Top DC Comics For September [Shadowhawk]

Batman-Superman 03.1

Shadowhawk runs down the top DC comics to look out for September as Villains Month kicks off.

So, Villain’s Month kicks off tomorrow. In last week’s Justice League #23, DC’s  “Trinity War” event came to a close with an explosive cliffhanger, something that had actually been building up since the first comics to be published under the New 52 brand two years ago in September 2011. It has been a long road and the long-term plans that were set in motion are now coming to fruition.

Villain’s Month is going to do be doing two important things. The first of these is that the actual main event, the BIG universe-wide crossover event begins tomorrow, Forever Evil. In a 7-issue mini-series, Geoff Johns will continue what he ended in Justice League #23 and explain and show off all the new villains that we saw at the end of that issue, and keep all the heroes tied up while Earth’s supervillains all rise up to take charge.

Which brings me to the second thing that is happening. All ongoing comics from DC, that is, the main series, are being put on hold for a month, as they were last September for Zero Month. The topmost-bracket titles such as Batman, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Earth 2, etc are being given extra titles which will either focus on the origins of the villains in question, such as in Batman #23.1: The Joker, or continue the story tangential to the ongoing arcs in the main series, such as for Green Lantern #23.1: Relic.

In total, there are going to be 52 titles, I think, or maybe 53. I’m getting a good majority of these. Something like 40. So hopefully I don’t bankrupt myself for non-DC titles this month. Fingers crossed!

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Sep 4

Action Comics 23.1

Action Comics #23.1: Cyborg Superman

Deep in space sits a cybernetic force of evil unlike any other. What terrible connection does Cyborg Superman share with Krypton? And what alien force commands the robotic terror? Find out here!

Writer: Michael Alan Nelson | Art: Mike Hawthorne | Cover: Aaron Kuder | Variant: Juan Doe | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Current scribe for Supergirl, Michael has been doing wonders with Cyborg Superman, giving him a new backstory and a new identity. With the way that Supergirl #23 ended, it looks like this is an origin story for the character, and I’m looking forward to this issue!

Batman 23.1

Batman #23.1: The Joker

The Joker has FOREVER been the face of EVIL in the DC Universe…but what led him on this devious path of treachery? Andy Kubert pens this early adventure showcasing the maniacal exploits of the Crown Prince of Gotham—The JOKER!

Writer: Andy Kubert | Art: Andy Clarke | Cover: Jason Fabok | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: The Clown Prince of Crime has had numerous backstories over the years, and this looks to be more of the same. I haven’t really read anything penned by Andy Kubert to date, but I look forward to this issue because the Joker is my all-time favourite super-villain.

Batman and Robin 23.1

Batman and Robin #23.1: Two-Face

Two-Face is approached to join the Secret Society! Which side will his coin land on?

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi | Art: Guillem March | Cover: Chris Burnham | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Two-Face was portrayed magnificently in Christopher Nolan’s Batman: The Dark Knight and I’ve been wanting to read more about the character for a good long while now. This doesn’t appear to be an origin story, but tying into the events of Forever Evil, so that should be good.

Batman Black and White 01

Batman: Black and White #1

The legendary, Eisner Award-winning series BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE returns in a brand-new six-issue miniseries featuring tales of The Dark Knight by some of comics’ greatest writers and artists! This first issue kicks off with stories by Chip Kidd and Michael Cho, Neal Adams, Joe Quinones and Maris Wicks, John Arcudi and Sean Murphy, and Howard Mackie and Chris Samnee!

Writer: Chip Kidd, Neal Adams, Joseph A Quinones Jr., Maris Wicks, John Arcudi, Howard Mackie | Art: Michael Cho, Neal Adams, Joseph A Quinones Jr., Sean Murphy, Chris Samnee | Cover: Marc Silvestri | Variant: Marc Silvestri | 48pp | $4.99

Why is this on the list: A Batman anthology? Sure, I’m all over it!

Batman The Dark Knight 23.1

Batman: The Dark Knight #23.1: The Ventriloquist

The origin of the Ventriloquist is revealed!  One of them has powerful telekinesis and the other is a cold-blooded murderer—but who’s the real dummy in this act?

