We’re moving on to week three of Future State, and I’m a little less excited moving into this week. While I enjoyed most of the first wave of Future State titles, the second wave left something to be desired. On top of this, some of these titles already have creative changes. (Yes, I’m referring to you The Next Batman!) Thankfully, we’ve got some non-Future State titles with the conclusion of DCeased: Dead Planet and the second chapter of Batman/ Catwoman… And if I’m being honest, I’m really excited for the latter two.

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.

JANUARY 19th

TAKE MY MONEY

DCeased: Dead Planet #7
The Justice League fights an army of Amazos for Earth, while John Constantine goes head-to-head with Trigon! The Justice League fight for Earth and the lives of the…infected?! The final chapter of the best-selling series will be talked about for years to come!

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

Josh’s Stance: Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine wrap up their run for Dead Planet with this issue, and you’re not going to want to miss it. I’m just curious to see how long it takes before they announce the next DCeased run.

Batman News Critic: Casper

 

INTRIGUED

Batman/ Catwoman #2
Phantasm has come to Gotham City! Andrea Beaumont, the one-time love of Bruce Wayne, is looking for her lost child, and she’s pretty sure The Joker is involved. So, who better to have as an ally than Batman? And what better way to get to Batman than through Catwoman? It’s a knotted history for this costumed quartet, spanning past, present, and future. What The Joker did to Selina Kyle at the beginning of her career will have deadly consequences at the end of their lives. Tom King’s ultimate tale of the Dark Knight kicks into high gear as the story roars down the avenues only hinted at in the pages of Batman.

Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Clay Mann
Colored by Tomeu Morey
Cover by Clay Mann and Tomeu Morey

Josh’s Stance: After the debut of Batman/ Catwoman, I had a large number of people reach out wanting to know my opinion…. And, honestly? I didn’t mind it. There wasn’t much to really dig into because we got such a small taste of what’s to come, but I really enjoyed what we did get. So, hopefully this issue will continue that trend.

Batman News Critic: Michael

 

Future State: Catwoman #1
Masked vigilantes have been deemed illegal, and the Magistrate has commandeered a bullet train to take those they’ve captured to a reformation facility-and filled the rest of the train with innocent children! Catwoman is hellbent on ensuring it never reaches its destination. Armed with a new magnetic suit, assisted by her trusty band of Strays, and featuring Catwoman’s new protégé, she must pull off the impossible: a train heist where she steals…the train itself! But Selina isn’t the only person aboard who has plans for this train and its most unexpected passenger!

Written by Ram V
Pencils, Inks, and Colors by Otto Schmidt
Cover by Liam Sharp

Josh’s Stance: Ram V has become one of the creators that I actively look forward to reading, and it’s because he consistently delivers strong, solid stories. He’s been killing it with Catwoman, and I hope he can do the same here.

Batman News Critic: Michael

 

Future State: The Next Batman #2
In this second Future State: Batman chapter, wearing a mask in Gotham City is now a crime-and when it’s compounded with murder, it can be a shoot-on-sight offense! Batman is on the trail of a murderous couple but quickly finds that all is not as it seems…and finds himself in the firing line of the Magistrate and their Peacekeepers! The gritty, street-level adventures of the new Dark Knight continue!

Also in this issue, Batgirls Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown find themselves in a prison where the Magistrate throws heroes and villains alike! What no one knows, though, is that Cassandra was sent there with a mission…

And in a story of the Gotham City Sirens, some girls just want to have fun-so what do you do when you find Gotham City in turmoil and overrun by Cybers? You go shopping, of course! Join Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and a new Siren on a gal’s night out. They’re on the town, looking for trouble…and finding it!

Written by Vita Ayala, John Ridley, and Paula Sevenbergen
Pencils and Inks by Aneke, Laura Braga, and Emanuela Lupacchino
Colored by John Kalisz, Trish Mulvihill, and Arif Prianto
Cover by LADRÖNN

Josh’s Stance: I enjoyed the debut of The Next Batman, but I wouldn’t say it was great. It does have the luxury of getting four issues instead of two, so I don’t mind it taking a little longer to get going. What I do mind, is Nick Derrington not being on the art for the second issue when he’s billed as the artist for the run…

Batman News Critic: Nick

 

MIXED

Future State: Nightwing #1
Batman is gone! Now, Nightwing has taken on the mission of keeping the citizens of Gotham City safe from the Magistrate. But to do that, he’ll have stay one step ahead of the Magistrate! And you know things have gotten bad in Gotham when the safest place for Dick to hide out is the abandoned Arkham Asylum! When Nightwing gets a visit from a mask claiming to be the new Batman…does he fight like one? Pick up this dark peek into the future by writer Andrew Constant and artist Nicola Scott to find out!

Written by Andrew Constant
Pencils and Inks by Nicola Scott
Colored by Ivan Plascencia
Cover by Yasmine Putri

Josh’s Stance: I feel like I’ve been burned so badly by writers with Nightwing lately, that it’s hard to get excited. That being said, I love Nicola Scott, and I especially love her drawing Nightwing! For that reason alone, I’m in!

Batman News Critic: Michael

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

Batman: The Dark Knight Detective Vol. 4 – It’s a new collection of tales from the start of the 1990s, including the four-part “The Mud Pack,” a creepy story centered around the villainous Clayface, in which Batman must enlist the help of Etrigan, the Demon! Plus, a new vigilante called Anarky debuts, and Batman attends the funeral of…the Penguin? This volume also includes “Blood Secrets,” a story co-written by comics superstar Mark Waid, with Batman taking on white supremacists. Collects Detective Comics #601-611 and Detective Comics Annual #2.

 

Young Justice Vol. 3: Warriors and Warlords – This collection kicks off with Young Justice searching for Conner Kent as Superboy finds himself trapped in Skartaris, home of Warlord! To rescue him, the team enlists backup-in the form of Sideways, Spoiler, Aqualad, and Arrowette! This leads Impulse on a journey of self-discovery throughout space and time, uncovering some shocking truths! Plus, date night gets dangerous for Drake and Spoiler! Collects Young Justice #13-20.