Wondering what to expect in the coming months from the Batman Universe? DC has released their solicitations for May and there are a number of Bat-Books as usual. Let’s dive into what Bat-Fans can expect in three months from DC Comics.
No major events can be expected anytime this March for the Batman-nerds, which can be a breath of relief for those exhausted by the omnipresent Doomsday Clock and Event Leviathan happening elsewhere. Not that Batman’s own life is somehow getting a break. Coming this March, the Joker War is just beginning. James Tynion IV & Guillem March are wrapping up their current story-arc featuring the mysterious “Designer” in Batman #94, with Batman Secret Files #3 (also handled by Tynion, with help from so many talented writers and artists) tying up any loose ends leftover from that story.
We sadly won’t have time in Batman #95 to cover those plot points, because we’re immediately jumping into the deep end with Joker War! Secret Files isn’t the only run tying up or crossing over though as Batgirl #47 (written by Cecil Castellucci and art by Robbi Rodriguez) and Nightwing #72 (written by Dan Jurgens and art by Ronan Cliquet) will both deal with the events of the Joker War tying into their respective stories. Who knows if Catwoman or Harley Quinn will get drawn into all this next month, for now, they will be going on vacation in their issues so expect something very relaxing. All we really know is that Joker is going to be a bigger threat than he’s ever been before.
Elsewhere in the DC, Ra’s al Ghul seems to be up to his usual machinations, causing problems in the present and future. He’s going to be showing up in both Batman and the Outsiders #13 (written by Bryan Hill and art by Gleb Melnikov) and Batman Beyond (written by Dan Jurgens and art by Sean Chen). Of course, Ra’s won’t literally be showing up in Beyond, I think, but with Ra’s, you can never be too certain. He’s been dethroned for a while and Damian’s been on the seat, but now one of al Ghul’s old acolytes has stepped up to make his daddy proud, while in the present day, our Outsider friends have to deal with the full force of Ras’s power personally.
In the land of weirdness, we also can call May the month of Man-Bat, as we get a return to his roots with a facsimile reprint of the first issue of his own solo series (Fun fact, Man-Bat was the second villain in all of DC to get his own solo title during the Silver Age, losing only to Joker himself) as well as the start of a brand new limited run with Man-Bat succumbing to his addiction and losing himself completely in the Monstrous Man-Bat Morphology. Otherwise, Batman’s Grave reaches the halfway mark on its limited run, and two more limited runs, one from the glorious Animated Series and the other is a one-shot sequel to the Killing Smile itself, Batman: The Smile Killer (written by Jeff Lemire and art by Andrea Sorrentino). So all you Joker Stans better whip out your wallets because this is going to sell like hotcakes.
Be sure to check out the full details for everything hitting stores in May, 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 May, but also how TBU will be covering them in our 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 #47 [05/27] Written by CECIL CASTELLUCCI, art by ROBBI RODRIGUEZ; Knock knock! Who’s there? The Joker. The Joker who? The Joker who’s here to have a nice chat with Barbara Gordon. Don’t miss this devastating tie-in to “Joker War”! $3.99, 32 PAGES
BATMAN #94 [05/06] written by JAMES TYNION IV, art by GUILLEM MARCH; The Designer’s machinations have left Batman’s life in tatters! Gotham City’s ambitious rebuilding has skittered to a halt as new powers are rising to shape its destiny—and Batman is powerless to stop them! With no Alfred or Bat-Family to lean on, the Dark Knight stands alone against the ascendance of his greatest adversary! $3.99, 32 PAGES, CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99