Writer: Gail Simone | Art: Derlis Santacruz | Cover: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Gail’s portrayal of The Ventriloquist in the pages of Batgirl gave us two of the best issues of that series, and a fantastic villain for Barbara. While some of the origins have already been covered in those two issues, it should be interesting how Gail continues here.

DCU vs MOTU 01

DC Universe vs The Masters of the Universe #1

After narrowly escaping his last battle with He-Man, Skeletor has fled to the most unexpected realm to recover: EARTH! Once there, he sets a plan in motion to siphon off Earth’s core magic. Forging an unlikely hunting party, He-Man and company go in search of Skeletor. Finding themselves at odds with the heroes of the DC Universe, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe must find a way to stop Skeletor and his mysterious new master!

Writer: Keith Giffen | Art: Dexter Soy | Cover: Ed Benes | 32pp | $2.99

Why is this on the list: This issue was supposed to be coming out last month, but for whatever reason, DC decided to postpone it at the last minute. Given the events of Forever Evil, it should be interesting how Keith approaches the story this time.

Detective Comics 23.1

Detective Comics #23.1: Poison Ivy

For too long, Poison Ivy has played with men’s hearts and been a pawn in their games too—but no more! Now that Batman is gone, she will grow into a force of nature unlike anything Gotham City has seen before!

Writer: Derek Fridolfs | Art: Javier Pina | Cover: Jason Fabok | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Poison Ivy featured all too briefly in Duane Swierczynski’s first run on Birds of Prey for the New 52, and I’ve been wanting more ever since. She’s one of the most nuanced villains in the DCU. And I mentioned in my previous post that this was a dream-match for me, so I’m still excited for this.

Forever Evil 01

Forever Evil #1

The first universe-wide event of The New 52 begins as FOREVER EVIL launches! The Justice League is DEAD! And the villains shall INHERIT the Earth! An epic tale of the world’s greatest super-villains starts here!

Writer: Geoff Johns | Art: David Finch, Richard Friend | Cover: David Finch, Richard Friend | Variant: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado | 48pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Justice League #23 ended on a pretty HUGE cliffhanger and I just can’t wait for this one to come out. The ending promises some extremely explosive things for this big event, and knowing Geoff Johns, that’s just scratching the surface.

Green Arrow 23.1

Green Arrow #23.1: Count Vertigo

Get set for the twisted origin of Count Vertigo! Why is the Count in Vancouver on the hunt for Green Arrow, and what could have happened to make him such a sadistic adversary?

Writer: Jeff Lemire | Art: Andrea Sorrentino | Cover: Andrea Sorrentino | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: I’ve only read one Green Arrow comic to date, the recent #23, so I’m not that well-versed with the character. However, I enjoyed the issue, and Jeff Lemire is one of my favourite writers at the moment, so hoping for great things here. And I really like Count Vertigo as a character, both in #23 and in the TV series Arrow.

Green Lantern 23.1

Green Lantern #23.1: Relic

Who is Relic, and why must he kill every being in the universe who might wield the light of the emotional spectrum? Relic’s power could be the most formidable force the Lanterns have ever seen!

This issue’s story incorporates Rags Morales’s recent variant covers from GREEN LANTERN, GREEN LANTERN CORPS, GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS, RED LANTERNS and LARFLEEZE, now with inks, full color and script!

Writer: Robert Venditti | Art: Rags Morales, Cam Smith | Cover: Billy Tan | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Having just come off three back-to-back events, the Green Lantern titles are going into another in October, Lights Out, and the tale of the villain Relic is apparently key to that. I’ve kind of enjoyed Venditti’s Green Lantern issues, and he’s said that this issue is going to continue the “road” to Lights Out, so I’m cautiously optimistic about it.

Justice League 23.1

Justice League #23.1: Darkseid

For Darkseid, Lord of Apokolips, you conform or die. Now born into his realm is an anomaly who looks to challenge that. A trickster, who will go to any length to survive even if it means sacrificing worlds to do it—leading to an Earth shattering confrontation between The Man of Steel and a Dark Lord.

Writer: Greg Pak | Art: Paolo Siqueria | Cover: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: I love Darkseid as a character. He is utterly badass and utterly villainous and utterly evil. I’m a bit put off that Greg Pak is writing this since I haven’t really enjoyed his writing so far, whether on Batman/Superman or Silver Surfer: Devolution, but I’m willing to give this a try just because of Darkseid.

