Welcome back to Upcoming Comics!
It’s been a big week for comic books – and for me, considering I’ve had to mostly ignore them while dealing with 4 school assessments at the same time. I hear a Sandman trailer came out? Is Morpheus really being played by Chris Pratt?
The big thing this week is that Fables is finally returning to the pages of DC Comics. Fables is a huge DC property that’s spawned so many issues that it’s hard to even count, and its video game, The Wolf Among Us, is often considered one of Telltale’s best works (and rightfully so). With a sequel on the horizon, it’s only natural DC would want to dig into this property once again, and it’s shocking that we haven’t seen a crossover like this before.
Bill Willingham is back on the project, the franchise being his creation that he’s worked on since its inception – both a blessing and a curse for the brand. Willingham’s been the subject of some controversies over the years, and while I won’t go into them for various reasons, it’s caused a somewhat mixed reaction online as a result. To put it mildly, it’ll be interesting to see if several conservative elements in the Fables franchise will change in any way with this new era of the book, and if Willingham can garner any new fans in the process. There’s nothing wrong with having conservative characters and perspectives in fiction, but these new comics are going to be released in a different political environment to their predecessors – and it’ll be fascinating to see if Willingham changes with the times, doubles down, or finds a way to ignore them. Personally, I’m just excited for The Wolf Among Us 2!
Now, here’s what we’ve got for this week:
Batman Vs. Bigby! A Wolf in Gotham #1
With the blood dry at Gotham’s fourth gruesome murder scene in as many weeks, Batman is stumped. The same hallmarks haunt each investigation: brute-force entries, bodies ripped to shreds and stamped with enormous bite marks, and clumps of fur-wolf fur-scattered in the wreckage. The streets buzz with rumors of the “Werewolf of Gotham.” Determined to crack this case, Batman finds no leads and a mysterious, hairy, chain-smoking figure dogging his every move. The Dark Knight’s dangerously close to losing his cool when a series of bombings levels the city’s libraries in the days leading up to the 32nd annual Gotham Literary Festival. As Batman narrows in on the Bookworm and his literary henchmen, he discovers that an invaluable book from another world is at the center of the violence. Stranger still, the wolf is in on it. But what kind of monster is built from such brains and brawn-and is he an enemy or an ally? Worlds collide as a Gotham mystery kick-starts a return to the world of Fables!
Written by Bill Willingham
Pencils by Brian Level
Inks by Jay Leisten
Colored by Lee Loughridge
Cover by Yanick Paquette
My Thoughts: This will definitely get coverage in one form or another – we’re currently trying to figure out who on the team knows the most about Fables!
Harley Quinn #7
Heya, folks, Harley Quinn here! In case you all haven’t noticed…things have been a little wild lately. Hugo Strange, out-of-control orderlies, kidnapped clowns, and a new villain named Keepsake…it’s a lot for any one former villain turned antihero turned real hero with impeccable fashion sense to handle. I’m talkin’ about ME if that wasn’t clear. With all the Fear State happening in Gotham, I thought it would be a good time to go on a little camping trip. But, turns out, Gotham is gonna be Gotham…Keepsake’s forming a new army, Hugo’s playin’ dress-up, and the city is literally tearing itself apart. This looks like a job for Harley Quinn, Kevin, and…the Gardener? Oh yeah, Bella’s in this one, too! I just love her little plant dogs!
Written by Stephanie Phillips
Pencils and Inks by Riley Rossmo
Colored by Ivan Plascencia
Cover by Riley Rossmo
My Thoughts: This will likely be covered in a collected edition, but if it’s relevant to Fear State, we’ll let you know.
Justice League #68
THE TOUR! The Justice League has some new members. And those members get a tour of the Hall of Justice from the legends who helped build it while they learn about the people who have dedicated their entire lives to its higher calling. Merlin and his army of the aquatic dead have taken over Atlantis! Can Zatanna handle him and the horror she is hiding within?
Written by Brian Michael Bendis and Ram V
Pencils and Inks by Scott Godlewski and Sumit Kumar
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb, Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Nick Filardi
Cover by Jorge Fornés
My Thoughts: Ugh. At least the cover looks nice.
Batman: Reptilian #4
The monster-revealed! Trailing behind the mysterious reptilian menace savaging Gotham, Batman hits the streets hard searching for answers but finds only more questions. The Dark Knight takes his search beneath the streets and into the sewers to seek out Killer Croc. But when he finds the reptilian rogue, he quickly realizes that this may be the strangest case of his career.
Written by Garth Ennis
Pencils and Inks by Liam Sharp
Colored by Liam Sharp
Cover by Liam Sharp
Brian’s Thoughts: Batman, Croc, and the beast. I’ve been waiting for this confluence of characters since #1, and it’s finally here. Here’s hoping it’s worth the wait!
