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.
Hear ye! Hear ye! I dub this coming month of June “The Month of Joker,” as he has definitely taken the major spotlight this time around. Batgirl #48, Batman #96-97, Detective Comics #124, Harley Quin #74 AND Nightwing #73 all have something to do with the Joker and his little WAR going on. Don’t worry, this doesn’t seem to be an intertwined event comic just yet, but tread carefully, as even the villains are staying out of this fight (though it looks like Two-Face may have missed that memo because he’s going to run right into the Joker in Detective Comics).
Catwoman is being a smart girl and completely avoiding this event at the moment. She is instead selling Batman’s secret dossier on the criminal underworld to the highest bidder. GASP! Find out in Catwoman #24 what she has written down on everyone.
Even outside of the main continuity, the Joker’s influence drags into a one-shot tie-in to Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity is coming, giving a brutal new take on the classic origin for our checkerboard heroine. Author Kami Garcia has even personally consulted with actual psychologists to get an authentic picture of just how Harley’s little escapade could have happened. Joker’s influence is even so strong that we are getting a birthday flashback to a facsimile issue: Detective Comics #321, as well as the ever anticipated Batman: Three Jokers story that has been in the works for YEARS.
Meanwhile, the Outsiders are having some real teamwork issues. Will they even be able to decide who’s in charge before Ra’s decide’s enough is enough? If that wasn’t stressful enough, Red Hood and the Outlaws are busy dealing with so much chaos that it’s impossible to summarize in a single blurb; don’t worry, the comic has 24 pages to explain what’s going on.
So prepare for a big laugh and a wide smile my eager readers, because Joker’s not one for subtlety.
Be sure to check out the full details for everything hitting stores in June, 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 June, 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 #48 [06/24] Written by CECIL CASTELLUCCI, art by ROBBI RODRIGUEZ; “The Last Joke” part one! Spinning out of the catastrophic history of the Gordon family, Babs is forced to relive the most traumatic events of her life. James Gordon Jr. is back, and he’s on a mission to run the Gordons out of Gotham City—and as we all know, anything involving James Jr. is bad news for Babs and the commissioner. But is her brother capable of tormenting his family on his own? Or has he teamed up with a certain Clown Prince of Crime? $3.99, 32 PAGES
BATMAN #96 [06/03] Written by JAMES TYNION IV, art by JORGE JIMENEZ; Reeling from the effects of the worst Joker toxin attack ever, Batman is on the run through Gotham City, pursued by the dark shadows and voices that haunt his past and present! As The Joker’s plan materializes, the only person who can save Batman from the brink of true madness…is Harley Quinn?! Plus, who is the mysterious new figure known as Clownhunter? $3.99, 32 PAGES, CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99
BATMAN #97 [06/17] Written by JAMES TYNION IV, art by JORGE JIMENEZ; The Joker’s army is growing hour by hour, with weapons beyond anything the Clown Prince of Crime has ever used before. Batman must hold his mind together so he can strike the final blow and take back his city—but how can he heal the rifts he’s created in his life to get the help he needs? And while all this is happening, the villains of Gotham City are waiting out the carnage Joker has unleashed—and Catwoman assembles an army of her own! $3.99, 32 PAGES, CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #14 [06/10] Written by BRYAN HILL, art by DEXTER SOY; Batman is going to push the Outsiders to their absolute limits in order for them to stop Ra’s al Ghul once and for all. He’ll force them all to use their powers in ways they never imagined and possibly push them over the edge in the process! Batman and Black Lightning will need to decide who the true leader of the team is, or Ra’s’s victory will be assured! $3.99, 32 PAGES
BATMAN BEYOND #45 [06/24] Written by DAN JURGENS, art by SEAN CHEN; Batman Beyond and Damian Wayne are going to have to join forces in order to stop Mr. Zero and his radical faction from turning Gotham City into an ice-covered hellscape. Damian will have to put his disrespect for the “pretender” that is Batman Beyond aside if they’re going to stop this mutual foe—and even then Mr. Zero’s power and influence might prove too much for this pair! $3.99, 32 PAGES
