We have a full house this time! On what is a rare occasion, last week we got updates from every single title we cover here in the Batcave except for Batman and the Signal. Coupled with the new faces joining us after the solicitations for January came out, we are full to the brim! Or full to the old grandfather clock, as you wish. Considering how long this mastodon of a Batcave has already turned out, I’ll cut the intro short and let you all disperse to your favorite Bats. Also, we need to clear the entrance, Alfred has been trying to come inside for about half an hour.
Tom King, Mikel Janin, Clay Mann, Joëlle Jones, Lee Weeks
Batman #33, anyone? It has been a while since I got so happy with the Bat-Boys interacting. Well, not since the Bat-Burger. And that last page? I stopped keeping count, but I may have opened the issue some fifty times just to stare at her demonic highness. Going back to the beginning of the issue, you can see that Damian is reading a book titled “The Lady Killer Murders of 1961.”
For those unaware, Lady Killer is a series by Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich, in which a sweet, lovely, traditional 60’s American housewife is, in fact, a bit more… sinister on the inside. As it turns out, she was not the one to drop that particular easter egg. TOM KING was the one playing Easter Bunny. Just in case you were wondering, there is a reason for her to be the one drawing this arc. Coming in two weeks, we will be seeing Catwoman come to life at the hands of JOËLLE.
Regarding the upcoming Annual, King shared an uncolored page by LEE WEEKS that appears to be a scene where Catwoman steals the Batmobile. The 60’s Batmobile, as it seems. I do have a bias here in that Weeks is using my favorite layout style for this page, but isn’t it incredible?
James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Alvaro Martinez, Joe Bennett, Miguel Mendonça, Diana Egea
With the latest solicitations we are adding two names to Detective Comics: MIGUEL MENDONÇA (by the way, the ç is pronounced as a s_s, so it would be Mendons-sah) and DIANA EGEA, who will be working on issue #972, part four of “Fall of the Batmen.” Also coming in January will be the first Detective Comics Annual since Rebirth started, focusing on Clayface, with art by EDDY BARROWS and EBER FERREIRA. Eddy shared the uncolored cover art last week on his Facebook.
BATMAN: CREATURE OF THE NIGHT
Kurt Busiek, John Paul Leon
Editor CHRIS CONROY, who is also behind Detective Comics, Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman, and Nightwing (from #31 on), said that the “moving pieces” of the first issue are all set.
If you are here in the Batcave right now and have no idea what to expect from this book, I highly recommend reading its spiritual predecessor, Superman: Secret Identity, by Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen. Its art is more stunning than art has the right to be (really, I’m keeping Immonen’s city shots for future reference), its Clark is more human than Clark has the right to be, and it touched my heart more than any regular superhero comic has the right to touch. Well, it is no regular superhero comic, it is something more. If Creature of the Night comes even close to this, I’ll be a happy bat.
BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT
Sean Gordon Murphy, Matt Hollingsworth, Todd Klein
MURPHY said before that many villains from Batman: The Animated Series will be making an appearance on White Knight. Last Week, we got to see his take on the Mad Hatter. And, as a plus, we get to see a Batgirl scene from an upcoming issue, as Babs loses her temper talking to who seems to be Mr. Freeze, from the eerily encapsulated lady standing in the background.
BATMAN: THE DARK PRINCE CHARMING
The last issue of GQ France has Batman on its cover! The cover art by Marini even got an animation in augmented reality available for those who buy the magazine. The main cover line reads “Stronger than Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Bill Gates, Batman – the supergeek hero.” Marini also shared the unedited version of the Batmobile, since it got covered on the final cover art.
Also, continuing his Inktober, last week he covered the filthy prompt with Harley getting wet as Batman speeds away on his Bat-cycle; her eating ice-cream for fat; an acrobat Catwoman for graceful; Joker meeting Saint Peter at the doors of Paradise for cloud; Harley swinging a bat – the object, it is worth clarifying – for furious; Catwoman sporting a deep, deep neckline for the deep prompt; and, finally, as he’ll need to skip five days because of his work on book two of Dark Prince Charming, he regrouped five prompts in one single puzzle for the Joker.
BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT
Scott Snyder, Sean Murphy
SNYDER has started working on his drafts for the title, which, despite previous rumors, only got properly announced during NYCC.
DARK NIGHTS: METAL
Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Francisco Plascencia
Quite a lot of news coming from the forge last week. Starting with our regular boys, CAPULLO has returned to his usual schedule of sharing tons of teases as he works through the issues. The ones from last week were an underwater scene, an aerial view of Thanagar and its Hawks, old man Batman, and a smiling Mongul. Capullo also shared his concept sketch for Barbatos.
Now moving on to the covers. JIM LEE shared a process sketch for his issue #4 variant, based on the classic roman statue of Laocoon. The myths diverge on his tale, as often happens with the classics, but the scene depicted by the statue shows him as he tries – and fails – to save his sons from serpents sent to kill them after Laocoon displeases the gods. In Batman’s case, the serpents and the sons are one and the same. We can only imagine Bruce’s horror to have to strike down the distorted images of his own sons. Such incredibly powerful metaphor to have on a cover.
Moving from one myth to another, TONY DANIEL’s cover for issue #4 shows the Sandman, Superman and Batman running from Barbatos as he destroys what seems to be the Library of Dream. For those unfamiliar with The Sandman, this library stores the books only dreamed of, the books whose authors never got to finish.
Curiously, upon researching the proper name of the library – I could only remember it by its concept, turns out it only is its concept -, I found this rather interesting project by CHARLIE ORR, an artist from Brooklyn, the Hypothetical Library. Orr would develop covers for made-up books based on a pitch by real authors. He did one for Gaiman. Gaiman’s hypothetical book reminds me of a certain description about the Dark Multiverse given by a certain Scott Snyder. It reads:
“The trouble with imagining a book I would never write is that when I think of it, I think ‘but I could WRITE that…’
So it would have to be a book of books I would never write. A book of ideas I would never have. A book of things I would never do in prose or in fiction. A book of things that should have remained unwritten, fragments and dreams and moments. Secrets too terrible to be learned. Things that would destroy me if I knew them, or hurt my friends. It would contain the secret name of God, and tell you how to pronounce that name.
It would be called IF YOU READ THIS BOOK THE WORLD WILL END.”
DARK MULTIVERSE BATMEN
Peter Tomasi, Francis Manapul, Tony S Daniel, James Tynion IV, Riley Rossmo, Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez, Doug Mahnke, Yanick Paquette
Next in line for the Dark Knights one-shots is Batman: The Merciless, by Peter Tomasi and Francis Manapul, coming out this week. Not only will this be the Wonder Woman inspired Bat, but apparently, in this world, Bruce and Diana have feelings for each other. We also got a tease from a panel, courtesy of Mr. Snyder.
Another little tease we’ve got was for The Batman who Laughs, drawn by Riley Rossmo, as Batman gives his first… laughing signs.
And finally, Scott once again explained what Batman: Lost will be about, saying that it “shows Bruce lost in the dark Multiverse and explains our story’s connections to Grant’s run, Geoff’s Hawkman, and our run.”
Some art teases for the issue have also come out: one panel by DOUG MAHNKE showing the same creepy girl Snyder revealed in the past week, as she observes some Bat-memorabilia; others by YANICK PAQUETTE, one showing that Bruce will have the ghostly company of Superman and Nightwing accompanying him on his quest through the Dark Multiverse, and another which is a direct reference to Detective Comics #27, Batman’s first appearance.
BATS OUT OF HELL
Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Bryan Hitch, Liam Sharp, Robert Venditti, Ethan Van Sciver, Tyler Kirkham, Arif Prianto, Jeff Lemire
KIRKHAM continues to share some of his panels for Justice League #33, some of them already colored by Arif Prianto, including a Cyborg closeup, the League facing Red Death, a panel with the Dark Knights gathered, the first half showing Murder Machine, Devastator, and Dawnbreaker, the other half with Merciless, the Drowned and the Batman who Laughs, and, finally, the Justice League gathered. Those last three are all part of the same page, in fact, as seen in the image.
