We have a light week this week. The Punchline one-shot is coming out, and I’m curious to see what the response is for it. Will it sell a lot, or will it just kind of flounder? I guess we’ll find out on Tuesday/ Wednesday. Also, the trader for Three Jokers is hitting shelves this week. DC didn’t waste any time shooting that out. I’m all for fast turn-arounds, but this was fast. Maybe a little too fast?
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 #1030
A new foe called the Mirror has joined the Dark Knight’s rogues gallery-but is there more to this villain than meets the eye? Or is he simply a reflection of the world around him? As the Bat-Family find themselves on the run from the Mirror’s army, Damian Wayne lurks in the shadows, plotting his next move in a cat-and-mouse game between father and son that can only end in disaster!
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils and Inks by Bilquis Evely
Colored by Mat Lopes
Cover by Bilquis Evely and Mat Lopes
Josh’s Stance: Tomasi started the arc with a stellar set-up and mystery, and I’m excited to see where he takes it! Everytime we get quality stories like this, it only makes me hope for the day that DC will recognize the gift they have with Tomasi, and let him tell his stories without constant interruption from events.
Batman News Critic: Casper
Dark Knights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme #1
Pull up a chair, ya bastiches-it’s time for Uncle Lobo’s Infinite Hour! It’s your chance to let the Main Man Lobo-tomize you with familiar yet freaky stories of the DC Universe, exactly as he remembers them: with blood and guts and exxxtreme gratuitous violence! Tell yer comics guy to put you down for alllll the copies!
Written by Becky Cloonan, Sam Humphries, and Frank Tieri
Pencils and Inks by Denys Cowan, Tyler Kirkham, Rags Morales and more
Colored by Andrew Dalhouse, Arif Prianto, and Chris Sotomayor
Cover by Dan Brown and Kyle Hotz
Josh’s Stance: I’ve made it pretty clear I’m burnt out on Death Metal at this point… I mean, let’s face it… It feels like it lost the plot somewhere, and I’m in a “I really don’t care gods punching each other in the face with planets. Can we just move on?” However, I’ve heard rumblings that this issue is awesome (from other critics, not people behind the book), and I love Lobo, so… Yeah, I’m kind of excited. Mark this one in the books, folks. I’m not sure I’ll say this again as far as Death Metal is concerned.
Batman News Critic: Jay
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”
Spinning out of the pages of “The Joker War” comes the first solo book starring the blockbuster new character Punchline. As she faces the consequences for her role in “The Joker War,” the story of how Alexis Kaye became Punchline will take Leslie Thompkins, Harper Row, and Cullen Row on a harrowing journey that reveals a fringe teenager’s radicalization to the ideology of a madman. It’s a terrifying tale so big it demanded an oversize special issue!
Written by Sam Johns and James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Mirka Andolfo
Colored by Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Cover by Yasmine Putri
Josh’s Stance: I feel like this one-shot is landing a little late. I mean, I know we have more Punchline stories on the horizon, but I feel like the intrigue and popularity surrounding her has faded rather quickly… Maybe because there’s not much of a character there and the only intriguing aspect to her is her design?
Also… There was a press release that went out saying something along the lines of “fan favorite, Harper Row, returns…” Umm… Maybe I’m remember things incorrectly (I’m not), but I believe she was pushed out because fans despised the character so much. I mean, if I’m being honest, I liked Harper Row a lot… And then they tried to make her a hero and it came at the expense of characters we already know and love.
Batman News Critic: Josh
GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH
Batman by Tom King & Lee Weeks: The Deluxe Edition – Superstar comic book writer Tom King and others team with acclaimed artist Lee Weeks to take on pop culture’s greatest hero, Batman! This collection includes “Cold Days,” as Bruce Wayne gets jury duty for a court case involving Mr. Freeze! Will the evidence cause Batman to rethink his methods? In “Knightmares,” Batman chases a new foe who outsmarts him at every turn-is it someone more familiar to the Dark Knight than even he suspects? And in the Eisner Award-nominated Batman/Elmer Fudd Special, Batman ends up in the Looney Tunes character’s crosshairs in a story you never expected! Plus, classic tales illustrated by Weeks, including “Prodigal,” in which Dick Grayson took on the Batman cowl for the first time. Collects Batman #51-53 and #67, Batman Annual #2, and Batman/Elmer Fudd Special #1.
Batman: Three Jokers – Thirty years after Batman: The Killing Joke changed comics forever, Batman: Three Jokers
reexamines the myth of who, or what, is the Joker and what is at the heart of his ongoing battle with Batman? New York Times bestselling writer Geoff Johns and artist Jason Fabok, the team that waged the “Darkseid War” in the pages of Justice League, reunite to tell the ultimate story of Batman and The Joker!
In this highly anticipated epic, learn why there are three Jokers, and what that means for the decades-long battle between the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime. In this powerful, emotional story, Batman, Batgirl, and Red Hood-all past victims of The Joker-work together to solve a mystery unlike anything they’ve ever faced before!
Underworld Unleashed: The 25th Anniversary Edition – The devil gets his due as demonically powered super-villains wreak havoc in this 25th-anniversary edition of the classic DC event! Neron, the ruler of hell, makes DC’s villains-and heroes-an offer they can’t refuse, dangling serious power upgrades at the cost of their souls. Who will say yes? Who will say no? And will the DC Universe ever be the same? Collects Underworld Unleashed #1-3, Underworld Unleashed: Abyss-Hell’s Sentinel #1, Underworld Unleashed: Apokolips-Dark Uprising #1, Underworld Unleashed: Batman-Devil’s Asylum #1, and Underworld Unleashed: Patterns of Fear #1.