The more that we dive into Future State, the less eager I am in wanting to read the titles. No, nothing has been completely terrible, but many have just been mediocre at best. I feel like I gave everything a shot, and now there are probably two or three titles total that I will pick up again. The bad thing is, as much as I want to say, “I can’t wait for things to return to normal,” I’m not… It’s a bit of a dilemma.

ALSO, on a separate note… We should have some news dropping next week, so stay tuned!

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 26th

TAKE MY MONEY

Batman: Black & White #2
The all-new anthology series continues with new tales of mystery, mayhem and madness from all levels of Gotham City by some of the finest talents in comics.

In this auspicious issue:

  • Eisner Award-winning collaborators Tom King and Mitch Gerads (Mister Miracle, Strange Adventures) tell a tale of Batman administering a form of last rites to a dying priest. Or is it the other way around?
  • Eisner-nominated storytellers Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko (Green Lantern: Earth One) find the Dark Knight facing certain death-with The Joker his last lifeline.
  • Multiple award-winner for his innovative work on Hawkeye, David Aja writes and draws his first DC story, in which Batman is set on the trail of a deadly cult preying on Gotham City-and it’s one you’ll be talking about all year!
  • The brilliant Sophie Campbell (Jem and the Holograms, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Wet Moon) returns to DC after a 10-year absence to follow Batman and Catwoman on one of their greatest chases ever.
  • Celebrated artist of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Avengers and the creator of Paklis, Dustin Weaver makes his DC debut as Batman takes to the sky in a stunning aerial battle against one of the most unsettling foes he’s ever faced.

Written by David Aja, Corinna Sara Bechko, Sophie Campbell, Gabriel Hardman, Tom King, and More…
Pencils and Inks by David Aja, Sophie Campbell, Mitch Gerads, Gabriel Hardman, Stjepan Sejic, and More…
Cover by Jock

Josh’s Stance: I loved the first issue of Batman: Black and White, and can’t wait to get my hands on this book! The art is definitely a draw, but even the stories – though short – can often pack quite a punch. This is one of those titles where when creators are brought onboard, they know it’s a special project and tend to bring their best work.

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

INTRIGUED

Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn #4
Harley’s pursuit of the Golden Age killer gets personal. Still in the fog of her discovery about Hector’s obsession, she relives her darkest memory of Jack’s transformation into The Joker-and her own early evolution into Harley Quinn. With Bruce’s counsel, she grapples with the guilt of her past and makes a choice that sends her straight into Starlet and the Producer’s den for an expertly staged showdown that will either crack the case or end her life.

Written by Katana Collins
Pencils and Inks by Matteo Scalera
Colored by Dave Stewart
Cover by Matt Hollingsworth and Sean Gordon Murphy

Josh’s Stance: We’ve got quite a solid murder mystery on our hands, and I’m enjoying the journey that we’re taking with Harley. Is it perfect? No. However, I still believe this is the best direction and interpretation that DC has had of Harley Quinn in years!

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

Future State: Dark Detective #2
Bruce Wayne is supposed to be dead…but this Dark Detective is on the run and shining a light on the mystery of his own “murder”: How did the killers know Bruce Wayne was Batman? As the forces of the Magistrate zero in on Bruce’s location, it’s a race against time to unlock the secrets of their surveillance tech and take the fight to the very top! But is the knowledge that Bruce’s own legacy helped to enable the greatest authoritarian force the city of Gotham has ever seen too much to bear?

Also in this issue, Jason Todd is a haunted man. He’s working a job he hates on the violent streets of Gotham City as a mask hunter for the Magistrate! He takes contracts to catch villains-or heroes-and brings them in alive-mostly. But when the Red Hood gang reemerges, Jason must solve a mystery that could doom the city.

