February is the shortest month of the year and interestingly it also brings the lowest number of Bat-Books that TBU has covered in years. While there is less than usual, there are still a couple of surprises in store for Bat-Fans in February.
The biggest story taking place in February is probably the fact that Batman and Flash will be crossing over for each of the series’ two issues for the month. The story, titled “The Last Cold Case”, will deal with the fallout of the events of Heroes in Crisis while dealing with a cold case from the Justice League’s past. Also worth noting is that Joshua Williamson will be writing all four issues of the crossover while Tom King takes the month off.
Update (11/20): Tom King has stated that he took the two issues off to work on a secret TV project. While he planned on working with Williamson on the crossover initially, the project came up and Williamson stepped in so King could lend his focus elsewhere for a few weeks. He also stated that he still plans on accomplishing his one hundred issues of Batman by adding more to his already planned run. He said that while his main story will wrap in #100, he will stay on until #105, saying it will be enough issues to have an epilogue of sorts and be long enough for a trade.
Some other highlights from the month include some characters reappearing that haven’t been seen. Jason Blood will be appearing in Detective Comics #998 which will lead to Detective Comics #1000 coming in March. A character that I’m not personally, sure anyone was asking for a return from, Joker’s Daughter will be coming to Nightwing #57. James Gordon Jr., who was last seen in Batgirl a few months back, will be appearing in The Batman Who Laughs ironically with the same creative team that brought him into main continuity before The New 52 during Black Mirror in Detective Comics.
When mentioned earlier about having less than normal issues, I wanted to put that into perspective for a moment. As of February, three different miniseries have wrapped (Archie Meets Batman ’66, Batman: Creature of the Night, Batman: Kings of Fear) from the previous month and another two miniseries (Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams, Old Lady Harley) are wrapping in February. Suicide Squad had its final issue in January and no new series has been announced yet. Young Justice kicked off in January, but we at TBU removed Titans from our coverage after the events of Nightwing #50 took Dick out of the title for good. Also, both Harley Quinn and Nightwing went from double-shipping every month to only have one issue. It is difficult to get an exact comparison since month to month things shift from the release schedule. But it certainly feels like there are fewer titles.
Also worth noting that there seems to be no new digital-first series releasing. While Scooby-Doo Team-Up is released in chapters online, no new Teen Titans Go! issues are solicited for February and Injustice 2 vs Masters of the Universe wrapped in January. Injustice 2 wraps this month with an annual and it seems the prior focus by DC to have digital-first series is no longer the case.
Not a ton of huge creator changes, but Dan Abnett is one Justice League Odyessy, but that is unknown if he is just filling in while Williamson covers Batman for the crossover or if it is a permanent change.
Finally, there are only a few appearances from TBU characters in other titles. The Deathstroke story in Arkham continues and Leviathan starts to make a bigger role in the DC Universe with appearances in Action Comics and The Silencer. Maybe DC feels like the rest of the line is stronger and the overabundance of TBU characters and series isn’t currently needed? We’ll see.
Check out the gallery of some of the covers coming in February and the full details on the releases below. Let us know which books you are the most excited for this month!
BATMAN #64-65 [02/06, 02/20] Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON, art by GUILLEM MARCH; #64 & #65: “THE LAST COLD CASE” (parts one and three) The two greatest detectives in the DC Universe take on the one cold case that will tear them apart! As chief architect of the Sanctuary program that cost so much for so many, especially Wally West, Batman will be held accountable…by the Flash! A cold case from the Justice League’s past has mysteriously re-opened, and Batman and the Flash—the only two heroes who stand a chance of cracking the case—are at each other’s throats! Our heroes must combat a demon from the past while burying their own inner demons in the process…and neither the World’s Greatest Detective nor the Fastest Man Alive will ever be the same again! But who is really pulling the strings here? And how does Gotham Girl fit into all this? Friendships will be tested and blood will be spilled in this titanic crossover event. $3.99, 32 PAGES
DETECTIVE COMICS #998-999 [02/13, 02/27] Written by PETER J. TOMASI, art by DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA; #998: Batman’s tried everything on Earth to stop the menace hunting his friends and family…now it’s time to turn to things not of this Earth! In the past, whenever Batman’s encountered the supernatural, he’s turned to Jason Blood for guidance—and to Etrigan, the demonic entity living inside him! But securing their help is never simple, and what Blood has to show him will shake Batman to his core! #999: The truth behind the gauntlet Batman has been forced to run—a violent odyssey that endangered the lives of everyone who made him who he is—is revealed at last…and the mastermind working to unmake the Batman must be seen to be believed! Is there a goal here beyond destruction? Will Batman emerge stronger…or with a mortal wound at the exact moment that his most dangerous challenge yet is on the horizon in next month’s DETECTIVE COMICS #1000? $3.99, 32 PAGES
