Welcome back to Upcoming Comics!

I don’t know why, but I have been on a huge horror kick lately. I’ve started getting into Dead By Daylight, and I’ve been watching a bunch of the classics that I’ve never seen until recently: Friday the 13thScreamThe Texas Chainsaw MassacreHellraiser, etcetera. Not all of it’s great, but some of it is, and I am eating it up. It’s nice to have a new thing to obsess over with this lockdown continuing… even if it’s starting to distract me from my work a little. What are some of your favourite horror movies?

Onto comic news, everyone is obviously talking about the waves Substack is making in the comic book industry right now. I can’t deny it’s impressive – the talent they’ve managed to acquire is shocking in both quality and scope, and their business model seems like an interesting and potentially very beneficial one, for both consumers and entertainers. There are a few issues that make me a little hesitant about the site, such as the people they platform and if I’ll actually enjoy anything they’re putting out; but that seems par for the course with big entertainment outlets nowadays. Keep an eye on Substack, because they might play a big role in how comics are distributed in the future.

With all of that out of the way, here’s what we’ve got for this week!

Upcoming Comics

Batman: Reptilian #3

It got the Riddler. It got the Penguin. It got Deadshot, Hugo Strange, Two-Face, Tweedledee, and Tweedledum. It has left carnage in its wake as it moves through Gotham’s villainous underworld, and Batman finds himself vexed by one very important question: Just what on Earth is it? Now the Dark Knight’s search for clues has him tracking The Joker. But wouldn’t it be funny if the mysterious creature stalking Gotham got to the Clown Prince of Crime first?

Written by Garth Ennis
Pencils, Inks and Colors by Liam Sharp
Cover by Liam Sharp

Brian’s Thoughts: Okay, so there were clues in #2 that Croc may indeed be involved, but for now, it’s time to see what havoc our mystery menace can wreak on the Joker. I’m still not in love with Sharp’s murky aesthetic, but I am beyond ready to learn more about the mystery (especially if there’s a big Croc connection!).

Checkmate #3

All-new story! As the super-spies try to keep Leviathan from getting its hands on the Heroes Network, Lois Lane does her best to get to the bottom of the new truths in front of her. Meanwhile, her husband-the Man of Steel-has had just about enough of Leviathan. That’s right, finally! The man behind the rise of Leviathan, Mark Shaw, and Superman clash! Plus: Who is Mr. King really? Guest-starring Robin and Talia al Ghul! And Superman.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils and Inks by Alex Maleev
Colored by Dave Stewart
Cover by Alex Maleev

Harley Quinn #6

Yer pal Harley Quinn back again! Now, there might be a lot of new faces in Gotham, but it’s always nice to see an old friend. Okay, so Catwoman explicitly asked me not to call her my friend, but I know she secretly loves me under that tough, broody, leather-clad exterior. You’re not gonna wanna miss this one as we tangle with those boring Magistrate goons in Alleytown like a real dynamic duo! I smash a lot of stuff with my bat, and Selina does a bunch of flips and awesome things with her whip. She’s so cool.

Written by Stephanie Phillips
Pencils and Inks by Laura Braga
Colored by Arif Prianto
Cover by Riley Rossmo

(We’ll have a different writer on Harley Quinn from now on, so keep an eye out!)

Batman/Superman #21

The dimension-shattering Archive of Worlds saga ends here-and reverberations from this titanic tale last long after the dust settles! As the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel work to halt the villainous Auteur.io’s plan here on Earth-0, the Batman and Superman of their respective archive worlds must team up with Alanna of Rann and El Diablo himself to save what’s left of their homes. Etrigan and his demon hordes rain Armageddon down on their pocket universes-and the fate of the World of Tomorrow and the World of the Knight hang in the balance!

