Hello everyone and welcome back to Upcoming Comics! There are some interesting new titles starring up this week, along with Maps getting an anthology all to herself! This probably isn’t a hot a take as it used to be, but if we ever saw the Robin mantle really change again I would not be against Maps settling firmly into the role. Her brightness and attitude, plus familiarity with it would make her a fun fit. Though, before picking a new Robin, I’d just be happy to see our current two contenders settle down a bit and stop trading roles.
Alright, enough discussion let’s look at the comics themselves!
Batman The White Knight Presents: Generation Joker #1
Youth in revolt! Spinning out of the runaway hit Batman: Beyond the White Knight comes an unforgettable coming-of-age super villain tale starring the children of Harley Quinn and The Joker! When the rebellious twins run away in a stolen Batmobile, only Joker Jack Napier’s quickly fading hologram has any hope of getting them home safely and keeping them out of the family business. But a life of crime isn’t the only temptation young Bryce and Jackie are facing: the kids uncover a dark secret that could bring their dad back to life for good! With a wild array of Batman’s former enemies and allies on their tails, will the kids succeed in reviving the Dark Knight’s greatest foe? Find out as Jackie and Bryce take center stage in the White Knight Universe! Sean Murphy reunites with co-writers Katana Collins (Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn) and Clay McCormack (Batman: White Knight Presents: Red Hood) to bring fans the latest chapter of the White Knight story with the help of rising-star artist Mirka Andolfo (Sweet Paprika, Superman vs. Lobo).
- Written By: Katana Collins, Clay McCormack
- Pencils & Inks By: Mirka Andolfo
- Colors By: Alejandro Sanchez
- Cover By: Dave Stewart, Sean Gordon Murphy
Thoughts: It feels like they are really pushing the White Knight universe hard, though I guess if you’re a fan then more stories can’t hurt!
Batman News Critic: Jeremy
Multiversity: Harley Screws Up the DCU #3
Harley Quinn…and that OTHER Harley Quinn, well, they got a problem. Somehow, someway, one of these Harley Quinns rode off in baby Kal-El’s lil’ rocket ship before he could leave Krypton way back whenever that was. She also, just MAYBE, distracted Barry Allen before that lightning bolt could hit, and don’t get me started about all the other heroes. So now the whoooole DC Universe is all screwed up and these two HQs gotta figure out a way to put baby Supes back in the rocket before Krypton goes boom, Barry back in front of that lightning bolt, and stop that other Harley before…well, you get the picture. It’s going to be bananas.
- Written By: Frank Tieri
- Pencils, Inks, & Colors By: Logan Faerber
- Cover By: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti
Batman News Critic: Theresa
Spirit World #1
From the pages of Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate, a new Chinese hero emerges who’s able to travel to and from the Spirit World, the realm of the dead, and that of the living. Their name is Xanthe, and their superpower is being able to burn items folded from joss paper and immediately turn them into real objects, based on the East Asian practice of burning joss paper at graveyards in order to send resources to ancestors in the Spirit World…except Xanthe can retrieve those items in the world of the living! Their weapon of choice is a large broadsword (because who doesn’t love a big sword when you can choose to use a big sword?!). Xanthe is a master of the dark arts who’s here to give Constantine a run for his money…literally. When Constantine shows up saying Xanthe scammed him into buying something, he finds them and Batgirl Cass Cain fighting an abnormal influx of jiangshi (Chinese hopping vampires) and joins in to help. But when a portal opens up that drags Batgirl into the Spirit World, it’s up to Xanthe and Constantine to travel to the land of the spirits to rescue her! Who knows what other spirits we’ll find in the Spirit World-like that skateboarding boy wearing hanfu with some headphones and a gaping hole in his chest?!
- Written By: Alyssa Wong
- Pencils & Inks By: Haining
- Colors By: Sebastian Cheng
- Cover By: Haining
Thoughts: I’m normally a little cold on new characters, but Xanthe and their adventure alongside Constantine and Batgirl has piqued my interest simply because of the combination of cool powers and characters I already enjoy clashing to do something interesting.
