Welcome back to Upcoming Comics!
This week, I’d like to talk about how we review our comics. We’ve had some discussion within the staff about the ways we handle the issue-to-issue reviews on this website, and it’s led us to wonder if we should change things up. Several big comic websites have adopted the approach of reviewing issues arc-to-arc, and while we wouldn’t think to do that with the big comics like Batman, there could be a benefit to reviewing smaller comics as the sum of their parts, rather than picking holes in each and every issue. I’m curious if any of you would like to see reviews of arcs as opposed to floppies, so that it’d be more of a trade recommendation – a format which is definitely more affordable in the long term over picking up the first printing of every mediocre Justice League issue, for example.
Meanwhile, DC Fandome is coming back, and it’s got a whole new batch of content for us… or at least, more previews for the same content that’s been delayed since then! Obviously I’m stoked for the new The Batman trailer, but I’m also really hoping to see a lot of footage for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. It’s been so long without a Rocksteady game, and I’m chomping at the bit to see it – I just hope the game mechanics are as smooth as Batman’s were in the classics they made from 2009-2016.
Finally, I wanted to ask how you all feel about Joshua Williamson taking over on writing duties for Batman. Do you think it’s a good idea? I love his Robin, but haven’t really been blown away by his other work – but then again, I’m hearing fantastic things about the work hes’ doing on Infinite Frontier. It’ll certainly be interesting to see if he’s an interim writer or the next big storyteller on the title.
So, here’s what we’ve got for this week!
Suicide Squad: Get Joker! #2
After turning the tables on the Suicide Squad, The Joker gained control of the device that could detonate the bomb implanted in each of the team members’ heads. Now forced to do The Joker’s bidding, Red Hood, Harley, and the rest of Task Force X find themselves hunted by a newly formed Squad with a single mission: kill the previous Squad and take over hunting The Joker.
Written by Brian Azzarello
Pencils and Inks by Alex Maleev
Colored by Matt Hollingsworth
Cover by Alex Maleev
Josh’s Thoughts: The Joker now has control of Jason Todd and the Suicide Squad. I’d be lying if I said I weren’t a little intrigued. Granted, I still question whether Azzarello can get out of his way long enough to just deliver a good story.
Suicide Squad 2021 Annual #1
Everyone questioned how the teen calling himself Conner Kent came to be recruited into the Suicide Squad by Amanda Waller. But as Superboy sneaks into the bowels of a top-secret Task Force X black site, what he finds changes all he thinks he knows about himself and his history. This oversize annual alters everything for the only hero on the Squad and makes him question what to do next, now that he knows the truth behind his origin.
Written by Robbie Thompson
Pencils by Eduardo Pansica and Dexter Soy
Inks by Julio Ferreira and Dexter Soy
Colored by Chris Sotomayor
Cover by Julio Ferreira, Marcelo Maiolo and Eduardo Pansica
Cam’s Thoughts: God damn it, two Suicide Squads this week? At least the annual is Superboy-focused.
Suicide Squad #7
Amanda Waller pulls in her newest recruit to Task Force X: the unstoppable and outstanding Ambush Bug! With a mission that literally takes the Squad to hell and back, the sometimes fourth-wall-breaking hero may be the team’s only chance at survival. Embarking on a quest to gain access to the Rock of Eternity, the Squad must also face the threat of Rick Flag, who’s on the hunt for Waller’s head.
Written by Robbie Thompson
Pencils by Eduardo Pansica
Inks by Julio Ferreira
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo and Alex Sinclair
Cover by Julio Ferreira, Marcelo Maiolo and Eduardo Pansica
Cam’s Thoughts: My life is a series of tragedies construed by an uncaring god.
Justice League #67
It’s the Justice League versus the United Order as the truth that gives power to this new cosmic super team crosses a line that the Justice League cannot allow. Will there even be a United Planets after this thunderous clash of intergalactic superpowers? Also, Green Arrow must come to terms with his responsibilities to both Checkmate and the League. Ollie may have to pick which path to follow, but what does it mean for the future of the League if the guy paying the bills has to bail? The Silent School used their magic for years to protect Atlantis from all kinds of invaders, but nothing prepared them for the most powerful sorcerer ever…Merlin! Luckily, the Justice League Dark arrives to turn the tide of the battle. However, they’re not fighting at full strength. Zatanna is harboring a dark secret, and if she unleashes her magic, it could drown everyone!
Written by Brian Michael Bendis and Ram V
Pencils by Phil Hester and Sumit Kumar
Inks by Eric Gapstur and Sumit Kumar
Colored by Hi-Fi, Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Nick Filardi
Cover by David Marquez Alejandro Sanchez
My Thoughts: I have several thoughts about where exactly this book is going, especially now that Brian Michael Bendis is going to start moving over to Dark Horse. He says he’ll remain on Justice League, but I have to wonder for how long will that actually be true. The book hasn’t exactly made huge headway, either in terms of plot or in terms of character. Excited that JLD is getting an annual, though!
