Hello everyone and welcome back to Upcoming Comics! It seems to be conference season as I know a good many people getting back from, and heading out to different conferences this week. I myself just attended a library conference where I got to network, learn, and collect more books than I know what to do with.
I got to meet some authors and graphic novel artists, and attend sessions where graphic novels were discussed. It reminded me just how important comics and graphic novels are to readers of all ages. Being a reviewer, it’s easy to get deep into focusing on the highs and lows of weekly comics publishing, to forget how these stories come together as a whole, and how they impact readers over time rather than in the moment. They can be used to inspire young minds to both be creative, and called to action. To find themselves within the pages of a book and to be empowered to move forward in a constantly changing world. This is the same for older readers too, comics are a powerful tool and a wonderful delight for all who read them.
So for this introduction I want to pause and thank writers, illustrators, colorists, letterers, editors, and everyone who has a hand in making comics and graphic novels. Whether you’ve published or you’re working on something now, I want to thank and encourage you. The work you do, and the stories you put out will find an audience. Big or little, old or young, the stories you tell are important. Please keep up the good work.
Detective Comics #1071
Shoes a.k.a Cheshire Cat continues to prowl the tunnels of Gotham looking for answers of her past, and when she runs into a horde of Azmer underneath the city…she makes an unlikely friend who was born on a Monday. Meanwhile, the Orgham’s long running ties with the League of Assassins is revealed by Talia Al Ghul, and the truths of their relationship affects both Batman and Bruce Wayne. Then, in the backup, Mr. Freeze continues his interrogation of Dr. Mead (or as he calls it, his “research”) regarding how to “fix” Nora so that she’ll return to him as Mrs. Fries and love him again.
- Written By: Ram V, Simon Spurrier
- Penciled By: Dexter Soy, Ivan Reis
- Inks By: Dexter Soy, Caspar Wijngaard, Danny Miki
- Colors By: Caspar Wijngaard, Brad Anderson
- Cover By: Evan Cagle
Thoughts: There are aspects of this run that have started to wear on me, but I am interested in finally learning a few more details about the Orghams.
Batman News Critic: Matina
The Riddler: Year One #4
After a shocking discovery that unleashes a primal scream, we are sent back into Edward Nashton’s past. Like drifting through a nightmare, we experience Edward’s traumatic upbringing, beginning with with an abandoned baby howling on the steps of the Gotham Orphanage. Through the filter of Edward’s memories, we experience his brutal past, but also learn about a once-possible hope-a hope that was dashed and that led to his lifelong obsession with and hatred of Thomas Wayne. Actor Paul Dano (The Batman) and artist Stevan Subic continue the origin of the Riddler, leading up to his appearance in Matt Reeves’s epic film.
- Written By: Paul Dano
- Pencils, Inks, & Colors By: Stevan Subic
- Cover By: Bill Sienkiewicz
Thoughts: I haven’t really picked up this series, but I can see how it would be interesting to learn a little more about Edward’s past and how he ended up the character we see in The Batman.
Batman News Critic: Nick
Tim Drake: Robin #8
Who’s ready for a Bat-team-up for the ages? Batwoman shows up at the Gotham Marina with a mystery only the world’s best Robin could solve. Together, Robin and Batwoman will help each other…or die trying.
- Written By: Meghan Fitzmartin
- Pencils & Inks By: Nikola Cizmesija
- Colors By: Lee Loughridge
- Cover By: Ricardo López Ortiz, Dan Panosian
Thoughts: With just a couple issues to go of this series, I’m hoping that the last few will be fun reads. A Robin and Batwoman team up could be just that.
Batman News Critic: Jeremy
Harley Quinn #29
This just in, ya gal’s been cursed! And now she’s gotta use magic and travel the Multiverse and deal with…cartoon fish and higher beings? What in the Earth-6 is going on?! Not to mention, I still got my court-mandated community service, and Two-Face and his goons just won’t leave ya girl alone. Someone’s gotta teach ’em a lesson-and I’m not just sayin’ that cuz I’m a professor! Also featuring another very special in-continuity dream of Harley Quinn as told by the two individuals who know me bestest of all…my hyenas, Bud and Lou!
- Written By: Tini Howard, Adam Warren
- Penciled By: Adam Warren, Sweeney Boo
- Inks By: Adam Warren, Sweeney Boo
- Colors By: Sweeney Boo, Alejandro Sanchez
- Cover By: Sweeney Boo
Thoughts: I feel like there are a lot of multiverse stories going on right now…especially with Harley in them. As much as I love Spiderverse, I think I’m equally a little burnt out on everyone trying to capture that magic or even just taking their own stab at the idea.
Batman News Critic: Trade Wait
Beyond the Bat
Welcome to Beyond the Bat where we take a look at titles DC is publishing that are outside the Batman titles. This week Green Arrow has a new number 1 coming out piloted by Williamson and with it looking family oriented I might have to check it out. I can’t help but be interested whenever he does something family related, he seems to enjoy exploring those topics and I’d like to see how he does it with these characters.
Most Excited: Detective Comics #1071- Even being a little frustrated by the pacing, Detective Comics is still a series I look forward to picking up every month. The backups always have me intrigued, and I keep waiting for the main title to unroll all it’s secrets.
Least Excited: The Riddler: Year One #4- It’s probably evident by now I’m not the biggest fan of stories focused on the villains, and for me the Riddler was The Batman’s weakest aspect, leaving me almost totally uninterested in further exploration.
Wild Card: Tim Drake: Robin #8- With this series wrapping up, I can’t help but wonder if Fitzmartin might throw in an aspect or two we’re not expecting, and I can’t help but put this into the Wild Card slot for that very reason.
And that’s all for this week’s upcoming comics! Let me know what you’re looking forward to, what you are skipping, and other thoughts on the line up. Until then, have a great weekend! Upcoming Comics April 25, 2023