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Justice League of America #7.1: Deadshot

Is it a death wish that makes Floyd Lawton put on the mask of Deadshot? Or is something more sinister pulling at Floyd when he becomes a relentless assassin who feels nothing for his victims? Discover the truth behind Deadshot’s secret history in this issue!

Writer: Matt Kindt | Art: Pasqual Ferry | Cover: Tony S. Daniel, Matt Banning | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Whether in the pages of Gail Simone’s run on Secret Six or his portrayal in the TV series Arrow, Deadshot has been a very interesting character. He is a villain, but there is a bit of ambiguity to him as well, which I like. And Matt Kindt has been quite impressive with his Justice League of America back-ups.

Legends of the Dark Knight 12

Legends of the Dark Knight #12

In “Adaptation,” Bruce Wayne faces life after winning his lifelong struggle against crime—and you might be surprised by his reaction! Then, when WayneTech’s stock prices fall, Batman must fight crime on a budget! Will his ability to fend off Ra’s al Ghul and his minions suffer?

DIGITAL FIRST!

Writer: Rafael Albuquerque, Peter Milligan | Art: Rafael Albuquerque, Riccardo Burchielli | Cover: Rafael Albuquerque | 40pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: I haven’t followed this digital first series so far but upon reading this solicit, I’m really intrigued. And I’ve had a good taste of Rafael Albuquerque’s writing in the American Vampire Anthology #1 issue, so good times. Horror, yes, but good times!

The Flash 23.1

The Flash #23.1: Grodd

Grodd believed he was destined to become the bearer of light—until The Flash raced onto the scene! What will Grodd do now that The Flash has disappeared with the rest of the world’s heroes? Conquest is on the horizon as the world becomes—Forever Evil!

Writer: Brian Buccellato | Art: Chris Batista | Cover: Francis Manapul | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: I’ve recently picked up The Flash with issue #20 on and I’ve been loving the series so bloody much. I’ve been going back to read some of the back issues as well since Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul seem to make an excellent creative team.

Necessary Evil

Necessary Evil: The Villains of The DC Universe

The Joker, Lex Luthor, Black Manta, Bane, Black Adam, Ra’s Al Ghul, General Zod, Clayface, Sinestro, Catwoman, Cheetah and many more of the worst villains in the DC Universe star in this action-packed collection of stories from ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #10, BATMAN #244, 614, BATMAN VILLAINS SECRET FILES #1, BLACK ADAM #6, GREEN LANTERN CORPS #14, SOLO #1, SUPERMAN: LEX 2000, WONDER WOMAN #214, COUNTDOWN TO INFINITE CRISIS #1 and the backup stories from COUNTDOWN #2, 6-11, 14-16, 19, 27, 29, 33-34 and 36-37!

Writer: Richard Donner, Geoff Johns, Jeph Loeb, Dennis O’Neil, Peter J. Tomasi, Dave Gibbons, Darwyn Cooke, Greg Rucka | Art: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Neal Adams, Dick Giordano, Mike Mignola, Kevin Nowlan, Doug Mahnke, Patrick Gleason, Tim Sale, Tony Harris, Drew Johnson | 192pp | $16.99

Why is this on the list: With Villain’s Month starting tomorrow and lasting all month, it certainly can’t hurt to look at some of these classic stories, written by some of DC’s best writers. I’m definitely going to be reading these!

Sep 11

Action Comics 23.2

Action Comics #23.2: Zod

General Zod storms into The New 52! Witness the origin of this genocidal maniac, and learn how far he will go to destroy those who oppose him!

Writer: Greg Pak | Art: Ken Lashley | Cover: Gene Ha | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Another instance where a Superman villain I really love is being written by a writer I don’t enjoy all that much. Still, Zod is a fantastic character, and after the terrible acting by Michael Shannon in Man of Steel, I want some good Zod fiction. Fingers crossed.

Aquaman 23.1

Aquaman #23.1: Black Manta

Set loose as the Secret Society’s plan unfolds, Black Manta is shocked to learn that Aquaman may be dead! Without the object of his hatred, how will Manta claim his final vengeance against the man who killed his father? Where will one of the most lethal villains alive turn his rage when he begins a new mission?