BATMAN #95 [05/20] Written by JAMES TYNION IV, art by JORGE JIMENEZ; It was always going to come to this. The Clown Prince of Crime and the Dark Knight Detective go head-to-head for the last time. The Joker has never wanted to win before, he’s never wanted his battle with Batman to end, but now his motivation has shifted. He has decided that one way or another, this will be the final chapter to their story. “Joker War” begins here! $3.99, 32 PAGES, CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #13 [05/13] Written by BRYAN HILL, art by GLEB MELNIKOV; Ra’s al Ghul has had everything taken away from him. His League of Assassins, his power…even his family. All he has left is his mission to bend the world to his will and save it from itself. He’s more dangerous than ever, and it’ll take the combined full might of the Outsiders team to take him down! Featuring art by Gleb Melnikov (Angel). $3.99, 32 PAGES
BATMAN BEYOND #44 [05/27] Written by DAN JURGENS, art by SEAN CHEN; Batman brings a wounded Damian Wayne to base, only to discover that Damian has been dethroned as leader of the League of Assassins and left for dead by a former acolyte of Ra’s Al Ghul’s called Mr. Zero! Batman, Bruce, and Damian will have to join forces to stop Mr. Zero from eradicating humanity! $3.99, 32 PAGES
BATMAN SECRET FILES #3 [05/20] Written by JAMES TYNION IV, VITA AYALA, MARIKO TAMAKI, DAN WATTERS, and PHILLIP KENNEDY JOHNSON, art by SUMIT KUMAR, ANDIE TONG, RILEY ROSSMO, JOHN PAUL LEON, and VICTOR IBAÑEZ; Spinning out of the pages of Batman! Discover the origins and motivations behind the cabal of assassins who have come to Gotham to stop Batman from enacting his plans to save the city—including Deathstroke, Cheshire, Merlyn, and the new threats of Mr. Teeth and Gunsmith. What brought this team together, and who is frightening enough to boss Deathstroke around? It’s five killer tales from five killer creative teams in this can’t-miss issue! ONE-SHOT, $4.99, 48 PAGES
CATWOMAN #23 [05/13] Written by SEAN MURPHY and BLAKE NORTHCOTT, art by CIAN TORMEY; Even Catwoman needs a break from the city sometimes! Featuring a story by Eisner Award winner Sean Murphy (Batman: White Knight) and the DC debut of co-writer Blake Northcott (Vampirella), join Catwoman on this two-part story as she leaves for the jungle to blow off some steam in the best way she knows how…stealing the world’s largest diamond from an annual super-secret supervillain auction, of course! $3.99, 32 PAGES
DC CLASSICS: THE BATMAN ADVENTURES #1 [05/06] Written by KELLEY PUCKETT, art by TY TEMPLETON and RICK BURCHETT; Why does the Penguin plan to become Gotham City’s biggest philanthropist? Find out in this reprint of the debut issue of DC’s classic all-ages series, the first of a new monthly series of reprints with a $1.99 cover price! $1.99, 32 PAGES
DETECTIVE COMICS #1023 [05/27] Written by PETER J. TOMASI, art by BRAD WALKER and ANDREW HENNESSY; Just when you thought it was safe to crack a smile, The Joker is back to crash the party! Hot on the heels of “Joker War,” the Clown Prince of Crime is revealed as the mastermind behind Two-Face’s turmoil—but to what end? Batman will need all the allies he can get, and what better ally than Harvey Dent? Can the Dark Knight cure his friend once and for all in time to fight the greatest battle of his life? $3.99, 32 PAGES, CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99
HARLEY QUINN #73 [05/06] Written by SAM HUMPHRIES, art by SAMI BASRI; Los Angeles turns on everyone eventually, and now it’s turned on Harley Quinn! As she discovers more about the death of her friend, she decides it’s time to leave town—but the wrestling league she almost considered a family won’t let her go! She’s hit on a big conspiracy—and it just might kill her! $3.99, 32 PAGES
MAN-BAT #1 FACSIMILE EDITION [05/06] Written by GERRY CONWAY, art by STEVE DITKO and AL MILGROM; In this tale from 1974, Kirk Langstrom’s wife, Francine, is kidnapped by the evil Baron Tyme—and it’s up to Man-Bat to rescue her! $3.99, 32 PAGES
NIGHTWING #72 [05/20] Written by DAN JURGENS, art by RONAN CLIQUET; Dick Grayson has learned the truth: that “fixing” his identity lies with none other than Barbara Gordon. He must go to Gotham to find Batgirl—and runs into The Joker’s new henchperson, Punchline. Unlike Harley Quinn, Punchline’s deadpan black humor matches the deadly knives she uses on her victims…and for her next joke, Ric Grayson is the punchline. $3.99, 32 PAGES
