Welcome back to Upcoming Comics (SPOOKY MONTH EDITION)!
Not much to report this week, unless you count the growing hype for DC Fandome. Last year’s event was a great idea and something that turned out to be an insanely successful event, so it’s only natural they’d repeat it this year. The thing is, what brought the event about may also be what’s hindering it – seeing as COVID has prevented much DC content from actually being released, we may see the same things being covered over the course of this event.
Because of this, I’m expecting something of more substance: gameplay for Gotham Knights and Kill the Justice League, more details about The Flash and Black Adam, for example. Obviously I’m excited for more content from The Batman, but that’s really a given! Hopefully it at least meets the standard that the previous year set. The NFTs can go to hell, though.
Now, let’s take a look at what we have for this week:
The Joker #8
Jim Gordon was warned, to “head back to the light while you still can,” but his quest to apprehend The Joker is taking him deeper into darkness. Could The Joker actually be innocent of the attack on Arkham Asylum?
Punchline Back-Up: It’s a jailbreak as Bluebird must escape from Blackgate before Punchline and her gang can murder her!
Written by James Tynion IV and Sam Johns
Art by Guillem March and Sweeney Boo
Cover by Guillem March
Matina’s Thoughts: I’m going to say it, I’m honestly super interested to see where this book is going. There’s a lot of pieces at play in it, but I like how things have been unfolding so far.
Batman: The Imposter #1
Bruce Wayne’s mission as the Batman has only been underway for a year or so, but he can tell he’s making a difference. Unfortunately, he’s made some powerful enemies. All the traditional power brokers of Gotham resent the disruption the Batman has brought to town…and it seems one of them has a plan to neutralize him. There’s a second Batman haunting Gotham’s rooftops and alleys—and this one has no qualms about murdering criminals, live and on tape. With the entire might of the Gotham City Police Department and Gotham’s rich and powerful coming down on his head, Batman must find this imposter and somehow clear his name…but how can you prove your innocence from behind a mask?
Director and screenwriter Mattson Tomlin (Project Power, Little Fish) has teamed up with Eisner-winning suspense and horror artist Andrea Sorrentino (Joker: Killer Smile, Gideon Falls) to create a wholly new version of Gotham City, informed by grim reality, where every punch leaves a broken bone and every action has consequences far, far beyond Batman’s imagination!
Written by Mattson Tomlin
Art and Cover by Andrea Sorrentino
Michael’s Thoughts: What’s up gamers!! Batman: The Impostor? Sounds pretty SUS to me? Am I right everyone? Some smash that emergency meeting button ASAP!
Casper’s Thoughts: What on earth are you talking about?
Michael’s Thoughts: I’m reading this for Andrea Sorrentino. I have no other opinion.
Casper’s Thoughts: Hell yeah. Sorrentino is my boy.
The boys have saved just about every single member of the Justice League from a horrendous fate at the hands of the DOOM SCROLL…but can the boys save themselves?! Challenge of the Super Sons ends here!
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Max Raynor
Cover by Simone Di Meo
Matina’s Thoughts: We are at the last issue of this series! I really do love Jon and Damian’s partnership, and on the whole this series has been a delight. I’m excited to see how it wraps up, but I will miss it for sure.
Continuing the hit spy series that tells the tales of Alfred Pennyworth’s pre-Gotham years! As Alfred fights his way through the tunnels below the North Pole base—without wrinkling his suit—he searches for information about the Soviets’ bizarre weapons. Finding himself trapped in the belly of the operation, he discovers threats more terrifying than anything he’s ever faced and realizes that in the end, he may prefer violence and danger to that most famous of all foes: a broken heart.
Written by Scott Bryan Wilson
Art by Juan Gedeon
My Thoughts: You really should be checking this out if you like Alfred at all – the show is fascinating for vastly different reasons, but this seems just like an overall very solid comic! I like how they aren’t leaning into it being a tie-in to the show, because it really doesn’t feel like that.