Batman News Critic: Aaron
Gotham Academy: Maps of Mystery #1
Return to the beloved world of Gotham Academy with this one-shot, collecting acclaimed Gotham Academy back-up stories from Batman #119-#121, as breakout character Mia “Maps” Mizoguchi teaming teams Batman to search for a missing classmate! Plus, Gotham Academy: Maps of Mystery includes the Gotham Academy story from 2022 anthology DC’s Saved by the Belle Reve, by the original Gotham Academy series creative team, along with Karl Kerschl’s story from Batman Black and White #4! It’s all things Gotham Academy from the past two years in one issue, and exactly what fans of the series have been hoping for.
- Written By: Karl Kerschl, Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher
- Penciled By: Karl Kerschl, Jorge Molina,
- Colors By: Dave McCaig, John Rouch, Michele Assarasakorn
- Cover By: Karl Kerschl
Thoughts: Maps is one of those characters I love every time she shows up, and I’m excited to see some of her stories highlighted here!
Batman News Critic: Casper
Batman Incorporated #8
What’s Batman without the Joker? Why does Batman get to have Batmen all over the world, when Joker only has Gotham? Well, the end of Batman’s global monopoly is approaching. The Joker is here to disrupt his enterprise with the launch of Joker Incorporated! Australia gets a Joker! China gets a Joker! England gets a Joker! Australia gets a Joker! Argentina gets a Joker! France gets a Joker! Everyone gets a Joker!
- Written By: Ed Brisson
- Pencils & Inks: John Timms
- Colors By: Rex Lokus
- Cover By: John Timms
Thoughts: I already feel like there’s a lot of Batman in the world, but adding a Joker for every one? That’s too much.
Batman News Critic: Aaron
Batman: The Adventures Continue #5
The battle for Straightman’s mind concludes as Batman clashes with the Joker and the Suicide Squad! Can the Dark Knight free Straightman from the clutches of the Joker or will he be lost forever to the Clown Prince of Crime?
- Written By: Alan Burnett, Paul Dini
- Pencils & Inks By: Ty Templeton, Jordan Gibson
- Colors By: Monica Kubina
- Cover By: Scott Godlewski
Thoughts: With the way this arc has kind of waffled since it opened, I’m ready for the Straightman adventure to wrap up and Adventures Continue to try something new.
Batman News Critic: Jackson
Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #8
Batman’s facing his most fearsome foe: the ancient Bat Spirit! If this supernatural menace has his way, all other bats will be vanquished, leaving him to rule the world. Sounds like a job for Mystery Inc.! So why is Batman working with a new teen team?
- Written By: Sholly Fisch
- Pencils & Inks By: Dario Brizuela, Erich Owen
- Colors By: Franco Riesco, Erich Owen
- Cover By: Dario Brizuela, Franco Riesco
Batman News Critic: William
Beyond the Bat
Welcome back to Beyond the Bat! Here we’ll take a look at titles being published by DC that aren’t Batman centric. This week there’s quite a bit to look at from Green Lantern’s Dawn of DC debut to another Sandman entry.
Most Excited: Spirit World #1- I am intrigued by the combination of Constantine, Cassandra Cain, and Xanthe, it’s a curious mix of characters and I am excited to see how the story plays out.
Least Excited: Batman Incorporated #8- One Joker was enough, three was too many, and whatever this issue is promising is sure to be way way too many for me.
Wild Card: Batman The White Knight Presents: Generation Joker # 1- There has to be a reason this universe keeps turning, and the start of a new series could mean a really strong entry into the world. I hope fans enjoy it!
And that is it for this week’s Upcoming Comics! Let us know what you’re looking forward to this week, your general thoughts on Robin, how precious Maps is, if there are or aren’t too many Batmen and Jokers, and more down in the comments! And of course, see you in the reviews!