Uh…. Yeah, I’m not too excited about this week’s releases.

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.

DECEMBER 22nd

MIXED

Dark Nights: Death Metal: The Last 52: War of the Multiverses #1
What would it take to get every being left in the Multiverse to side together in the ultimate, final showdown? Total decimation and the complete undoing of all existence? The Batman Who Laughs has made his final move, bringing the most horrifying opposition to the battleground, and now every hero and villain left alive will stand and fight together. This epic battle book details every side of the last war across the Multiverse-Wonder Woman leading the heroes, Superman leading the villains, and Batman leading the dead-everyone has to play their part. Everyone and everything is at stake…so join here for the last of the DCU as we know it!

Written by Marguerite Bennett, Che Grayson, Kyle Higgins, Justin Jordan, Matthew Rosenberg, and more…
Pencils and Inks by Rob Guillory, Michael L Henderson, Scott Koblish, Scott Kolins, Alex Maleev, and more…
Colored by Eva de la Cruz, Veronica Gandini, Matt Hollingsworth, John Kalisz, Lopez, and more…
Cover by Dan Mora

Josh’s Stance: I can’t say that I’m overly excited about any of these creators, but I’m not turned off by them either. If anything, I’m lukewarm. And considering the fact that I’m just ready for Death Metal to end, the fact that this title tops my anticipation scale should send a strong message about my thoughts on DC at the moment.

Batman News Critic: Casper

 

Justice League: Endless Winter #2
“Endless Winter” chapter nine! This is it-the final chapter in the five-week, nine-issue Justice League crossover! With the Frost King’s origin revealed, the Justice League must battle the mistakes of the past as well as the global freeze that now threatens the entire population. This issue is snow-packed with characters and action as Superman battles Black Adam while Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Queen Hippolyta, and Swamp Thing face the Frost King and his monstrous army! All of the world is watching, and the Justice League must make a choice.

Written by Andy Lanning and Ron Marz
Pencils and Inks by Carmine Di Giandomenico, Howard Porter, and Marco Santucci
Colored by Hi-Fi and Arif Prianto
Cover by Mikel Janin

Josh’s Stance: While Endless Winter hasn’t resulted in me doing cartwheels – or even wanting to rise from my seat for that matter – I will admit that my interested in it has increase since we now know that threads from this story will lead into the new status quo. And… Yeah. That’s my positivity. That right there. Not to say that this story is terrible or anything, it’s fine… Just… fine…

Batman News Critic: Nick & Matina

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Dark Nights Metal #1
In the event-defining epic Dark Nights: Metal, the Justice League defeated the vile Barbatos and his Dark Knights to save our universe from sinking into the abyss of the Dark Multiverse. But…what if they failed? What if Barbatos reigned victorious? Enter an alternate timeline where the DCU as you know it has been dragged down into the darkness. Witness the Justice League you once knew, hideously transformed into dragons who serve at the mercy of evil.

Duke Thomas, the Last Monitor, will have to seek out Nightwing and the few remaining survivors of the Metal event to assemble the Final Justice League in an attempt to save the Multiverse. Featuring a story by Metal architect Scott Snyder, rising stars Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, and art by red-hot artist Karl Mostert, you won’t want to miss the biggest, loudest arena rock concert in the history of the DC Universe!

Written by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, and Scott Snyder
Pencils by Karl Mostert
Inks by Norm Rapmund and Trevor Scott
Colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Cover by David Marquez and Alejandro Sanchez

Josh’s Stance: If there’s ever a sure-fire way to completely kill any excitement or interest I have in a book, put Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing on a book. I don’t mean this as a personal affront to them, just that they’re not my cup of tea. Much in the way that I feel about Joshua Williamson, their writing and plotting style just doesn’t jive with me. Also, the mere concept of there being a Dark Multiverse story of Death Metal just doesn’t make sense to me… The story of Death Metal is about the Dark Multiverse breaking into the normal universe… If it is the Dark Multiverse, then why do we need a story about the Dark Multiverse breaking into the Dark Mul- you know what? Forget it. It’s a money grab. It could be a fun exploration of what Snyder wanted to include but couldn’t, or wished he would’ve included in the original Metal. The thing I’m more curious about than the story itself, is whether or not any of the New Age of Heroes will pop up or not… No, I’m not joking.

Batman News Critic: Nick

 

Batman Annual #5
The riveting new vigilante known as Clownhunter was a breakout star of “The Joker War”- but what’s the tragic origin of this teenage assassin? How did his parents die at the hands of The Joker, and is there a place for him in the evolving Gotham City? Can there be redemption for the infamous Clownhunter?

This epic tale reteams writer James Tynion IV and artist James Stokoe, the storytellers behind the definitive Clownhunter tale from Batman: The Joker War Zone #1!

Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils, Inks, and Colors by James Stokoe
Cover by Derrick Chew

Josh’s Stance: I’d hardly describe Clownhunter as “riveting.” I’ve made it quite clear in my reviews that I’m not the biggest fan of the character, or Tynion’s run for that matter. So, this… Yeah, as the anticipation scale states, you don’t have to thank me. You can… but you don’t have to.

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH

Batman Adventures: Robin, the Boy Wonder Vol. 1 – Robin takes the lead in this series of stories set in the beloved world of Batman: The Animated Series! A criminal uncovers Robin’s secret identity-and attempts to profit from his discovery! Plus, when Batman’s poisoned, Robin only has six hours to find the cure-and Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are standing in his way. Collects Batman: Gotham Adventures #7, #19, #29, #42, #54, and Batman Adventures #9.

 

Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 5 – Some of Batman’s most memorable early 1990s adventures are back in this new collection! With the Ghost Dragon gang committing daring warehouse robberies, Batman and Robin chase the gang’s lieutenant Lynx, through the streets. When Robin discovers that an old nemesis-the Ghosts’ dead leader, King Snake-might be alive and out for his head, the stakes only get higher. Plus, Batman travels to Rio de Janeiro to track a serial killer known as the Queen of Hearts and battles through a bizarre dimension known as the Idiot Zone! Collects Batman #466-473 and Detective Comics #639-640.

 

Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating the DC Universe Vol. 2 – In 2001, the unthinkable happened-Stan Lee, the comics creator most synonymous with Marvel, reimagined DC’s greatest heroes with a lineup of comics’ greatest artists. Back in print following the legend’s passing in 2018, this collects the second half of Lee’s unique takes on DC’s greatest icons, reinventing them from the ground up. Collects Just Imagine Stan Lee with John Byrne Creating Robin #1, Just Imagine Stan Lee with Gary Frank Creating Shazam! #1, Just Imagine Stan Lee with Scott McDaniel Creating Aquaman #1, Just Imagine Stan Lee with Chris Bachalo Creating Catwoman #1, Just Imagine Stan Lee with Walter Simonson Creating the Sandman #1, and Just Imagine Stan Lee with John Cassaday Creating Crisis #1.