Hello and welcome back to Upcoming Comics!
This week I’ve been thinking a lot about how I anticipate stories and how that can change my view of a book or comic. I know there’s been a number of books I was excited for by premise alone that haven’t exactly become the book all my imaginings wanted it to be. There are other books I wasn’t initially thrilled about that I found myself pleasantly surprised by, like Williamson’s Robin. Much of this surprise came from me trying hard to figure out just what the book would be about, and what to expect from it. And by the time I got my hands on it, my whole opinion had been made without even looking at the product. Sometimes this colored how I read the book, and others it didn’t.
As a kind of experiment, I’ve been trying something new with the books I pick up: reading based on recommendation, or a very brief glance at the summary. This builds little in the way of true expectation for a book, beyond the hope that I will enjoy it. This almost blind approach to reading has been an interesting way to read, and I’ve found it makes reading all the more fun. Instead of waiting on the narrative to do X, Y, or Z based on what I was promised, or who was writing it, I can allow it to flow and take me with it. Yes, I still have expectations for how stories should work, and how tropes balance out, but I’m less frustrated by things I’ve built up in my own mind about the title.
I’m not saying this is how you should or shouldn’t approach reading or comics, or that building expectations is bad. I’m not even saying that going in mostly blind will make a bad title good. However, I have found it to be freeing to explore reading in this way, instead of being so deeply focused on all the what if scenarios my mind is apt to create.
What about you? How do you approach new comics, books, or other media? Do you find yourself surprised reading a title after expecting something totally different? Have you ever tried diving in to a story totally blind? Let me know in the comments!
While you’re thinking about those questions, let’s take a look at what this week has to offer!
The Batgirls fall down a rabbit hole of mischief and wonder in their journey to find out who sent Cluemaster to kidnap his own daughter, Steph. But first, there’s a bottle that says “Drink me,” and it should be perfectly safe to drink, right? Even if it looks like it’s been laced with Langstrom serum?
- Written By: Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad
- Penciled By: Neil Googe
- Colors By: Rico Renzi
- Cover By: Jorge Corona, Sarah Stern
Thoughts: This pitch sounds wacky and fun with Mad Hatter and Man-Bat elements, I just hope it actually is enjoyable and not too chaotic.
Batman News Critic: Matina
Batman Incorporated #6
Someone has stolen from Professor Pyg, and he’s ready to burn down Gotham to get his property back. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone will pay. With Batman gone, Batman Incorporated must return to Gotham before the city is nothing more than ashes.
- Written By: Ed Brisson
- Pencils & Inks By: Michele Bandini
- Colors By: Rex Lokus
- Cover By: John Timms
Thoughts: Pyg is one of those villains I like to see get punched in the face but I don’t like to see in general. So here’s to Batman Inc. making swift work of him.
Batman News Critic: Aaron
Batman Adventures Continue #3
The Joker’s right-hand man, Straightman, isn’t quite feeling himself lately. He keeps experiencing moments…flashbacks…of a life he doesn’t remember. After a recent run-in with the Clown Prince and his stoic enforcer, Batman starts to unravel the man’s past, but it lands him smack dab in the crosshairs of Amanda Waller and Task Force X!
- Written By: Alan Burnett, Paul Dini
- Pencils & Inks By: Ty Templeton, Jordan Gibson
- Colors By: Monica Kubina
- Cover By: Baldemar Rivas
Thoughts: I like the idea of looking at a Joker adjacent character, rather than the clown himself. Anytime a story focuses on one of Gotham’s less examined characters it has my interest.
Batman News Critic: Jackson
Multiversity: Harley Screws Up the DCU #1
Harley’s back in Coney for a long-overdue reunion with old friends, old haunts, and…an old time machine? You heard right! A mysterious benefactor has left Harley a time machine, and after giving it about a half second of thought, she decides to take it for a joyride. What could go wrong, right? Funny you should ask. Turns out a quick trip through time can screw up a few things…namely, the entire DC Universe!
- Written By: Frank Tieri
- Pencils, Inks & Colors By: Logan Faerber
- Cover By: Amanda Conner
Thoughts: Honestly this sounds like it could be a lot of fun, with some wacky time shenanigans.
Batman News Critic: Theresa
The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #6
Batman calls upon his friends in Mystery Inc. for help-and he’s shocked that this time, they refuse! It’s no secret that they’ve become quite the crime-fighting team, and powerful foes are starting to team up against them. What fate does the fortune teller see, and will they solve the riddle in time to save the day?
- Written By: Ivan Cohen
- Art & Cover By: Erich Owen
Batman News Critic: William
Justice Society of America #3
Huntress’s journey to save the Justice Society of America lands her smack dab in the middle of the 1940s at the birth of the team! Can Huntress and the present-day JSA work together long enough to figure out how to stop the strike on the ’40s team?!
- Written By: Geoff Johns
- Pencils By: Mikel Janin, Jerry Ordway
- Inks By: Mikel Janin, Jerry Ordway
- Colors By: Jordie Bellaire
- Cover By: Mikel Janin
Batman News Critic: Cam
Beyond the Bat
Welcome back to Beyond the Bat! This is where we take a look at non-Bat titles being released by DC this week. Superman Lost is dropping this week, and we’ve got another Lazarus Planet title coming out. I feel like the Lazarus Planet titles should be more on my radar than they actually are, since it is supposed to be impacting huge swaths of characters, but I can’t help but wonder how deep that impact actually will be.
Most Excited: Batman Adventures Continue #3- As I said in my thoughts on this title, I like it when stories explore lesser looked at characters, and a henchmen story could be really interesting.
Least Excited: Batgirls #16- Batgirls hasn’t done a whole lot to win me back in it’s past few issues, so while I hope it can bounce back, it’s not something I’m really excited about.
Wild Card: Multiversity: Harley Screws Up DC #1– This could be a wild, exciting, time adventure, or it could be really chaotic. With Harley, you never really know until you pick up the book and explore.
That’s all for this week! Don’t forget to let me know what you’re looking forward to in the comments. And see you in the reviews!