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Shadowhawk takes a look at and talks about the top DC comics to watch out for in November, single issues and graphic novels alike.
Pretty much all the series are now finally getting back on track and I’m enjoying pretty much most of them, except for a few exceptions. Lots of arcs are moving into their main phase now, such as Forever Evil, or are concluding, such as Death of a King, and new teams are pretty much on the horizon, such as Earth 2 and Aquaman. So its exciting times as usual for DC’s monthlies. With a lot of Batman: Zero Year tie-ins being released this month, there are going to be a lot of extra-sized issues as well, so lots more promising goodness too.
Here’s my breakdown of books I’m looking forward to this month.
A BATMAN: ZERO YEAR tie-in! As Gotham City descends into chaos, young Luke Fox is the only one who can stop one of his classmates from causing more destruction—but he didn’t count on his friend being so… VENOMOUS!
Writer: Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti | Art: Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira | Cover: Amanda Conner | 40pp | $3.99
Why is this on the list: I’m getting this one purely because this is a tie-in to Scott Snyder’s Zero Year, and because I’m very interested in Luke Fox, who I assume is the son of Lucius Fox, a character I first saw in Batman Begins. And I like Justin and Jimmy’s writing too, so that’s a plus.
A BATMAN: ZERO YEAR tie-in! James Gordon confronts the corrupt elements in the G.C.P.D.—and the vigilante known as Batman!
Writer: John Layman | Art: Jason Fabok | Cover: Jason Fabok | Variant: Jason Fabok | 32pp | $3.99
Why is this on the list: A tie-in to an event I’m really enjoying and written and drawn by one of my favourite creative teams..
Batman fights to keep Brutal and the forces of Darkseid from taking complete control of Earth! Beginning a new story by Tom Taylor (INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US)!
Writer: Tom Taylor | Art: Nicola Scott, Trevor Scott | Cover: Ethan Van Sciver | Variant: Doug Mahnke, Ethan Van Sciver | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: This is a bit of a dubious one since I’m not that taken with Taylor’s writing on Injustice: Gods Among Us. But, Earth 2 under James Robinson was really good, so I’m undecided. This issue will be a deal-breaker for sure.
The first universe-wide event of The New 52 continues to explode across the DC Universe! With the world under the rule of the mysterious and deadly Crime Syndicate and our greatest heroes dead, it’s up to the unlikeliest of defenders to rise up to save us—humanity’s only hope—Lex Luthor?! Plus, a startling revelation about the dark secret of the Syndicate’s mission on Earth—and what it means for the future of the DC Universe and its heroes and villains.
Writer: Geoff Johns | Art: David Finch, Richard Friend | Cover: Ethan Van Sciver | Variant: David Finch, Richard Friend | 32pp | $3.99
Why is this on the list: The event hasn’t been as enjoyable as I thought it would be, mostly because of the art by Finch, but I’ve mostly been enjoying Johns’ writing.
The shockwaves of “Lights Out” are just starting to be felt, as Hal Jordan makes a controversial decision that will change the mission of the Green Lantern Corps! But not everyone agrees with Hal’s goals, and the dissent could weaken the Corps further!
Writer: Robert Venditti | Art: Billy Tan, Rob Hunter | Cover: Billy Tan |Variant: Billy Tan | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: Losing steam with this series under Venditti. It could be better, but the writer doesn’t seem to be making too much of an effort. Will give him another chance at least.
A BATMAN: ZERO YEAR tie-in! He’s just returned from the island and must try to find his place in the world! Now, Oliver Queen becomes Green Arrow for the first time as he battles Killer Moth in Gotham City!
Writer: Jeff Lemire | Art: Andrea Sorrentino | Cover: Andrea Sorrentino | Variant: Andrea Sorrentino | 40pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: The previous two issues have been pretty good, as was the Villain’s Month one-shot, so this new one is something I’ve been waiting for a while. Should be interesting how Ollie ties in with Bruce.
