Every month, DC drops solicitations for three months out. That means we have the tentative schedule for the comics that will be out in April, along with creative teams and teaser text describing the issue. Here are some highlights from the comics comprising The Batman Universe.
In Batman, James Tynion concludes his first major storyline, “Their Dark Designs,” alongside artist Guillem March, who has more or less become the main artist for the arc (if all goes according to these solicitations, he will have drawn 5 of the 8 issues, and two three-page epilogues). The solicitations also reveal that a storyline called “Joker War” will follow, tying into those epilogues, and perhaps even crossing over with Nightwing, as the Joker is showing up there as well. The crossover provides hope that a Tynion-led Bat-line could have more cohesiveness. In Detective Comics, Peter Tomasi continues his Two-Face story with artist Brad Walker.
Nightwing continues under Dan Jurgens’ writing, though the solicits do seem to hint at a Joker crossover with Batman. There is some confusion, however, as DC refers to Dick by his old name (Dick) in the solicitation for the Annual #3, while the solicitation for the regular issue continues referring to him as Ric. This may be misleading (as has happened before, with Tom King’s Batman run), as people have hoped that Stickle Ric would return to Dick in the Robin 100 Page Super Spectacular in March, but perhaps this interminable filler arc continues.
Writer Cecil Castellucci and artist Carmine Di Giandomenico continue with Batgirl, with a potentially much more interesting storyline than the current one, positing a villain who apparently turns people into statues. Sam Humphries stays on Harley Quinn, as Booster Gold continues his guest-starring team up.
Meanwhile, Jurgens also stays on Batman Beyond, but in a big move, Terry McGinnis returns after a lengthy Batwoman arc. In exciting news for Bat-family fans, Damian also shows up again! Red Hood: Outlaw, under Lobdell, decides to add some more Outlaws in addition to the core trio. Catwoman features a new writer (not Ram V or Joelle Jones) and an art team that was recently featured (unfortunately, not Fernando Blanco or Jones). Selina also gets a 100-page 80th anniversary one shot, which will likely be sadly overshadowed by the Joker’s one-shot. Batman and the Outsiders continues with Bryan Edward Hill, as Batman is solicited to take on Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Assassins by himself, which seems very silly for a team book.
Two Facsimile editions this month connect to the Batman Universe – the origin of Helena Wayne, the Huntress, and an issue of Steve Englehart’s run featuring the Joker.
Be sure to check out the full details for everything hitting stores in April below as well as a gallery of some of the covers coming. Let us know which books you are the most excited about this month.
Editor’s Note: As you may have seen since the beginning of January, our coverage of certain titles has shifted. Below reflects not only the titles coming in April, but also how TBU will be covering them in review format. Certain titles will no longer be covered month to month as they will be reviewed in a collected format with the entire story being reviewed. We also have cut the Greater DC Universe titles for the foreseeable future. They are still releasing, we just won’t be covering them for the time being.
TBU Regular Titles
BATGIRL #46 [04/22] Written by CECIL CASTELLUCI, art by CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO; After a catfight with Catwoman last issue, Batgirl thinks Selina is right about these statues…Could they be made from…actual living Gothamites? But when her investigation leads her to the KGBeast and he tells how he was involved in Nightwing being shot, all bets are off, and Batgirl is faced with doing the right thing or doing what is right for someone she loves. $3.99, 32 PAGES
BATMAN #92 [04/01] Written by JAMES TYNION IV, art by GUILLEM MARCH; The greatest heist in history is underway in Gotham City, courtesy of the mysterious crimemaster known as the Designer! Batman knows what he needs to do, but in order to stop the plot, he must first escape the most ingenious death trap the Riddler has ever devised! $3.99, 32 PAGES, CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99
BATMAN #93 [04/15] Written by JAMES TYNION IV, art by GUILLEM MARCH; Batman faces off with the Designer as “Their Dark Designs” reaches its epic climax! In the last year, Batman has lost more than he could have imagined, and now he faces a cost so dear it will change the course of his life. And there is worse on the horizon. In the midst of all the horror, he can feel the drumbeat of battle. “Joker War” is coming, and Gotham City will never be the same. $3.99, 32 PAGES, CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99
BATMAN & THE OUTSIDERS #12 [04/08] Written by BRYAN HILL, art by DEXTER SOY; Batman goes over the edge! With everything that’s happened in Gotham City and Ra’s al Ghul’s personal attacks on the Dark Knight and his team of Outsiders, Batman lashes out and uses his all his anger and skills to take down Ra’s and his new League of Assassins on his own. Will the Outsiders be able to pull him back from his rage—or will they find themselves on the receiving end of it? $3.99, 32 PAGES
