Ladies and gentlemen… This Upcoming Comics post will be my last.
Don’t fret. I’m not leaving. I will still, very much, be part of Batman News, but it is time for me to pass the torch for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I’ve held this torch long enough. For more than six years, I’ve come to you weekly to share my opinions, my excitement, my rants, and just my general randomness. I’ve been able to cover countless changes at DC Comics, as well as the world as a whole. We’ve encountered pandemics, natural disasters, mass shootings, and many other challenges that life tends to throw at us, including Bendis’ Superman… And I feel like we were able to encounter these hardships together, as friends, inspired and guided by the example set by the heroes we read weekly and that challenge us to be better. This may seem a little heavy-handed, but I’ve created friendships with many of you, and I owe all of that to this site, and in many ways, Upcoming Comics. So, thank you. Sincerely, I mean it. Thank you!
I’m also stepping away from this responsibility because of my work schedule, but also to focus on some other ventures – both here at Batman News and elsewhere. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I haven’t been as prompt with my assignments here, and that’s because my day job has been taking up an immense amount of time. It has made my schedule unpredictable, and trying to read (literally) everything from DC so I can compile this article weekly, plus write my reviews, and work on my “other ventures,” well… It’s been too much. I need to take something off of my plate so I can do a better job overall. It’s what the site deserves. It’s what my peers deserve. It’s what you deserve.
But before we get to who will take over Upcoming Comics, what are these other ventures I’m working on? If you’ll think back to when the pandemic first hit, we started our Batman News Book Club. I know I’ve promised this before, but… it is returning better than ever. We’ve already filmed a couple of discussions – yes, you read that correctly… filmed – and stepping away from Upcoming Comics (as well as a lighter review load) will give me the time that I need to edit these videos. More details and specifics for the launch of the book club will come soon. I promise. Just know that it is coming, and I – we – are super excited to launch this.
But there’s more. I’ve been tinkering for a few years now working to build and launch my own website. As much as I love Batman – and I do – there’s more that I want to talk about (still comic book related of course). So, this summer I will be launching my own website, Popped by Culture (or PBC), with the release of Black Widow. Why has it taken me a few years to get to this point? Well, I’m not a tech guy, so building a site has presented some challenges (strictly because I’m an amateur), but also because I needed to fully land on what I wanted to cover and how. PBC will focus on celebrating comics, but will also push to drive people who don’t read comics but love comic book movies, into reading comics. I also want to highlight the indie scene, the creators who make these books, and what it takes to actually make them. It’s a big venture, but I’ve already got a slate of content prepared and I’m excited for that day to come.
Now, and finally, who will be stepping into my shoes to take over Upcoming Comics? Well… That will be none other than…
I’m not telling you! I know who it is! But if I’m being honest, whatever introduction I come up with will never surpass the introduction this person will be able to write for themselves. I will tell you that it is someone who is currently active with the site. And now that you have that knowledge, I will let you speculate in the comments section, and we’ll see if you’re right next week.
Again, I know this sounds like goodbye. It isn’t. I’m not saying goodbye to Batman News. However, I am saying goodbye to Upcoming Comics – something I vehemently held onto throughout my tenure here… Until I realized I needed to let it go. So, let’s do this one last time!
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.
Batman/ Catwoman #4
The Joker has hidden a bomb in Gotham-but there might be a bigger explosion if Batman proves his suspicions true, and Catwoman actually knows where it is! It’s a dangerous secret that threatens to destroy the couple’s relationship in its early days, and it’s going to reverberate throughout their time together. In the present day, it will affect how Selina handles Andrea Beaumont, a.k.a. Phantasm, who has a vendetta to carry out against the Clown Prince of Crime, fueled by the righteous fury of a mother who lost her son.
And this whole chain of events is what ultimately leads to Catwoman killing The Joker in the future-a secret she can’t keep from her daughter, Batwoman, much longer. Particularly now that old man Penguin is involved.
Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Clay Mann
Colored by Tomeu Morey
Cover by Clay Mann and Tomeu Morey
Josh’s Stance: Say what you will about Tom King’s Batman – Lord knows I’ve said plenty – but if there’s one thing that I can say in hindsight of his run, is that even when I didn’t like what he was doing, I found it interesting. We’re still early into the Bat/Cat run, and at the moment, I’m on board. I dare say that I like it. I’m intrigued. And if that’s not something worth reading, then I don’t know what it.
Batman News Critic: Michael
GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH
The Batman’s Grave: The Complete Collection – The World’s Greatest Detective must try to inhabit the mind of a murder victim to solve a case—without filling the empty grave next to those of his parents. Can Batman imagine the life of a corpse with a half-eaten face, without dying himself? A man was murdered, and the Batman knows how it happened. All he has to do now is survive his own deduction. Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, the creative partnership behind The Authority, reunite in this tale about life, death, and the questions most are too afraid to ask. Collects The Batman’s Grave #1-12.