BATMAN #321 FACSIMILE EDITION [06/03] Written by LEN WEIN, art by WALTER SIMONSON and DICK GIORDANO; It’s The Joker’s birthday—and he’s celebrating by blowing up some of Batman’s partners in crime-fighting in this classic issue from 1980! $3.99, 32 PAGES
CATWOMAN #24 [06/17] Written by SEAN MURPHY and BLAKE NORTHCOTT, art by CIAN TORMEY; The cat’s out of the bag! Everyone at Snowflame’s auction is there for the same thing: the list. But what is the market value of a list containing all the intel the world’s greatest crime-fighters have on supervillains? And who exactly is on the list? You’ll have to ask Catwoman to find out. $3.99, 32 PAGES
DC CLASSICS: THE BATMAN ADVENTURES #2 [06/03] Written by KELLEY PUCKETT, art by TY TEMPLETON and RICK BURCHETT; In this second issue of this new, all-ages reprint series, Batman jets off to London to stop Catwoman from stealing the crown jewels! price! $1.99, 32 PAGES
DETECTIVE COMICS #1024 [06/24] Written by PETER J. TOMASI, art by BRAD WALKER and ANDREW HENNESSY; The story of Two-Face reaches its end, and Harvey Dent will, at last, find peace after decades of schism. But will that peace be in death, or in the chance at a new life? All along, The Joker has been the puppet master behind the torment of Two-Face, and he knows how to make an entrance! Don’t miss the final battle between Batman, Two-Face, and Lincoln March, with a shocking conclusion that will split you right in two! $3.99, 32 PAGES, CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99
HARLEY QUINN #74 [06/03] Written by SAM HUMPHRIES, art by SAMI BASRI; Harley Quinn’s sojourn in L.A. has been full of tragedy and heartbreak, from the death of her friend to uncovering a deep web of moral compromise that’d make even the most sadistic Batman villain’s stomach churn. In the epic finale to our story, Harley will come face to face with the person pulling the strings and learn who’s out to see her fail! $3.99, 32 PAGES
NIGHTWING #73 [06/17] Written by DAN JURGENS, art by RONAN CLIQUET; The Joker knows Dick Grayson is Nightwing—and the plans The Joker has set in motion in this summer’s event “Joker War” will haunt Batman forever. Under the control of The Joker’s new henchperson, Punchline, Nightwing must battle the people he once loved most: Batgirl, the Robins, and…himself. $3.99, 32 PAGES
RED HOOD: OUTLAW #47 [06/20] Written by SCOTT LOBDELL, art and cover by PAOLO PANTALENA; The Chamber of All has been excavated by the Untitled in Qurac, which means it’s up to Red Hood, Artemis, Bizarro and Essence to prevent an unspeakable horror from wiping out all of humanity once and for all. Sounds like a tall order for the Outlaws? Don’t worry, they get help from the most unexpected (and misunderstood) super-team of all time: Red Hood and the Outlaws! All this, plus Ma Gunn learns the tragic reason Monsieur Mallah and the Brain want to teach the students of Generation Outlaw. $3.99, 32 PAGES
TBU Collected Titles
BATMAN: THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE #2 [06/03] Written by PAUL DINI and ALAN BURNETT, art by TY TEMPLETON; Slade Wilson has come to Gotham City, and his arrival is making the Dark Knight very suspicious. Robin, on the other hand, thinks the swashbuckling mercenary is just here to help. Is Deathstroke a friend or foe…and what are his plans for Batman? $3.99, 2 OF 6, 32 PAGES
BATMAN: THREE JOKERS #1 [06/17] Written by GEOFF JOHNS, art by JASON FABOK; Thirty years after Batman: The Killing Joke changed comics forever, Three Jokers reexamines the myth of who, or what, The Joker is and what is at the heart of his eternal battle with Batman. New York Times bestselling writer Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok, the writer/artist team that waged the “Darkseid War” in the pages of Justice League, reunite to tell the ultimate story of Batman and The Joker! After years of anticipation starting in DC Universe: Rebirth #1, the epic miniseries you’ve been waiting for is here: find out why there are three Jokers, and what that means for the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime. It’s a mystery unlike any Batman has ever faced! $6.99, 1 OF 3, 48 PAGES, DC BLACK LABEL