RED HOOD: OUTLAW #46 [05/27] Written by SCOTT LOBDELL, art by PAOLO PANTALENA; Red Hood, Artemis, and Bizarro have their hands full—and until now they thought the biggest problem they had to face was the uprising of the Untitled during the political protests in Qurac! They’re about to learn this ancient race might very well be the lesser of two evils when the Outlaws square off against one of the oldest and most dangerous threats in all the DC Universe! (We’re not kidding—we know better than to say his name out loud! Yeah, he’s that scary!) Meanwhile, Artemis has united with Mistress—but at what price? Bizarro meets…his mother? And Jason is forced to choose between Essence and Isabel if he’s going to defeat the Untitled once and for all! $3.99, 32 PAGES
TBU Collected Titles
BATMAN: THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE #1 [05/06] Written by PAUL DINI and ALAN BURNETT, art by TY TEMPLETON; From the visionary producers of Batman: The Animated Series come all-new stories in this seminal animated world. In this opening chapter, Wayne Enterprises in Gotham City is attacked by a giant robot that steals an entire room from the laboratory. Who’s controlling the robot? How will Batman stop the mechanized menace? And what does it all have to do with Lex Luthor’s sudden appearance in Gotham? $3.99, 1 OF 6, 32 PAGES, DIGITAL FIRST
BATMAN: THE SMILE KILLER #1 [05/13] Written by JEFF LEMIRE, art by ANDREA SORRENTINO; It wouldn’t be a Joker story without a surprise…and right on cue, here’s an unexpected one-shot epilogue to Joker: Killer Smile! Young Bruce Wayne grew up watching The Mr. Smiles Show—and the show might have been watching him back! And not only was young Bruce watching, he was listening…listening as Mr. Smiles spoke across the airwaves only to him… The Eisner Award-winning creative team of writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino land one last gut-punch—turning the mythos of the Batman on its head in the most devastating trick The Joker has ever devised! ONE-SHOT, PRESTIGE PLUS, $5.99, 32 PAGES, DC BLACK LABEL
MAN-BAT #1 [05/06] Written by DAVE WIELGOSZ, art by SUMIT KUMAR; For years Kirk Langstrom has struggled with his monstrous alter ego Man-Bat and the serum that transformed him. But he’s finally hit rock bottom following a devastating setback, and he’s going to take out his anger on every single citizen of Gotham City. Will the combined might of Batman and the GCPD be enough to stop Langstrom once and for all? Or will this just be the start of Man-Bat’s devastation? $3.99, 1 OF 5, 32 PAGES
THE BATMAN’S GRAVE #7 [05/06] Written by WARREN ELLIS, art by BRYAN HITCH and KEVIN NOWLAN; There’s a lunatic on the loose and a dead body inside a supposedly impregnable home. Members of the justice system are being murdered, and nobody knows what’s happening. Does the Batman have the single clue that’s the key to the whole nightmare? $3.99, 7 OF 12, 32 PAGES, CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99
Graphic Novel Titles
None this Month
New Collected Releases
BATGIRL VOL. 7: ORACLE RISING TPB [06/10] Written by CECIL CASTELLUCCI, art by CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO; Eager to prove himself as a guardian for the criminals of Gotham City, Killer Moth has set his sights on taking out one of Gotham’s finest heroes…Batgirl! But Lex Luthor has already beaten him to it—he’s brought Oracle back online. Oracle makes her move to confront the creator who abandoned her…Batgirl! With Oracle calling the shots in Burnside, Batgirl must figure out how to survive her nightmare opponent. Collects Batgirl #37-44. $19.99, 192 PAGES
BATMAN ADVENTURES: BATGIRL — A LEAGUE OF HER OWN TPB [06/10] Written by PAUL DINI, TY TEMPLETON, and SCOTT PETERSON, art by RICK BURCHETT and TIM LEVINS; In these previous, uncollected stories inspired by the hit Batman: The Animated Series, Batgirl swings across the rooftops of Gotham City alongside Batman, Nightwing, and Robin to battle the likes of Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Ra’s al Ghul. She even finds time to team up with her father, Commissioner Gordon, to catch two escaped convicts. Collects the all-ages Batgirl Adventures #1 and Batman: Gotham Adventures #8-9, #22, and 38! $9.99, 152 PAGES