Justice League Infinity #3
As the worlds continue to bleed in and out of each other, the Justice League looks to the cosmos to learn how to stop the chaos that’s been wrought. Meanwhile, Superman’s journey through the Multiverse brings him face to face with another Man of Steel, but is this one friend or foe?
Written by J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils and Inks by Ethen Beavers
Colored by Nick Filardi
Cover by Dan Mora
Corbin’s Thoughts: (Gimme That) Old Time DCAU Religion.
A story over a year in the making and set into motion with Infinite Frontier #0, Fear State begins! Batman played into the hands of the Scarecrow, who has unleashed a coordinated attack on Gotham City through his manipulation of Simon Saint and Peacekeeper-01! But there are other forces at work with the emergence of an Anti-Oracle spreading fake news across all channels and inciting terror and violence on the streets of Gotham! Backup: Clownhunter has turned down help from Batman, Leslie Thompkins, the Red Hood, and everyone else who has offered it to him, thinking that he can handle being a vigilante on the streets of Gotham City by himself. But when he takes a shot at fighting the Scarecrow one-on-one, he’ll learn very quickly how much in this city he’s not ready for yet. NEW HERO – PEACEKEEPER X!
Written by Brandon Thomas and James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Jason Howard and Jorge Jimenez
Colored by Jason Howard and Tomeu Morey
Cover by Jorge Jimenez and Tomeu Morey
Josh’s Thoughts: We were teased with the beginning of Fearstate in Fear State Alpha – and I guess if you haven’t been reading the Bat books, then it was – but for most of us, it was just a retread. Now, we have what REALLY should be the launch of Fear State. I’m nervous-excited. Fingers crossed.
When Batman begins to doubt Catwoman’s allegiance, it leads to trouble on the streets of Gotham. Who does Selina support: Joker, Phantasm, or the Dark Knight? Well, he’ll soon find out that some questions are better left unasked. If he’s going to test her loyalty, she’s going to test his mettle. Thus, Bruce Wayne finds himself locked in a bank vault with the Gotham PD knocking on the door!
Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Liam Sharp
Colored by Tomeu Morey and Liam Sharp
Cover by Clay Mann and Tomeu Morey
Michael’s Thoughts: While I’m generally a fan of Clay Mann the switch up in artists to Liam Sharp has me excited. The plot line still has a lot of work to do, but there’s no denying the book has been a visual feast right from the start.
Batman: The Adventures Continue Season Two #4
After a body washes ashore at the Gotham docks, Batman hunts for a mysterious mercenary known simply as the Muscle. But can the Dark Knight protect the assassin’s next target: Detective Renee Montoya?
Written by Alan Burnett and Paul Dini
Pencils and Inks by Jordan Gibson and Ty Templeton
Colored by Monica Kubina
Cover by Rob Guillory
The Joker Presents: A Puzzlebox #2
The mystery of “WHO KILLED THE RIDDLER” heats up as Joker, now incarcerated and under interrogation by Commissioner Jim Gordon, retells his version of events, starting with the victim himself on the hunt for an all-powerful weapon. How did the other Gotham villains get involved, and why? What does this weapon do, and why does Riddler want it? Who had skin in the game, and who could stand to lose everything? It’s a whodunit spiraling out of control, retold by the world’s most unreliable narrator. See if you can spot the clues and solve the puzzle!
Written by Matthew Rosenberg
Pencils and Inks by Joshua Hixson and Jesús Merino
Colored by Joshua Hixson and Ulises Arreola Palomera
Casper’s Thoughts: Wanna get your toxin on??
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 is a pretty good week for DC books that aren’t Batman, and you’d honestly have a pretty good time selecting any one of these books to enjoy this week. Obviously The Nice House On The Lake is a pretty safe bet, but I’d also check out the first issue of Black Manta – who is one of my favourite DC villains out there for being the pettiest bitch the world has ever seen.
As for Infinite Frontier, we haven’t been covering that on the website – but you might be able to expect a review covering the series as a whole.
Most Excited: Batman/Catwoman #7. I love Sharp’s new colouring style in the pages of Reptillian, but there were points when I missed more of a traditional colouring format, like that in The Green Lantern Season One. It’ll be really cool to see that back here, in a style that looks like it fits pretty well with the tone of King and Mann’s Batman swansong.
Least Excited: Justice League #67. There are probably worse books out this week, but I gotta review this one.
Wild Card: Justice League Infinity #3. This one’s kind of slipped under my radar, but I hear a lot of good things and a Dan Mora cover knows how to get me intrigued.
As always, let me know if you have any suggestions for the column. Best wishes, and see you in the reviews!
Author’s Twitter: @ObnoxiousFinch