Hello and welcome back to Upcoming Comics!
Now that we’ve had some time to actually settle into the new year, I hope everyone is finding their stride in 2023. The new year often brings with it the idea of fresh starts, resolutions, and tossing out the old to replace it with something new. While in recent years I haven’t been all that good at taking advantage of that particular idea, I feel like I’ve really started out strong this year. I’ve managed to read a couple books, get some personal writing done, and get back on track with my daily Japanese practice. While none of these are resolutions, they are me deciding to dive into a new year and get back into some good habits.
I hope you’ve done the same. And if not, I want you to know there’s still time to start fresh, try something new, or just jump back into good habits you might have dropped! Just because you haven’t stuck to that New Year’s Resolution (or avoided making one altogether) doesn’t mean you can’t do something positive for yourself now.
With my somewhat sappy introduction out of the way, lets take a look at the comics that we’ll be reading this week.
Batman: Urban Legends #23
The final issue of the landmark anthology series is here! Jamal Campbell’s epic Nightwing two-parter draws to a close. Batman has to defeat the Time Commander to get the Waynes back to their time. The first graduating class of Arkham Academy decides their fate and future course! And in a flashback story to the beginning of Dick Grayson’s tenure as Robin, he has to save Batman’s life.
- Written By: Joey Esposito, Dennis Culver, Jamal Campbell, Kenny Porter
- Penciled By: Vasco Georgiev, Hayden Sherman, Simone Di Meo
- Inks By: Jamal Campbell, Vasco Georgiev, Hayden Sherman, Simone Di Meo
- Colors By: Simone Di Meo, Adriano Lucas, Alex Guimarães, Jordie Bellaire
- Cover By: Nikola Cizmesija
Thoughts: As with all anthologies, there have been stories in Batman: Buran Legends I enjoyed quite a bit, and some I wasn’t so keen on. That said, it’s been a great chance for various creative teams to tell a variety of stories, and I’ll be sad to see it go.
Batman News Critic: Cam
Lazarus Planet: Alpha #1
CHANGE THE WORLD. Following the explosive (literally) events of Batman vs. Robin #4, the Lazarus Volcano has erupted, spewing dangerous and transformative chemicals into Earth’s atmosphere! As these Lazarus clouds rain down upon the planet, people across the globe begin to develop strange new abilities, watch their already-extraordinary abilities change, and witness a whole host of chaos unlike anything the DCU has experienced before! It’s up to Damian Wayne to put out the distress call for whoever can still hear it: come to the ruins of the Hall of Justice and help save the world! Poison Ivy, Power Girl, Cyborg, Batman, and more answer the call…but why could the fate of all life as we know it rest in the hands of…Monkey Prince?
- Written By: Mark Waid, Gene Luen Yang
- Pencils & Inks By: Riccardo Federici, Billy Tan
- Colors By: Brad Anderson, Sebastian Cheng
- Cover By: David Marquez, Alejandro Sanchez
Thoughts: One would imagine that I’d be interested in the Lazarus Planet titles with how much I enjoy Damian Wayne as a character. Unfortunately, I haven’t been too gripped by his latest adventures and there’s little about this event that really has me super excited.
Batman News Critic: Aaron
Batman & Joker: Deadly Duo #3
The Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime’s alliance started off shaky, but now it seems to have shattered entirely. Batman has imprisoned The Joker in the Batcave, desperate to find answers about both the disappearance of Jim Gordon and the strange, genetically modified humanoid monsters gathering severed heads across Gotham. But when one of these monsters’ tissue samples comes to life, Batman comes face-to-face with a creature even the World’s Greatest Detective doesn’t fully understand, and he may have no choice but to resume his partnership with his greatest enemy.
- Written By: Marc Silvestri
- Pencils & Inks By: Marc Silvestri
- Colors By: Arif Prianto
- Cover By: Marc Silvestri, Arif Prianto
Batman News Critic: William
I Am Batman #17
Following the shattering revelations of the previous issue, Jace must set aside his renewed bitterness toward his father and go save his mother. But Jace doesn’t go it alone. Ready or not, Tiff steps up as New York’s newest hero.
- Written By: John Ridley
- Penciled By: Christian Duce, Eduardo Pansica
- Inks By: Christian Duce, Julio Ferreira
- Colors By: Rex Lokus
- Cover By: Christian Duce, Rex Lokus
Batman News Critic: Jeremy
Batman Incorporated #4
Batman Inc. have been defeated. Ghost-Maker is on his own and finds himself in the crosshairs of a friend turned foe as more secrets are exposed and Phantom-One’s plans are finally revealed! Has Ghost-Maker been outmaneuvered…has student truly become master? You won’t want to miss the thrilling penultimate issue of “No More Teachers.”
- Written By: Ed Brisson
- Pencils & Inks By: John Timms
- Colors By: Rex Lokus
- Cover By: John Timms
Batman News Critic: Aaron
Batman: The Adventures Continue Season Three #1
Alan Burnett and Paul Dini return once more to the world of Batman: The Animated Series! Someone is targeting the Muscle now that he’s locked up in Blackgate Penitentiary. With his deep ties to the criminal underbelly of Gotham, the worst villains are calling for his head before he turns them over to the police! Batman will need to protect him, but can even the Dark Knight figure out where the next attack will come from?
- Written By: Alan Burnett, Paul Dini
- Pencils & Inks By: Jordan Gibson
- Colors By: Monica Kubina
- Cover By: Kevin Nowlan
Thoughts: While I’ve been shaky on my enjoyment of some of the stories to come out of The Adventures Continue, that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in more, and I’m hopeful that season three will be fun!
Batman News Critic: Jackson
Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #4
Batman can’t be everywhere at once, so when a ghostly problem in Gotham resurfaces in nearby Beach City, the Scooby gang gets to play tourist. But when the action turns spooky, they need the Dark Knight to hit the beach with them!
- Written By: Amanda Deibert
- Pencils & Inks By: Scott Jeralds
- Colors By: Carrie Strachan
- Cover By: Scott Jeralds, Carrie Strachan
Thoughts: Do you want to guess what one of the most popular Batman titles is at the library I work for? Batman and Scooby-Doo of course. They’re seconded only by our Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles books for checkout. Which means they’ve got to be doing something right.
Batman News Critic: William
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.
After last week’s lack of non-Bat related content, it’s nice to see a more robust roster this week! And it’s a nice variety too, between Wonder Woman –featuring my beloved Yora– to some Black Label titles as well. Speaking of which, the cover for Human Target this week is an absolute delight. There’s just something about that aesthetic that appeals to me specifically, in a fun nostalgic kind of way. From the colors, to the font, and the tiny little star details it all works together really well and makes me smile to look at.
Most Excited: Batman: Urban Legends #23- While I’m sad to see the series end, I am really excited to see how it wraps up the remaining stories it has to tell. And that promise of a Robin era Dick Grayson story is always something to get me excited.
Least Excited: Batman Incorporated #4- The premise of “student becoming the master” feels far too overdone as a plotline in general. Added to the fact that it’s a Ghostmaker story, and I have zero emotional connection to him at all makes this a big pass for me.
Wild Card: Batman: The Adventures Continue Season Three #1- Like I said in my thoughts on the title in general, this series could really go either way and with a new start to a season I’m hoping it’ll swing for the best.
That’s all for this week! Again, I hope you all are having a good January. Let me know what you think of New Year’s Resolutions, and if you’ve decided to settle on any this year! And don’t forget to let me know what you’re excited for or skipping this week!