Welcome back to Upcoming Comics!
Interesting week, this one – if you’d asked me if I expected Jeph Loeb to be writing another Long Halloween comic with Tim Sale (let alone another DC comic book again), I’d have laughed about the prospect. Loeb has had his fair share of controversy recently, with some serious accusations of racism lobbied at him for his behavior on the production of shows like Daredevil. I’d like him to acknowledge this before he goes back to work within the world of comics, but I suppose the comics industry is somewhat notorious for hoping these things just get swept under the rug.
Meanwhile, I just saw the Black Widow movie, and… I mean, did you guys like it? I thought it was incredibly underwhelming, with little added to the MCU along with some incredibly weak villains. Florence Pugh was great, but I don’t think she was enough to carry the movie – though if she were the main character with Black Widow acting as more of a guiding presence, I might have enjoyed it more. (It also totally should have been set between Infinity War and Endgame.)
With all that said, let’s check out the comics for this week!
Batman: Urban Legends #5
Red Hood: Meet Cheer, the villain behind the insidious Cheerdrops altering the citizens of Gotham. When confronted with a man responsible for taking the lives of so many, including Tyler, the kid Jason Todd swore to protect, will Red Hood be able to stop himself from taking vengeance for a whole city?
Grifter: Through four chapters of blood, bullets, and Batman, the true reason for Cole Cash emerging in Gotham City reveals itself at last…but it’s not what you think!
Tim Drake: Tim is determined to find his friend Bernard, who was taken by a Chaos Monster before his very eyes. But this case is different from any Tim has taken on before, and the cracks are starting to show.
Batgirls: Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown are just two teenagers breaking into Wayne Manor so they can play some video games. But when Oracle gives them a mission, the Batgirls suit up and head to an abandoned arcade to investigate.
Written by Marguerite Bennett, Meghan Fitzmartin, Matthew Rosenberg and Chip Zdarsky
Pencils by Eddy Barrows, Ryan Benjamin, Sweeney Boo, Belén Ortega and Marcus To
Inks by Ryan Benjamin, Sweeney Boo, Eber Ferreira, Diogenes Neves, Belén Ortega and Marcus To
Colored by Antonio Fabela, Marissa Louise, Adriano Lucas and Alejandro Sanchez
Cover by Jordie Bellaire, Romulo Fajardo Jr., David Finch and Danny Miki
Jay’s Thoughts: There are two sides to this title: one is a showcase of great creative talent, bringing us passable stories. The other is frustrating “back door pilots” that serve no other purpose than to promote a book that may or may not be coming soon. Both aspects are frustrating, because– respectively– you’d expect more from some of the talent involved, and reading a commercial for something else isn’t satisfying in the least. With this penultimate installment of the first “phase” of this title, I guess we’ll find out if every one of these stories winds up in the latter category.
The Joker #5
The never-before-seen tale of The Joker’s first night in Arkham Asylum is finally revealed!
When a lunatic in a clown suit tries to poison Gotham City’s reservoir and is placed in Arkham Asylum before his trial, Detective Jim Gordon realizes something’s different about this new inmate that could forever change the future of Gotham.
Backup: Rising-star artist Sweeney Boo joins the series as things get worse and worse for Punchline and Bluebird. Punchline’s prison war against the Queen of Spades escalates, and no prisoner at Blackgate Penitentiary will be exempt from choosing sides. And after barely escaping death at the hands of Punchline’s former accomplice, will Bluebird have the will to continue her investigation and find the mysterious woman from Punchline’s past who has the answers she’s looking for?
Written by Sam Johns, Matthew Rosenberg and James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Sweeney Boo and Francesco Francavilla
Colored by Sweeney Boo, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Francesco Francavilla and Arif Prianto
Cover by Guillem March and Arif Prianto
Corbin’s Thoughts: If The Joker #5 can move past the boilerplate monologues and copious exposition of previous issues, we might have a genuinely fun Joker-Gordo romp on our hands.
Detective Comics #1039
Looks like someone brought a batarang to a bazooka fight! As the explosive battle royal between Batman and Mr. Worth roars to a climax, Huntress is on the trail of the other major threat plaguing Gotham City: violence parasite Vile! By the end of this battle, one character will be dead, one avenged, and even more holding on for dear life!
Do not miss this epic issue that leads directly into the Batman Secret Files: Huntress special!
PLUS: In The Vile Truth, catch a glimpse into the secret origin of Detective Comics break-out villain Vile through the lens of writer/artist Tristan Jones!
Written by T. Rex and Mariko Tamaki
Pencils by Viktor Bogdanovic and T. Rex
Inks by Viktor Bogdanovic, Jonathan Glapion, Daniel Henriques, Norm Rapmund and T. Rex
Colored by Jordie Bellaire and Simon Gough
Cover by Dan Mora
Casper’s Thoughts: The art has been consistently great, especially Dan Mora’s is some of the best Batman art I’ve seen. But there are so many players in the story and so many loose ends at this point that it feels like it’s starting to crumble under its own weight. Hopefully the team manages to hit their stride this week.
