Wherever you look, there are inspirational teams all around us. The Justice League. The Outsiders. The Titans… But how would you like the join the best team of them all? The Batman-News Comic Review Team. Well, here’s your chance. We’re looking for the next Casper, Matina, Michael, or Nick… and that person could be you! Grab your cape! Grab your pen keyboard! And show us what you’ve got! If you’re feeling the calling, here’s how you can submit:
We’re looking for a team of hardcore Batman fans with free-time on Tuesdays to write commentary on all of the Batman comics, and we mean all of them! An over-abundance of available comic books (and rumors of even more this fall) means that reviewers will have to select multiple titles they wish to review, otherwise, we would end up with a writing staff of over 25 and that’s just ridiculous. Pick out the books you’re most interested in, but don’t pick something you hate just because you think it would be fun to bash it month after month. Negative reviews can be entertaining and more often than not you’ll get more hits if your review is extra venomous, but that’s not something you should ever strive toward. We want people who are passionate about the mythology and want to write about a comic because they love these characters, not because they’re anxious to act snarky in front of a large audience. Also, be realistic about how many titles you can handle. We want good, insightful copy. A paragraph or two per comic review isn’t going to cut it (be insightful, be funny, find your own voice and, most importantly, be interesting) and your readers will expect a review to be posted that very Tuesday!
Introduce yourself. We want to know who you are and what kind of schedule you keep. What do you think makes you a decent writer? Have you read “Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art” by Scott McCloud? What about “Story” by Robert McKee? Ever been published? Are you studying writing right now? What about artwork? Are you an artist yourself? Have you studied comic art and have an understanding of the various techniques? Despite there being so many comic reviews online today, very few actually offer high-quality commentary on the artwork. I know I struggled often to go into detail about the pencils and inks myself. It would be fantastic to find a reviewer who can devote as much attention to the illustrations as the story and characterization.
Also, during your introduction, we would like to know a little something about your connection to The Dark Knight. Remember how we said we were looking for passionate people? Move us with your romanticized, nostalgic view of the mythology or impress us with how far your obsession has taken you. Got a Bat-tattoo? Built your own Batcave? We’re not looking for casual fans. We’re only going to pass on this opportunity to people who ball-up their fists when they hear someone say “Batman: The Animated Series is overrated” or get glassy-eyed while describing the plot of “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?”
Give us a rundown of your experience with these characters. The more comics you’ve read, the better. List what comic book eras you specialize in and what eras you’re mostly unfamiliar with. What unread classic graphic novels are you most ashamed of never touching? What are your favorite Batman stories of all-time? Have you seen every movie and TV show? Played every video game? The more info you give us, the more seriously you’ll be considered.
Write a review. Is there any better way to know what you’re made of? Write a review for any Bat-comic that we didn’t write a full review for and submit it. If it’s good and we want you to join the team, then we’ll go ahead and post it once the comics section relaunches if you’d like. We’re not looking for someone to imitate our style. Heck, you don’t even need to share the same opinions. Just prove that you’re a capable writer who is willing to pour their heart and soul into a commentary about the book. Also, keep in mind how we do scores around here. The entire 1-10 scale is utilized. 1 is awful, 5 is “just okay,” and 10 is a must-read.
Send your application to: ReviewerTryouts@gmail.com in the form of a typical email or a Word document. There’s no immediate deadline. We won’t stop taking submissions until the right team is put together!
If we like what we see then we’ll start an email correspondence with you, working out what comics you’re the right fit for handling. It would be great to have a team assembled within the next 2 weeks, but that can only happen if we get enough variety in the submissions. And we better not get 90 emails from people saying that they want Batman and Batman only. The more open you are to handling the lower tier books, the quicker we can get this show on the road. So, what are you waiting for? Throw your cape on and pull your submission together! We’re waiting!
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
Catwoman’s going to be the top cat in Alleytown, and the first gang she’s going to make an example of is the Khadym mob…by stealing a truck full of contra-band from right under their nose! Catwoman, the Alleytown kids, the police and the Khadym mob all converge in a high-speed heist. What do you get when you mix a cat, three kids, and a truck full of contraband speeding through the streets of Alleytown? One hell of truck robbery, that’s what!
Written by Ram V
Pencils and Inks by Fernando Blanco
Colored by FCO Plascencia
Cover by Laura Allred and Joelle Jones
Josh’s Stance: All I keep hearing is that this issue of Catwoman is incredibly good! And after a quality debut to this story last month, I’m pretty damn excited to get my hands on this!
