The cover of Batman #107 offers the best look yet of artist Jorge Jimenez's new Scarecrow design (assuming that is the Scarecrow; this month's solicit doesn't name him, though the previous month's did). I kinda like it; it's takes elements from several other, previous designs and remixes them in a new and interesting way. His particular design looks incredibly, surprisingly Japanese. I'm...not entirely sure how I feel about Jonathan Crane's new long, glossy hair though...
It doesn't say so in the solicitation text, but according to a story in The Hollywood Reporter, this is actually a 12-issue maxi-series rather than a new ongoing, and while Ivan Cohen will write and Dario Brizuela will draw this first issue, later issues will be written by Team-Up's Sholly Fisch and drawn by Randy Elliott.
This will mark the first time in forever that I'll be adding a new comic to my pull-list.
Now I just have to decide if I want to borrow the collection from the library, or buy it for for my own bookshelf...
Tom Taylor and Andy Kubert are launching a new Batman title, and DC has decided to give it the least imaginative name they possibly could, short of perhaps Yet Another Batman Comic—Batman: The Dark Knight.
Making the title seem even more pointlessly confusing, given how many other comics there are with that title already in existence, it's a six-issue miniseries. I mean, I could read the solicit, which mentions a tragedy in the United Kingdom and a hunt for a new villain called Equilibrium, and think of a better title—Batman: Equilibrium. At the very least, that way one wouldn't confuse the book with any of the trade collections from the 2011-2014 Batman: The Dark Knight ongoing series, or any of the many Dark Knight Returns-related books (one of which is drawn by Andy Kubert!).
No mention in the full solicit as to why Batman's wearing his outfit from the unintelligible flashback sequence from Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
I feel like I've quite recently re-read all of these, so I am assuming they were collected in Norm Breyfogle-focused collections, but the most noteworthy issues here are probably the four-issue arc in which Tim Drakes' parents are kidnapped by The Obeah Man and Batman goes to rescue them...and is only partially successful, as Tim's mom is killed and Tim's father is left in a coma. This is a pretty pivotal point in Tim's journey to officially becoming Robin.
There's also a Catman and Catwoman story, a Joker story and a trio of done-in-one issues of the type that this creative team excelled at. The annual is written by Archie Goodwin and drawn by Dan Jurgens and Dick Giordano, and is the only part of this trade I haven't already read multiple times, but I'll probably buy this anyway, I so enjoy it and its sister series, The Caped Crusader. I hope DC keeps publishing these until they reach "Knightfall" or so.
I can't imagine many—any?—comics fan who wouldn't already own 2001's Bizarro Comics and 2005's Bizarro World, as the premise of both is universally appealing. They are basically short, usually funny comics starring DC's heroes and villains by the greatest comics creators in the world (although I'm sure it was sold as DC heroes by "alternative" creators, even though said creators were only really "alternative" by the standards of DCU comics). The first one has a fantastic DeStefano-drawn framing story set partially in the Fifth Dimension that I adore; in addition to drawing great imps, Thunderbolts and the best Bizarro, DeStefano draws a heck of a Steel and Big Barda, too.
Anyway, if for some reason you don't already own these, Bizarro Comics: The Deluxe Edition puts them both together for a $50, 430-page hard cover, and you should buy it.
The Mariko Tamaki-written comic is followed by a Tamaki-written, Clayton Henry-drawn back-up called "The Huntress and The Hunted" starring the—get this—"Gotham's own Violet Vengeance." Has The Huntress ever been called that before...?
Flash/Impulse: Runs In The Family is a $35, 375-page collection of Flash #108-111 and the first dozen issues of Impulse. I like the character quite a bit, but I've actually never read any of these, and am sorely tempted to purchase this. The Impulse issues are all written by Mark Waid, and even when that guy's at his worst, he tends to be better-than-average, and I'm a fan of artist Humberto Ramos' work.
On the other hand, $35 strikes me as kind of steep for a book I'm not 100% sure I'll like, and DC launched a bunch of series of collections of '90s comics I was interested in—Peter David and company's Aquaman, Jim Balent and various writers' Catwoman, Birds of Prey, Robin, Superboy, Ron Marz, Daryl Banks and company's Green Lantern starring Kyle Rayner—only to rather suddenly abandon them after a volume or three or six, so I can't imagine we'll get a complete Impulse or anything (Of course, eventually Ethan Van Sciver becomes the regular Impulse artist around issue #50, so we probably shouldn't get the complete Impulse collected in trade, because who wants that guy getting royalties?)
That's a really fun cover. Check out the look on Guy's face.
The solicitation mentions the newly formed United Planets, a conceit from The Legion of Super-Heroes milieu, and its entry into the modern DCU is interesting, although I guess Brian Michael Bendis initiated that during his Superman run.
All of those characters were on the cover of the previous issue, and seemed to be the new Justice League line-up. So it looks like it will take more than one issue for Bendis to assemble his
The Next Batman: Second Son #1 by Ridley and three (?) different artists will tell the origin story of Tim Fox, the next Batman. (Wait, Tim Fox? In addition to there already being a son of Lucius Fox's on Team Batman, there's already a young man named Tim on Team Batman.)
They should really lose the face-shield covering up the skin-color of the character in the bat-suit pretty quickly, right? Like, is there a good reason to hide the fact that the first Black Batman is a Black guy?
I'm not excited to see Ra's al fucking Ghul on the cover, though; in addition to being sick of the character in general, I fell like we've covered the hell out of the fact that Damian is Ra's grandson and Talia's son already, and we don't really need to see it addressed for the seventeenth time in the comics. But hey, that's just me.
I'm curious how DC intends to collect the back-ups, if these "Tales of Metropolis" will be in the back of a Superman trade paperback, or if they will be collected separately under that title. I hope the latter, as they'll otherwise likely fuck up the flow of the main story in trade collections.
That's a pretty cool chimera on the cover of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #109. It's drawn by Deark Fridolfs, who also writes this particular issue.