Justice League: Last Ride #3
Apokolips: once the fiery terror of the Multiverse, now a lifeless husk filled with ghosts and dark secrets. Will the planet formerly ruled by Darkseid help the Justice League…or destroy it?
Written by Chip Zdarsky
Pencils and Inks by Miguel Mendonca
Colored by Enrica Eren Angiolini
Cover by Darick Robertson and Diego Rodriguez
Casper’s Thoughts: I wasn’t a fan of the first issue, but the second one was all right! I’m feeling more optimistic about this story now. Hopefully the team can keep the momentum and deliver another solid issue!
Batman: The Detective #4
Bruce Wayne is facing charges for the attempted murder of former mentor and teacher Henri Ducard and faces a grueling Interpol interrogation. Nothing is as it appears, however, as the Gotham expatriate charges into a lion’s den of mystery and duplicity without the benefit of Batman’s tools. Will the onetime Dark Knight escape unscathed?
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: After last month’s dip into the past, I’m anxious to learn more about the treacherous “Undo the Bat” plot in the present.
Future State: Gotham #3
Red Hood comes mask to mask with Gotham’s most wanted, the Next Batman, as the future of the Bat-Family continues! It’s a deadly showdown made worse by the horde of psychopathic criminals who want to kill them both! And finally, the new Gotham villain Warmonger reveals himself!
Written by Dennis Culver and Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by Giannis Milonogiannis
Cover by Derrick Chew and Simone Di Meo
Cam’s Thoughts: I’m excited to see things play out between Jason and Jace. This book showed a lot of promise last issue, so here’s hoping it can keep that momentum.
Challenge of the Super-Sons #4
A specter from Superman’s and Batman’s sons’ adventure in the past comes searching for them in the present, courtesy of the immortal Vandal Savage! Can the Super Sons defeat the age-old villain before he deals a killing blow to their friend Rora? Plus, Jon and Damian rush to save yet another Justice Leaguer from the death foretold to them upon the dreaded Doom Scroll, but the Super Sons may be too late, as it seems Cyborg has already fallen victim to an attack courtesy of Grid! But remember, if Cyborg finds out the boys saved him, the Doom Scroll’s curse will take the life of an innocent…
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Illustrated by Max Raynor
Cover by Simone Di Meo
Matina’s Thoughts: Challenge of the Super Sons is consistently a lot of fun, and I have no doubts this next issue will be the same! At this point I feel like it’s started to really find it’s groove in telling its story between the past and present, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of what it has to offer!
The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #4
One or two monster masks might just mean there’s a smuggler or crooked real estate developer in town. But when Gotham City is terrorized by an army of thugs in monster masks, it can only mean one thing: a citywide crime spree by Black Mask and his gang, the False Face Society! With Batman mysteriously missing, and Nightwing and Batgirl up against a horde of crooked creatures, it’s lucky that the heroes have help from Scooby and the gang. After all, who has more experience in pulling the masks off bad guys?
Written by Sholly Fisch
Pencils and Inks by Dario Brizuela
Colored by Franco Riesco
Cover by Dario Brizuela and Franco Riesco
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.
How is everyone feeling on Rorschach? I wasn’t huge on the first issue, but I’ve been seeing people comment that the thematic and stylistic choices in the book are very interesting – if a little metatextual, using real life writers and all. Do you guys think it’s a good book that fits within the world of the original Watchmen and its new television series? Any criticisms or hopes for future issues?
Most Excited: Future State: Gotham #3. I’ll be honest, this week doesn’t have much that really excites me – but I’ve actually been a huge fan of Future State in the looks department!
Least Excited: The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #4. Almost a cheat putting this one in, at this point.
Wild Card: Justice League: Last Ride #3. This is still a developing book, and I like the curveballs it feels comfortable throwing at us considering it’s an Elseworlds story. Keep an eye on this one!
Last week’s poll was incredibly close! While Ace the Bat-Hound took an early lead, Superman came in first place at the end of the day (as he should), with Nightwing swinging in second.
With some time having passed and with Red Hood now meeting Jace Fox, I figure now was as good a time as any to ask readers about Future State!
Upcoming Comics 7/13 Poll: Best Future State Bat-Book (1/2)
— Nicholas Finch (@ObnoxiousFinch) July 12, 2021
Upcoming Comics 7/13 Poll: Best Future State Bat-Book (2/2)
— Nicholas Finch (@ObnoxiousFinch) July 12, 2021
Best wishes, and see you in the reviews!
Author’s Twitter: @ObnoxiousFinch