Writer: Geoff Johns, Tony Bedard | Art: Claude St. Aubin | Cover: Paul pelletier, Sean Parsons | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: The second arc of Aquaman, titled The Others, was a really great story that introduced several new characters (at least to me), and also introduced Black Manta, a villain who really could go toe-to-toe against Aquaman. And he’s a badass. What’s not to love?

Batman 23.2

Batman #23.2: The Riddler

With The Dark Knight out of the picture, The Riddler engages in an epic game of wits. Learn what maddening early moments led a young Edward Nygma to evolve into Gotham City’s Prince of Mischief! And see how events of ZERO YEAR continue to affect The Riddler today!

Writer: Scott Snyder, Ray Fawkes | Art: Jeremy Haun | Cover: Guillem March | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Two words: Zero Year. Riddler seems to be one of the major villains that Batman has to contend against during the events of Zero Year and he’s being developed as a really fascinating villain by Scott Snyder, so I definitely want more of that.

Batman and Robin 23.2

Batman and Robin #23.2: The Court of Owls

The Court of Owls takes stock of the new world order created in the wake of Forever Evil! What horrors will they unleash in order to maintain control!

Writer: James T. Tynion IV | Art: Jorge Lucas | Cover: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: The first of Batman was defined by the new villains on the Gotham crime scene: the Court of Owls. Scott Snyder did a fantastic job at creating some really great moments involving the Court in Gotham’s crime life, and it’s what made me into his fan in the first place.

Batman The Dark Knight 23.2

Batman: The Dark Knight #23.2: Mr. Freeze

Mr. Freeze takes his obsessions over the line when he sets his sights on his newfound family and getting revenge on Batman!

Writer: Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti | Art: Jason Masters | Cover: Guillem March | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: While he has seen some great outings under Scott Snyder for Batman, under Christy Marx’s Birds of Prey Mr Freeze has been a saturday/sunday morning villain. Still, he’s one of the most intriguing villains that Batman has faced, one with the most tragic backstory I feel, so reading about Mr. Freeze is always a great experience.

Detective Comics 23.2

Detective Comics #23.2: Harley Quinn

If Dr. Harleen Quinzel wasn’t crazy when she fell for The Joker at Arkham Asylum, she sure was messed up afterwards! Find out more from Harley’s time with her beloved Mr. J. and see what got her into so much trouble that she was “recruited” for the Suicide Squad!

Writer: Matt Kindt | Art: Neil Googe | Cover: Chris Burnham | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: The craziest character in DC comics other than the Joker himself, I’ve loved Harley as a character ever since seeing her in Batman: The Animated Series, and all subsequent appearances. I haven’t enjoyed her New 52 avatar so much, but I’m open to being impressed still.

Earth 2 15.2

Earth 2 #15.2: Solomon Grundy

Grundy hates green. He hates life, and he hates Green Lantern most of all! So what made Grundy this way? Find out in the secret origin of Solomon Grundy!

Writer: Matt Kindt | Art: Aaron Lopresti | Cover: Ken Lashley | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Solomon Grundy’s appearance in James Robinson’s Earth 2 was one of the most fantastic things about the title, mostly because of how he was portrayed, which was quite different from what I’ve seen of him previously. Expecting more of the same here.

Green Lantern 23.2

Green Lantern #23.2: Mongol

Deep in space, an unstoppable force is committing genocide on a galaxy-wide scale, and only the strongest will survive! Be warned, because nothing can prepare you for an all-new Warworld under the absolute rule of the tyrant called Mongul!

Writer: Jim Starlin | Art: Howard Porter | Cover: Billy Tan | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: I hate Mongol. I hate Mongol a lot. But all the same, he’s a character that I love to hate. And he’s being written by Jim Starlin, who is quite possibly the best writer of space opera comics in the industry. That’s all I really need to know here.

Justice League 23.2

Justice League #23.2: Lobo

Deep in the dark corridors of space lives a black-hearted being of unimaginable power. He’s witnessed horrors beyond description and committed unparalleled evils. In all of history, no being has ever been capable of as much chaos and terror as this lone individual. This is the story of the man called Lobo. He’s coming. And he’s bringing all of hell with him.

Writer: Marguerite Bennett | Art: Ben Oliver | Cover: Aaron Kuder | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Despite being a newcomer, Marguerite was quite impressive with the Batman: Annual #2 recently. And Lobo is such a lovable rogue. Perfect match right there, especially since Marguerite is so passionate about Lobo.

