Welcome back to our monthly look at DC Comics solicitations and my pick of the top titles for your consideration. Of course, you’ll have already read about both the Catwoman and Joker 100 page one-shots celebrating both villains’ 80th anniversaries, but there’s a lot more to consider picking up too, with new series Event Leviathan: Checkmate launching while Neal Adams’s Batman vs Ra’s Al Ghul concluding all happening this coming April. Rather than suggesting long running titles, we try and draw your attention to new titles, new creative teams and new storylines. So, what do we have for you this month?
The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1
With such a hugely talents set of creators contributing to the Clown Prince of Crime’s annievsray issue, you just know it’s going to be something special. Arguably, given the Joker’s sense of humour – matched only by the writers and artists on this one-shot – it could even be better than last year’s Detective Comics #1000. Could this be my early contender of Comic of the Year already?
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?
Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1
Then there’s Catwoman’s one-shot special too. Obviously a very different tone to this anniversary issue, one imagines, given her elegance and newfound status in the DCU, but another excuse for some of the industry’s to talents to bring us something special to mark this milestone.
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.
Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed
One for younger readers now, and this one caught my eye – and in a month when DC Comics are publishing a number of YA comic books – in Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by New York Times bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson and artist Leila del Duca. A reimagining of Wonder Woman as a young 16 year old, still living and training on Themyscira and the threats she must encounter when refugees land on the shores of this fabled island.
Princess Diana of Themyscira believes that her 16th birthday will be one of new beginnings—namely, acceptance into the warrior tribe of the Amazons. But her birthday celebrations are cut short when rafts carrying refugees break through the barrier that separates her island home from the outside world. When Diana defies the Amazons to try to bring the outsiders to safety, she finds herself swept away by the stormy sea. Cut off from everything she’s ever known, Diana herself becomes a refugee in an unfamiliar land.
Now Diana must survive in the world beyond Themyscira for the first time—a world that is filled with danger and injustice unlike anything she’s ever experienced.
With new battles to be fought and new friends to be made, she must redefine what it means to belong, to be an Amazon, and to make a difference.
Justice Dark #22
Ram V’s sophomore issue, but one worth picking up if you enjoyed These Savage Shores or his recent gig on the Justice League Dark Annual #1. He’s certainly proven he can do the supernatural eerily well. Illustrated by Alvaro Martínez Bueno.
What dreams may come—we should be so lucky! Instead, the nightmares are here! Zatanna and John Constantine take a dive into the mind of Abigail Arcane to save her from the all-consuming Rot, while Animal Man must reach deep within himself to save Detective Chimp and Wonder Woman from the hordes of infected rot monsters. Minds, worlds, and lives hang in the (im)balance!
Legion of Super-Heroes #6
I’ll admit, I’ve always been a sucker for the Legion of Super-Heroes, and while this new series has been plagued by a slow start, I still look forward to each and every issue. And, in Legion of Super-Heroes #6 we get to met new members Gold Lantern, Monster Boy and the 31st century’s very own Doctor Fate. Written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Ryan Sook.
Meet the latest crop of Legionnaires: Gold Lantern! Monster Boy! Doctor Fate! Each a new face in the DC Universe, each with dark secrets, and each with a reason to be part of the Legion’s goal to bring the values of the Age of Heroes to the 31st century. And one of them has a surprising connection to Jon Kent, a.k.a. Superboy. All of this and the tensions between the United Planets and the Legion of Super-Heroes have gone public! The future of the DC Universe continues to unfold!
Strange Adventures #2
Tom King and Mitch Gerads, the award-winning team behind 2018’s Mister Miracle, continue to take yet another underrated DC character and breath life back into it. A psychological study of a Silver Age classic.
What is the truth about Adam Strange? When an activist who publicly accused him of war crimes ends up dead, the public begins to doubt Strange’s stories about his adventures on the planet Rann—and he’s even starting to doubt himself. It’s going to take a special investigator to get the truth, and he’s going to have to tear apart Adam Strange’s life and reputation to do it.
A special miniseries set on two worlds, it takes two artists to bring Strange Adventures to life. Mitch Gerads tackles the earthbound sequences, while Doc Shaner launches us into space. And it’s all written by Tom King, the Eisner Award-winning writer who brought you Mister Miracle, Omega Men, and Sheriff of Babylon.
Event Leviathan #1
The sequel to last’s summer’s Event Leviathan event that united some of the greatest detectives in the DCU on a mission unmakes Leviathan. Well, now unmasked, but still in control of the globe’s biggest information agencies; good and bad. From Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev.
From the award-winning creative team behind last year’s Event Leviathan comes the next surprising chapter in DC Comics’ deadliest saga.
Leviathan has agents and acolytes all over the world—but what is the secret behind its power? The planet’s last, best hope to infiltrate Leviathan may be this motley collection of spymasters, now teamed up to try to take back the world that was stolen from under us all! Green Arrow, the Question, Talia al Ghul and other unlikely allies converge to tackle Leviathan as members of the new Checkmate—but who is the surprise hero behind this team? Big clues to the future of the DC Universe start here!
Kicking off in Batman, with the usual two issues per month, is the threat of a ‘Joker War’ on the horizon from James Tynion IV and Guillem March. Looks like March is going to eb a regular artists on Batman, giving me even more reason to keep this title on my pull list after Tom King’s recent departure. Could this be the Bat epic that counts us up to issue #100?
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!
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.
Batman vs. Ra’s Al Ghul #6
Finally, for this month, and sticking with Batman, is Neal Adams’s most recent DC Comics series, Batman vs. Ra’s Al Ghul, comes to an end with issue #6 written and illustrated by the legend himself. And, while his glory days are well and truly behind him there’s still a huge fan base following whatever he does next.
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!
That’s it for this month. Any you see that takes your eye?