Batman: Urban Legends #8
-Batwoman: FEAR STATE TIE-IN! Someone has hacked into the Oracle Network and has started spreading information around Gotham—Batman is dead, Cassandra Cain Batgirl is a killer, Fear Toxin is in the air. Which is true and which is false? Batwoman will find out with the help of Commissioner Renee Montoya and…Kate’s sister Beth, AKA Red Alice?!
-Outsiders: FEAR STATE TIE-IN! Scarecrow has stirred Gotham City into a panic, and it’s awakened one of his first students he experimented on, a man turned into a monster known as THE FEARFUL! The Outsiders will have to reunite with the Signal in order to stop the Fearful and keep the city at peace. But a message from the world of FUTURE STATE reaches the Signal and changes everything.
-Azrael: Azrael, the last acolyte of the Order of St. Dumas, has returned to the streets of Gotham City after serving with the Justice League in the stars. He’s convinced he’s strayed too far from his purpose, too far from his teachings, and needs to reassert himself. But he’ll be met with a city that’s changed forever, a city that will shake his faith.
-Professor Pyg: Just in time for Halloween, a tale of Super Hero horror from fan-favorite creator Christian Ward, writing and drawing a story of Batman hunting down Professor Pyg in order to find the victim of a kidnapping. Batman will dig back into his memories of youth to track down Pyg and save a child’s life.
Written by Alyssa Wong, Brandon Thomas, Dan Watters and Christian Ward
Art by Vasco Georgiev, Cian Tormey, Nikola Čižmešija and Christian Ward
Jay’s Thoughts: Good news: four brand new stories begin in this month’s issue of Urban Legends. Less good news: they’re all Fear State tie-ins. The latter might not necessarily be a bad thing, because a well-crafted story can still work even if you’re not all-in on a crossover or event. Still, the main thing I’ve wanted from this series (unique, standalone stories in an anthology format) has yet to be realized, and this month is no exception. But hey: Azrael!
My Thoughts: You know, we get a lot of people trying to tackle Professor Pyg. Genuine question, outside of Morrison and Arkham Knight, how many people do you think have portrayed him well?
Justice League: Last Ride #6
The JUSTICE LEAGUE is stranded on an Apokolips that’s deadlier than ever, with Earth in its crosshairs! And while the League battles with hordes and the clock, they’re presented with the ultimate quandary—protect the galaxy’s most ruthless bounty hunter LOBO, sacrifice him, or do something…more unspeakable! Even worse, they must do all of this while dealing with a TRAITOR IN THEIR MIDST! Will they be too late, since all roads lead…to Darkseid?
Written by Chip Zdarsky
Art by Miguel Mendonça
Cover by Darick Robertson
Casper’s Thoughts: So far, Superman hasn’t been very super. With this being the penultimate chapter, let’s hope that the creative team will let Clark be a hero again!
I Am Batman #2
Jace Fox is on the streets as Batman, fighting the misinformation and violence flooding Gotham City during Fear State. What mysterious connection exists between the Magistrate and The Next Batman: Second Son villain Arkadine? And what Gotham vigilante pays the ultimate price when a misguided young man shoots him down in cold blood?
Written by John Ridley
Pencils and Inks by Stephen Segovia
Cover by Olivier Coipel
My Thoughts: I’m aware that people have complaints about Ridley’s Batman comics – and to a certain point, I actually do understand them. I’m going to take a moment before I continue with my latest review to address them – personally, my biggest problem with these books has been the constantly changing art team.
Batman: The Audio Adventures Special
Ah, you hear that beautiful racket? That’s the music of Gotham City—the largest city in the world, the big gargoyle, the treasure of the night—anyone who calls it a crime-infested hellhole is dead wrong. No way hell has such great pierogies. So join us here (hear?) as we bring you the stories behind the stories behind the hit HBO Max scripted original podcast with this sensational prequel one-shot, written by the very creators and talent who lent their voices to the show.
And unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that after years of rumors we find out not only is the Batman real, not only is he one of the good guys, turns out, he’s gonna be a cop! With special appearances by King Scimitar, Stoveplate Sullivan, Billy Wristwatch, and others directly from the podcast, this oversize special brings you deeper into the mysteries behind Batman: The Audio Adventures!
