Welcome back to Upcoming Comics!
We have a LOT of books coming up this week, and most of them are Batman-related. Crazy how we’re a website that covers only Batman content, yet we end up reviewing most of DC’s publishing line! It’s a very exciting week for me, because it’s not all the time I get to review a book I’m really itching for. It’s especially good, because my city is stuck in lockdown, and I’ve been looking for something to do while I’m cooped up in this house.
Meanwhile, last week I read the first issue of The Last House on the Lake – and aside from a very specific criticism, I really like how the story begins! It’s nice to see DC releasing some creator-owned books again, so let’s hope they continue that trend once more. I miss the Vertigo imprint.
Here’s what we’ve got for this week:
The Joker #4
Main story: It’s murder and mayhem in the jungles of South America with pits The Joker pitted against everyone hunting him! He’s prepared for this massacre in a way that only the Clown Prince of Crime can…but what secret does he whisper to Jim Gordon as the bullets fly?! What is the TRUE mystery?!
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 Arif Prianto
Corbin’s Thoughts: Things are finally popping off and I’m here for it. But the fact that the first three exposition-stuffed issues could have been cut down to one in better hands makes me weary that issue #4 will be more of Tynion explaining and not doing.
Future State: Gotham #2
Tragedy has brought Gotham City to its knees. Countless people are dead, seemingly at the hands of the Next Batman. Gotham demands justice, and Red Hood has vowed to answer their call. Even if that means beating his way through Nightwing and the rest of the Bat-Family to do it.
Written by Dennis Culver and Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by Giannis Milonogiannis
Cover by LADRÖNN
Cam’s Thoughts: I’m intrigued to see more of the Future State Bat-family, and to see where this book is headed.
Challenge of the Super-Sons #3
The Super Sons are trapped in the past — locked in deadly combat with noted jerk and “worst person to ever be granted immortality” award recipient Vandal Savage! In this second installment of Superboy and Robin’s adventures in the past (before returning to the present to save the Justice League from certain death), you’ll witness a harrowing escape, a SUPER- ugly monster, and the origin of Rora, Jon and Damian’s spell-wielding ally! All this, plus Robin and Superboy’s continuing adventures in the here and now, as the boys rush to save Hawkgirl from a deadly gas attack!
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Illustrated by Jorge Corona and Max Raynor
Cover by Simone Di Meo
Matina’s Thoughts: Challenge has been a ton of fun so far, and now that we know Vandal Savage and Felix Faust are the main antagonists, I’m all the more excited to see the boys take them on!
The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #3
The hit new series teaming Batman with Mystery Inc. finds the heroes mixed and matched in surprising ways! Why does Batman join forces with Scooby-Doo, while Shaggy partners with Ace the Bat-Hound? All clues lead to the Gotham City Dog Show, where a special guest villain won’t let Batman stay a “two-dog knight” for long!
Written by Ivan Cohen
Illustrations and Cover by Dario Brizuela
Cam’s Thoughts: This book has been nothing but a Saturday morning cartoon in book form, and I’m excited for more!
Batman: Urban Legends #4
-The penultimate chapter of the Grifter story is here! Grifter’s walking a deadly line between Lucius Fox and Halo’s plan…can he survive the endgame? Oh, and yeah, now Superman is after him!
-As old wounds threaten to sabotage Batman and Red Hood’s investigation into the Cheerdrop drug turning Gotham City upside down, they run afoul of Gotham’s coldest criminal, MR. FREEZE! And the force behind the Cheerdrops will be banking on the former dynamic duo’s demise…
-TIM DRAKE has returned to the streets of Gotham City and is seeking a new purpose, but what he finds is a string of young adult kidnappings committed by someone known only as “the Chaos Monster.” will Tim be able to get to the root of the kidnappings, or will he fall prey to them? Critically acclaimed Future State Robin Eternal writer Meghan Fitzmartin returns to tell this Tim Drake story with rising star artist Belén Ortega.
-Acclaimed creator and actor Camrus Johnson writes an action-packed story featuring Luke Fox-the character he portrays on the CW’s hit television series Batwoman!
Written by Meghan Fitzmartin, Camrus Johnson, Matthew Rosenberg and Chip Zdarsky
Pencils by Eddy Barrows, Ryan Benjamin, Loyiso Mkize, Belén Ortega and Marcus To
Inks by Ryan Benjamin, Eber Ferreira, Belén Ortega, Trevor Scott and Marcus To
Colored by Andrew Dalhouse, Antonio Fabela, Adriano Lucas and Alejandro Sanchez Cover by Jorge Molina
Jay’s Thoughts: This title has been consistently decent without ever veering too far one way or the other. There’s some great talent involved month in and month out, along with a diverse selection of characters featured in the anthology, but it’s yet to reach the heights that one would expect. Still, as several of the arcs begin to race toward their conclusions, and with our boy Tim Drake getting the spotlight, this might be my most anticipated issue yet.
Detective Comics #1037
Public enemy number 1: BATMAN! Public enemy number 2: Bruce Wayne?! When both Bruce and his alter ego are implicated in the same crime, the cops have some questions – and the Dark Knight is going to have to think quick or risk his identity being exposed to the world! But law enforcement isn’t the only entity hunting the Bat-the titanic MR. WORTH is ready to use all his money and power to see Batman six feet under!
Featuring not one, but TWO additional epics! First up, “3 minutes” explores the early days of Lucius Fox’s introduction to the world of Batman. Then, in “exclusive”, the Gotham Gazette’s own Deb Donovan runs down the power players in Gotham City!