BATMAN/THE MAXX: ARKHAM DREAMS #5 [02/27] Written and art by Sam Kieth; The secret of Dr. Disparu is revealed and all Hell breaks loose as The Joker, Harley, Penguin, and more run amok in Arkham in the dead of night. Meanwhile, Julie (as the Jungle Queen), Maxx and Batman return to the Outback to confront a surrealistic hurricane of Gotham’s-and Batman’s-deadliest villains! $4.99, 36 PAGES, 5 of 5
THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #3 [02/13] Written by SCOTT SNYDER, art by JOCK; All the pieces are starting to fit together as the Batman Who Laughs acquires another key element in his plan—one that is linked to the founding fathers of Gotham City and to a legacy started by the Wayne family and protected by none other than Oswald Cobblepot. While the Penguin goes head-to-head with the darkest version of his mortal enemy, Batman is forced to compromise his principles and purge the serum that protects his heart from the deadly Joker Toxin! It’s a no-win situation as writer Scott Snyder and artist Jock return to the sociopath they created in “Black Mirror”: James Gordon Jr. $4.99, 32 PAGES, 3 of 6
BATGIRL #32 [02/27] Written by MAIRGHREAD SCOTT, art by PAUL PELLETIER and NORM RAPMUND; Coming to you live from Gotham City! The people’s-choice congressional candidate Luciana Alejo is all set to give a televised interview that could secure her victory, but the Cormorant is ready to silence her for good. Can Batgirl protect the candidate without making her alter ego, Barbara Gordon, lose her campaign job in the process? $3.99, 32 PAGES
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #3 [02/20] Written by BRYAN HILL, art by DEXTER SOY; In their first encounter with the powerful maniac who’s pursuing runaway meta-human Sofia Barrera, Black Lightning and the Outsiders were absolutely humbled. Does everyone on this team have what it takes? Or did Batman make a catastrophic mistake when he entrusted them with Sofia’s life? $3.99, 32 PAGES
BATMAN BEYOND #29 [02/27] Written by DAN JURGENS, art by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND; The Joker is prepared to deliver his fatal punchline as everything—and the kitchen sink, too—hits the fan for Batman and Robin. Even with Dick Grayson’s help, the Dynamic Duo of tomorrow and Bruce Wayne may not stand a chance. Will The Joker turn Terry’s brother into the new Jason Todd? Is now a good time for Terry and Bruce to clash? And why are Neo-Gothamites cheering on the Clown Prince? Will anyone survive “The Final Joke”? $3.99, 32 PAGES
CATWOMAN #8 [02/13] Written by JOELLE JONES, art by ELENA CASAGRANDE; What is it that they say about house-guests and bad fish? How they both start to stink after a couple of days? Well, Oswald Cobblepot has been hanging around Catwoman’s new city, and Selina Kyle has been holding her nose for far too long. It’s time to send the Penguin packing! I mean, the guy smelled like fish even before he arrived. $3.99, 32 PAGES
DEATHSTROKE #40 [02/06] Written by CHRISTOPHER PRIEST, art by FERNANDO PASARIN and JASON PAZ; Deathstroke’s son Jericho breaks into Arkham Asylum in an effort to free him, but Slade Wilson is caught up in his own conflict with the return of Dev—a.k.a. “Death Masque”—and the realization that his hallucinatory trip into outer space may have been more real than previously advertised! Meanwhile, Two-Face has Rose dead to rights—is there anyone left to save her? $3.99, 32 PAGES
HARLEY QUINN #58 [02/06] Written by SAM HUMPHRIES, art by JOHN TIMMS; Implicated in a crime she didn’t commit, Harley Quinn must prove her innocence by teaming up with the Caped Crusader himself—Batman! But can the Clown Princess of Crime and the Dark Knight coexist long enough to solve a murder? Or will the two frenemies end up being the death of each other? $3.99, 32 PAGES
NIGHTWING #57 [02/20] Written by SCOTT LOBDELL, art by TRAVIS MOORE; Destiny…fate…predetermined inevitability… these are all things that Ric Grayson has struggled to reconcile now that he has been given a second chance at life. A life recently unburdened with years of trauma, defeat and struggle when the hero known as Nightwing was shot in the head. Now, Ric must come to terms with who he is, and what kind of hero he wants to be…if he wants to be one at all. And while Ric is content to walk away from the mantle, one woman has been hiding in the shadows, waiting to solidify an identity of her own…an identity tied for all eternity to the clown price of crime…enter The Joker’s Daughter! $3.99, 32 PAGES
OLD LADY HARLEY #5 [02/27] Written by FRANK TIERI, art by INAKI MIRANDA; Harley’s worst nightmare has come true: The Joker is reborn! But is there one more card to turn over? Is the killer behind that smile the man she loved, hated, loved and lost…or something even more deadly and devastating? Harley’s future world will be torn apart in this issue—don’t miss it! $3.99, 32 PAGES, 5 of 5
