We’re in week… Umm…. Look, I’m going to be honest. I’ve worked 23 hours in the past two days at my day job… I don’t even know what day it is right now – they’re all blending together at this point – so I definitely don’t remember what week of Future State we’re in… We’ll just go with, “We’re starting month 2 of Future State!” How about that? Haha!

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.

February 2nd

Future State: The Next Batman #3
The adventures of the next Batman continue! Batman has captured a pair of murderous fugitives, but he faces a tough decision: leave them for the Magistrate troops, which means certain death, or risk his life and fight his way through Gotham City to deliver them to the GCPD for trial. He’s Batman…so there’s only one choice!

And in “Outsiders,” Katana has reunited with Black Lightning, but her old friend and ally has changed…big-time! Now composed of literal black lightning, Jefferson Pierce arrives with a dire warning about Duke Thomas and his mission to liberate Gotham from the oppression of the Magistrate. They’ll have to work together-and we really mean together-to have any hope of defeating the forces working against them!

Plus, in “Arkham Knights,” Astrid Arkham and her band of maniacal misfits have picked a fight with the Magistrate…and they’re not going to back down! On the eve of their mission into the heart of Gotham’s fascist occupiers, Croc, Zsasz, Phosphorus, Clayface, Harvey, and the rest steel themselves to try and shine a beacon of hope into the darkness-but not everyone will make it out alive!

Written by Paul Jenkins, John Ridley, and Brandon Thomas
Pencils and Inks by Laura Braga, Jack Herbert, and Sumit Kumar
Colored by Jordie Bellaire, Gabe Eltaeb, and Arif Prianto
Cover by LADRÖNN

Josh’s Stance: Look, I don’t want it to come off as if I’m not looking forward to reading this… but where is Nick Derrington!?!?!?

Batman News Critic: Nick

 

Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey #4
There was no way Harley was going to make it out of Gotham City without coming face to face with The Joker…and just as she’s taken all his money, he’s determined to take something that means even more to her! This will be the most harrowing gauntlet of Harley’s life, and she-and you-are not ready for it!

Written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
Pencils and Inks by Amanda Conner
Colored by Alex Sinclair
Cover by Amanda Conner and Alex Sinclair

Josh’s Stance: It only took about a year, but the final issue of Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey is finally coming out… Honestly though, if you enjoyed what Conner and Palmiotti did in their Harley Quinn run, then this book is definitely for you! They’re great talents, and their work on this title is genuinely a fun, entertaining romp.

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

MIXED

Future State: Harley Quinn #2
Harley Quinn has gained Jonathan Crane’s trust, everything is going according to plan, and she is getting close to making her escape. But Black Mask and his gang are continuing to undermine the Magistrate and push Crane closer to the edge, where he will become the Scarecrow once more. Will Harley be able to defeat the Scarecrow and stop the Black Mask Gang? If she’s going to secure her freedom and save Gotham’s future, she’ll have to!

Written by Stephanie Phillips
Pencils and Inks by Simone Di Meo and Toni Infante
Colored by Tamra Bonvillain
Cover by Derrick Chew

Josh’s Stance: This book is fine. There’s a lot of fun colors, and it’s very Batman Beyond-esque, so there’s a fresh, yet familiar, vibe to it. I’m just finding it hard to get excited about anything Future State related at this point.

Batman News Critic: Brian

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

Batman Vol. 2: The Joker War – This is it: the Clown Prince of Crime battles the Dark Knight Detective head-to-head for the last time. And one way or another, this explosive struggle will pave the way to the future of Gotham City!

The Joker has never wanted to win before-he’s never wanted his battle with Batman to end-but now his motivation has shifted. As The Joker assembles an army, Batman reels from a debilitating Joker Toxin attack. Amid the chaos, the villains of Gotham City are waiting out the carnage Joker has unleashed-and Catwoman assembles an army of her own! Plus, Harley Quinn battles Punchline, and Clownhunter joins the action! Collects Batman #95-100.