Written by Gene Luen Yang
Pencils by Ivan Reis
Inks by Danny Miki
Colored by Sabine Rich
Cover by Rodolfo Migliari, Danny Miki, Ivan Reis and Sabine Rich

Casper’s Thoughts: This is the penultimate monthly issue of the current Batman/Superman series. After this, there will be one more monthly and an annual. It’s sad that this is being canceled, because it’s been such a great story, but let’s just enjoy this awesome adventure while it lasts!

Detective Comics #1042

Batman rampages through the underworld of Gotham! Driven to a violent madness courtesy of the Jury’s “Vile” serum, the Dark Knight crushes bones, makes a scene, and gives costumed vigilantes in Gotham a very bad name. But will the Jury’s plan backfire? Can a violent rage-machine packed with money, weapons, and an insatiable bloodlust possibly end well for Mr. Worth and his Jury? That giant plunge from a building might be the answer… Backup: Countdown to Task Force Z: Part Two! When Red Hood shows up in your apartment, you know you’ve done something drastically wrong. Jason Todd teams up with Deb Donovan to uncover the mysterious disappearances in Gotham, and their search brings them to the missing body of Bane! Look alive because death seems to be knocking at the door…

Written by Matthew Rosenberg and Mariko Tamaki
Pencils by Viktor Bogdanovic, Max Raynor and Darick Robertson
Inks by Viktor Bogdanovic, Daniel Henriques, Max Raynor and Darick Robertson
Colored by Jordie Bellaire and Diego Rodriguez
Cover by Dan Mora

Casper’s Thoughts: The writing has been hit or miss and the conclusion to the previous arc felt rushed. This month’s issue is another conclusion. The art is going to be great, no doubt, but will the creative team be able to stick the landing before we jump into Fear State next month? Let’s find out.

Robin #5

Robin reunion! Nightwing, Red Hood, Tim Drake, and Spoiler guest-star as they track Damian down with a plan to bring the young hero back to Gotham. Back to his family. But the son of Batman plans to win the Lazarus Tournament and refuses to return. What starts as a happy reunion quickly turns into a Robin rumble!

Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by Gleb Melnikov
Colored by Luis Guerrero and Gleb Melnikov
Cover by Jorge Corona, Luis Guerrero and Gleb Melnikov

Matina’s Thoughts: Ever since I saw the solicit for this issue I have been dying to get my hands on it. So far Williamson has done a great job with Damian’s character, and I cannot wait to see how he handles the rest of the Robins.

RWBY/Justice League #5

After being saved by the mysterious emerald warrior Jessica Cruz, the group starts to connect the dots with what’s going on around Remnant, and they learn the name of the creature behind everything! Finding refuge in Arthur’s home of Atlantis, the team formulates a plan of attack against the beast from beyond the stars and basks in one last night before the battle ahead of them.

Written by Marguerite Bennett
Pencils and Inks by Stephanie Pepper
Cover by Mirka Andolfo

Matina’s Thoughts: I have to say, while I was actually pretty excited for this series to start, it really has only been fine so far. With just a few issues left to go I’m not sure it’ll win me over, but we’ll see. 

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.

Big week for Superman, clearly – if I had to suggest one book, I think I’d lean into Superman 78. I’m curious how that comic will capture the feeling of the classics!

Ratings

Most Excited: Robin #5. It’s been so refreshing to have a solo Robin book again – the last time I saw a Robin comic on the shelves was when I was just starting to get into comics, almost a decade ago. This has been a blast, and it shows Williamson and Melnikov at their best.

Least Excited: Checkmate #3. Normally it’d be RWBY/Justice League, but I’m not excited about the baggage Checkmate will leave with the JL book I have to cover.

Wild Card: Batman: Reptilian #3. Maybe you’d think this should go in “most excited”, but I really don’t know where this story will go! The second issue was very good, but definitely created a premise that was a little more difficult to predict than usual – mainly because Ennis and Sharp don’t care if they kill characters you like. I wanna see if that will work in the story’s favour or not.

Best wishes, and see you in the reviews!

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Author’s Twitter: @ObnoxiousFinch