What?! I like puzzles!
Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, Brad Anderson
Brad Anderson did his magic and Gary Frank’s Joker is now colored. Still quietly laughing about the smiley mushroom cloud.
Hope Larson, Chris Wildgoose, Sami Basri
As CHRIS WILDGOOSE works on the following issues of Batgirl, we get to take a look into some of the panels, and a slight mistake from Babs’ past might be important for the unfolding events in Summer of Lies. She and Robin will also be getting the Mad Hatter quite soon.
Marguerite Bennett, Fernando Blanco, K. Perkins, Scott Godlewski
Marguerite will be taking a – probably short – break from Batwoman, as issue #11, coming out in January, has been solicited with K. PERKINS credited as writer and SCOTT GODLEWSKI as artist. Scott’s debut issue on the title will be coming out in December, and he has already started working on it. Meanwhile, we still have two more issues with art by FERNANDO BLANCO to appreciate.
Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, John Timms, Frank Tieri, Inaki Miranda
Bud and Lou will be appearing on the variant cover for issue #32, as FRANK CHO hits his 25th Harley cover in a row. And if you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, there is a special Halloween variant by Cho for issue #30.
Tim Seeley, Javier Fernandez, Paul Pelletier, Sam Humphries, Bernard Chang, Klaus Janson, Kyle Higgins, Trevor McCarthy
We are welcoming a new member to our circus troupe as KLAUS JANSON got announced as penciler for issue #37 while Bernard Chang takes a one-issue break. HUMPHRIES says that “This issue has Dick revisiting his early days as Robin, his first visit to Blüdhaven, and his first encounter with our mysterious villain…”
While we follow the last few issues of Seeley’s run, Humphries is being a good student and reading a monstrous pile of comics featuring Dick Grayson in all of his different iterations.
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS
Scott Lobdell, Dexter Soy
Just one tiny piece of news, with one tiny robin flying away, in a tiny little heartfelt piece by DEXTER SOY.
Joining Marini on a Bat-themed Inktober – or Batober – is CHRIS SAMNEE. He has worked very little for DC, with 3 Superman titles and a Batman: Black and White on his belt. Despite that, he constantly draws DC characters, and it is very easy to find Batman pieces by him around the web. Well, now it has become even easier. With one sketch a day, as Inktober goes, we can appreciate his heavy blacks on redititions of our favorite characters – did someone say Nightwing? I can’t hear you! In all fairness, my favorite of them all is not the acrobat, but rather Samnee’s pieces for day 13 – teeming with bats, the Batcave as seen from its stalactites -, and day 22 – Batman following a blood trail. The whole thread features amazing, iconic pieces, well worth your scrolling.
And moving on to our most regular visitor, DUSTIN NGUYEN shared shots of some of his pencils for Lil’ Gotham portraits he did a while back.
Our Gothamite of the week continues on the note of Lil’ Gotham. Yale Stewart is a comic book writer and artist whose main project is the incredibly adorable JL8. But its credits do not stop at adorable. The characters are more on point than what I’ve read them in some of the official DC comics titles, and the humor is very much all ages.
Yale has woven an ongoing plot for those characters, but most pages are very enjoyable even if out of context. I have a few selected as my very own favorites, like this one of Diana catching a ball, with a splendid show of storytelling and color usage to convey a sense of tension on that middle panel; Martian Manhunter as he first encounters the love of his life, Oreos; Batman playing marbles and – well, it kind of goes sideways; Robin’s one appearance in the series; and, the chosen one, the Bat-dinner-signal.
The series is still going, and it is worth going back to the first page published by Yale and read it all the way to the last one. You can find JL8 on Facebook and follow Yale Stewart on his personal Twitter account.