BATMAN BY GRANT MORRISON OMNIBUS VOL. 3 HC [08/19] Written by GRANT MORRISON, art by YANICK PAQUETTE, CHRIS BURNHAM, FRAZER IRVING, DAVID FINCH, DECLAN SHALVEY, SCOTT CLARK, CAMERON STEWART, and JORGE LUCAS; Batman’s war on crime goes global! Bruce Wayne is back under the cowl, and to better serve his mission, he’s trained heroes around the world, along with the help of longtime allies such as Catwoman and Batwoman. But the threat of Leviathan looms…Collects Batman: The Return #1, Batman Incorporated (Series 1) #1-8, Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1, Batman Incorporated (Series 2) #0-13, and Batman Incorporated Special #1. $75.00, 688 PAGES
BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM TP NEW EDITION [06/24] Written by GRANT MORRISON, art by DAVE McKEAN; One of the greatest Batman stories ever told, Batman: Arkham Asylum is back in a new edition! The inmates of Arkham Asylum have taken over and are demanding Batman in exchange for their hostages. Accepting their demented challenge, Batman is forced to endure the personal hells of The Joker, the Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Two-Face, and many other sworn enemies in order to save the innocents and retake the asylum. Includes newly remastered artwork by Dave McKean, available for the first time in this format. RESOLICIT, $19.99, 248 PAGES, DC BLACK LABEL
BATMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS VOL. 2: ARKHAM KNIGHT TPB [06/17] Written by PETER J. TOMASI, art by BRAD WALKER, ANDREW HENNESSY, TRAVIS MOORE, and MAX RAYNOR; After Batman’s battle with the Arkham Knight, things only get worse when one of his allies jumps into the fray and ends up in way over their head! Damian was so certain he could succeed against the Arkham Knight where his father failed—and not only was he wrong, but the Knight has a surprising plan for the son of Batman! Collects Detective Comics #1001-1005, Annual #2, and a story from Detective Comics #1000. $17.99, 176 PAGES
BATMAN/WONDER WOMAN: THE HIKETEIA DELUXE EDITION HC [06/03] Written by GREG RUCKA, art by J.G. JONES and WADE VON GRAWBADGER; The celebrated Wonder Woman/Batman tale returns in a new deluxe edition! An ancient, long-forgotten ritual bonds Diana to a young lady from Gotham City with a deeply troubled past. Worse yet, Wonder Woman is forced into the role of her teacher and protector, and soon discovers that she also must stand between her student and the earthly justice that the Dark Knight so rightly seeks. Includes a gallery of covers by J.G. Jones! $29.99, 128 PAGES
CATWOMAN VOL. 3: FRIEND OR FOE? TPB [06/10] Written by Joëlle Jones, art by Joëlle Jones, FERNANDO BLANCO, GERALDO BORGES, and others; Eisner Award-nominated writer/artist Joëlle Jones continues her landmark series as Selina Kyle reconnects with her criminal roots! Lex Luthor’s “Year of the Villain” gift to Catwoman is revealed, and while she wants to remain on the side of good, some habits are too hard to break, and some treasures too tempting. Selina finally has the key to everything Raina Creel wants—and Catwoman is going to get it first. Which all sounds dandy in theory, but Creel has come too far and put up with too much humiliation from Catwoman to let her win again. Will Catwoman come out the other side as a hero…or villain? Collects Catwoman #16-21. RESOLICIT, $16.99, 152 PAGES
DARK KNIGHT RETURNS: THE GOLDEN CHILD DELUXE EDITION HC [06/10] Written by FRANK MILLER, art by RAFAEL GRAMPá; Frank Miller’s return to the Dark Knight universe gets the deluxe edition treatment! It’s been three years since the events of Dark Knight III: The Master Race. Lara has spent the time learning to be more human, and Carrie Kelley has been growing into her new role as Batwoman. But a terrifying evil has returned to Gotham City, and Lara and Carrie must team up to stop this growing threat—and they have a secret weapon. Young Jonathan Kent, “the golden child,” has a power inside of him unlike anything the world has ever seen, and it’s about to be unleashed… Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child is Frank Miller’s return to the world of the Dark Knight, and joining him is superstar artist Rafael Grampá, the mastermind behind the groundbreaking Mesmo Delivery, plus behind-the-scenes materials. $17.99, 80 PAGES, DC BLACK LABEL
