi
Cover by Tamra Bonvillain and Travis Moore

Josh’s Stance: Alright… Enough is enough, already. Just give us Dick back. You had your fun with your experiment, but in a world of coronavirus, a shitty economy, racial discourse, and rising tensions for various reasons… This is not the time to be withholding Dick Grayson. Nobody will be mad if you just drop this whole amnesia/ rewritten memory thing and move on as though it never happened. In fact, we would prefer it. I mean, some yahoo already jacked up Superman, and, for Christ’s sake, we need one of these two to be written properly.

Batman News Critic: Michael

Additional releases from DC Comics: Aquaman #61, Daphne Byrne #6, Looney Tunes #255, Metal Men #8, Strange Adventures #3, and Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #12.

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

DC Super Hero Girls: Weird Science – The Super Hero Girls are back in a brand-new adventure! It’s science fair time at Metropolis High, and the DC Super Hero Girls are all very excited-except for Zee Zatara. Magic is her life, and science seems so dull in comparison. When she tries to help her friends with their projects, things keep going wrong. Is her magic causing their science to go haywire?