Welcome back to Upcoming Comics!
I’m a little bummed, if I’m gonna be honest with you guys. This is the mid-trimester break for my school, and unlike other breaks – which seem to always be hampered by lockdowns now – this one actually involved me planning a little vacation. Nothing risky, mind you: just a visit to my godfather up in the country a couple of hours away. It was the first holiday I planned for myself, by myself, and it was immediately shut down the day after I’d made preparations. All in all, kind of a bummer – really hoping we get this sorted sooner rather than later. I feel like I’m wasting away here.
More importantly, it meant I missed out on seeing Suicide Squad in cinemas, so I guess I can’t talk with you guys about that until next week, when I finally have the legal means to watch it. Oh, by the way, screw you to the guy who spoiled it in the comments of my Long Halloween Part Two review.
I’m not even in that grumpy of a mood – just not very happy with the situation right now. Let’s see what we’ve got for this week – because a few of these comics will definitely cheer me up.
Batman: Urban Legends #6
Red Hood: The epic “Cheer” story line reaches its conclusion, and Red Hood’s alliance with Batman will be forever changed. Will the former Dynamic Duo get the Cheerdrop drug off the streets for good? Or will they forever be at the mercy of the villain who created it? And will Red Hood find a new home for Tyler, the boy he’s sworn to protect? Tim Drake: Tim Drake is in the den of the Chaos Monsters with the other kidnapped teenagers of Gotham City. In order to free himself and the other teens, Tim will have to embrace help from his friend Bernard and hear something about himself he never knew. A brand-new chapter of Tim Drake’s life starts here, and you won’t want to miss it! Black Canary: Oracle locates some Batman weaponry, missing since The Joker War, and calls in her old friend Dinah Lance to help retrieve it! Fists will fly, the Canary will scream, and a stunning new mission begins. The ending will leave readers in shock and awe! Zealot: The HALO Corporation sent their top field agent, code name Zealot, to hunt Maxwell Lord. But the villain has a guardian angel in the form of…Wonder Woman?! A throw down for the ages will ensue!
Written by Meghan Fitzmartin, Matthew Rosenberg, Joshua Williamson and Chip Zdarsky
Pencils by Eddy Barrows, Scot Eaton, Trevor Hairsine, Belén Ortega, Chris Sprouse and Marcus To
Inks by Oclair Albert, Eber Ferreira, Julio Ferreira, Trevor Hairsine, Belén Ortega, Karl Story and Marcus To
Colored by Rain Beredo, Adriano Lucas, Pete Pantazis and Alejandro Sanchez
Cover by Annette Kwok and Nicola Scott
Jay’s Thoughts: Not gonna lie, I’m growing– or have grown– tired of this series. The elongated arcs aren’t compelling enough to sustain interest, and the one-and-done stories are just preludes to future series. So are most of the prolonged arcs, come to think of it. Anyway, the first cycle wraps up this week, and we head to the future next month where DC One Million’s Robin, the Toy Wonder will make an appearance. Way to figure out how to appeal to me as a demographic, Urban Legends.
The Joker #6
After barely surviving in the jungles of Belize, The Joker flees to Europe! Jim Gordon pursues the madman, but the seeds of doubt begin to sprout…if The Joker didn’t gas Arkham Asylum, who did? And what’s the next move for Vengeance, daughter of Bane? Backup: Punchline’s takeover of Blackgate Penitentiary continues as her most insidious goal becomes clear: find a woman she used to call her friend in her college days and make her pay for her betrayal. On the outside, Harper Row tries to pull her brother, Cullen, back from the brink of Jokerized radicalization!
Written by Sam Johns and James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Sweeney Boo and Guillem March
Colored by Sweeney Boo, Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Arif Prianto
Cover by Guillem March and Arif Prianto
Corbin’s Thoughts: Now that we’re past that unnecessary flashback hopefully we can hop back into the fray and (hopefully, maybe) have some fun.
Spanning the years between the hit TV show and today, Pennyworth tells the continuing adventures of Alfred Pennyworth as an MI6 counterintelligence agent-this time in Cold War-era Soviet Russia. When Alfred and his partner receive intelligence that nuclear weapons are being manufactured near the Arctic Circle, they’re off to infiltrate the remote military base to learn more. But things don’t go exactly as planned, and the ramifications of this mission may be more far-reaching than anyone could have guessed, as our present-day butler gets dragged back into his past…
Written by Scott Bryan Wilson
Pencils and Inks by Juan Gedeon
Colored by John Rauch
Cover by Jorge Fornés
My Thoughts: Seeing as I don’t think anyone else on the comic review team has even seen Pennyworth, I may have to cover this comic by default. There’s so much to talk about from that show that it’s difficult to articulate into words – but I’ll give it a go if I end up reviewing this. If the book is even half as weird as what it’s continuing on from, it’ll be worth the time. Do check out our other articles on the show itself, too!
I Am Batman #0
Future State gave readers a preview of things to come with Jace Fox as the new Batman…but his debut in the core line arrives with a bang! Picking up immediately from the events of The Next Batman: Second Son, Jace thrusts himself into action when the Magistrate’s crackdown on Alleytown begins, using armor he’s found in the abandoned Hibernaculum. The age of a new Dark Knight starts now!
