Well, would you look at that? Future State has come and gone, and now it’s time for us to get our first real taste of what DC has in store for us for the near future. We definitely got some teases for potential tone and direction of some titles over the past two months, so I’m curious to see how close the actual titles follow suit. But I want to hear from you. Are you excited to return to “normal?” Is there even such a thing as “normal” with this new linear timeline where everything happened? I’m going to be honest… I have my reservations.

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.

MARCH 2nd

TAKE MY MONEY

Man-Bat #2
Man-Bat is on the run from the law following a horrific night of blood and mayhem on the streets of Gotham. But the police aren’t what Kirk Langstrom’s monstrous alter ego should worry about…it’s Task Force X, better known as the Suicide Squad. To undo the damage he caused, Man-Bat must seek out a cure for the innocents he has injured, all while staying out of the deadly sights of the world’s most dangerous mercenaries!

Written by Dave Wielgosz
Pencils and Inks by Sumit Kumar
Colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Cover by Kyle Hotz and Alejandro Sanchez

Josh’s Stance: To say that Man-Bat took readers by surprise is an understatement! I had no expectations that this book would be any good, but damn do I have to eat crow! And if I’m being completely honest, I love when this happens. Nothing makes me happier than to see someone knock a comic out of the park.

Batman News Critic: Cam

 

 

INTRIGUED

Crime Syndicate #1
Spinning out of Dark Nights: Death Metal, the Multiverse is reborn-and Earth-3 with it! In this six-issue miniseries, witness the true origins of the malevolent makers of mayhem known as the Crime Syndicate as a common foe unites them! But how long can alliances last between villains like these?

Also in this issue, it’s the origin of Ultraman in our special backup story drawn by superstar artist Bryan Hitch!

Written by Andy Schmidt
Pencils by Bryan Hitch and Kieran McKeown
Inks by Bryan Hitch and Dexter Vines
Colored by Steve Olyoptics Oliff and Alex Sinclair
Cover by Jim Cheung and Romulo Fajardo Jr.

Josh’s Stance: This is unique enough considering the circumstances of its inception that I’m looking forward to reading it. Whether or not this title will remain this high up on the anticipation scale will completely depend on execution. I’m hoping for the best, but we will see.

Batman News Critic: Cam

 

Suicide Squad #1
Things have changed for Task Force X. As Peacemaker takes over as field leader, there will be no more avenging or defending for the government’s top-secret task force of killers, thieves, and criminals. Amanda Waller-now back in control of the Squad-sends a new Squad into Arkham Asylum to “recruit” the deadly Court of Owls assassin Talon while she interviews another new candidate: Superboy.

Written by Robbie Thompson
Pencils by Eduardo Pansica
Inks by Julio Ferreira
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Julio Ferreira, Marcelo Maiolo, and Eduardo Pansica

Josh’s Stance: And taking the hat-trick is Cam’s third title of the week! There’s definitely some excitement going into Suicide Squad because of the upcoming film, but I’m honestly looking forward to this title because of the Future State run as well. I’m hoping they run with the “nobody is safe” approach, and that we lose characters right and left… And that some unexpected characters stick around and get developed as well.

Batman News Critic: Cam

 

MIXED

Infinite Frontier #0
The next phase of the DC Universe begins here! Dark Knights: Death Metal presented the darkest threats of the Multiverse. DC Future State revealed what may lie ahead. Now it’s time to look into the Infinite Frontier of the current-day DC Universe.

In Gotham City, The Joker jolts citizens awake with an attack even the Dark Knight never expected. In Brazil, a young woman discovers her destiny and her connection to the Amazons. In Belle Reve, Amanda Waller plots an invasion of Arkham Asylum. In the far reaches of space, Mongul dreams of galactic domination, while the Green Lantern Corps hosts a summit of its greatest enemies. At the Hall of Justice, the League joins forces with Black Adam. Beyond the mortal world, Wonder Woman settles into a new role in the godsphere. And somewhere in the DC Universe-it’s the return of Stargirl, in an all-new tale written by Geoff Johns!