Written by Dennis Mcnicholas, Bobby Moynihan, Heidi Gardner, Paul Scheer, and more
Art by Leonardo Romero, Juni Ba, and more
Cover by Dave Johnson
Cam’s Thoughts: I absolutely LOVED the Audio Adventures podcast, I’m SO excited!
Harley Quinn: The Animated Series—The Eat. Bang. Kill Tour #2
ON THE ROAD TO ROMANCE (a.k.a. an ataxia-filled, Thelma and Louise-style road trip), Harley and Ivy head to Catwoman’s to ask for a massive favor (hey, Selina’s a natural born cat sitter…). Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon, on the hunt for the chaos queen herself, crosses a line he might not be able to come back from…
Written by Tee Franklin
Art by Max Sarin
Cover by Max Sarin
My Thoughts: This series has been a lot of fun so far! It’s been fascinating watching Harley and Ivy’s relationship develop in these books – though I have to wonder what this means for season 3 of the show.
Future State: Gotham #6
“Hunt the Batman” reaches its penultimate chapter!
ALL OUT WAR! Jason Todd, now known as PEACEKEEPER RED, must join forces with THE NEXT BATMAN to defeat the NEW supervillain WARMONGER. The only thing standing in their way is every cop and Peacekeeper inside Magistrate Headquarters!
Written by Joshua Williamson and Dennis Culver
Art by Giannis Milonogiannis
Cover by Simone Di Meo
Cam’s Thoughts: I haven’t given up on this book yet, despite its best efforts. I’m most likely going to be dipping in and out of this series to talk about the interesting things.
The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #7
Alfred’s old friend from butler school is in town, and he’s brought along his charges: Daphne and Scooby-Doo! When Scooby and his pal Ace are dog-napped, the humans will have to rescue them without giving away any family secrets. That might be harder than finding the pets!
Writtten by Sholly Fisch
Art by Dario Brizuela
Cover by Dario Brizuela
Cam’s Thoughts: Batman and Scooby Doo has been fantastic, not much else to say.
Titans United #2
Guest-Starring Hawk and Dove!
The Titans uncover a plot against them. Someone has been stealing their powers, but who? And what has it got to do with Superboy?
Written by Cavan Scott
Art by Jose Luis and Jonas Trindade
Cover by Jamal Campbell
Cam’s Thoughts: I’m still wary to be honest. Im watching to see if it’s just a tie in comic, or something actually good.
Batman ’89 #3
As the fire rages at Royal Auto, Harvey Dent lies trapped inside, unconscious and in danger. Can Bruce Wayne get to Harvey in time, or will the district attorney leave burned—in more ways than one?
Written by Sam Hamm
Art by Joe Quinones
Cover by Joe Quinones
Jay’s Thoughts: It’s strange having a Batman book where Batman is the least interesting character, but such is the case with Batman ‘89. Try as I might go absolutely love this book, it had a pretty sharp drop-off between the first two issues. Now that we have a better idea of what the series is trying to be, though– in effect, a Two-Face origin, rather than a straightforward Batman tale– maybe the admittedly spot-on channeling of Billy Dee Williams’ voice can turn things around.
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’d be a fool if I didn’t tell you to read Superman and the Authority #4. This is Morrison’s final comic for DC at this time, and they’re going out with something as weird and wacky as you’d expect from them. With Tom King’s Strange Adventures also coming to a conclusion, we have a really strong week for DC content, both with and without Batman.
Most Excited: Batman: The Audio Adventures Special. Everyone who has listened to The Audio Adventures has raved about it to me, so I think it’s very exciting to see it given coverage in other mediums! I’ll be sure to listen to them soon.
Least Excited: Titans United #2. It’s nothing against the book, but the reason the Teen Titans were so popular back in the day was because of their radical reimagining of how a team-based comic book could work – and I haven’t seen much like that from the Titans since. Maybe I need to make a committed effort to get into it.
Wild Card: Batman: The Imposter #1. I don’t know, the premise has done nothing for me – but when you have a talented team like this at the helm, who knows what could happen?
Best wishes, and see you in the reviews!
Author’s Twitter: @ObnoxiousFinch