RED HOOD: OUTLAW #31 [02/13] Written by SCOTT LOBDELL, art by PETE WOODS; Red Hood and Arsenal began this investigation of the Underlife together in Beijing, and this is where it ends: in an abandoned prison in Mexico. With Roy Harper having passed, Jason Todd finds himself teamed with an ally he couldn’t have imagined—Wingman! (But wait—wasn’t Jason the face beneath Wingman’s mask in BATMAN INCORPORATED?!) When it is all over, Red Hood arrives at a conclusion that will shake the streets of Gotham City…forever? $3.99, 32 PAGES
GREATER DC UNIVERSE
ADVENTURES OF THE SUPER SONS #7 [02/06] Written by PETER J. TOMASI, art by CARLO BARBERI and MATT SANTORELLI; Locked in an intergalactic juvenile detention facility, Superboy and Robin meet the youngest…and meanest…Green Lantern ever! Well, sort of a GL. Mostly a GL. Really more of a trainee, but don’t tell the bad guys, okay? Plus, Joker Jr. returns…the clown who may be the boys’ last, best hope to stop the Gang! $3.99, 32 PAGES, 7 of 12
THE FLASH #64-65 [02/13, 02/27] Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON, art by RAFA SANDOVAL and JORDI TARRAGONA; #64 & #65: “THE LAST COLD CASE” (parts two and four) The two greatest detectives in the DC Universe take on the one cold case that will tear them apart! As chief architect of the Sanctuary program that cost so much for so many, especially Wally West, Batman will be held accountable…by the Flash! A cold case from the Justice League’s past has mysteriously re-opened, and Batman and the Flash—the only two heroes who stand a chance of cracking the case—are at each other’s throats! Our heroes must combat a demon from the past while burying their own inner demons in the process…and neither the World’s Greatest Detective nor the Fastest Man Alive will ever be the same again! But who is really pulling the strings here? And how does Gotham Girl fit into all this? Friendships will be tested and blood will be spilled in this titanic crossover event. $3.99, 32 PAGES
HEROES IN CRISIS #6 [02/27] Written by TOM KING, art by MITCH GERADS; Get a deeper look into the inner workings of Sanctuary. When heroes visited the facility, they relived their trauma through virtual reality, contending with the events that brought them there in the hope of reaching a meaningful resolution. That is until the trauma took over and escalated these personal events into a full-blown crisis! Find out what pushed one of the superheroes over the edge and how it broke the machine. This special issue reunites the Eisner Award-winning MISTER MIRACLE team of writer Tom King and artist Mitch Gerads! $3.99, 32 PAGES, 6 of 9
JUSTICE LEAGUE #17 [02/06] Written by SCOTT SNYDER, art by JIM CHEUNG and MARK MORALES; After the disastrous events of the Justice League Annual, Martian Manhunter decides to take matters into his own hands and negotiate a peace with Legion of Doom leader Lex Luthor. Traveling to a distant moon, the two enemies face their intertwined pasts in a showdown for the fate of the Multiverse. However, before either of them can lay claim to the power of the Source Wall once and for all, an unexpected threat forces them to unite…or risk death at the ends of the cosmos. $3.99, 32 PAGES
JUSTICE LEAGUE #18 [02/20] Written by JAMES TYNION IV, art by PASQUAL FERRY; The Legion of Doom returns as the history of the Legionnaires Club is revealed! Lex Luthor’s mysterious connection to this ancient secret society runs deeper than even his Legion of Doom comrades ever suspected, and his secrets threaten to destroy everything. A blood connection to the dark underbelly of the DCU’s history bubbles to the surface in this epic, villainous tale. $3.99, 32 PAGES
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #8 [02/13] Written by JAMES TYNION IV, art by ALVARO MARTINEZ BUENO and RAUL FERNANDEZ; “LORDS OF ORDER” part one! Wonder Woman and the Justice League Dark are in a race against time as the Otherkind close in on the rest of the magical community. With the world’s magic failing, the team needs to rally the magic wielders of Earth together. But can they face down Doctor Fate and his newly assembled Lords of Order?! $3.99, 32 PAGES
JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY #6 [02/27] Written by DAN ABNETT, art by CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO; The Codex reveals a dangerous secret to the Odyssey team about the fate of the Ghost Sector that makes their mission clear: they have to escape! However, with Green Lantern out of action and Darkseid hot on their trail, Cyborg, Azrael and Starfire might have to rely on the very dark powers that they are trying to outrun in order to save the Multiverse! $3.99, 32 PAGES
TEEN TITANS #27 [02/20] Written by ADAM GLASS, art by BERNARD CHANG; Every Teen Titan has a secret—and they all come spilling out here! As Djinn helps Robin recover from his injuries after a brutal showdown with Red Hood, she tells him all about her dark past, revealing some unsettling truths about herself. Meanwhile, Red Arrow helps Crush find a new sense of purpose, and Roundhouse reveals the tragic story of how he got his powers! $3.99, 32 PAGES
YOUNG JUSTICE #2 [02/06] Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS, art by PATRICK GLEASON and EMANUELA LUPACCHINO; The new teen super-team unites as Robin (Tim Drake), Wonder Girl, Teen Lantern and Jinny Hex join forces to help Amethyst free Gemworld from those who control it. In another section of the strange dimension, Connor Kent and Impulse find themselves taken captive—but if this is really Superboy, why isn’t he putting up a fight with his friend and former teammate against the bad guys? $3.99, 32 PAGES