After a day of delays and cancelations of flights, I’m finally home to knock this out real quick! Fortunately, to make things a little better, we have a relatively strong slate of titles this week.
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.
Detective Comics #1034
DC Future State may be over-but the present looks tense! With the loss of his fortune and manor, the election of Mayor Nakano, and the growing anti-vigilante sentiment in Gotham, Bruce Wayne must rethink how to be Batman…or risk being left behind by his own city. To make matters worse, a catastrophic crime wave has taken hold of the city, culminating in a murder mystery that hits close to home-the suspects mount, the clues multiply, and the trail of bodies hasn’t ended yet! Eisner Award-winning writer Mariko Tamaki and superstar artist Dan Mora begin an exciting, surprising, and death-defying new chapter of Detective Comics.
Plus, in the second and concluding chapter of “Demon or Detective,” Damian Wayne meets a startling new faction from his family’s checkered past…but what is the League of Lazarus?
Written by Mariko Tamaki and Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by Gleb Melnikov and Dan Mora
Colored by Gleb Melnikov
Cover by Dan Mora
Josh’s Stance: Look… I’ve enjoyed the work of Tamaki and Mora for the most part, but if you’re going to throw a Huntress plot into the mix, then you know I’m down!
Batman News Critic: Casper
Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn #6
Gotham City’s fate hangs in the balance in this conclusion to Harley Quinn’s quest to catch a serial killer!
Harley knew the risks when she agreed to help the GTO capture Gotham’s most savage new criminals, and all her fears have come to pass. Her pursuit of Starlet and the Producer has magnified the overwhelming responsibilities of motherhood, endangered her life and loved ones, and forced her to revisit the most painful memories of her own criminal past.
Now, on the eve of Starlet’s final spectacular act at the Gotham Film Festival, the case has become personal. As Harley grieves a shocking personal loss, she prepares to risk everything to prove she can deliver on her commitments and bring the case to a close. With one final assist from Bruce, Harley heads to center stage for a showdown that will make or break Gotham’s future-and determine Harley’s role within it.
Written by Katana Collins
Pencils and Inks by Matteo Scalera
Colored by Dave Stewart
Josh’s Stance: Katana Collins and Matteo Scalera have consistently delivered some strong work here, and a nice murder mystery overall. Aside from that, we’re getting a unique, intriguing take on Harley unlike anything I ever thought I’d see.
Batman News Critic: Corbin
Batman: Black & White #4
Gotham City’s past, present, and future all come together to haunt the Dark Knight in exhilarating new stories from some of comics’ most noted luminaries as Batman Black & White continues!
- Eisner Award-winning writer Chip Zdarsky (Daredevil, Stillwater) and fan-favorite artist Nick Bradshaw (Wolverine & the X-Men, Spidey) team up for a story that brings Poison Ivy to the front door of Wayne Manor to demand ecological responsibility from Bruce Wayne!
- Superstar writer Joshua Williamson (The Flash, Batman/Superman, Justice League vs. Suicide Squad) pairs with superstar artist Riley Rossmo (Harley Quinn, Dark Nights: Death Metal: Robin King, Martian Manhunter) for a horrific night in Gotham as a new villain emerges, as seen through the eyes of Batman himself.
- Eisner Award-winning writer/artist Becky Cloonan (Wonder Woman, Gotham Academy) concocts a murder mystery for Batman to solve set at a circus, featuring art by legendary artist Terry Dodson (Wonder Woman, X-Men, Adventureman).
- Red-hot cartoonist Daniel Warren Johnson puts Batman at the mercy of Two-Face. Batman will have to remember the words of Alfred Pennyworth if he’s going to make it through this ordeal alive.
- Karl Kerschl, artist of Gotham Academy, writes and draws a tale of Batman investigating the occult mysteries of Gotham City’s past with his new Robin…Gotham Academy’s Maps Mizoguchi?!
Josh’s Stance: One week of mediocre stories, and Batman: Black & White falls from the graces of “Take My Money.” Will this issue restore it to it’s former glory, or continue to trend of mediocrity?