Written by Mariko Tamaki and Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by Giannis Milonogiannis and Dan Mora
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Cover by LADRÖNN and Dan Mora

Josh’s Stance: I enjoyed Dark Detective #1 well enough, and that has me interested in this chapter. I think Tamaki is proving she’s perhaps a better fit than people initially expected, and Dan Mora’s art is such a treat! I’d love to see him on Superman. Just saying…

Batman News Critic: Casper

 

Future State: Batman/ Superman #1
Back in the early days of the Magistrate’s occupation of Gotham City, Bruce Wayne found himself pushed to the edge like never before. So calling the Man of Steel in for backup makes sense, right? Wrong. Gotham’s sinister overlords have already sprung the ultimate trap on the Last Son of Krypton…and with Kryptonian power at your command, no one can stand in your way! Plus…where on Earth did Professor Pyg get a Kryptonite scalpel? Brace yourselves, because things are going to get gross in the caverns below Gotham…

Written by Gene Luen Yang
Pencils and Inks by Ben Oliver
Colored by Arif Prianto
Cover by Ben Oliver

Josh’s Stance: The whole Professor Pyg/ Kryptonite scalpel bit has me giving this story a bit of side-eye, however, I’m also looking at that same plot point and thinking, “Actually… This could be crazy in a good way.” I am literally the kombucha girl, but with comics. Anyway, the team of Yang and Oliver is quite exciting, so I look forward to seeing what these two deliver!

Batman News Critic: Casper

 

MIXED

Future State: Suicide Squad #1
The Suicide Squad enters the Future State era as Amanda Waller uses Task Force X to save the world and remake it in her image-but what happens when the team shows up to stop her?

And in the second story in this extra-sized issue, Black Adam, the immortal one-time champion of the wizard Shazam, rules the planet Kahndaq in the 853rd century. Can he save the future from a threat rooted in the past?

Written by Jeremy Adams and Robbie Thompson
Pencils by Javier Fernandez and Fernando Pasarin
Inks by Oclair Albert, Javier Fernandez, and Jason Paz
Colored by Jeromy Cox and Alex Sinclair
Cover by Javier Fernandez and Marcelo Maiolo

Josh’s Stance: Mmmm….. This could either be really, really good… Or extremely generic…

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

Joker/ Harley: Criminal Sanity #7
Harley faced The Joker in her home, and now she faces him again. This time, she knows he killed her roommate. This time, she knows he’s toying with her. This time, she’s in danger of losing her reputation with the GCPD instead of her life. Their electrifying encounter will have consequences for the rest of her life-but is she ready?

Written by Kami Garcia
Pencils and Inks by Jason Badower and Mico Suayan
Colored by Annette Kwok
Cover by Francesco Mattina

Josh’s Stance: You know, I’ve talked about how this book is just mediocre at best, and while I do think that’s the problem, I think the biggest problem is how this title’s release schedule just seems to be dragging out so slowly. There’s a point where you just think, “Yeah, ok, it’s hard to care at this rate… I’ll just read it when it’s collected.”

Batman News Critic: Nick

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

DC Comics: The Art of Lee Bermejo – DC Comics: The Art of Lee Bermejo collects the boldest and most iconic work of celebrated comics artist Lee Bermejo! Known for his incredible and distinctive work on the Joker and Lex Luthor: Man of Steel collaborations with writer Brian Azzarello, Before Watchmen: Rorschach, a long list of powerfully compelling covers, and more, Lee Bermejo’s work speaks for itself! This volume is a beautiful and brilliant showcase of Bermejo’s art and features commentary on some of his favorite titles, essays from fellow comics professional and friends, behind-the-scenes artwork, and an extensive gallery of some of his finest covers.

 

Legends of the DC Universe: Doug Mahnke – These tales spotlight Doug Mahnke, one of DC’s most dynamic artists, including stories starring Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, and more. Collects stories and art from Action Comics #775 and #1000; Batman #645; Batman: The Man Who Laughs #1; Batman and Robin Annual #2; Black Adam: The Dark Age #1; Detective Comics #1000; Final Crisis: Requiem #1; Green Lantern (2011) #0 and #50; Green Lantern (2016) #50; Hitman/Lobo: That Stupid Bastich #1; JLA #61 and #65; Justice League #25; Justice League of America #25; Justice League: Elite #1; The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1; Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #1; Superman #8-9; and Superman: The Man of Steel #87.

 

Titans: Burning Rage – Paranoia rules the streets while crime-fighting couple Hawk and Dove lead ordinary citizens in an uprising against the rich-but former Doom Patrol member Mento is pulling their strings! It’s up to the Titans to try to uncover his sinister purpose and keep peace before someone gets killed! Collects Titans: Burning Rage #1-7.