For those of you that don’t know, I’m located in Texas. If you’ve watched the news, then you might know that the entire state of Texas is under a winter storm warning. This has never happened before. The ground is covered in snow, we’re in single digit temps. Because of all of this, electric companies are performing rolling blackouts to help prevent full-on blackouts. So… I’m pulling this together in between shut-offs. It’s a fun little game I’ve created. Anyway, since we’re trapped in our homes the next few days, I’ve got plenty of time to read comics!

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 16th

INTIGUED

Batman/ Catwoman #3
It’s been The Joker all along, you see.

Selina Kyle knows this. Early in her career as Catwoman, he was there to mess things up for her. Same with later, when she and Batman were finally getting together…for the third time, but still. That time stuck. No thanks to The Joker. Or to Phantasm, who now has her sights set on Catwoman because she thinks that will be her in to get after The Joker herself. And she has to do it before Batman gets to him first.

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

Josh’s Stance: I’m enjoying Batman/ Catwoman so far, but – and this isn’t the first time I’ve said this – I really wish this would’ve been released as a graphic novel. I feel like so much of King’s writing would be better suited for that. Regardless, I do think there’s some interesting stuff here, and even if you didn’t enjoy King’s run on Batman, this could still be worth your time.

Batman News Critic: Michael

 

Future State: Catwoman #2
Catwoman has clawed her way through half of the Magistrate’s bullet train, but her fight has only just begun! Now, with Onomatopoeia in tow, Selina makes her way toward the car carrying a ghost of her past, and Gotham’s as well. It’s Bruce Wayne…but is it really him? And with Talia al Ghul on board as well, will this be a long-awaited reunion between the Bat and the Cat, or will Selina’s mission to rescue the Magistrate’s prisoners go off the rails?

Written by Ram V
Art by Otto Schmidt
Cover by Liam Sharp

Josh’s Stance: Ram V has been killing it with his Future State titles, and Catwoman is no exception. I can’t help but feel that Ram is really establishing himself as the “next big thing” at DC Comics, and I really hope the publishers and editors allow him the opportunity to do just that.

Batman News Critic: Michael

 

Future State: The Next Batman #4
The next Batman goes head-to-head with the Magistrate’s shock troops to protect the…guilty?! It’s a savage running battle across Gotham City, and it will have the next Dark Knight fighting overwhelming odds to prove that justice still lives in the heart of a broken city.

In the finale of “Batgirls,” after discovering the person locked in the high-security cell is the one who’s been sending out “Batman Lives” signals to the Resistance, Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain must work together to make sure they take that person when they escape their prison!

Plus, in the conclusion of “Gotham City Sirens,” Catwoman and the new android Siren hide out in Poison Ivy’s newly built paradise, where they discuss their past relationships, including what Catwoman has-or had-with Batman. But when Peacekeeper forces arrive, the new Siren will have to make a sacrifice to save her friends.

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’ve seen a lot of people talk about how The Next Batman isn’t good, but I disagree. I think it’s quite good – aside from the art – and feel as though it’s just been drastically hindered due to DC’s idiotic move to reveal that Tim Fox is Batman. If we didn’t know that, there would be a lot more intrigue and mystery to the story. That’s something we shouldn’t blame Ridley for. As for the backups…

Batman News Critic: Nick

 

MIXED

Future State: Nightwing #2
It’s an all-new dynamic for the Dynamic Duo when Nightwing and Gotham’s mysterious new Batman join forces against the Magistrate. But when the totalitarian force controlling the city declares the two heroes their primary targets, Nightwing will need to call on the full force of his hidden resistance, including two Batgirls, Huntress, and Two-Face! But even then, will it be enough? Find out in this action-packed conclusion!

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

Josh’s Stance: One of the things plaguing Future State is that these two-issue stories aren’t really enough to delve as deep as they need to for the stories that the writers are trying to tell, or it’s not enough story to require two issues. And whatever the case, either direction makes the story itself feel as though it doesn’t completely matter.

Batman News Critic: Michael

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

There are no Bat-related graphic novels releasing this week.