Welcome back to Upcoming Comics!

This week is a week of finales. Finales for story arcs such as Fear State, miniseries such as The Detective… and reviewers, with this week being Josh’s last for the website. Finishing his tenure with the final two issues of Tynion’s Batman, Josh has been a staple of Batman News for years, having run this very column to great success long before I was here! He’s been here for the good, the bad, the worse, Heroes in Crisis, and he deserves a great deal of credit for his hard work, expert reviewing and dedication to the website. Let’s give a big thank you to him in the comments, and be sure to follow him on Twitter. Best of luck with what comes next, Josh!

@JoshuaLMcDonald

Now, here’s what we have for this week:

Upcoming Comics

Batman: Fear State: Omega #1

As Gotham’s Fear State comes to a close, a new day dawns on the city…one without Batman. But the Dark Knight’s absence does not mean the city is without heroes. Join James Tynion IV and Riccardo Federici as they bring “Fear State” to its conclusion and introduce a new status quo that will reverberate throughout the DCU for years to come.

Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils by Ryan Benjamin, Christian Duce, Riccardo Federici and Guillem March
Inks by Ryan Benjamin, Christian Duce, Riccardo Federici, Trevor Hairsine and Guillem March
Colored by Chris Sotomayor
Cover by Jamal Campbell

Thoughts: I think I liked Fear State a lot more than some other people on the team, but I completely understand their dislike for the arc. That said, the ending of the previous issue felt sweet, so I’m hoping this final issue can capture more of that.

Batman News Critic: Josh

Batman 2021 Annual #1

Batman #107-111 have featured an epic, brutal tale of Batman’s frenemy Ghost-Maker in the backup stories…and the senses-shattering conclusion to the saga is here! Ghost-Maker has fought his way across Devil Skull Island, and he’s about to face every single villain from his rogues gallery…at once? Can even this legendary warrior survive the onslaught?

Written by Ricardo López Ortiz and James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Ricardo López Ortiz
Colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Cover by Ricardo López Ortiz

Thoughts: Ghostmaker is not a very interesting character.

Batman News Critic: Josh

Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant #1

Gotham City may be protected by the Dark Knight, but this major metropolitan destination is also plagued by some of the deadliest, most nefarious villains in the DC Universe! In this oversize anniversary giant, DC Comics proudly presents tales of Batman’s deadliest foes written and drawn by some of the biggest, most exciting names in comics! 2021 marks an anniversary year for the Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Ra’s al Ghul, Talia al Ghul, the Mad Hatter, Killer Moth, and the original Red Hood, and Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant #1 brings these baddies to life in some big ways! Also featuring the anniversary celebration of the Penguin, written by none other than the man who brought Oswald Cobblepot to life in Batman Returns, star of the silver screen Danny DeVito!

Written by Wes Craig, Danny DeVito, Stephanie Phillips and G. Willow Wilson
Pencils by Wes Craig, Max Fiumara, Dan Mora and Emma Rios
Inks by Wes Craig, Riccardo Federici, Max Fiumara, Ariela Kristantina, David Lapham, Ken Lashley, Dan Mora, Skylar Patridge, Khary Randolph, Max Raynor, Emma Rios, Jill Thompson, Gabriel Walta and Christian Ward
Colored by Jordie Bellaire, Tamra Bonvillain, Juan Fernandez, Max Fiumara, Sunny Gho, John Kalisz, Emilio Lopez, Marissa Louise, Trish Mulvihill, Jill Thompson, Gabriel Walta, Christian Ward and Jason Wordie
Cover by Lee Bermejo

Thoughts: ANYTHING written by Danny DeVito is worth a look, at the very least!

Batman News Critic: Jay

Batman: The Detective #6

BATMAN VS. EQUILIBRIUM! It’s Batman versus Equilibrium in a brutal battle to save every single person the Dark Knight has rescued…ever! The stunning conclusion to the epic series!

Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils by Andy Kubert
Inks by Sandra Hope
Colored by Brad Anderson
Cover by Brad Anderson and Andy Kubert

Thoughts: I think this book is solid, but doesn’t really have the ambition, execution or momentum to be anything all that special.

Batman News Critic: Brian

The Joker 2021 Annual #1

His first year of being GCPD police commissioner was an intense challenge for James Gordon. He battled corruption in the ranks, his marriage was in shambles, and the vigilante Batman was clearly welcoming new recruits with the appearance of Batgirl. And The Joker picked his moment to unleash hell!

Written by Matthew Rosenberg and James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Francesco Francavilla
Colored by Francesco Francavilla
Cover by Francesco Francavilla

Thoughts: I haven’t been big on this series, but I adore Francesco Fancavilla’s art. That being said, Corbin pointed out the level of quality from Fancavilla’s work on Joker is simply not the same as what you’d see in The Black Mirror, and I’m inclined to agree.