This bombastic debut issue features art by award-winning illustrators including Darwyn Cooke, Sam Kieth, Tony S. Daniel, Paul Pope, Walter Simonson, Art Baltazar and others—but will any of them measure up to the exacting standards of the Clown Princess of Crime? Don’t miss the thrilling return of Harley Quinn in her own monthly series!
Writer: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti | Art: Darwyn Cooke, Sam Keith, Tony S. Daniel, Paul Pope, Walter Simonson, Art Baltazar | Cover: Amanda Conner | Variant: Stephane Roux | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: Despite the controversy surrounding this new ongoing series, I’m really looking forward to this since Harley is a character I really enjoyed in Batman: The Animated Series.
Rumors of a giant bat-creature bring Scooby and the gang on the run—but Batman and Robin are already on the trail of their old foe, the monstrous Man-Bat. Before long, the crooks behind a fake bat-creature will come face-to-face with the real thing…with the good guys caught in the middle! Don’t miss the start of this new, bimonthly miniseries!
Writer: Sholly Fisch | Art: Dario Brizuela | Cover: Dario Brizuela | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: Scooby-doo plus Batman and Robin. How can anyone miss this?
As the Graveyard Faction terrorizes Coral City, the Movement is nowhere to be found!
Writer: Gail Simone | Art: Freddie E Williams II | Cover: Rafael Albuquerque | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: This series is moving into some really interesting territory and Gail continues to impress.
Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger #13
Months ago, The Question came close to ending the Stranger’s life—and now the Stranger wants some payback!
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis | Art: Fernando Blanco | Cover: Guillem March | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: DeMatteis’ writing has made me a fan of Phantom Stranger and this is a comic that is definitely high on my list of monthlies to read. The last few issues have been good across the board.
Superman rushes to stop Ascension’s attack and kicks off a huge battle with Wraith! Besieged on all sides, Superman has no choice but to call in some powerful friends…
Writer: Scott Snyder | Backup: Dustin Nguyen | Art: Jim Lee, Scott Williams | Cover: Jim Lee, Scott Williams | Variant: Jim Lee, Scott Williams | 32pp | $3.99
Why is this on the list: After #3, I’m finally enjoying this series, getting into the flow of things and all. It also helps that this Superman series is better written than anything else that the rest in the franchise have to offer.
In these stories from BATMAN #8-9, BATMAN ANNUAL #1, DETECTIVE COMICS #9, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #9, BATWING #9, BATMAN AND ROBIN #9, RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #9, BIRDS OF PREY #9, BATGIRL #9, NIGHTWING #8-9 and ALL-STAR WESTERN #9, evil spreads across Gotham City as Red Robin, Batwing, Robin, Batgirl, the Birds of Prey, Nightwing and even Catwoman find themselves in a battle coming from all sides.
Writer: Various | Art: Various | Cover: Greg Capullo | 368pp | $19.99
Why is this on the list: This collects one of DC’s best mini-crossovers and that’s all that needs to be said about it.
Justice League of America Volume 1
Green Lantern! Green Arrow! Catwoman! Katana! Vibe! Hawkman! Stargirl! They aren’t the world’s greatest Super Heroes—they’re the most dangerous! But why does a team like the JLA need to exist? What is their ultimate mission? And who is pulling the strings? Find out in this collection of the first five issues of the new series as the team takes on the Secret Society of Super-Villains!
Writer: Geoff Johns, Matt Kindt | Art: David Finch, Scott Clark, Brett Booth | Cover: David Finch | 224pp | $24.99
Why is this on the list: With Geoff Johns at the helm, this proved to be a really good opening volume, one that I definitely enjoyed and would highly recommend.
The acclaimed graphic novel from legendary writer/artist Walter Simonson shows how one of the silver coins Judas was paid to betray Jesus has had an impact on the DC Universe, with chapters starring the Golden Gladiator, (A.D. 73), the Viking Prince (A.D. 1000), Captain Fear (1720) and Bat Lash (1881). In the centerpiece of the book, Batman faces Two-Face in an epic, present-day battle before the story blasts into the future for a final chapter set in the year 2087 starring Manhunter 2070!