Ding ding ding! Let the tournament begin! The most ruthless fighters in the DCU compete for the ultimate prize: eternal life. To win his first round, Damian Wayne faces two times the danger and two times the trouble: it’s Ravager and Flatline versus Robin!
Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by Gleb Melnikov
Colored by Luis Guerrero and Gleb Melnikov
Cover by Gleb Melnikov
Matina’s Thoughts: At last, we are getting to the tournament part of this tournament arc! I’ve loved everything leading up to this but I am eager to see how the fighting plays out!
Detective Comics #1043
Fear State grips Gotham City! When Mayor Nakano’s city hall office finds itself under siege, the only hero who can help the embattled local official is the man Nakano pledged to rid from Gotham: Batman. The top vigilante in the city must protect the man who’s fought so hard to put an end to masked heroes in an action-packed car chase that culminates in a shocking ending that’ll give readers nightmares. Backup: Wait, how did Red Hood end up in Deb Donovan’s apartment? And what the hell gives him the right to eat all her frosted cereal? As Gotham’s troubled son and the city’s toughest reporter set out to uncover the mystery of the missing A-Day corpses, they run into more answers than they bargained for culminating in a deadly shoot out that renders Red Hood down for the count! Can Deb Donovan make it out alive to tell the tale of her harrowing adventure? And what will Red Hood’s capture mean for the Bat-Family? It all leads to next month’s terrifying new chapter in Gotham history: TASK FORCE Z!
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: Fear State has been kind of boring for me so far, so hopefully the Tec tie-ins will be better than the main book. Either way, Mora and Bellaire’s art is going to be as beautiful as ever, so at least there’s that!
Deathstroke Inc. #1
After suffering too many losses, Slade Wilson decides it’s time for a change. When he’s enlisted to work with an ages-old secret organization called T.R.U.S.T. who want to take down the heavy-hitter villains, he’s all in. They’ll supply him with an all-new team and resources for his new mission into the depths of the weirdest parts of the DCU, including a new partner…Black Canary! Wait what?! Enjoy explosions, kick-ass action, and new outrageous adventures as DC’s meanest S.O.B. gets tangled up in a major mystery building in the shadows of the DCU.
Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by Howard Porter
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Hi-Fi and Howard Porter
My Thoughts: We might not necessarily cover this, but I figured it was important to put on here because of the obvious connections the cover and title are trying to suggest.
Leviathan has arrived. They have followers and agents all over the globe. What is the secret behind Leviathan’s power? The all-new…Checkmate! A collection of the most dangerous spymasters must team up to take back the world. Who is the secret hero behind Checkmate?! Guest-starring Superman!
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils and Inks by Alex Maleev
Colored by Dave Stewart
Cover by Alex Maleev
SERIES FINALE! Mr. Mxyzptlk resurrecting Calendar Man from his death during A-Day is causing some reality-rattling consequences. If Superman and Batman are going to prevent a fifth-dimensional god-being from compartmentalizing all of existence, they’re going to need to turn to some unlikely allies.
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Pencils by Paul Pelletier and Ivan Reis
Inks by Keith Champagne and Danny Miki
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Danny Miki, Ivan Reis and Sabine Rich
Casper’s Thoughts: It’s Yang’s final issue on the title. This has easily been my favorite book to review since Yang and Reis started their run, so I’m a little sad to see this one end. But let’s try not to think about that too much and just enjoy this final issue, as I’m sure it’s going to be good!
RWBY/Justice League #6
Team RWBY’s assault on the creature begins! As they enact their plan, the group quickly learns they underestimated the monster’s resources and power as he wages a war with all of Remnant! Can the girls defeat Team JNPR and break them out of their trance, or will they fall under the spell of the beast below?
Written by Marguerite Bennett
Art by Emanuela Lupacchino and Wade Von Grawbadger
Cover by Mirka Andolfo
Matina’s Thoughts: After the slower issue last week, I’m eager to get back to some more action in this issue and see the teams plan as they face off against Starro!
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
My Thoughts: We’ve reviewed this already since the digital issues are out, but this seems to be the week they’re actually coming out in physical edition 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.
No strong recommendations this week, but maybe try checking out the new Sandman content, what with it being so relevant right now!
Most Excited: Batman: Reptilian #4. The cover reminds me of an H. R. Giger painting, and the mood of the comic has been so delightfully macabre that I can’t help but find myself for excited for whatever comes next.
Least Excited: Justice League #68. That last issue really hurt my opinion of the book, and with Ram V soon leaving the team, I won’t have much left to enjoy here.
Wild Card: Batman Vs. Bigby! A Wolf in Gotham #1. I have no idea what I’ll think of this book, but I’m curious as to if it’d work as a half-decent starter for new Fables readers.
Best wishes, and see you in the reviews!
Author’s Twitter: @ObnoxiousFinch