I’m going to keep this short and sweet since I’m behind this week. I had to take a some personal time after having to put my dog down over the weekend. He was old, 15, and I know how lucky I am to have gotten the many years with him that I did, but it’s still never easy.

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.

AUGUST 5th

TAKE MY MONEY

DCeased: Dead Planet #2
The sequel to the bestselling miniseries continues! The Justice League is trapped on Earth, and they’ve discovered that life still survives on this dead planet! Survival is precarious, though-and with billions of infected still roaming the surface, death lies around every corner. But it isn’t just the anti-living our heroes have to worry about, because John Constantine, Swamp Thing, and Zatanna are about to discover another evil growing…

Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils by Trevor Hairsine
Inks by Gigi Baldassini
Colored by Rain Beredo
Cover by David Finch and Steve Firchow

Josh’s Stance: DCeased: Dead Planet debuted with a bang last month, but that’s no surprise considering Tom Taylor’s track record. I do feel the “shocking conclusion” of the issue wasn’t very shocking – Taylor telegraphed it rather blatantly – but it was still a strong read and sets us up for one hell of an issue here.

Batman News Critic: Casper

 

INTRIGUED

Dark Nights: Death Metal: Legends of the Dark Knight #1
The DC Universe has become engulfed by the Dark Multiverse, where demons dwell and reality is overrun by monstrous versions of the Dark Knight, all ruled by the Batman Who Laughs. In this collection of short tales, learn the terrifying secrets of these new Bats out of hell and other creatures of the night like Robin King, whose origin is just the worst! Plus, read about the secret buried beneath Castle Bat, the sentient Batmobile, and…how did Batman turn into a dinosaur?

Written by Marguerite Bennett, Garth Ennis, Daniel Warren Johnson, Scott Snyder, Frank Tieri, and More…
Pencils and Inks by Tony Salvador Daniel, Francesco Francavilla, Jamal Igle, Daniel Warren Johnson, Joelle Jones, and More…
Colored by Jordie Bellaire, Francesco Francavilla, Marcelo Maiolo, Ivan Plascencia, Chris Sotomayor, and More…
Cover by Tony Salvador Daniel and Tomeu Morey

Josh’s Stance: While I really enjoyed the first issue of Death Metal, the second issue quickly eliminated a number of elements that I was intrigued by – mainly the various dark knights. Thankfully, we get to see more of them here! And considering the list of creators, I’m expecting some great things!

Batman News Critic: Casper

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

Batman #96
Reeling from the effects of the worst Joker toxin attack ever, Batman is on the run through Gotham City, pursued by the dark shadows and voices that haunt his past and present! As The Joker’s plan materializes, the only person who can save Batman from the brink of true madness…is Harley Quinn?! Plus, who is the mysterious new figure known as Clownhunter?

Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Jorge Jimenez
Colored by Tomeu Morey
Cover by Guillem March and Tomeu Morey

Josh’s Stance: I know that based on comments and feedback, I’m in the minority concerning my opinion on Tynion’s Batman run. Ultimately, I just don’t think it’s quality work. There’s a whole lot of regurgitation, shock value, and desperation present, and all I really want is a strong story that’s written well.

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

Young Justice #17
This very special issue focuses directly on the friendship at the heart of Young Justice: Conner, Tim, and Bart-a.k.a. Superboy, Drake, and Impulse. As younger men, these three iconic heroes built Young Justice on their friendship. Now their dream has grown and changed as much as they have. And with the demands of adulthood pulling them in different directions, they realize that nights like this one may never happen again.

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

Josh’s Stance: I’ve essentially lost all hope that this book well ever live up to expectations or actually establish a reason for its existence.

Batman News Critic: Matina

 

NO!

Justice League #50
Special extra-size anniversary issue! It’s the final chapter of “The Rule of War”-and all the rules are broken! On the alien planet Trotha, Empress Siddinx’s plan is revealed, and it’s nothing short of world domination-with the Justice League entangled in her puppet strings. But how can the team save a population that now hates and fears them?

Written by Simon Spurrier
Pencils by Aaron Lopresti
Inks by Matt Ryan
Colored by David Baron
Cover by David Baron and Doug Mahnke

Josh’s Stance: Final chapter… I honestly would’ve been good to just move on and pretend this never happened. For what it’s worth, Spurrier’s record is still in tact. I’ve still yet to read a book by him that I’ve enjoyed.

Batman News Critic: Nick

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH

Teen Titans GO! to Camp – Summer’s in the air, and the Teen Titans are leaving Jump City behind for six funfilled weeks of mosquitoes, sunstroke, and poison ivy at summer camp! What the Titans don’t realize until they arrive is that this is Camp Apokolips, where the “bug juice” is made with real bugs, the swimming pool is a fire pit, and the lunch lady is Granny Goodness! Things only get worse when they encounter the bunks they’ll be competing against in the camp’s games: the Titans East and the  H.I.V.E. Five! Given all of that, there’s only one thing on Robin’s mind…

No, not escape. It’s how to beat the other bunks to become the camp champions. This is Robin, remember?