Smallville Season 11 17

Smallville Season 11 #17

Superman and new ally Diana race to stop magical terrorist Felix Faust from launching an attack on the nation’s capital. Meanwhile, Lois launches an attack of her own by digging into the shadowy connection between Faust and the new Department of Extra-Normal Operations.

DIGITAL FIRST!

Writer: Bryan Q. Miller | Art: Jorge Jimenez | Cover: Cat Staggs | 40pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: I still haven’t read any of these comics yet, and I hate that I’m missing out on so much goodness. Just going to put my foot down this time and plow through a few of these. Felix Faust. Superman. Wonder Woman. So much awesomeness right there.

Superman 23.2

Superman #23.2: Brainiac

Brainiac was the first adversary Superman fought on Earth, but where did he come from? A lineage that spans the universe holds many secrets when we ask, “Who is Brainiac?”

Writer: Tony Bedard | Art: Pascal Alixe | Cover: Gene Ha | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: As iconic a Superman villain as Zod or Darkseid, Brainiac is also the creepiest. He hasn’t done much in the New 52, at least not in the pages of Superman, although I’m given to understand that he’s featured in Action Comics. Great to see him getting the spotlight after all.

Teen Titans 23.1

Teen Titans #23.1: Trigon

He is the ruler of six kingdoms of pain, suffering and agony—but the one world that evades Trigon is Earth. Trigon’s influence has been spread across worlds by his sons, but it wasn’t until he conceived a daughter of Earthly origin that the monster finally had an heir who could aid his quest. Now, with all the world’s heroes missing—is this the final victory of Trigon?

Writer: Marv Wolfman | Art: CAFU | Cover: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Here’s the thing. Scott Lobdell has no idea what he’s doing on this book. So he’s set the bar so low that no matter who comes, they’re automatically going to be an improvement. And when that someone is a comics great like Marv Wolfman, you know you’re in for a treat.

The Flash 23.2

The Flash #23.2: Reverse-Flash

Discover the untold origin of Reverse-Flash! Who is he, and what is his relationship to Barry Allen? Secrets are revealed and questions answered as we race through the history of Reverse-Flash right through to Forever Evil!

Writer: Francis Manapul, Brian Buccellato | Art: Francis Manapul | Cover: Francis Manapul | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: I’ve only recently started to get into the larger Flash universe, so I don’t know his villains all that well. But still, Reverse-Flash seems to be a pretty iconic and classic antithesis of Flash, so anything with him, I’ll read (or watch for that matter). Plus, Francis and Brian are writing this, as they’ve been doing for The Flash. Double dose of awesome.

Sep 18

Action Comics 23.3

Action Comics #23.3: Lex Luthor

Evil genius, sadistic businessman, sociopathic inmate—Lex Luthor is all this and more. Now released from prison, there is nothing to stop Luthor from getting his way…not even Superman!

Writer: Charles Soule | Art: Raymond Bermudez | Cover: Aaron Kuder | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: I fell in love with the character through CW’s hit Smallville, where he was played by the excellent Michael Rosenbaum. And I’ve had a fascination with him for a long time. As with Brainiac, he hasn’t done much in the New 52 that I’m aware of, except to get locked up in some top-secret special prison. I’ve been hoping to see more of him, and this just might be it.

Arrow 11

Arrow #11

As a “fixer” for the mob, Tony has failed Starling City. But when a job puts him in the path of the vigilante, he’ll be forced to choose between his conscience and his career! And don’t miss the secret origin of the Dark Archer himself: Malcolm Merlyn! Plus: Roy Harper from the TV series makes his comics debut!

Writer: Marc Guggenheim | Art: Omar Francia, Allan Jefferson, Jonas Trindade, Xermanico | 40pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Another comic that, like Smallville Season 11 and Legends of the Dark Knight, that I really, really want to be reading, but can’t seem to find the time for. Perhaps this month will be exception?

Batman 23.3

Batman #23.3: The Penguin

Follow The Penguin’s latest quest for power as he prepares to undermine one of Gotham City’s most powerful politicians. What does the criminal mastermind stand to gain?

