We’ve got a light week ahead of us, but it should still be an interesting one. Two anticipated titles make their debut (Batman: Urban Legends and Joker), and while I’m looking forward to one, the other I could definitely do without! What are you looking forward to reading this week? And which story from Batman: Urban Legends is the reason you’ll be buying? Let us know in the comments section!

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 9th

INTRIGUED

Batman: Urban Legends #1
Batman may be the biggest name in Gotham City, but there are lots of other heroes-and villains-who will get a turn to shine in Batman: Urban Legends, a brand-new monthly series tying into the biggest events in Gotham City. The series begins with these can’t-miss tales:

  • Superstar writer Chip Zdarsky enters the world of Gotham City with celebrated Detective Comics and DC Future State: Robin Eternal artist Eddy Barrows for a six-part story chronicling Red Hood’s investigation of a new drug sweeping through Gotham. It’s a night that will change his life forever-and put him in Batman’s crosshairs.
  • Writer of the DC Future State “Grifters” story Matthew Rosenberg picks up where he left off, continuing from the pages of Batman #101! Superstar artist Ryan Benjamin joins the team as we learn why Cole Cash is in Gotham in a tale that hints at what Halo might be…and we also get Batman vs. Grifter-round two!
  • New Harley Quinn writer Stephanie Phillips and DC Future State: The Next Batman artist Laura Braga join forces for a Harley tale set just before the launch of her new series. Harley’s determined to sort out her history with Poison Ivy-but first, she’ll have to find her!
  • Coming off the DC Future State “Outsiders” tale, writer Brandon Thomas begins a three-part saga reuniting Black Lightning, Katana, and Metamorpho. But this reunion quickly turns into a confrontation with a figure from Katana’s past, in a story drawn by fan-favorite artist Max Dunbar (Champions, Dungeons and Dragons, Judge Dredd)!

Written by Stephanie Phillips, Matthew Rosenberg, Brandon Thomas, and Chip Zdarsky
Pencils by Eddy Barrows, Ryan Benjamin, Laura Braga, Max Dunbar, and Marcus To
Inks by Ryan Benjamin, Laura Braga, Max Dunbar, Eber Ferreira, and Marcus To
Colored by Antonio Fabela, Luis Guerrero, Adriano Lucas, and Ivan Plascencia

Josh’s Stance: There’s a large variety of stories here, so I’m curious to see how well this sales in the grand scheme of things. I think some readers will be turned off by the price point, but there is a ton of content here for the price. Also, there’s potential for some strong stories. I’m personally excited and hoping for the best, but, if I’m being honest, I think most of my excitement is because of Chip Zdarsky.

Batman News Critic: Jay

 

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO THANK US”

The Joker #1
Following the events of Infinite Frontier #1, The Joker is the most wanted man in the world! But the Clown Prince of Crime is several steps ahead of law enforcement-and he’s on the run overseas. James Gordon, facing retirement, realizes this is the manhunt of his life and the last piece of a storied career…but what mysterious and deadly forces are also in pursuit of The Joker?

And in the backup story, following the events of the smash hit Punchline #1, DC’s most controversial new villain navigates the infrastructure of Blackgate Penitentiary-while on the outside, Harper Row takes up the mantle of Bluebird to stop her brother from falling under Punchline’s influence.

Written by Sam Johns and James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Mirka Andolfo and Guillem March
Colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Arif Prianto
Cover by Guillem March and Tomeu Morey

Josh’s Stance: If you’re shocked that I’m not excited for this book, then you clearly haven’t been reading my reviews for Batman – especially the reviews for “Joker War.” I don’t like the direction of Tynion’s run, nor do I think he writes a good Joker. Add in the fact that his girlfriend is writing the Punchline back-up (I also greatly disliked the Punchline one-shot if you’ll remember), and it’s just a one-two punch of awfulness.

Batman News Critic: Corbin

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

Batgirl Vol. 8: The Joker War – “The Joker War” targets Barbara, as an era of Batgirl comes to a close! Why is Barbara in the hospital, and what is James Gordon Jr. doing here? After an encounter with The Joker leaves Barbara temporarily disabled, Babs is determined to find the technology she needs, but her journey’s cut short when a redhead-serial killer is on the loose! Will James Jr. prove to be the changed person he claims to be? Plus, Ryan Wilder, The CW’s new Batwoman, makes her comic book debut! Collects Batgirl #45-50.

 

The Final Night – Darkness envelops the DC Universe, as the aptly named alien known as the Sun-Eater plunges the Earth into permanent night-and along with it, freezing temperatures and ecological disaster. Can DC’s greatest heroes and scientists save the day? And what does this mean for Superman, whose powers are derived from Earth’s sun? With hope all but lost, can Hal Jordan save a planet he previously turned his back on? And if so, at what cost? Collects The Final Night #1-4, Parallax: Emerald Night #1, Green Lantern #81, and The Final Night Preview #1.

 

Red Hood: Outlaw Vol. 4: Unspoken Truths – It’s the end of the Outlaw era! Magic and metahumans are everywhere, but good and evil are easy to spot-right? Red Hood and the Outlaws are about to discover that the line between moral and immoral is very thin indeed. Red Hood, Artemis, and Bizarro have battled many threats together…but they’ve never faced a veritable army of the damned! Which is what is happening during the protests on the streets of Qurac as the Untitled prepare to strike at the heart of humanity! It’s a battle that will take the Outlaws literally to hell-but will they be able to find their way back? Collects Red Hood: Outlaw #43-50.