Batman News Critic: Matina

Detective Comics 2021 Annual #1

“We don’t choose who we save, Bruce. You treat the patient who needs your help.”-Thomas Wayne “Shadows of the Bat” begins here! In the prelude to January’s epic new Detective Comics event, Mayor Nakano has signed off on the construction of a new Arkham Tower in the heart of Gotham City, and the Bat-Family is torn. Batman has long seen Arkham as a necessary, if flawed, cog in the gears of Gotham City-a temporary solution to larger problems that in many ways mirrors his approach as Batman. Nightwing, however, who grew up watching Arkham mutate into a villain factory, believes a different approach is needed. But Bruce and Dick will need to see eye to eye on more than just Arkham Tower, as a new villain known as THE MAEGER MAN wreaks havoc in the streets and becomes the embodiment of Gotham’s broken system!

Written by Matthew Rosenberg and Mariko Tamaki
Pencils and Inks by David Lapham
Colored by Trish Mulvihill
Cover by Viktor Bogdanovic

Thoughts: This event seems a little too vague for me to be interested, but why not?

Batman News Critic: Casper

Robin 2021 Annual #1

TALE OF THE TAPE! The League of Lazarus has introduced Robin to a wide range of some of the youngest, deadliest fighters on the planet-from XXL and his hype squad to Respawn and his Deathstroke fandom-and these killers mean business. But no fighter has made an impact on Damian Wayne like Flatline, the former sidekick of Lord Death Man and one of the most elite combatants in the tournament. But who is Flatline? Uncover the secret origin of all the breakout fighter stars of Robin in this oversize special that puts the K.O. in comic book! Plus: Atlantean fighters join the tournament? C’mon, Mother Soul, never order the fish-always order the steak!

Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils by Roger Cruz
Inks by Victor Olazaba
Colored by Luis Guerrero
Cover by Jorge Corona and Luis Guerrero

Thoughts: Flatline is a standout character of Robin, so this will be fun!

Batman News Critic: Matina

Nightwing 2021 Annual #1

Dick Grayson and Jason Todd, the first Robins, both long ago stepped out of the shadow of the Bat and began walking very different paths on their respective journeys to become who they are today. But now their paths converge and these two brothers unite for one goal. With escrima stick and a crowbar combined, Nightwing and Red Hood are ready for anything…anything except what they have to face next! Don’t miss out on this explosive adventure!

Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils by Daniel HDR and Cian Tormey
Inks by Raul Fernandez and Daniel HDR
Colored by Rain Beredo and Adriano Lucas
Cover by Annette Kwok and Nicola Scott

Thoughts: It occurs to me that it’s probably a natural progression of continuity for Red Hood to no longer use guns… but sadly, it just reminds me all too well of the “no guns” mandate found across DC figures lately.

Batman News Critic: Michael

Justice League Dark 2021 Annual #1

After barely making it out of Atlantis alive, the Justice League Dark regroups and prepares themselves for the ultimate battle for magic against the finest sorcerer to ever live…MERLIN. It’ll take the minds and memories of WONDER WOMAN, RANDHIR SINGH, and an unexpected visitor to unlock the mystery behind the villain’s sudden appearance and what he’s after. Only with that vital information does our team of magical misfits stand a chance at saving the world from a threat the likes of which the Justice League could never survive! You won’t want to miss this oversize tale that’ll affect the future of magic in the DCU for years to come!

Written by Ram V and Dan Watters
Pencils and Inks by Christopher Mitten
Colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Cover by Sebastiàn Fiumara

Thoughts: I don’t actually have to cover this, but I feel like I owe this creative team a bone after hiding my positive reviews for their work beneath extremely negative Justice League reviews.

Batman News Critic: Myself

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’m particularly interested in Wonder Woman Historia, which has some seriously strong visuals and a fantastic creative team helming the project, who have well and truly proven themselves in the world of DC. Human Target is also of particular interest, and Justice League Incarnate may be covered at some point. Teen Titans Academy may be covered in a trade release.

Ratings

Most Excited: Justice League Dark 2021 Annual #1. It’ll be nice to see V and his artists work without a ten-page limit on JLD for the first time in a while!

Least Excited: Batman 2021 Annual #1. Again, Ghostmaker is not a very interesting character.

Wild Card: Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant #1. Big, expensive collections such as this are often a wild card, but I like how it’s covering some villains that could use more attention.

Best wishes, and see you in the reviews!

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Author’s Twitter: @ObnoxiousFinch