Writer: Frank Tieri | Art: Christian Duce Fernandez | Cover: Jason Fabok | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: One of the most oddball of Batman’s villains, much like the Mad Hatter, The Penguin is possibly also one of the most underrated. To see him get some more notice is a great thing and I really look forward to reading the mad-cap adventures of this Gotham crime-boss.

Batman and Robin 23.3

Batman and Robin #23.3: Ra’s Al Ghul and The League of Assassins

The origin of Ra’s al Ghul in The New 52! For centuries Ra’s has had a plan for this world, and now he is faced with an offer from the Secret Society that could help him achieve what he wants…or undo everything he has worked for. Which path will the Demon’s Head choose?

Writer: James T. Tynion IV | Art: Jorge Lucas | Cover: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Do I really need to mention Batman Begins here? Well, maybe not. I can always just fall back on Batman: The Animated Series and Batman: Under The Red Hood for that. I’ve never come across the “origins” of Ra’s Al Ghul before, so this should be really, really interesting.

Batman '66 03

Batman ’66 #3

To protect his beloved Gotham City, The Batman is forced to release his deadliest enemy…THE JOKER! Will Batman be able to put the genie back in the bottle? Who does The Joker have working with him on the outside? Why does Robin have to ride in a sidecar on the Batcycle? BATMAN ‘66 rolls into high gear with mystery and mayhem!

Writer: Jeff Parker | Art: Joseph A. Quinones Jr. | Cover: Mike Allred | Variant: Cully Hamner | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: More Joker goodness with full-on Adam West-era Batman feels. I’m definitely on this.

Batman The Dark Knight 23.3

Batman: The Dark Knight #23.3: Clayface

Its the biggest audition of Clayface’s life as he attempts to impress the Secret Society and join their ranks. Desperate to prove himself more than a monster, Clayface sets a scheme into motion that quickly unravels! Will he make his mark—or dig his own grave?

Writer: John Layman | Art: Cliff Richards | Cover: Guillem March | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: More on the Secret Society through the eyes of Clayface, one of the craziest of Batman’s villains roster. Yes, more please. Especially after what Scott Snyder did with him in Batman.

Detective Comics 23.3

Detective Comics #23.3: The Scarecrow

See the new Gotham City through the eyes of the Scarecrow! It’s Arkham Asylum unleashed on humanity—and it’s all the Scarecrow has ever wanted!

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi | Art: Szymon Kudranski | Cover: Jason Fabok | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Again, we come back to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy here. And the Arkham Asylum. I’m already getting shivers wondering what this lunatic is gonna do.

Green Lantern 23.3

Green Lantern #23.3: Black Hand

In a world with no heroes, death lies behind every turn! Black Hand arrives to take advantage of Forever Evil, and he may be the most dangerous player yet! And when last we saw him, Black Hand was a pile of dust in the Dead Zone! How did he manage to return?

Writer: Charles Soule | Art: Alberto Ponticelli | Cover: Billy Tan | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: I’m still on the fence about whether I like Black Hand or not, having read Blackest Night and, of course, Geoff Johns’ New 52 run on Green Lantern. Perhaps this issue may decide it for me.

Teen Titans 23.2

Teen Titans #23.2: Deathstroke

One of the deadliest men in the world has a secret: his family. Slade Wilson lives to kill, but can even Deathstroke the Terminator balance his home life with a complicated hit?

Don’t miss this amazing issue written by Corey Mays and Dooma Wendschuh, writers of the video games Assassin’s Creed and Batman: Arkham Origins.

Writer: Corey Mays, Dooma Wendschuh | Art: Angel Unzueta, Moritat | Cover: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: I’m going to fall back on CW’s Arrow for this one, although we haven’t really seen Deathstroke there, just his regular persona as Slade Wilson. One of the most badass of all DC’s villains, and the deadliest of course. Given that plot summary above, this should be one hell of an issue.

The Flash 23.3

The Flash #23.3: The Rogues

The Rogues have their rules and their ways of doing business—so what do they think of the Secret Society’s claims that the Justice League is dead, and that the world’s villains need to unite?  It’s a culture clash that won’t end quietly!

Writer: Brian Buccellato | Art: Patrick Zircher | Cover: Francis Manapul | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Once again, it comes down to Brian’s writing. And that’s enough for me.

