Happy New Year and welcome back to Upcoming Comics! I wanted to start out by first of all thanking the wonderful and amazing Nicholas Finch for his kind words in passing the torch over to me. Nick’s Upcoming Comics posts have always been something I’ve looked forward to, and I’ll do my best to continue the tradition of creating interesting, insightful, and enjoyable content for everyone going forward.
I am genuinely honored to have been asked to take over this article, and to be completely honest I’m a little nervous too. Ever since I stumbled on Batman News years and years ago I’ve loved reading through Josh, and then Nick’s opinions, thoughts, and general musings on all things comics for the week ahead. I’ve also loved looking through the comments and seeing what you, the readers, are excited for. What your thoughts are on the titles for that week, and generally seeing what the mood about comics is. It is my hope, and plan, to write Upcoming Comics in a way that continues to be an example of what I’ve loved seeing all these years.
To further that idea, I don’t plan on making any real changes to the format for the time being, especially as I get my sea legs creating these articles. I’m sure there will be some changes here or there as I figure out just what tone and flavor I want to bring to this staple of Batman News to make it something both similar and unique to me. And I hope that you’ll stick around as I do figure all that out, and continue to chat and share your thoughts, opinions, and musings in the comments.
For now though, let’s take a look at what this week has in store!
Gotham City has never been darker or deadlier. And after Failsafe, there is no Batman to save it. Can the fractured ghost that roams the streets survive? Whatever happened to the man known as…Bruce Wayne?
- Written By: Chip Zdarsky
- Penciled By: Mike Hawthorne, Miguel Mendonca
- Inks By: Adriano Di Benedetto, Miguel Mendonca
- Colors By: Tomeu Morey, Roman Stevens
- Cover By: Jorge Jiménez
Thoughts: I’m behind on Batman, but I’ve heard some pretty–wild stuff about it so far. Since it looks like the Failsafe arc is nearing its end, maybe it’s time to check out Zdarsky’s take on him.
Batman News Critic: Casper Rudolph
Gotham City: Year One #4
The new crime-noir classic rolls on! Slam Bradley’s search for the Wayne heiress takes a tragic, deadly turn and the simmering pot that is Gotham City is about to boil over! As the world falls apart around him, Slam must decide between justice and revenge-a choice that will echo down the generations and redefine both Gotham and Batman!
- Written By: Tom King
- Penciled By: Phil Hester
- Inks By: Eric Gapstur
- Colors By: Jordie Bellaire
- Cover By: Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur, Jordie Bellaire
Thoughts: I really enjoyed Tom King’s last jump into Batman with Killing Time, and I do enjoy a good Year One story, so this one might be up my alley too.
Batman News Critic: Jackson Luken
The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #4
Why did The Joker cross town? To get to the bottom of the mystery that has been haunting him: Who is the man pretending to be The Joker and what does he want? But every lead he follows is a dead end, and every move he makes brings the Red Hood one step closer to him. What happens when the former Clown Prince of Crime comes face-to-face with the current crime boss of Gotham? Everyone is dying to find out.
- Written By: Matthew Rosenberg
- Penciled By: Carmine Di Giandomenico, Francesco Francavilla
- Inks By: Carmine Di Giandomenico, Francesco Francavilla
- Colors By: Francesco Francavilla, Arif Prianto, Romulo Fajardo, Nick Filardi
- Cover By: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Batman News Critic: Theresa Campagna
Dark Knights of Steel #9
THE BESTSELLING SERIES CONTINUES! The opening battle for the Three Kingdoms takes a deadly and dramatic turn as heroes return…enemies are revealed…and dark secrets spill out like blood on the battlefield!
- Written By: Tom Taylor
- Pencils & Inks By: Yasmine Putri
- Colors By: Arif Prianto
- Cover By: Dan Mora
Batman News Critic: Aaron Ray Jr.
Sword of Azrael #6
ANGELS AT WAR! Brielle has embraced her violent destiny as the warrior angel Sariel, despite all of Azrael’s interventions. Azrael will once more have to raise his flaming sword and gauntlets in violence to see if Brielle’s soul can still be saved. If it can’t, Father Valley and the Poor Fellow’s full machinations will come to pass and the world will be damned. The epic conclusion of Sword of Azrael is here!
- Written By: Dan Watters
- Penciled By: Nikola Cizmesija
- Inks By: Nikola Cizmesija
- Colors By: Marissa Louise
- Cover By: Nikola Cizmesija, Romulo Fajardo
Batman News Critic: William Martin
Poison Ivy #8
Poison Ivy’s adventure in fracking comes to an emotional head when the return of an old friend forces our verdant villain to confront the very real, very human costs of her actions. Will Ivy turn over a new leaf or is she sticking to her plan?
- Written By: G. Willow Wilson
- Pencils & Inks By: Atagun Ilhan
- Colors By: Arif Prianto, Ivan Plascencia
- Cover By: Jessica Fong
Batman News Critic: Theresa Campagna
Beyond the Bat
Wow, there are so few not Batman–Oh. There are no comics totally unrelated to Batman this week, just one we’re not covering.
An all Batman line up for the first week of 2023 really says something about DC’s priorities doesn’t it? I love Batman and his ever growing family, I really do.,but I would also like to see a few more heroes take the spotlight this year.
Most Excited: Sword of Azrael #6. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this series, so I’m excited to see how it all wraps up now that it’s at the end.
Least Excited: The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #4. We all know how I feel about the Joker. And with the way his last series wrapped up…well let’s just say I have no desire to check out any of his titles for a while.
Wild Card: Batman #131. From what I’ve read of and heard about the Failsafe arc, I’m genuinely interested to see how things turn out this issue, even if those things are weird. Or wild. Or just downright out there.
Alright! That’s it for my first Upcoming Comics article. Again, I am really excited to have the chance to tackle this article as a whole, and I hope you all stick with me as I settle in, and find a good groove alongside you, and DC’s never ending slate of comics.
Happy New Year!