December solicitations were released last week, and there were some interesting details. We now have a glimpse of the month-long event, “Endless Winter.” We’ve got a slew of Death Metal tie-ins. There’s the Generations Shattered one-shot. Tom King and Clay Mann’s Batman/ Catwoman has finally been solicited. Batman: Black & White is coming back. Mark Waid finally returns to DC Comics. Bendis is off of the Superman titles. Tales from the Dark Multiverse returns… Needless to say, it was a lot of information, and it all has me looking forward to the future! I think 2021 will bring us many great things from DC, so I say “Bring it on!”
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.
TAKE MY MONEY
Detective Comics #1027
Light the Bat-Signal, because Detective Comics #1027 is here! In honor of Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics #27, this special, book-size celebration brings you the biggest names in comics as they chronicle the most epic Batman adventures Gotham City and the DC Universe have ever seen! The World’s Greatest Detective has a mountain of cases to crack: Who murdered Gotham’s most corrupt police officer? What does The Joker’s annual visit mean for Bruce Wayne? And most importantly, what WayneTech mystery will sow the seeds of the next epic Batman event? All this and more await you within the pages of the biggest Batman issue of them all!
Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Matt Fraction, Dan Jurgens, Tom King, and More…
Pencils and Inks by Lee Bermejo, Chris Burnham, Jamal Campbell, Jim Cheung, Olivier Coipel, and More…
Colored by Hi-Fi, Jordie Bellaire, Lee Bermejo, Tamra Bonvillain, Jamal Campbell, and More…
Cover by Brad Anderson and Andy Kubert
Josh’s Stance: As I’ve said multiple times before, I love these collections! I always feel that they’re a lot of fun, and they can serve as a nice break from the main story. It’s also a treat to see multiple talents covering a hero, because it lets me daydream about who could take over a run someday.
Batman News Critic: Casper
The Batman’s Grave #10
The Batman knows who his enemy is. He just doesn’t know where the enemy is or how to fight him. The enemy, though, knows exactly how to fight the Batman. And possibly, where the Batman is.
Written by Warren Ellis
Pencils and Inks by Bryan Hitch
Colored by Alex Sinclair
Cover by Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair
Josh’s Stance: We’re racing to the finish with The Batman’s Grave, and I have to say that I’ve enjoyed this title quite a bit! It was definitely a slow burn at the beginning, but the execution has been incredibly strong. Ellis and Hitch are both doing excellent work, and in a world without Alfred, it’s so nice to have a good story that features Alfred regularly!
Batman News Critic: Josh
A tie-in to “The Joker War”! Catwoman returns to Gotham City to get even with the people who stole her plans and used them against Batman…and if you’re the Riddler or the Penguin, you better watch your back, because Catwoman is coming to claim what she deserves…and that’s everything! Plus, two bonus tales: One a story about Catwoman going back to her home turf of Alleytown to start her empire, and another about a cat trying to intervene in a conflict of cat versus woman!
Written by Ram V
Pencils and Inks by Fernando Blanco, Juan E. Ferreyra, and John Paul Leon
Colored by FCO Plascencia
Cover by Laura Allred and Joelle Jones
Josh’s Stance: We’ve got an oversized issue of Catwoman this week. Originally, I wasn’t excited – especially when I saw the words “A tie-in to ‘The Joker War!’” BUT, then I saw Juan E. Ferreyra and JPL were providing art. That bumped this title up from “You Don’t Have to Thank Us” to “Mixed.”
Batman News Critic: Michael
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”
“The Joker War” part five of six! Things have changed, as Batman realizes he can’t fight this war alone. He’s going to need help. Before he faces down The Joker, he must call up his trusty partner Dick Grayson! But can Dick reclaim his lost memories in time to join the battle?