Wonder Woman 23.1

Wonder Woman #23.1: The Cheetah

The Cheetah has clawed her way out of Belle Reve, and is hungry for blood—but before she steps up as one of the Secret Society’s most powerful generals, she has a personal score to settle! Learn the truth about the cult of Hippolyta, her vendetta against Wonder Woman, and just how far she’ll go to prove that she’s the most dangerous predator on Earth!

Writer: John Ostrander | Art: Victor Ibanez Ramirez | Cover: Victor Ibanez Ramirez | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Cheetah got an excellent outing in the pages of Geoff Johns’ Justice League recently, so much so in fact that she became one of my favourite villains in the DC universe. Which is why I’m really looking forward to reading this issue.

Arrow Volume 1

Arrow Volume 1

Spinning out of the hit CW television series ARROW comes these digital-first adventures! These new stories from ARROW #1-6 and #1 SPECIAL EDITION fill in the gaps between episodes of one of TV’s hottest new series!

Writer: Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg | Art: Mike Grell, Jorge Jimenez, Sergio Sandoval, Eric Nguyen | 208pp | $16.99

Why is this on the list: I really enjoyed the entire show and I’ve been meaning to pick up these comics anyway. With a trade collection, that just got easier!

Secret Society Volume 1

Secret Society of Super-Villains Volume 1

Sinestro, Gorilla Grodd, Captain Cold and other villain star in tales of evil from SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS #1-15, DC SPECIAL #27, DC SPECIAL SERIES #6, SUPER-TEAM FAMILY #13-14, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #166-168, CANCELLED COMICS CAVALCADE #2 and THE AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS #11.

Writer: Gerry Conway, Paul Levitz | Art: Various | Cover: Ernie Chua | 208pp | $19.99

Why is this on the list: .

Sep 25

Aquaman 23.2

Aquaman #23.2: Ocean Master

Ocean Master is freed from Belle Reve and wants no part of the Secret Society—he just wants to go home to Atlantis. But he has a long bloody journey across the surface world in front of him, and he might not make it back!

Writer: Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates | Art: Geraldo Borges | Cover: Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Once again we come back to two Geoff Johns titles, Aquaman and Justice League, where Ocean Master has been one of the coolest villains and a really nuanced character to boot. His current status is somewhat in limbo, which is why I love the fact that we finally get to see more of him. He might not be the King that Atlantis needs, but is probably the one that it deserves.

Batman 23.4

Batman #23.4: Bane

Batman is gone, and the inmates of Arkham Asylum are running wild in the streets! Bane is in Gotham City with one goal…to take it over no matter who he has to break!

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi | Art: Graham Nolan | Cover: Guillem March | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: After reading Knightfall: Broken Bat, my respect for Bane as a character is quite high. That graphic novel had an excellent portrayal of him, and I’d love to see more of him, as I do with several of these other villains.

Batman and Robin 23.4

Batman and Robin #23.4: Killer Croc

As the battle for Gotham City continues to build, the scales become unbalanced when the ferocious Killer Croc enters the fray!

Writer: Tim Seeley | Art: Francis Portela | Cover: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Tim Seeley recently, and talking to him about his work for Top Cow, through which I found out that he’s done some work for DC as well. And with him taking on an obscure and little-known villain like Killer Croc, things are looking good!.

Batman-Superman 03.1

Batman/Superman #3.1: Doomsday

Long before Superman fought the unstoppable monster known as Doomsday, the beast’s reputation for death and destruction haunted The Man of Steel’s home world of Krypton.

Writer: Greg Pak | Art: Brett Booth | Cover: Tony S. Daniel | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Why is that that Greg Pak is getting all the great Superman villains? I don’t know either, but as with the other two Villain’s Month issues he’s writing, I’m willing to give this issue a chance purely because of the character and not the writer as much.

Detective Comics 23.4

Detective Comics #23.4: Man-Bat

Dr. Langstrom has given in to the Man-Bat side of his personality. Left unchecked in a world without heroes, he brutally stalks his prey in Gotham City! If Langstrom won’t stop himself…who will?

Writer: Frank Tieri | Art: Scott Eaton, Jaime Mendoza | Cover: Jason Fabok | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: A character I barely remember from Batman: The Animated Series, the Man-Bat has been having a good run in John Layman’s current run on Detective Comics in the backups. I haven’t read the previous issues (Volume 3) in which I believe his story is quite detailed, but I mean to go back. Until then, this one-shot should tide me over quite nicely.