Written by John Ridley
Pencils by Travel Foreman
Inks by Norm Rapmund
Colored by Rex Lokus
Cover by Olivier Coipel, Travel Foreman and Rex Lokus
My Thoughts: This is literally going to begin two seconds after Second Son ends, so expect a review for that (finally!) before the review for this first issue of I Am Batman. Put simply: I’m optimistic. I like Jace a lot.
Justice League: Last Ride #4
The Justice League disbanded when their last mission went terribly wrong, and Martian Manhunter paid the ultimate price. But the team learns that time is a circle, and their last mission on Apokolips holds more than just the key to protecting a war criminal and completing their mission, it tells the story of how we lost J’onn…and why Superman holds Batman responsible!
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: While there are some aspects I dislike, such as the beef between Batman and Superman or the way that the story jumps around in the timeline, I am liking this series more with every issue. Hopefully this week’s installment will provide us with some more insight into what’s happened to Martian Manhunter and Apokolips.
Future State: Gotham #4
“Hunt the Batman” continues as Punchline prowls Gotham searching for the one thing she needs before leaving the city forever! The only person standing in her way is a revenge-fueled Harley Quinn! And just when things couldn’t get any worse, the brand-new hero Hunter Panic comes for them both!
Written by Dennis Culver
Pencils and Inks by Nikola Cizmesija
Cover by Simone Di Meo
Batman ’89 #1
Step back into the Gotham of Tim Burton’s seminal classic Batman movies! Batman ’89 brings in screenwriter Sam Hamm (Batman, Batman Returns) and artist Joe Quinones (Dial H for Hero) to pull on a number of threads left dangling by the prolific director. Gotham becomes torn in two as citizens dressed as Batman and The Joker duke it out in the streets. As D.A. Harvey Dent tries to keep the city together, he targets the one problem tearing it apart: BATMAN! And he’ll get Bruce Wayne’s help in taking down the Dark Knight!
Written by Sam Hamm
Pencils and Inks by Joe Quinones
Colored by Jordan Gibson and Leonardo Ito
Cover by Joe Quinones
Jay’s Thoughts: Look, the only other book I’m looking forward to as much as this one is Superman ‘78, and that doesn’t come out for another two weeks so let’s just do the Bat-dance and enjoy.
My Thoughts: I’d be happy to do that dance. I recently watched Batman Returns for the first time, and it’s a damn shame we didn’t get more from that team on the big screen.
Detective Comics #1041
As Gotham’s Dark Knight of vengeance, Batman is seen by many (mostly criminals, let’s be honest) as judge and executioner of the city’s vilest villains. Well, it’s time for him to meet the Jury! In a last-ditch effort to avenge his daughter’s death, Mr. Worth has teamed with the Penguin’s criminal empire, the Party Crashers gang, and the Falcone crime family to form the kind of villain team-up that would leave a Boy Wonder sweating in his booties. Backup: Countdown to Task Force Z: Part One! Deb Donovan is on the trail of some weird happenings in Gotham…missing bodies from the morgue…tales of shady criminal activity the likes of which Gotham has never seen…and the person trying to keep her quiet is…Batman?
Written by Matthew Rosenberg and Mariko Tamaki
Pencils and Inks by Dan Mora and Darick Robertson
Colored by Jordie Bellaire and Diego Rodriguez
Cover by Dan Mora
Casper’s Thoughts: I’m not the biggest fan of the writing, but… Dan Mora! Jordie Bellaire! Nuff said. Let’s go!
The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #5
When Bane kidnaps Ra’s al Ghul, only one detective can help the assassin’s daughter, Talia, track him down. But it’s not Batman or guest-star Huntress. It’s…Velma? Mystery Inc. joins the chase in a globe-spanning adventure!
Written by Ivan Cohen
Pencils and Inks by Randy Elliott
Colored by Carrie Strachan
Cover by Dario Brizuela and Carrie Strachan
Challenge of the Super Sons #5
Hey, Aquaman, what’s kraken? As the guardian of the deep finds himself in the clutches of a gigantic underwater baddie courtesy of the deadly Doom Scroll prophecy, the Super Sons stand ready to assist! Then, picking up where the story left off earlier in the series, Superboy and Robin have been rescued from the clutches of some truly wicked spells by their new ally, Rora. As Rora rushes to help the boys return to the present, their pursuers close in and prepare to attack—and Vandal Savage and Felix Faust are one deadly duo who mean business!
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Evan Stanley and Max Raynor
Cover by Simone Di Meo
Matina’s Thoughts: This series is still so much fun! With things picking up last month I’m hoping the momentum will keep pushing forward this issue, still either way I know I’ll enjoy Jon and Damian’s antics.
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.
Not much non-Batman content this week, so maybe find something independent. This is your regularly scheduled reminder to read Heartstopper!
Most Excited: Batman ’89 #1. You’ve got the original writer of the two movies back in action for this, and you’ve got a stellar artist who did some really special work in Dial H for Hero – what could go wrong? (Don’t make me regret that sentence, DC.)
Least Excited: The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries #5, which is essentially free parking at this point.
Wild Card: Pennyworth #1. If you’ve seen this show, you’ll know what I mean when I say that this book could really go in any direction. If you haven’t… this’ll be fun.
Still looking for suggestions on additional things to add to this column, so let me know if you got anything. Best wishes, and see you in the reviews!
P.S. You guys hear that Tynion’s leaving?
Author’s Twitter: @ObnoxiousFinch