2021 is really trying to show us that 2020 was just a warm-up. After more than a week of below-freezing temperatures and a Snowpocalypse, we finally got some sunshine here in Texas! Roads are clearing up. Power is being restored. Water has been turned back on (we’re under a “boil water notice” for sanitary reasons though), so things were looking good… Until I blew a tire out in the middle of nowhere today. And when I say “middle of nowhere,” I mean the sticks. As in, Roadside Assistance couldn’t find me. Finally, my brother was able to come help, and we were able to get the tire changed! But, considering I spent a good 6 hours stuck in the middle of nowhere, I will not be providing commentary on this final week of Future State books. I know, I know… You’re devastated.

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 23rd

TAKE MY MONEY

Batman: Black & White #3
The mythology of Batman continues to expand in this issue of Batman Black and White as we explore alternate takes and possible futures for the Caped Crusader from the minds of comics’ most innovative and creative thinkers!

  • Academy Award-winning writer John Ridley and iconic Thor and Avengers artist Olivier Coipel reteam to dip into the world of Future State and expand the legend of the next Batman and introduce us to his new-well, she’s not exactly Robin!
  • Bilquis Evely, Eisner Award-nominated artist of The Sandman Universe’s The Dreaming and Wonder Woman, writes and draws a tale that takes the myth of Batman to a medieval realm of knights and sorcery. In this vision of Batman, the Dark Knight is a real knight-and he must save a community from a dryad known as Ivy!
  • Nick Dragotta, co-creator of East of West, makes his DC writing debut with a tale that looks at a post apocalyptic future where a giant Batman-like robot rampages through what’s left of Gotham City.
  • Celebrated co-writer of Grayson and writer of Nightwing Tim Seeley returns to his horror roots with one of comics’ most legendary Batman and horror artists, Kelley Jones, to show us a Gotham cursed to be forever haunted by Batman!
  • Bengal, international comics luminary and co-creator of Death or Glory, returns to DC to tell a story expressing Batman’s admiration for his father and how he once protected Gotham City.

Written by Bengal, Nick Dragotta, Bilquis Evely, John Ridley, Tim Seeley
Pencils and Inks by Bengal, Olivier Coipel, Nick Dragotta, Bilquis Evely, Kelley Jones, and More…
Cover by Josh Middleton

 

INTRIGUED

Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn #5
The Producer’s scheme is in motion, and the GTO is on high alert as Gotham’s hope of a peaceful new horizon begins to collapse. Rattled and recovering from a close encounter with Starlet, Harley examines whether her complicate

d past with villainy is a burden or a boon to her new identity. She weighs two final options: break all ties and retire to a quiet life, or embrace the chaos, risk, and responsibility of protecting the people and the place that created her. The choice itself may be fantasy, as a targeted attack on Harley ends in tragedy and drives Bruce to a reckless decision that could extend his prison sentence indefinitely.

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

 

Future State: Dark Detective #4
Bruce Wayne may be a dead man in the eyes of the villainous Magistrate, but this dark detective isn’t through yet! In this pulse-pounding finale, Bruce makes his final move and comes face to face with the man at the top of Gotham’s oppressive regime, Peacekeeper One! With bombs planted and the trap waiting to be sprung, this final battle will decide the fate of Gotham City once and for all…

And after the events of the last “Red Hood” chapter, Jason Todd is a wanted man. He got too close to the mystery of the new Red Hood Gang, and that forced the Magistrate to take extreme measures-because no one can know the truth. Hurt and alone, Jason must turn to some unlikely allies if he’s going to survive!

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

 

MIXED

Future State: Suicide Squad #2
Peacemaker attacks! Assigned to bring Amanda Waller back to Earth-1 at all costs, the Suicide Squad battles Waller’s private Justice League on Earth-3. As lives are lost and blood is spilled, the fate of the Multiverse will be decided by Superman!

Also in this issue, the 853rd Century is burning, and only Black Adam can save reality from the onslaught of murderous rage from a new threat spawned from a former hero.

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

 

Generations Forged #1
Dispersed through time by the villain Dominus, our ragtag team of generational heroes-featuring 1939 Batman, Kamandi, Superboy, Steel, Starfire, Sinestro, Booster Gold, and Dr. Light-must find a way to restore the timeline…and what they ultimately discover is something far, far greater. You’ll have to read it to believe it as time dies…and generations rise!