HARLEY QUINN AND THE BIRDS OF PREY #3 [06/24] Written by JIMMY PALMIOTTI and AMANDA CONNER, art and by AMANDA CONNER; The price on Harley’s head is getting higher and higher, and more and more of Gotham City’s most dangerous villains are crawling out of the woodwork to claim it. So where the hell is Batman? And after what she’s put the Birds of Prey through in just a few hours, is Harley going to have any allies left to protect her? $5.99, 3 OF 4, 32 PAGES, DC BLACK LABEL
JOKER/HARLEY: CRIMINAL SANITY SECRET FILES #1 [06/10] Written by KAMI GARCIA and EDWARD KURZ, MD, art by DAVID MACK, JASON BADOWER, and others; Harley Quinn is hunting two serial killers: The Joker, a brutal psychopath who murdered her roommate and disappeared years ago, and the unidentified killer currently terrorizing Gotham City. In this one-shot, see pieces of the puzzle on Harley’s investigation board and steal a glimpse into John Kelly’s high school notebook—a book he still carries today. Kami Garcia has been consulting forensic psychiatrist and behavior analyst Edward Kurz, MD, throughout the series to ensure the accuracy of the story and of Harley’s methodology. In this special issue, Dr. Kurz’s work is spotlighted as we reveal secrets from Harley’s past, hidden details of crime scenes, and a real-life profile of The Joker that has driven the progression of his murders in the story! ONE-SHOT, $5.99, 32 PAGES, DC BLACK LABEL
MAN-BAT #2 [06/03] Written by DAVE WIELGOSZ, art by SUMIT KUMAR; Man-Bat is on the run from the law following a horrific night of blood and mayhem on the streets of Gotham City. But the police aren’t what Kirk Langstrom’s monstrous alter ego should worry about… it’s Task Force X, better known as the Suicide Squad! To undo the damage he has caused, Man-Bat must seek a cure for the innocents he has injured, all while staying out of the deadly sights of the world’s most dangerous mercenaries! $3.99, 1 OF 5, 32 PAGES
THE BATMAN’S GRAVE #8 [06/03] Written by WARREN ELLIS, art by BRYAN HITCH and KEVIN NOWLAN; This was never about just a few strange murders. A war has been declared on the justice system of Gotham City. And the Batman finally has a clue as to who is running the war. He’s been fighting his own shadow the whole time. $3.99, 7 OF 12, 32 PAGES, CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99
Graphic Novel Titles
None this Month
New Collected Releases
ABSOLUTE DARK KNIGHT HC NEW EDITION [09/09] Written by FRANK MILLER, art by FRANK MILLER and KLAUS JANSON; Back in print! This oversize hardcover collects both The Dark Knight Returns and The Dark Knight Strikes Again, along with bonus sketch material and more. This Absolute edition features a sketch section from The Dark Knight Strikes Again with commentary by Miller, a look at the plot and pencils from the legendary finale to The Dark Knight Returns, an introduction by Miller, and more! RESOLICIT, $99.99, 512 PAGES
BATGIRL: THE DARKEST REFLECTION OMNIBUS HC [09/16] Written by GAIL SIMONE, art by ARDIAN SYAF, ED BENES, DANIEL SAMPERE, FERNANDO PASARIN; At last, DC gathers the entire run of Batgirl adventures written by best-selling author Gail Simone from the New 52 era in a single volume! In these stories, Barbara Gordon has regained the ability to walk—but as a crimefighter she must prove herself to Batman and the other heroes of Gotham City all over again! Along the way, she’ll have to face the threat of the ruthless vigilante known as Knightfall, stop her own brother, James Gordon Jr., from wreaking havoc on the city as the Joker-inspired Killer Clown, and much more. Collects Batgirl #0-34, Batgirl Annual #1 and 2, Batgirl: Futures End #1, and more! $99.99, 960 PAGES
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS VOL. 2: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN TP [07/15] Written by BRYAN HILL, art by DEXTER SOY and MAX RAYNOR; Between everything that’s happened in Gotham City and Ra’s al Ghul’s personal attacks on the Dark Knight and his team, Batman lashes out and uses all his anger and skills to take down Ra’s and his new League of Assassins on his own. Can the Outsiders pull him back from his rage—or will they find themselves on the receiving end of it? Collects Batman and the Outsiders #8-12 and Annual #1. $16.99, 160 PAGES