BATMAN BEYOND #43 [04/22] Written by DAN JURGENS, art by SEAN CHEN and SEAN PARSONS; Terry McGinnis has his memories back, and he’s ready to resume his duties as Batman in Neo-Gotham. But as soon as he comes home, so does Goliath, the Man-Bat pet of Damian Wayne. What adventure with the heir of the Demon lies in store for Batman Beyond? $3.99, 32 PAGES
CATWOMAN #22 [04/08] Written by PAULA SEVENBERGEN, art by ANEKE; Ever seen those hot-pink vans stationed around town advertising sexy maids who’ll come clean your house? Little did you know those sexy maids are actually part of a secret underground sting operation that only Catwoman can claw her way through to find the artifact they’ve stolen. It’s leather versus lingerie in this epic cat chase! $3.99, 32 PAGES, CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99
CATWOMAN 80TH ANNIVERSARY 100-PAGE SUPER SPECTACULAR #1 [04/15] Written by ED BRUBAKER, PAUL DINI, TOM KING, ANN NOCENTI, MINDY NEWELL, WILL PFEIFER, and more, art by CAMERON STEWART, MIKEL JANÍN, ADAM HUGHES, EMANUELA LUPACCHINO, STEVE RUDE, JIM BALENT, TULA LOTAY, and more; Our gal Catwoman is turning 80 next year (and looking very good, if we meow say), and DC is celebrating with nothing less than with a huge soiree, invite only, packed with creators who mean the most to her and to whom she means the most! Stories featured in this 100-page spectacular include a tail—sorry, tale—that takes place at the end of the Brubaker/Stewart Catwoman run, in honor of artist Darwyn Cooke. Plus, Catwoman is caught by an exotic cat collector, runs into a wannabe thief trying to prove himself as her apprentice, encounters a mystery involving memorabilia from alternate continuities, and of course some Bat/Cat fun. PRESTIGE FORMAT, ONE-SHOT, $9.99, 96 PAGES
DC SUPER STARS #17 FACSIMILE EDITION [04/08] Written by PAUL LEVITZ, DENNIS O’NEIL, and JACK C. HARRIS, art by JOE STATON, BOB LAYTON, MIKE GRELL, JUAN ORTIZ, and others; This 1977 issue features the debut of Huntress, the untold origin of Green Arrow, and an early adventure of the Legion of Super-Heroes! Offered to coincide with the Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1. $4.99, 48 PAGES
DETECTIVE COMICS #1022 [04/22] Written by PETER J. TOMASI, art by BRAD WALKER and ANDREW HENNESSY; “Ugly Heart” part three! Batman has been blasted with bullets and left for dead by Two-Face’s deadly Church of the Two—and if Gotham City is going to survive Two-Face’s final revenge, they’re going to need a miracle! But be careful what you wish for, because a resurrection is already in progress, and this one involves a certain Clown Prince and the heir to Gotham’s vigilante throne… $3.99, 32 PAGES, CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99
DETECTIVE COMICS #475 FACSIMILE EDITION [04/29] Written by STEVE ENGLEHART, art by MARSHALL ROGERS and TERRY AUSTIN; In one of his most off-the-wall schemes, The Joker gives the fish of Gotham City their own Joker grins—and then threatens to kill anyone who tries to stop him from collecting on his plan! Offered to coincide with The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1. $3.99, 32 PAGES
HARLEY QUINN #72 [04/01] Written by SAM HUMPHRIES, art by SAMI BASRI; Some mysteries just don’t want to be solved! As Harley digs deeper into the death of her friend, it becomes clear that there are forces in Los Angeles that don’t want her this close to the truth. Will Harley be broken by the City of Angels, or will she be able to avenge her friend’s death? And will she be able to convince Booster Gold that he is not her crime-fighting partner and never will be? $3.99, 32 PAGES
THE JOKER 80TH ANNIVERSARY 100-PAGE SUPER SPECTACULAR #1 [04/29] Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO, PAUL DINI, DENNIS O’NEIL, SCOTT SNYDER, TOM TAYLOR, JAMES TYNION IV, and more, art by RAPHAEL ALBUQUERQUE, LEE BERMEJO, SIMONE BIANCHI, TONY S. DANIEL, MIKEL JANÍN, JOCK, JOSÉ LUIS GARCÍA-LÓPEZ, EDUARDO RISSO, RILEY ROSSMO, and more; The Clown Prince of Crime celebrates 80 years of chaos! The Joker has been the greatest villain in comics since his debut and to celebrate we have a who’s who of comics’ finest talent giving the Harlequin of Hate the birthday roast he deserves. The stories feature a range of terror and anarchy, showing how the Joker has impacted Gotham City from the police to Arkham Asylum, from the local underworld to the Dark Knight and his allies! Make sure to RSVP to this birthday bash—you wouldn’t want to wake up with a Joker Fish on your doorstep, would you? PRESTIGE FORMAT, ONE-SHOT, $9.99, 96 PAGES
NIGHTWING #71 [04/15] Written by DAN JURGENS, art by RONAN CLIQUET and TRAVIS MOORE; Having a chat with the Clown Prince of Crime is scary enough…being captured, tied down, and forced to listen to him is something else! Especially when you’re Ric Grayson, and The Joker just wants you out of action so he can get to the Dark Knight. With no idea what his history with The Joker might be, Ric doesn’t find this situation one bit funny. $3.99, 32 PAGES
