Welcome back to Upcoming Comics!
This week looks a little slower than some others – which is a nice break for me, having had a rather stressful few days. I saw the clip from The Batman (which Reeves has now uploaded in 4K!), which I personally adored. I’m a huge fan of Reeves’ work on the two most recent Planet of the Apes films – he has a brilliant sense of pacing, and he knows how to reel you in to the lives of these characters as if you’re standing in the scene with them. The villains in those films are especially phenomenal (I still think about Koba), and if he brings a fraction of that energy to Paul Dano’s Riddler, I’m fairly confident we’ll have a strong movie in our hands.
Now, here’s what we’ve got for this week:
“Abyss” part three! The new Batman Inc.’s heinous crimes have landed them in a high-security prison. Batman believes the only way to help his old allies is to break them out…but they don’t want his help! Meanwhile, Batman Inc.’s mysterious benefactor uses the chaos to enact their plans, but finds themselves lost in the dark against Abyss! Backup: The mysterious disappearances being investigated by Maps and Batman take a violent turn…Could this missing persons case be something much darker?
Written by Karl Kerschl and Joshua Williamson
Pencils by Mikel Janin, Karl Kerschl and Jorge Molina
Inks by Adriano Di Benedetto, Mikel Janin, Karl Kerschl and Jorge Molina
Colored by Tomeu Morey and John Rauch
Cover by Jorge Molina
Thoughts: I love the involvement of Batman Incorporated into this story, though I’m a little anxious for the crossover that’s coming up so fast.
Batman News Critic: Jay
Detective Comics #1051
Psycho-Pirate! Qu’est-ce que ç’est? The mind manipulations of one of the DCU’s most calamitous villains are revealed at the heart of Arkham Tower…but who’s really calling the shots? As Batwoman’s undercover operation takes a disastrous turn, Huntress finds her own mission inside the Tower growing more perilous by the moment! All is revealed in this explosive first chapter in act two of the “Shadows of the Bat” weekly event! Then, in “House of Gotham” part five, the Boy emerges from his Scarecrow caper with a new perspective on the world…but what’s scarier: Dr. Crane’s fear toxins, or Batman’s control of Gotham’s militarized youth?
Written by Matthew Rosenberg and Mariko Tamaki
Pencils and Inks by Fernando Blanco and Max Raynor
Colored by Jordie Bellaire and Luis Guerrero
Cover by Irvin Rodriguez
Thoughts: Easily the best cover of the arc yet! What’s your favourite depiction of Psycho-Pirate?
Batman News Critic: Casper
Dark Knights of Steel #4
The arrival of the Els by spaceship 19 years earlier was a pivotal moment for the kingdom, and a prophecy was born! But what were those early years like for the Els, and how did they come to be monarchs of the kingdom? And what catastrophic event triggered everything that was to follow?
Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils and Inks by Bengal and Yasmine Putri
Colored by Arif Prianto and Yasmine Putri
Cover by Yasmine Putri
Thoughts: Bruce and Clark being literal brothers feels like it was inevitable, looking back on it. It’s a dynamic that feels appropriate for the two characters, and I think it’s one of the biggest guiding lights for the book.
Batman News Critics: Matina and myself
Arkham City: The Order of the World #5
Like layers of skin peeled back by madness, Dr. Joy finally comes face to face with the absurd, gaping maw of the one true order of the world. With only the fires of Azrael and Detective Stone’s hatred lighting the way, what chance do our poor Arkhamites have at survival as they descend into that which lies beneath all things? Join us for the penultimate chapter of Arkham City: The Order of the World and see the truth for yourself.
Written by Dan Watters
Pencils and Inks by Dani Strips
Colored by Dave Stewart
Cover by Sam Wolfe Connelly
Thoughts: If you hold off one more month, I will try to give this series my most comprehensive review yet. If not, well, maybe I can swing something up in advance. Everyone should read this, and the only reason I haven’t reviewed it consistently is because of my current work load.
Review will be covered in a trade release, if not before.
Suicide Squad #12
Rick Flag attacks! The Squad has their hands full with the marvel that is Earth-8, and soon learn that this “test” was actually just a decoy for Waller’s real Suicide Squad. If they’re going to get off Earth-8, they’ll have to get through a whole other Squad in the process! And just as Flag is about to take down Waller once and for all, he’s betrayed by a double agent in his ranks!
Written by Dennis Hopeless and Robbie Thompson
Pencils by Eduardo Pansica and Dexter Soy
Inks by Julio Ferreira and Dexter Soy
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo
Cover by Julio Ferreira, Marcelo Maiolo and Eduardo Pansica
Thoughts: We really need to work on how we can get people who watch movies to read their respective comic books, because… I dunno, this Suicide Squad isn’t grabbing me, despite the characters being bigger than ever.
Batman News Critic: Cam
The Joker Presents: A Puzzlebox #7
The final pieces fall into place! The Joker’s tale has come to an explosive end and has blown up in everyone’s faces. Now Commissioner Gordon is racing to pick up the pieces, but various attacks across Gotham City culminate in an assault on the GCPD itself. Who is behind them and why? The answer to that riddle will make you laugh and laugh and laugh.
Written by Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Jesus Merino, Mike Norton, and Vicente Cifuentes
Cover by Chip Zdarsky
Thoughts: I don’t really have any thoughts on this issue today, so I’ll just say that while I generally hate movie ads on comic covers, the one for The Batman is a little less egregious than most.
Review will be covered in a trade release.
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.
Love the Ultra Comics homage on the front of Justice League Incarnate, even if using Morrison references to get me interested is a little cheap. Also, I plan to write a combined review of Infinite Frontier and Justice League Incarnate before Justice League #75.
Most Excited: Arkham City: The Order of the World #5. Listen, I did just go on holiday, so if you really want something about this comic right now, sound off in the comments and I’ll do my best to get something out. This book is absolutely worthy of all the praise.
Least Excited: Suicide Squad #12. Not much else I have to say there.
Wild Card: No real wild cards this week – I feel like you know what you’re getting with these writers and artists.
Best wishes, and see you in the reviews!
Author’s Twitter: @ObnoxiousFinch