Welcome back to Upcoming Comics!
Let me tell you, I have had a hell of a week. I’m not gonna go too deep into personal matters, but… wow. On the one hand, you could say I’ve learned some valuable lessons in mental and emotional intelligence. On the other hand, I’d rather some of what happened didn’t happen in the first place.
Meanwhile, I caught up on the two Batman issues I hadn’t read! I think the updated design to the Batman of Zur-En Arrh is dumb, for starters. The design is meant to be silly, and the decision too give it all these overcomplicated features hurts the design more than it helps it. I don’t mind Failsafe either, but so far this arc feels strange – as if it’s the kind of story you’d put in the middle of a larger arc, rather than the beginning. No super complicated thoughts, but hey, I don’t review the book!
Now, here’s what we’ve got for this week:
Batman vs. Robin #1
AN EPIC BATTLE OF ICONS YEARS IN THE MAKING! Spinning out of the events of both Batman/Superman: World’s Finest and Robin, father and son will do battle in one of the single most earth-shattering tales ever told! Deep in the heart of Lazarus Island, the demonic legacy of the al Ghul family line has at last been freed, and the Devil Nezha is out for blood. To reclaim his total domination over planet Earth, Nezha has supercharged magic-anyone who dares use it is overcome by a demonic evil that kills the weaker magicians and drives the more powerful one to madness…before killing them. No one who accesses magic is immune, and this virus is spreading fast. Unfortunately for Batman, Damian-playing with forces beyond his control-was the first to succumb. The Demon has now risen…and this supercharged assassin has just become the deadliest force on the planet. In order to save his son, Batman will be forced to take a perilous journey through the heart of darkness, written and drawn by some of the biggest names in comics! Legendary writer Mark Waid helms the next epic saga in Batman history, while superstar artist Mahmud Asrar makes his triumphant return to DC!
Written by Mark Waid
Pencils and Inks by Mahmud A. Asrar
Colours by Jordie Bellaire
Cover Art by Mahmud A. Asrar and Nathan Fairbairn
Thoughts: From my perspective, this book has essentially superceded two books I was enjoying, for a premise that doesn’t strike me as intriguing… or it wouldn’t, if I didn’t know one of the key hooks. We’ll see, I suppose!
Batman News Critic: Michael
Batman: Urban Legends #19
The Outsiders find the villain who has captured Duke Thomas’s mother. Alfred’s star turn as an investigator continues. A new murderer is plaguing the streets of Gotham City and Batman thinks it’s…a child? And we see inside the mind of Two-Face as we never have before. All included in this epic new issue of Batman: Urban Legends!
Written by Brandon Thomas, Chris Burnham, Joey Esposito, Brandon M. Easton and Zac Thompson
Pencils by Chris Burnham, Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque, Mikel Janin and Will Robson
Inks by Chris Burnham, Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque, Mikel Janin, Will Robson and Hayden Sherman
Colours by Nathan Fairbairn, John Kalisz, Jordie Bellaire, Dave Stewart and Matt Herms
Cover Art by Dike Ruan
Batman News Critic: Cam
Steph has a…date?! With an actual boy? Well this calls for a celebration…or a trip to the zoo! The Batgirls and Steph’s dreamy love interest are in for a day of monkey business but all that monkeying around ends when they’ve got henchmen on their tails! Meanwhile, Babs is one step closer to tracking down the Hill Ripper-too bad all it took was yet another homicide.
Written by Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad
Pencils and Inks by Neil Googe
Colours by Rico Renzi
Cover Art by Jorge Corona and Sarah Stern
Thoughts: Sometimes I wonder about the Superman-Lois Lane relationship. Is that lightning in a bottle when it comes to comic book couples? No other couple seems to stay together so long, so consistently. I’d like to see that be the case for smaller heroes when they date, too. Not entirely related, but it crossed my mind.
Batman News Critic: Matina
I Am Batman #13
Batman and the Question’s investigation into Anarky’s murder puts them directly in the crosshairs of a rogue police unit set up to deal with the “radical” activist, and which is willing to kill to keep their secrets. At the same time, as she watches a friend being lured back into a life of crime, sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option for Tiffany Fox.
Written by John Ridley
Pencils by Christian Duce and Eduardo Pansica
Inks by Christian Duce and Julio Ferreira
Cover Art by Rex Lokus and Christian Duce
Thoughts: Jace’s story arc has been consistently sub-par, and even worse since his trip to New York. Renee Montoya has been an important and relevant character since the beginning, so it only makes sense Jace would team up with Question. However, Renee in the role of commissioner severely hampers my positivity towards her character right now (I think her decision to take the job was out of character), and I’m not exactly excited to read this.
Batman News Critic: Jeremy
Future State: Gotham #17
It’s Bruce Wayne vs. Jace Fox vs. Dick Grayson vs. Damian Wayne vs. Hush for the right to call themselves Batman! While Jason Todd and Hunter Panic face off against Oracle and Talia! And whoever wins must face the return of a sinister evil that wants to destroy all of Gotham City! Don’t expect everyone to survive this!
Written by Dennis Culver
Pencils and Inks by Geoffo, Giannis Milonogiannis and Justin Greenwood
Cover Art by Simone Di Meo
Thoughts: I actually am excited for this! This gives me “Battle for the Cowl” vibes, one of my favourite stories when I was a kid.
Batman News Critic: Jackson
The Jurassic League #5
Darkseid has revealed himself, and the entire world trembles beneath his might. Can even the newly assembled Jurassic League stand a chance against this ankylosaur antagonist and his Legion of Doomasauria? Experience this prehistoric penultimate chapter to find out!
Written by Daniel Warren Johnson and Juan Gedeon
Pencils and Inks by Juan Gedeon
Colours by Mike Spicer
Cover Art by Daniel Warren Johnson and Mike Spicer
Batman News Critic: Cam
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 we have a few special cases: a couple of special comics for Batman Day, and a tie-in comic for the Flash movie! Much like the film, I really wasn’t sure this was still coming out.
Most Excited: The Jurassic League #5. Same reasons as all the other times I put it on most wanted! Please support more oddball content like this.
Least Excited: I Am Batman #13. Too much history with that book for me to truly enjoy it, even if it was great. Which it really isn’t.
Wild Card: Batman vs. Robin #1. First impressions could go either way. I hate the Bruce v Damian narrative, but I am happy to hear about a few of the guest appearances in this issue. Hoping for the best!
Best wishes, and see you in the reviews!
Author’s Twitter: @ObnoxiousFinch