DC COMICS: THE ASTONISHING ART OF AMANDA CONNER HC [06/03] Written by AMANDA CONNER, JIMMY PALMIOTTI, DARWYN COOKE, TOM KING, and others, art by AMANDA CONNER; In a sequel to DC Comics: The Sequential Art of Amanda Conner, we present more of the ultra-talented Ms. Conner’s comics, including Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #1-4, Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1, The Kamandi Challenge #3, Harley Quinn: Be Careful What You Wish For #1, Batman #68, the Supergirl stories from Wednesday Comics #1-12, and more. $39.99, 256 PAGES
DC POSTER PORTFOLIO: FRANCESCO MATTINA TPB [09/09] Art by FRANCESCO MATTINA; DC spotlights top cover artists with the Poster Portfolio series, featuring Francesco Mattina! This collection includes 20 of Francesco Mattina’s most striking covers from across the DC Universe, including Batman, Dark Nights: Metal, and more! Printed on heavy card stock paper at a big 12 by 16 inches, the pages of the Poster Portfolio are easily pulled out and are suitable for framing. $24.99, 42 PAGES
HARLEY QUINN: THE NEW 52 BOX SET [09/16] Written by AMANDA CONNER, JIMMY PALMIOTTI, ADAM GLASS, SCOTT SNYDER, PETER J. TOMASI, and others, art by CHAD HARDIN, FEDERICO DALLOCCHIO, GREG CAPULLO, JASON FABOK, and others; In the past decade, Harley Quinn grew from a fan favorite to a mainstream sensation, and this box set collects three volumes that helped bring the character to new levels of popularity! In Harley Quinn Vol. 1: Hot in the City, witness Harley’s big move to Coney Island as she becomes a roller derby queen—all while continuing her criminal career! Then, alongside villains such as Deadshot and King Shark, she’s recruited by the government to take on deadly missions in Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth! Plus, Harley is drawn into the madness of the Bat-Family’s darkest hour in The Joker: Death of the Family! $59.99
LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT: MATT WAGNER HC [06/03] Written by MATT WAGNER, art by MATT WAGNER; Writer/artist Matt Wagner’s noir tales of the Dark Knight are collected in a single volume for the first time! Batman has spent his first year fighting organized crime—but nothing in his early career as the Caped Crusader has prepared him for the new menace facing Gotham City: super-villains! Plus, Two-Face creates an army of deformed slaves! Collects Batman and the Monster Men #1-6, Batman and the Mad Monk #1-6, Batman: Riddler: The Riddle Factory #1, Batman #54, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #28-30, and a story from Batman Black and White #3. $49.99, 488 PAGES
NIGHTWING YEAR ONE DELUXE EDITION HC [06/24] Written by SCOTT BEATTY and CHUCK DIXON, art by SCOTT McDANIEL and ANDY OWENS; Since being cut loose by Batman, Dick Grayson is Robin no more. Unsure of what to do and where to turn, he seeks solace from familiar sources—including Superman, Batgirl, and Deadman. Unable to avoid fighting crime, Grayson begins a new odyssey, donning a new uniform and gaining a new heroic identity. Collects Nightwing #101-106. $29.99, 160 PAGES
RED HOOD: OUTLAW VOL. 3: GENERATION OUTLAW TPB [06/24] Written by SCOTT LOBDELL, art by R.B. SILVA, TOM DERENICK, and others; Leave it to Red Hood to get Lex Luthor’s strangest offer of all: to train the next generation of super-villains! But has Jason Todd fallen so far that he’d take on the task of forging tomorrow’s Legion of Doom or Crime Syndicate—or is he trying to undermine Lex’s machinations? Will the kids of Generation Outlaw trust Jason Todd, and will they ultimately prove to be the end of his old teammates? It’s all been leading to this showdown between the Outlaws and the New Outlaws! Collects Red Hood: Outlaw #37-41. $16.99, 152 PAGES