Batman News Critic: Michael
One bullet robbed Nightwing of his memories and identity. One bullet erased Dick Grayson and replaced him with Ric Grayson. Now, with Dick’s true identity returned, KGBeast is back with one last bullet for him. Using Bea as bait, KGBeast has made it abundantly clear that this one last bullet isn’t intended for Nightwing’s head-this one is aiming to puncture his broken heart!
Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils and Inks by Ronan Cliquet
Colored by Nick Filardi
Cover by Travis Moore and Alejandro Sanchez
Josh’s Stance: I’ve been shunning “Nightwing” for well over a year now, and even with Dick’s return in Nightwing #75, I was still hesitant. While I don’t think the last issue was great, it did make a number of moves in the right direction. I’m hoping this issue continues that trend… And yes, I’m excited Dick is back.
Batman News Critic: Michael
Justice League #57
“Doom Metal” part five of five! The Legion of Doom has been freed-and now they’re turning on their saviors-the Justice League! Teeth will gnash, knuckles will be bared, and Lex Luthor will make a decision that shocks everyone, including Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. The ending of this epic story leads directly into Dark Nights: Death Metal #5!
Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by Xermanico
Colored by Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Cover by Liam Sharp
Josh’s Stance: On one hand, I feel like this is the best story coming out of Death Metal. But… I’m not overly impressed with Death Metal as a whole, so I don’t feel like that’s a huge compliment. I do appreciate that Williamson is giving legacy characters the spotlight though, and I greatly appreciate the leadership Dick is getting. It’s solid work, and I’m looking forward to seeing where things go from here. Again, it isn’t great, but it’s entertaining. (Also, do we think Detective Chimp is dead, or will he survive?)
Batman News Critic: Nick
Batman and Ghost-Maker go toe-to-toe to decide which of them will remain Gotham City’s hero. The city is changing faster than ever in the aftermath of “The Joker War,” and with this change comes increasing dangers as Gotham’s citizens demand that Punchline be released from prison! Plus, Harley Quinn faces certain death at the hands of Clownhunter!
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils by Guillem March and Carlo Pagulayan
Inks by Guillem March and Danny Miki
Colored by David Baron
Cover by Jorge Jimenez and Tomeu Morey
Josh’s Stance: I just feel like I’m along for the ride at this point. And that isn’t necessarily praise. While I’m not hating what Tynion is doing, I’m also not really enjoying it. There are elements that I enjoy, but overall I feel that the title is just average. Also, the longer we can go without Punchline or Joker, the better…
Batman News Critic: Josh
Dark Nights: Death Metal #5
The Darkest Knight has won. With absolute power at the villain’s fingertips, Wonder Woman and the rest of the DC heroes are nothing to him. As the Darkest Knight turns his sights to his true goal, remaking the Multiverse in his image, can Earth’s heroes rally together to make a last stand?
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: *Deep breath* January can’t get here soon enough… That’s all.
Batman News Critic: Casper
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”
Joker/ Harley: Criminal Sanity #6
Harley Quinn’s past and present have collided, and both the family she was born into and the family she found when she met Edie Malone are suffering. As Dr. Quinn’s confrontations with the serial killer she’s hunting grow more intense, his actions lead her down a dangerous path!
Written by Kami Garcia
Pencils and Inks by Jason Badower and Mico Suayan
Colored by Annette Kwok
Cover by Francesco Mattina
Josh’s Stance: Joker/ Harley has been a total let down, and this slow, crawl of a release schedule isn’t helping. The book has been mediocre-at-best, and while some readers might be enjoying it because this approach to a “Batman” book is somewhat new, within the crime/noir genre, it really isn’t great.
Batman News Critic: Nick
Teen Titans #47
Robin betrayed them. Superboy abandoned them. Now the only Teen Titans left are Crush, Kid Flash, Red Arrow, and Roundhouse. As the teen heroes wrap up what may be their final mission, they’re going to get some unexpected encouragement from a group that knows a little about how hard it is to be heroes. Special guest stars the original Titans prove there may still be some good this team can do in the future.
Written by Robbie Thompson
Pencils and Inks by Javier Fernandez
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo
Josh’s Stance: So, THIS is the final issue… Got it. I thought this book was ending forever ago.
Batman News Critic: Matina
GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH
You know all of those graphic novels we had listed last week? Well, it turns out that DC had them listed with the incorrect release date on their website. They actually come out this week.
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.