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Jorge Jimenez
Colored by Tomeu Morey
Cover by Jorge Jimenez and Tomeu Morey
Josh’s Stance: I don’t want to be a broken record, but I’m still waiting for something to actually happen. What I find interesting is that I’ve seen people talk about how nice it is that Batman doesn’t have to rely on Catwoman to step in and save the day (King’s run), but he keeps needing Harley to save him, so I’m really not sure that’s an upgrade. Anyway, Dick is back… Or maybe not quite based on this solicitation? This whole event has made it clear that the right hand isn’t communicating with the left. It’s honestly not that hard to coordinate, so I think it’s a shame that editorial and the creatives can’t align the story. And, quite frankly, if you can’t get your story together for an event/crossover/tie-in, then you shouldn’t do it.
Batman News Critic: Josh
Justice League #53
“Doom Metal” part one of five-the Dark Nights: Death Metal tie-in that will directly impact the finale of that event! Nightwing’s on a mission to free the Legion of Doom from Perpetua’s clutches. But to do so, he’ll need the help of none other than…Lex Luthor?! The surprises are only just beginning, as Nightwing, Lex, and a new Justice League must fight their way through an Earth twisted by the Dark Multiverse. Titans will be tested, hearts will be broken, and blood will be spilled!
Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by Xermanico
Colored by Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Cover by Liam Sharp, Alex Sinclair, and Dave Stewart
Josh’s Stance: As I’ve said before, Williamson’s writing style isn’t my cup of tea. It’s rare that I like something he produces, so I’m not overly enthusiastic for this. That being said, I’ve heard great things about his Flash run recently, so I’ll have to go back and check it out at some point. As for this specific issue… Eh. “Tie-in” usually kills it for me.
Batman News Critic: Nick
Teen Titans #45
After the shocking events of last month’s Teen Titans Annual, Crush has been named the new leader of the Teen Titans. With Damian Wayne missing, can Crush hold the teen team together? And now that she’s in charge, which villains will Lobo’s daughter go after first? And will Red Arrow, Kid Flash, and Roundhouse follow their hotheaded new leader into battle?
Written by Robbie Thompson
Pencils and Inks by Javier Fernandez
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo
Josh’s Stance: It feels as though we’re just spinning our wheels until this book ends, so that makes it hard to get behind the title. It’s clear that DC has plans for our teen heroes in the near future considering both Young Justice and Teen Titans have been canceled. I’m honestly in a bit of a, “I’ll just wait and jump back in whenever the new strategy launches.”
Batman News Critic: Matina
GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:
Batman: Curse of the White Knight – In this explosive sequel to the critically acclaimed blockbuster Batman: White Knight, The Joker recruits Azrael to help him expose a shocking secret from the Wayne family’s legacy-and to run Gotham City into the ground! As Batman rushes to protect the city and his loved ones from danger, the mystery of his ancestry unravels, dealing a devastating blow to the Dark Knight. Exciting new villains and unexpected allies clash in this unforgettable chapter of the White Knight saga-and the truth about the blood they shed will shake Gotham to its core!
With Gotham City’s identity and institutions hanging in the balance, Barbara Gordon decides to take matters into her own hands-but will her rogue actions play right into The Joker’s plans? It all leads to the final battle of the Bats-Bruce Wayne versus Azrael-with the fate of the city at stake. Collects Batman: Curse of the White Knight #1-8 and Batman: White Knight Presents Von Freeze #1.
The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child Deluxe Edition – The deluxe edition of Frank Miller’s return to the Dark Knight Universe!
It’s been three years since the events of Dark Knight III: The Master Race. Lara has spent the time learning to be more human, and Carrie Kelley has been growing into her new role as Batwoman. But a terrifying evil has returned to Gotham City, and Lara and Carrie must team up to stop this growing threat-and they have a secret weapon. Young Jonathan Kent, “the golden child,” has a power inside of him unlike anything the world has ever seen, and it’s about to be unleashed…
Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child is Frank Miller’s triumphant return to the world of the Dark Knight and joining him is the superstar artist Rafael Grampá, the mastermind behind the groundbreaking Mesmo Delivery. Following work in advertising and film, this incredible collaboration marks Grampá’s first comics work in six years, bringing his extraordinary detail and storytelling to the Dark Knight saga, resulting in a Dark Knight story like nothing you’ve ever seen before.