I’m sure a number of you noticed, but we had a new person, Cam, join the review team and debut last week with his review of Man-Bat. He jumped right in and nabbed a title before we got the chance to properly introduce him. So… I’m here to introduce him! But… He’s not the only new member… Bet you didn’t see that coming. (Yes, yes… I know this is a Batman site, but I couldn’t resist throwing in a little WandaVision tease because that show is so damn good!)

Cam Lipham

Oh hi! I didn’t see you there. Come in, come in! I was just enjoying a glass of Fancée wine in the lounge of my new three million dollar mansion that I bought with my first paycheck from Batman News. You see, now that I’m a comic book reviewer, I can finally afford to live the extravagant life of luxury I know I’ve always deserved. What’s that? Oh, well, no, I haven’t technically gotten paid yet. But I figure the first check should be more than enough to- Wait, I’ll make how much? That’s with seven zeroes behind it, right? It’s not? I see. If you’ll excuse me, Bat-fans, I think I suddenly have to go missing off the coast of Bermuda. In remembrance of me, feel free to enjoy the reviews here with my name on them. And if the IRS calls, I’m not home.

 

Corbin Nelson

Howdy folks, I’m Corbin. I’m a human (mostly), writer, game designer, and cognitive scientist. To parrot Salinger and Catcher in the Rye — for… some reason, as I really don’t like either of them — “…the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like […] but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” Darkness, no parents, and all that.

I’ve survived thus far on a steady drip feed of trashy genre media, mythology, and superhero comics. I use the things I create to elicit empathy and cooperation in the folks that read/play them. I am currently writing an interactive fiction story — a reconstructive superhero detective story set in a thinly veiled ersatz of Gotham City. My friends have described what they’ve read/played as “Little Orphan Annie x the Jonothan Harker chapters of Dracula.”

Pleasure to be here. Hope to over-analyze some comics, spread a little empathy and good cheer.

Make sure you give Cam and Corbin a warm welcome down in the comments, and check out their reviews when they drop! 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

INTRIGUED

Future State: Dark Detective #3
In this issue, Bruce Wayne meets the next Batman! As the dark detective makes his move to put an end to the villainous Magistrate once and for all, the man who once wore the cowl encounters the next Batman-and these two have some questions for each other! Fists will fly as this explosive meeting erupts in the skies over Gotham…but with the clock ticking, can Bruce finish what he started and unlock the secrets of the fascist surveillance that plagues his city?

And in “Grifters” part two, the lucky streak that Cole Cash and Luke Fox have enjoyed just hit a brick wall in the form of the Huntress! The over-the-top adventure in the gutters of Gotham City concludes in the most bone-crushing fashion possible!

Written by Matthew Rosenberg and Mariko Tamaki
Pencils and Inks by Carmine Di Giandomenico and Dan Mora
Colored by Jordie Bellaire and Antonio Fabela
Cover by Dan Mora

Josh’s Stance: I’m not going to say I’m loving Dark Detective, but I’m enjoying it well enough. I’m especially enjoying Dan Mora’s art though, and as much as I’d love to see him return to Buffy, I’m stoked to have him on a Bat title (and can’t wait to see him draw Huntress once we move past Future State.)!

Batman News Critic: Casper

 

MIXED

Future State: Justice League #2
Exiled to a distant planet, the Justice League suspects an impostor in their midst, but not even the next Batman or Green Lantern can find the clues they’re looking for. Meanwhile on Earth, the terrifying return of a classic Justice League villain may spell doom for the planet! Doppelgängers abound, paranoia runs rampant, and only the Justice League can save humanity-if they can ever find their way home.

Plus, all the world’s terrible truths are revealed as the Justice League Dark make their last stand. Hunted, beaten, and harvested for their magic, Zatanna, John Constantine, Detective Chimp, Ragman, Madame Xanadu, and Etrigan all unleash a desperate plan that could destroy them-but is it worth the cost to finish Mad Merlin and his mysterious Knights? Only Doctor Fate knows, and the truth may spell hope or doom!

Written by Ram V and Joshua Williamson
Pencils by Robson Rocha and Marcio Takara
Inks by Daniel Henriques and Marcio Takara
Colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Dan Mora

Josh’s Stance: Honestly, I’m probably going to skip the main Justice League story, and move right on to the Justice League Dark story by Ram V!

Batman News Critic: Nick

 

DC Love is a Battlefield #1
BLAM! KRACK! POW! Look out-it’s…love?! Falling in love is rough, even for DC’s greatest. Watch as Batman and Catwoman, Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, Mister Miracle and Big Barda, and all the rest of your OTPs fight in vain against the all-powerful forces of romance (and super-villains)! Even Amanda Waller fights the urge to bail on her mystery date. We guarantee that this Valentine’s Day, someone’s taking a shot to the heart-from Cupid’s bow!

Written by Marquis D Draper, Crystal Frasier, Christos N. Gage, Sina Grace, Pornsak Pichetshote, More…
Pencils and Inks by Xermanico, Juan Gedeon, Rob Guillory, Rebekah Isaacs, José Luís, and More…
Colored by June Chung, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Rex Lokus, Ulises Arreola Palomera, Ivan Plascencia, and More…
Cover by Kaare Andrews

Josh’s Stance: I never expect too much from these holiday specials, and because of that, I typically find myself really enjoying them for what they are. Whether this is full of love or heartache, I think it can be a worthy read.

Batman News Critic: Cam

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

Future State: Teen Titans #2
Red X returns to the Teen Titans! The mysterious former Teen Titans Academy student joins the surviving Titans in a final fight to stop the threat unleashed by one of the school’s students. Nightwing, Raven, Crush, Shazam, Starfire, Cybeast, and Red Arrow face their demons as one of these heroes must make the ultimate sacrifice to save their world!

Written by Tim Sheridan
Pencils by Rafa Sandoval
Inks by Jordi Tarragona
Colored by Alejandro Sanchez
Cover by Alejandro Sanchez and Rafa Sandoval

Josh’s Stance: Meh. Sure… Why not?

Batman News Critic: Matina

 

Future State: Robin Eternal #2
Tim Drake is dead at the hands of the Magistrate. Uh, so why is he getting back up again? With the dangerous and supercharged “Lazarus Resin” coursing through the veins of the hero once known as Robin, can Tim recover enough of his fragile psyche to finish the mission and blow the sky convoy? And can Spoiler and Darcy escape the clutches of Peacekeeper 03 in time to save their friend in the process? It all comes to a head in this cataclysmic finale!

Written by Meghan Fitzmartin
Pencils by Eddy Barrows
Inks by Eber Ferreira
Colored by Adriano Lucas
Cover by Emanuela Lupacchino and Irvin Rodriguez

Josh’s Stance: As much as I love Tim Drake, I wasn’t crazy about the debut of Future State: Robin Eternal. Let’s see if this issue does anything to change my mind.

Batman News Critic: Matina

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

Batman Vol. 2: 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.