Batman News Critic: Josh
Batman/ Superman #16
In the aftermath of Dark Nights: Death Metal, catch a glimpse of brave new worlds within the DC Universe…but what are these strange planets? As we delve into the parallel lives of the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight, we’ll meet new villains, new heroes, alternate realities, and a transdimensional collision that you will need to see to believe! It’s the dastardly debut of a cadre of new villains, including the Spider Lady and her poisonous webs, Dr. Atom, who sports a Kryptonite pendant, and the maniacal machinations of the Unknown Wizard! You’ve never seen Batman and Superman like this before-so buckle up and get ready for the start of a new era courtesy of writer Gene Luen Yang and artist Ivan Reis!
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Pencils by Ivan Reis
Inks by Danny Miki
Colored by Sabine Rich
Cover by Danny Miki, Ivan Reis, and Sabine Rich
Josh’s Stance: Yang and Reis should end up being a power team, so I’m hopeful that the two can deliver a fun, kickass story. Considering that DC even decided to throw Reis on this title is promising.
Batman News Critic: Casper
Teen Titans Academy #1
Welcome to Teen Titans Academy! Packed with both new, super-powered teens and numerous dark secrets, Teen Titans Academy’s student body includes Shazam; a new Australian speedster; a trio of Goth(am) teen expatriates obsessed with Batman-and one member of this first class will become the deadly Red X. Original New Teen Titans including Nightwing, Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, and Beast Boy take on the role of teachers and mentors for superpowered teens. Their goal: to shape the next generation of heroes.
Written by Tim Sheridan
Pencils by Rafa Sandoval
Inks by Jordi Tarragona
Colored by Alejandro Sanchez
Cover by Alejandro Sanchez, Rafa Sandoval, and Jordi Tarragona
Josh’s Stance: I have a feeling the driving force of this book will largely be the mystery of “Who is Red X?” Outside of that, I really don’t know if there’s any actual buzz, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Batman News Critic:
Harley Quinn #1
Ahem! You better read this closely, ’cause we’ve got a red-hot relaunch on our hands here-and I should know! Harley Quinn here to let everyone know that I got a brand-new monthly series here with a brand-new status quo. I’m coming back to Gotham City to make up for the sins of my past, and help the city recover from “The Joker War”!
But there’s no welcoming committee waiting for me, your favorite Maid of Mischief! And between you and me, some real creeps are working to keep the city broken. We can’t let that happen, can we? Rising-star writer Stephanie Phillips, my new partner in crime, takes me into a bold new era with her partner in artistic crime Riley Rossmo, who I gotta say designed a real nice new costume for me. You’re not gonna wanna miss this one, folks!
Written by Stephanie Phillips
Pencils and Inks by Riley Rossmo
Colored by Ivan Plascencia
Cover by Riley Rossmo
Josh’s Stance: Uh…. Overall, this will still be following James Tynion’s direction, and I’m still not completely on board with that…
Batman News Critic: Harley Quinn
GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 5: The Joker War – While Batman attempts to recover from the devastating loss of Alfred, Two-Face returns-but as The Joker begins his ultimate attack on Gotham, can Batman cure Harvey Dent once and for all? “The Joker War” finds Batman’s nemesis launching an attack on Wayne Enterprises, using Bruce Wayne’s own technology! Batwoman joins the fight, but the threats keep escalating, as Joker toxin has been pumped into Gotham’s tunnels-which lures out Killer Croc! This collection also includes the Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P. one-shot, featuring an ensemble of all-star creators paying tribute to Alfred, with each story told from the perspective of a different member of the Bat-Family. Collects Detective Comics #1020-1026, a story from Detective Comics #1027, Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P., and Detective Comics Annual #3.
Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey: The Hunt for Harley – The creative team that transformed Harley Quinn forever returns to shake up her world once more-and this time, the gloves are off! Harley Quinn has avoided Gotham City ever since she broke up with The Joker and found a home in Coney Island. But when she gets an offer she can’t refuse, she has no choice but to slip back into the city as quietly as she can, hoping to be gone before anyone-especially her ex-learns she’s been there. But for Harley, “as quietly as she can” is plenty loud…and before she can say “Holee bounty hunters, Batman,” The Joker’s sicced every super-villain in the city on her pretty ombré head-and the only team tough enough (or crazy enough) to come to her defense is the Birds of Prey…if they can put up with her. Collects Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey #1-4.