Written by Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt, and Robert Venditti
Pencils and Inks by Bernard Chang, Colleen Doran, Bryan Hitch, Dan Jurgens, Paul Pelletier, and More…
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Liam Sharp

 

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

Future State: Batman/ Superman #2
Superman has fallen deep into the Magistrate’s Kryptonite caverns, and now he’s at the mercy of a gruesomely transformed Professor Pyg! So what do animalistic body modification and caves of Kryptonite have to do with the Magistrate’s growing fascist state in Gotham City? That’s what Batman needs to find out as the race against time to save the Man of Steel nears its end! All we know for sure is that during this battle, something happened that drove a wedge between Bruce and Clark…Discover the answers in the conclusion that will rock the World’s Finest to their core!

Written by Gene Luen Yang
Pencils and Inks by Ben Oliver and Stephen Segovia
Colored by Arif Prianto
Cover by David Marquez, Ben Oliver, and Alejandro Sanchez

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH

Batman: Gotham Knights: Contested – The eclectic early millennium stories of Batman, Nightwing, and the extended Bat-family continue as Dick Grayson returns to his acrobat roots to take on the criminal sister duo, Double Dare! Then, Batman calls Aquaman for a favor, Scarecrow unleashes his fear toxin in Arkham, and Superman pays a visit to Gotham City! Collects the lead stories from Batman: Gotham Knights #14-24 and #29.

 

Catwoman Vol. 4: Come Home, Alley Cat – In the aftermath of “The Joker War,” Selina Kyle has taken up residence in Alleytown. But when she finds that her old stomping grounds have been taken over by drug-running mobsters, she hatches a plan to take the town back! But unbeknownst to her, she’s being tracked by a terrifying new foe: a hit man in priest’s clothing known only as Father Valley, who carries a bag of bibles around as trophies from each of his victims. Will she be able to loosen the mafia’s stranglehold on her new hometown or become another victim to Father Valley’s sacred oath? Plus, Selina heads to the jungle to steal a diamond from a supervillain auction! Collects Catwoman #14-15 and #22-28.

 

Crisis On Multiple Earths Book 1: Crossing Over – From legendary comics writers Gardner Fox and Dennis O’Neil come the incredible crossover events between the Justice League of America and the Justice Society of America that launched the DC Multiverse as we know it! This collection brings together the earliest adventures of the heroes of two Earths as they battle their own arch-foes, the doppelgänger villains of Earth-Three known as the Crime Society, and more! Collects Justice League of America #21-22, #29-30, #37-38, #46-47, #55-56, #64-65, #73-74, #76, and #82-83.

 

The Joker War Saga – The summer 2020 blockbuster “The Joker War” is collected in this new hardcover that includes the tie-in chapters starring Batgirl, Red Hood, Nightwing, Catwoman, and, of course, Harley Quinn! As the Clown Prince of Crime battles the Dark Knight Detective head-to-head one last time. The Joker has never wanted to win before-he’s never wanted his battle with Batman to end. But now his motivation has shifted.

This collection features the Joker’s confrontation with Batgirl; his manipulation of the amnesiac Nightwing; and a turf war between Gotham City’s many evildoers! Plus, the debut of Clownhunter, a cameo by Ghost-Maker, and an epic battle between Harley Quinn and Punchline!

Collects Batman #95-100, Batgirl #47, Detective Comics #1025, Red Hood: Outlaw #48, Nightwing #74, The Joker War Zone #1, plus stories from Harley Quinn #75 and Catwoman #25.

 

Teen Titans Vol. 4: Robin No More – As this collection begins, Djinn is trapped in her ring with no escape while the Teen Titans go hunting for her older brother Elias, the only one capable of saving her. But Elias’s dark side is the stuff of legends…and the Teen Titans know he can’t be trusted. Then, with Robin gone and Mercy Hall shut down, can there still be a Teen Titans? And while Damian hunts the KGBeast, the team is on his trail-and they’re determined to find him before Batman does! Collects Teen Titans #39-47 and Teen Titans Annual #2.