Welcome back to Upcoming Comics!
First, some administrative news. I understand you guys didn’t want this – and we’re not super happy about it either – but we are going to have to roll back on some of our weekly reviews, mainly on account of the sheer number of Bat-books coming out lately. This isn’t a massive administrative change or anything – you’ll still get your reviews for the latest issues of Batman, Detective Comics and so on – but a few smaller comics such as Pennyworth and others we don’t have the time to cover initially may have to wait until they’re completed before we give full reviews for them, like I did for The Next Batman: Second Son.
We will still be trying to review the first issue of everything that comes out, so you can feel informed about what you want to read – but we’re essentially asking you to bear with us in terms of how we handle some of the smaller books releasing over the coming months. As much as I love this job, this isn’t exactly something we can do full-time. However, we are in the works of planning something to fill that gap, so you will still be getting weekly opinions on these books in some format. Hopefully it gets a little easier when this Bat-craze starts to settle!
It doesn’t help that a lot of these books look, frankly, awesome! Batgirls especially makes me incredibly excited, and while I take serious issue with how Robins was greenlit, the book itself seems like it’s going to be a lot of fun. There’s plenty to look forward to in the world of Batman, even if it’s sometimes hard to keep abreast of! I understand we’ve had some criticisms about cynicism lately, but I think it stems from a desire to see these stories succeed – and with how I’ve been enjoying books like Robin, I know it can happen.
Now, let’s see what we’ve got for this week!
When the Bat-Family receives misleading information and incorrect directions from Oracle, ones Babs didn’t send herself, they realize Oracle’s system has been hacked! But who is powerful enough to break into Oracle’s own super-secure network? And what personal information is now at risk? Not only that, this mysterious Anti-Oracle is taking advantage of Gotham City’s state of fear and has bombarded the city with falsities, spreading even more fear. With the Bat-Team’s comms unreliable, Nightwing heads to Gotham to find the source of Anti-Oracle’s transmissions.
Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils and Inks by Robbi Rodriguez
Cover by Bruno Redondo
Michael’s Thoughts: I’ve thought about this series a lot and whether or not I truly think the first arc worked fully. Each issue in a vacuum works well, but the broader scope of the series’ narrative and themes are still a little wishy-washy for my taste. Due to the next couple issues being tie-ins to Fear State, my worries will likely linger until the main plotline comes back into focus.
The Strays disable the Magistrate’s communication around Alleytown and replace it with their own ramshackle network. Harley Quinn believes Ivy is the key to helping the city, so she and the Gardener start heading to Alleytown to track down Catwoman and retrieve Ivy.
Written by Ram V
Pencils and Inks by Nina Vakueva
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Cover by Nathan Fairbairn and Yanick Paquette
Michael’s Thoughts: While I don’t care much about Fear State, Ram V has always done a great job of interweaving his own narrative threads within the larger DC landscape. My main worry is the loss of Fernando Blanco on art duties, but from what I’ve seen in previews, Nina Vakueva sees like a more than capable fill-in.
Batman Secret Files: Miracle Molly #1
Since Miracle Molly’s explosive first appearance in the pages of Batman, people have been clamoring to know more about the colorful transhumanist vigilante! Now the wait is over-the history of Gotham’s latest breakout star is revealed! It’s a story so secret even Miracle Molly doesn’t remember it! Discover what led a regular Gothamite to reject their past, name, and humanity to embrace the promise of a blank slate-the promise of the Unsanity Collective! Batman series writer James Tynion IV teams up with rising superstar artist Dani to bring you all the way back to the beginning of Miracle Molly in this exciting and integral Fear State special.
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Dani Strips
Colored by Lee Loughridge
Cover by Little Thunder
Josh’s Thoughts: I’ve enjoyed Miracle Molly quite a bit, and I’m excited to learn about her early days. Dani’s art also looks fun and unique, and appears to be complimented perfectly by Lee Loughridge’s colors!
Ghost-Maker reveals a dark revelation about his past connection to Jonathan Crane while Batman puts together the pieces of Scarecrow’s master plan. Using the Unsanity Collective’s technology, the villain plans to detonate a “Fear Bomb” in Gotham City! Backup: Clownhunter has been dosed by the Scarecrow with a deadly fear toxin and is now traveling through his greatest nightmare of Gotham City. Will the Clownhunter center himself and strike back at Scarecrow? Or will he succumb to all his worst fears?!
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’re heading into the third chapter of Fear State, and maybe – just maybe- something will actually happen… MAYBE.
Batman: The Detective #5
Equilibrium unmasked! Falling further behind the villainous Equilibrium, Batman enlists the help of the European Alliance of the Bat in hopes of turning the case around! With Squire in tow, the Dark Knight attempts to thwart a mass execution in Belgium in brutal, epic fashion!
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: We’re one step from the end, and while I’ve enjoyed this series as a whole, I’m not going to lie—the month delay has taken a lot of steam out of that enjoyment. We’ll see if Taylor and Kubert deliver, but I care a lot less than I used to.
Legends of the Dark Knight #5
The Calendar Man’s new obsession lies with the Martian calendar. He’s committing horrific new crimes to appease a Martian death god and take on its power. For Batman to solve these crimes and bring down Calendar Man, he’ll need to call in the Martian Manhunter for help.
Written by Brandon Thomas
Art by Giannis Milonogiannis
Cover by Giannis Milonogiannis
Matina’s Thoughts: Batman and Martian Manhunter teaming up to investigate some mysterious Martian symbols connected with crimes? Count me in!
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
My Thoughts: Okay, THIS is the week it’s being released! Finally got it right!
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 say you should check out Aquaman: The Becoming. DC’s made a really interesting decision by pressing pause on Arthur Curry’s story to focus on other characters in his world, and I really respect it – I think more comics should give that a go, just to let characters have some breathing space.
Most Excited: Batman Secret Files: Miracle Molly #1. I absolutely love Miracle Molly! I think her design is just this wonderful mix of Cyberpunk and superhero, and she fits right into this neo-Gotham that’s been developing over the past year. She’s a very cool character who doesn’t feel like a villain – just another player on Batman’s stage, and one who provides perspective that a lot of the other characters don’t. Bring on her solo issue!
Least Excited: Batman: The Adventures Continue Season Two #4. I’ve never been able to get into this series – it doesn’t feel interesting enough to stand out beyond some cool new designs.
Wild Card: Batman: The Detective #5. I’ve liked this series well enough so far, but I think the ending will decide if it’s an okay series, a good one or a great one.
Best wishes, and see you in the reviews!
Author’s Twitter: @ObnoxiousFinch