Green Lantern 23.4

Green Lantern #23.4: Sinestro

Years ago, Sinestro used his Green Lantern ring to utterly dominate his home planet of Korugar, all in the name of “protecting” his people. It’s the mistake that turned his name into a curse, and brought down the greatest Green Lantern of them all…but one never-before-seen moment from those dark days holds the key to his future!

Writer: Matt Kindt | Art: Dale Eaglesham | Cover: Billy Tan | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: The most classic of Hal Jordan’s villains, Sinestro is also another favourite villain of mine, especially after having seen him in Green Lantern: First Flight, where he was just plain excellent. And with Matt Kindt on the helm, I don’t have anything to worry, I hope.

Justice League 23.4

Justice League #23.4: Secret Society

An army of super villains has been built throughout The New 52 during 2013—but for what purpose? Learn about the villains that have paved the way for the world of FOREVER EVIL.

Writer: Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates | Art: Manuel Garcia, Rob Hunter | Cover: Mikel Janin | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: The Secret Society has been built up through two years of DC’s New 52 and its high time that it finally got some time under the sun. The mystery has been great, but now I want to see things in full.

JLA 07.4

Justice League of America #7.4: Black Adam

Where is Black Adam? And what series of events is triggered when the Secret Society attacks Kahndaq? Discover all of this and much more in this issue!

Writer: Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates | Art: Edgar Salazar | Cover: Tony S. Daniel, Matt Banning | 32pp | $3.99

Why is this on the list: Black Adam was built up really well through the Justice League backups and all of Justice League #21 was like a big tribute to the character. But I was left wanting more, because his appearances so far have been very brief. A full-issue should do well to  really get into the psyches of the character.

Justice League Volume 3

Justice League Volume 3: Throne of Atlantis

In this sea-splashed epic from JUSTICE LEAGUE #13-17 and AQUAMAN #15-16, Atlantis is struck by a U.S. Navy missile gone awry, and Ocean Master leads the undersea city’s forces in an attack on the east coast of the United States! The Justice League must turn back the tide, but they are woefully overmatched by the Atlantean Army! How can they save the world from annihilation?

Writer: Geoff Johns  | Art: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Paul Pelletier, Art Thilbert, Pete Woods, Pete Perez | Cover: Ivan Reis and Joe Prado | 192pp | $24.99

Why is this on the list: The issues contained in this collection are some of the best issues that Geoff has written in both Justice League and Aquaman, but especially the former, which had a rather dreary second arc. First with the introduction of the New 52 version of Cheetah and then the big crossover, this entire arc acted like a resurgence for the series. And its a fantastic story to boot.

Shazam Volume 1

Shazam Volume 1

The World’s Mightiest Mortal is reborn in The New 52 in this incredible tale from JUSTICE LEAGUE #7-11, 0, 14-16 and 18-21! Young orphan Billy Batson has bounced from foster home to foster home, but when he’s drawn to the Rock of Eternity, he is imbued with powers beyond those of any mortal man! But can he learn how to handle those powers in time to defeat the villainous Black Adam?

Writer: Geoff Johns | Art: Gary Frank | Cover: Gary Frank | 192pp | $24.99

Why is this on the list: This story was originally told through the backups in Justice League and eventually culminated in the full length Justice League #21. This was a great way to build up the character, and that’s exactly what Geoff Johns and Gary Frank delivered on. Some really great stories here that show Shazam’s New 52 origin and his first big fight.

Legends of the Dark Knight Volume 2

Legends of the Dark Knight Volume 2: Jim Aparo

In these stories from THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #123-145 and 147-151, Batman teams up with The Flash, Aquaman, Mister Miracle, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Deadman, Green Lantern, Hawkman, The Phantom Stranger, Supergirl, the Teen Titans—and Jim Aparo himself!

Writer: Bob Haney, Cary Burkett | Art: Jim Aparo, John Calnon, Joe Staton | Cover: Jim Aparo | 520pp | $49.99

Why is this on the list: Just the thought of all those team-ups has me excited!

Shadowhawk is a regular contributor to TFF. A resident of Dubai, Shadowhawk reads, reads and reads. His opinions are always clear and concise. His articles always worth reading.

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