NIGHTWING ANNUAL #3 [04/29] Written by DAN JURGENS, art by SCOTT GODLEWSKI; Dick Grayson has been many things in his life—Robin, agent of Spyral, even Batman…but will he have a choice when the Condors try to recruit him for their cause? And will they take no for an answer? A thrilling, high-octane adventure awaits over the skies of Gotham City! $4.99, 48 PAGES
RED HOOD: OUTLAW #45 [04/22] Written by SCOTT LOBDELL, art by PAOLO PANTALENA; Red Hood, Artemis, and Bizarro have battled many threats together…but they’ve never faced a veritable army of the damned! Which is what is happening during the protests on the streets of Qurac as the Untitled prepare to strike at the heart of humanity! At the same time Artemis has to go sword-to-word with Essence. As the enemy gathers its forces, it is clear the Dark Trinity needs to expand its roster—and fast! $3.99, 32 PAGES
TBU Collected Titles
BATMAN VS. RA’S AL GHUL #6 [04/15] Written by NEAL ADAMS, art by NEAL ADAMS; It all comes down to this…the final meeting of the Batmen! Ra’s al Ghul’s plan to dominate Gotham City crashes against the will of Bruce Wayne and Matches Malone, as the city’s power grid faces the wave of the future! $3.99, 6 OF 6, 32 PAGES
HARLEY QUINN AND THE BIRDS OF PREY #2 [04/08] Written by JIMMY PALMIOTTI and AMANDA CONNER, art by AMANDA CONNER; Over the course of her illustrious and very high-class career, Harley’s met pretty much every super-villain who ever worked in Gotham City. Some hate her. Some love her. But none of that’s gonna matter once they see how many zeroes there are on the bounty The Joker’s offering for her head! Sorry, Harley—it’s just business. Your next of kin will understand, right? Meanwhile, Cassandra Cain finds herself in the unenviable position of being Harley Quinn’s bodyguard…but this could be her opportunity to learn a little about, y’know, loosening up? If she’s currently wound too tight, then just sit next to Auntie Harley…she’s got more than her share of loose screws! PRESTIGE PLUS, $5.99, 32 PAGES, 2 OF 4
JOKER/HARLEY: CRIMINAL SANITY #4 [04/08] Written by KAMI GARCIA, art by JASON BADOWER and MICO SUAYAN; When murder is your art, it’s not enough to leave behind a body—the only true satisfaction lies in creating a display worthy of your genius. But elaborate crime scenes also lend themselves to analysis. While the GCPD might not find all the clues, forensic psychiatrist and profiler Harley Quinn is getting closer to the truth…and the killer. PRESTIGE PLUS, $5.99, 32 PAGES, 4 OF 9
Graphic Novel Titles
None this month
New Collected Releases
BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER VOL. 4 TPB [05/20] Written by ALAN GRANT, art by NORM BREYFOGLE, JIM FERN, and others; This new collection of 1990s Batman stories includes the earliest days of Tim Drake as Robin, with Tim risking it all when Batman and Vicki Vale are captured by the Scarecrow. As Batman decides whether he is ready to fight crime with a partner by his side once again, Commissioner Gordon rekindles an old flame. Then, Batman heads west, as the murder of an old friend leads him to San Francisco. Collects Batman #455-465 and Batman Annual #15. $34.99, 328 PAGES
HARLEY QUINN & POISON IVY HC [05/13] Written by JODY HOUSER, art by ADRIANA MELO and MARK MORALES, During the catastrophic events of Heroes in Crisis, Poison Ivy was killed, and Harley Quinn holds herself responsible. But when Poison Ivy is resurrected, Harley decides to take care of her best friend, who has evolved into a creature as much flora as fauna. What, then, is Harley to do when Poison Ivy reveals she’s had enough of the humans who not only killed her, but are destroying the environment day by day? Can Poison Ivy entice Harley to join her in the plant world, or will Harley have to prove herself by stopping whatever plot Ivy is cooking up? Collects Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy #1-6. $24.99, 152 PAGES
JOKER: THE DELUXE EDITION HC [05/06] Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO, art by LEE BERMEJO; The award-winning creative team behind Batman: Damned, Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, present one of the most chilling Joker stories ever told, now in a Deluxe edition. The Joker has been mysteriously released from Arkham Asylum, and he’s not happy about what’s been happening in his city while he’s been away. What follows is a harrowing night of revenge, murder, and manic crime as only The Joker can deliver. He will take everything that is owed to him from the likes of the Penguin, the Riddler, Two-Face, Killer Croc, and of course, Batman…This Deluxe edition includes a section of previously unpublished developmental art by Bermejo. $34.99, 152 PAGES, DC BLACK LABEL
NIGHTWING: THE GRAY SON LEGACY TPB [05/13] Written by DAN JURGENS, art by RONAN CLIQUET and TRAVIS MOORE; A riot erupts in the streets of Blu?dhaven! While the new Nightwings do their best to contain the situation, Ric faces off against Talon—but the battle is one not just of brawn, as Ric’s psyche is pushed to the limit when he learns about his family history all over again! Accepting his destiny as the Gray Son, Ric Grayson joins his great-grandfather as the newest Talon! Collects Nightwing #63-69 and Nightwing Annual #2. $19.99, 208 PAGES