BATMAN BEYOND VOL. 7: FIRST FLIGHT TP [07/15] Written by DAN JURGENS, art by SEAN CHEN, SEAN PARSONS, and INAKI MIRANDA; Who is Batwoman Beyond? With the Caped Crusader missing and Neo-Gotham facing the threat of one of the deadliest villains it’s ever known, a new hero is needed! Bruce Wayne will turn to friends both old and new in order to keep his city safe, but that won’t be enough. Fortunately, a new and mysterious protector will arrive on the scene, taking flight to save the city! But the new Batwoman better be ready—the villainous Blight is back, and he’s bringing the fight to her! Collects Batman Beyond #37-43. $16.99, 168 PAGES
BATMAN BY PAUL DINI OMNIBUS HC [09/02] Written by PAUL DINI, art by DUSTIN NGUYEN, J.H. WILLIAMS III, RYAN BENJAMIN, DON KRAMER; This brand-new omnibus collects Paul Dini’s many Batman tales featuring The Joker, Catwoman, the Riddler, Poison Ivy, Zatanna, and Harley Quinn! Includes “Heart of Hush” and “The Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul” from the pages of Detective Comics #821-824, #826-828, #831, #833-834, #837-841, #843-850, #852, #1000, Batman #685, Batman: Gotham Knights #14, Batman Black and White #3, Batman Black and White Vol. 2 #1, DCU Holiday Special #1, Batman: Streets of Gotham #1-4, #7, #10-14, #16-21, and Batman Annual #1. $125.00, 1,056 PAGES
BATMAN VOL. 13: CITY OF BANE PART 2 HC [07/08] Written by TOM KING, art by MIKEL JANÍN, JOHN ROMITA JR., JORGE FORNES, MITCH GERADS, and MIKE NORTON; The epic finale of Tom King’s Batman run! The bad guys thought they had it made with Bane in control, but with Batman back in Gotham City they’ll be reminded what justice feels like…and how it hurts when it hits you in the face. With Catwoman at his side, the Caped Crusader is looking to take down Bane’s army and reclaim his city. But is the Dark Knight Detective ready to take on the foe who broke him worse than any other that came before? And what else stands in Batman’s way, to put an obstacle between him and his enemy? Batman and his allies have a choice: let Bane stay in power and guarantee the city’s survival, or risk everything to break free! Collects Batman #80-85 and Annual #4. $24.99, 208 PAGES
BATMAN: THE DELUXE EDITION BOOK 5 HC [07/22] Written by TOM KING, art by MIKEL JANÍN, MITCH GERADS, TRAVIS MOORE, JORGE FORNES, LEE WEEKS, AMANDA CONNER, YANICK PAQUETTE, DAN PANOSIAN, and JOHN TIMMS; In this new collection, the Penguin waddles into a turf war—and Batman is there to stop the violence. But the Penguin is on Batman’s side for once, and the crime boss sees danger on the horizon. How can he convince the Caped Crusader he’s on the level? Plus, appearances by Professor Pyg, John Constantine, and the boy who wanted to be Bruce Wayne—in the worst way possible! And then, someone is forcing Batman to relive some of his darkest, most traumatizing fears. Collects Batman #58-69. RESOLICIT, $34.99, 288 PAGES
BATMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE OMNIBUS VOL. 8 HC [04/01] Written by BILL FINGER and others, art by BOB KANE, LEW SAYRE SCHWARTZ, DICK SPRANG, JIM MOONEY and others; In these stories from the early 1950s, Batman and Robin venture into the underworld bank, meet the underworld crime committee, explore an undersea hideout for criminals and investigate a rash of robberies in the Batcave. Plus, The Joker starts a newspaper of crime, Catwoman meets the King of Cats and the Penguin claims to go straight…by opening an umbrella shop! Collects stories from Detective Comics #174-195, Batman #67-77 and World’s Finest Comics #54-63. RESOLICIT, $125.00, 680 PAGES
THE JOKER: KILLER SMILE HC [07/015] Written by AMANDA CONNER, JIMMY PALMIOTTI, DARWYN COOKE, TOM KING, and others, art by AMANDA CONNER; written by JEFF LEMIRE, art by ANDREA SORRENTINO; The Eisner-nominated creative team of writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino (Green Arrow, Gideon Falls) reunite for a psychological horror story that delves into the bottomless insanity of The Joker. Everyone knows The Joker doesn’t have the most promising history with psychotherapists. In fact, no one’s even been able to diagnose him. But that doesn’t matter to Dr. Ben Arnell; he’s determined to be the one to unravel this unknowable mind. And there’s no way The Joker could ever get through the therapeutic walls Ben has built around himself. Right? There’s no way The Joker’s been entering his house at night…right? There’s no way The Joker has stood over his son’s bed and put that book in his hands, the one with the, the, the… Collects Joker: Killer Smile #1-3 and Batman: The Smile Killer #1. $29.99, 144 PAGES, DC BLACK LABEL