This oversized, all-star issue kicks off the next great era of storytelling and excitement as top writers and artists reveal what’s next for the World’s Greatest Heroes and opens the door to some of the greatest stories of 2021.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis. Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad, Geoff Johns, Phillip K. Johnson, and More…
Pencils and Inks by Stephen Byrne, Jamal Igle, Jorge Jimenez, Joelle Jones, Alex Maleev, and More…
Colored by Hi-Fi, Brad Anderson, Jordie Bellaire, Tamra Bonvillain, Stephen Byrne, and More…
Cover by Mikel Janin and Dan Jurgens

Josh’s Stance: I don’t want to say that I’m excited about Infinite Frontier, but I’m curious. I was definitely more optimistic until I found out that this is a collection of stories, and a number of them only run three pages or so… Basically, there’s nothing here to sink your teeth into. Infinite Crisis will most likely be a teaser for what’s to come… After Future State essentially did just that for two months. Seems like a waste.

Batman News Critic: Corbin

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

Batman #106
Following the tragic events of Infinite Frontier #1, Batman and his new ally, Ghost-Maker, must reckon with a new gang operating in Gotham City-but are they connected to the reemergence of the Scarecrow? Meanwhile, shadowy billionaire Simon Saint pitches an advanced law-enforcement system to the new mayor! The creative team behind the epic “The Joker War” returns with a thrill-packed, dangerous new storyline called “The Cowardly Lot.”

Plus, the backup story “Demon or Detective” begins as Damian Wayne is on the run! After everything Damian has gone through, can he escape Gotham and find his way back to where his journey started-to his mother, Talia al Ghul? This two-part tale concludes this month in Detective Comics #1034!

Written by James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by Jorge Jimenez and Gleb Melnikov
Colored by Gleb Melnikov and Tomeu Morey
Cover by Jorge Jimenez

Josh’s Stance: You know… I was hoping a two-month break from this run would prepare to approach the continuation of Tynion’s run with optimism… It hasn’t… At all… I am looking forward to the backup though. So, hey… There’s that! (Also, I really hope the solicitation was supposed to be Infinite Frontier #0, because if not, then we’re going to be missing some key information.)

Batman News Critic: Josh

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

Batman & the Outsiders Vol. 3: The Demon’s Fire
Ra’s al Ghul has had everything taken away from him. His League of Assassins, his power…even his family. All he has left is his mission to bend the world to his will and save it from itself. He’s more dangerous than ever, and it’ll take the combined full might of the Outsiders team to take him down! Did Batman choose the wrong allies to assemble to fight Ra’s? Or did those allies make a mistake in believing in Batman? It’s the concluding volume of the critically acclaimed series! Collects Batman and the Outsiders #13-17.

 

Nightwing: The Joker War
“The Joker War” hits Nightwing, and Dick Grayson is back! But reclaiming his memories won’t be easy, as Ric falls under the control of The Joker’s new henchperson, Punchline, and must battle the people he once loved most: Batgirl, the Robins, and…himself. And when KGBeast discovers Nightwing is still alive, his street credibility is on the line if he doesn’t go to finish the job he started when he tried to kill Nightwing…and missed! Nightwing better watch his back if he wants to be back for good. Collects Nightwing #70-77 and Nightwing Annual #3.

 


Superman & Batman: Generations Omnibus
– They are the world’s two greatest superheroes. Superman. The Last Son of Krypton. Batman. The Dark Knight Detective.

In 1939, at the dawn of their careers, Metropolis’s Man of Steel and Gotham City’s Caped Crusader meet for the first time, teaming up to battle the fearsome Ultra-Humanite.

As the years pass, their paths cross time and time again. Facing menaces as diverse as the Joker, Lex Luthor, and Mr. Mxyzptlk, they must combine their skills and powers to avert disaster. But even as they pass their mantles to a new generation of heroes, enemies from their pasts conspire against them. And at the brink of the 21st century, startling revelations will forever change the legacies of the world’s finest heroes!

For the first time, Superman & Batman: Generations Omnibus collects John Byrne’s (Superman: The Man of Steel) entire epic saga chronicling the life and times of Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, and their families as their lives progress through the ages. Includes Superman & Batman: Generations #1-4, Superman & Batman: Generations II #1-4 and Superman & Batman: Generations III #1-12!