Written by John Ridley and Mariko Tamaki
Pencils by Viktor Bogdanovic, Karl Mostert and Dustin Nguyen
Inks by Viktor Bogdanovic, Jonathan Glapion, Karl Mostert and Dustin Nguyen
Colored by Jordie Bellaire and John Kalisz
Cover by Dan Mora
Casper’s Thoughts: Tamaki’s Detective Comics run has been pretty solid so far. While it’s not without its flaws, I’m invested in the story at the moment. Dan Mora and Jordie Bellaire are the real stars, and I can’t wait to see how Bogdanovic does on the book!
Batman: The Detective #3
Henri Ducard is a man of mystery with a checkered past and a complicated existence…but what deep connection does he have with Bruce Wayne? What lessons did he teach the man who would become Batman? Can Batman use these lessons to save Ducard’s life? Or will Equilibrium strike again?
Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils by Andy Kubert
Inks by Sandra Hope
Colored by Brad Anderson
Cover by Brad Anderson and Andy Kubert
Brian’s Thoughts: I feel like the odd man out, but I’ve really been enjoying this series so far. Kubert’s big action and storytelling are part of it, but I think Taylor is working towards one of those reveals where we realize all of the pieces have been in front of us the whole time. If he can pull that off, I think Batman: The Detective will age very well.
Justice League: Last Ride #2
The League needs to prevent galactic upheaval by protecting a ruthless killer, and the only way to do that is to visit the scene of their greatest failure! But can Superman ignore the ghosts of the past to do what’s needed?
Written by Chip Zdarsky
Pencils and Inks by Miguel Mendonca
Colored by Enrica Eren Angiolini
Cover by Darick Robertson
Casper’s Thoughts: I wasn’t really feeling Last Ride #1. I get when a creative team chooses to refer to key moments that happened off-panel so they can create suspense/mystery, but when they do this too much, they will lose me as a reader. The first issue did almost nothing to hook me, so here’s to hoping that that will change with #2.
DC Pride #1
DC celebrates Pride Month with nine all-new stories starring fan-favorite LGBTQIA+ characters Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Midnighter, Extraño, Batwoman, Aqualad, Alan Scott, Obsidian, Future State Flash, Renee Montoya, Pied Piper, and many more! This anthology will also feature:
-The thrilling introduction of new hero DREAMER in the DCU
(as seen on The CW’s Supergirl)!
-A pinup gallery with art by Travis Moore, Kris Anka, Kevin Wada, Sophie Campbell, Nick Robles, and more!
-Six exciting new profiles of DCTV’s LGBTQIA+ characters and the actors who play them!
Written by Marc Andreyko, Vita Ayala, Sina Grace, Sam Johns, Danny Lore, Nicole Maines, Steve Orlando, Mariko Tamaki, James Tynion IV and Andrew Wheeler
Pencils by Kris Anka, Stephen Byrne, Sophie Campbell, Klaus Janson, Mildred Louis, Travis Moore, Trung Le Nguyen, Skylar Patridge, Amy Reeder, Nick Robles, Ro Stein, Rachael Stott, David Talaski, Luciano Vecchio, Kevin Wada and Brittney Williams
Inks by Kris Anka, Ted Brandt, Stephen Byrne, Sophie Campbell, Klaus Janson, Mildred Louis, Travis Moore, Trung Le Nguyen, Skylar Patridge, Amy Reeder, Nick Robles, Rachael Stott, David Talaski, Luciano Vecchio, Kevin Wada and Brittney Williams
Colored by Enrica Eren Angiolini, Kris Anka, Ted Brandt, Stephen Byrne, Sophie Campbell, Rex Lokus, Marissa Louise, Dave McCaig, Trung Le Nguyen, Nick Robles, Alejandro Sanchez, Ro Stein, David Talaski, Jose Villarrubia, Kevin Wada and Brittney Williams
Cover by Tamra Bonvillain, Jim Lee and Scott Williams
My Thoughts: As people who have spent any time with me know, I happen to be a bisexual – and possibly some other things on the LGBTQ spectrum as well. While I’m not overly enthusiastic about corporate Pride campaigns, I AM a fan of seeing queer characters in comics! This book sees the in-comic introduction of Dreamer, a transgender superhero whose debut story will be written by her actress, Nicole Maines. That, along with Jess Chambers’ Flash being a nonbinary character, really gives me some hope to see more trans characters being brought to the front of the DCU. Top that off with stories about Question and Appolo/Midnighter, and you have the potential for something really fucking cool. Super eager to dig into this.
Beyond the Bat
Welcome to Beyond the Bat! Here you can see everything else that DC is releasing this week, beyond the scope of the books we cover on the website.
This week, I’d recommend checking out Far Sector as it finishes up, which has recieved pretty much universal acclaim for both its substance and style! I haven’t spent too much time with Jo Mullein’s Green Lantern, but she’s been a really fun character whenever I have seen her. Definitely give this a look.
Most Excited: DC Pride #1. Again, very gay. Very excited.
Least Excited: The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #3. I like both these characters, but I haven’t paid attention to Scooby-Doo in a bit, and need to wait until my next hyperfixation to get back into the franchise.
Wild Card: Justice League: Last Ride #2. I wasn’t really into the first issue of this book, but the lore established in the opening was admittedly quite cool – so it could very well develop into something I love.
Last week’s poll was close, but the winner was probably inevitable – with DC Editorial winning “Scariest Batman Villain”! This week, we have two polls geared on our favourite characters in DC Pride.
Best wishes, and see you in the reviews!
Author’s Twitter: @ObnoxiousFinch