Writer: Walter Simonson | Art: Walter Simonson | Cover: Walter Simonson | 104pp | $14.99
Why is this on the list: Really interesting premise here and I’ve heard Walter Simonson’s name come up a lot as one of the best in the business.
A BATMAN: ZERO YEAR tie-in! Barbara Gordon is forced to protect her brother and her homestead in anticipation of the upcoming storm—but it’s here that she learns the true meaning of “home” and “hero.”
Writer: Marguerite Bennett | Art: Fernando Pasarin, Jonathan Glapion | Cover: Alex Garner | 40pp | $4.99
Why is this on the list: I’m still confused as to why Marguerite is writing this issue and not Gail Simone since she’s the series writer and none of the other tie-ins are getting any guest writers. Still, Marguerite is quite a decent, and even a promising writer, so I look forward to what she’s doing with this issue and with Barbara.
BATMAN: ZERO YEAR reaches a new level as The Riddler sends Gotham City into total darkness! “Dark City” begins in this issue that features an embossed cover.
And the ZERO YEAR blackout spreads into other titles this month, affecting heroes across the DC Universe!
Writer: Scott Snyder | Art: Greg Capullo, Danny Miki | Cover: Greg Capullo | Variant: Ken Hunt, Greg Capullo | 40pp | $4.99
Why is this on the list: Following on from the awesomeness of the previous issue is going to be a tough task but Scott and Greg are definitely up to it. This event is getting better and better.
As Scarecrow tips the balance of power between Arkham and Blackgate, The Penguin is made an offer he can’t refuse. Who will be Gotham City’s protector now? One word: BANE!
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi | Art: Scott Eaton, Jaime Mendoza | Cover: Jason Fabok | Variant: Jason Fabok | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: The opening issue was a bit weak, but I find the premise to be really fun, so there’s that. Can’t wait to see what Bane does to Gotham!
A BATMAN: ZERO YEAR tie-in! Dick Grayson frantically tries to find Haly’s Circus—and his parents—as Gotham City is plunged into total darkness!
Writer: Kyle Higgins | Art: Will Conrad | Cover: Will Conrad | 40pp | $4.99
Why is this on the list: Kyle’s issues involving Haly’s Circus and how it all fit with the Night of the Owls event were some of the best in the series and I’m hoping that this will somehow tie-in with all that.
A FOREVER EVIL tie-in! Martian Manhunter literally claws his way out of the fire, with one other member of the JLA at his side. But what are their chances of survival on a world being run by the deadliest Super-Villians?
Writer: Matt Kindt | Art: Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy | Cover: Doug Mahnke | Variant: Doug Mahnke, Ethan Van Sciver | 32pp | $3.99
Why is this on the list: Matt didn’t excite with the last issue, which was subpar at best, but I’m holding out hope.
In these stories from AQUAMAN #7-13, Aquaman joins up with his old teammates, The Others, to learn who destroyed Atlantis! But as they seek the truth, Black Manta is stalking them all—and Mera learns some dark truths about Aquaman!
Writer: Geoff Johns | Art: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado | Cover: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado | 160pp | $14.99
Why is this on the list: This is the story arc that really sold me on Aquaman as a character, and I would recommend this quite highly. Fortunately, this is also a paperback reprint.
Aquaman, who long ago lost contact with his people, must watch as armies emerge from the sea to attack the surface world. The Justice League answers the call to defend the shores from the invading Atlantean horde. But whose side is Aquaman on? With his brother Orm at the head of the undersea army, will Aquaman stand with his Earth-bound superteam? Or his own people? Find out in this exciting hardcover collecting AQUAMAN #0 and 14-16 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #15-17.
Writer: Geoff Johns | Art: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Pete Woods, Pere Perez, Paul Pelletier | Cover: Eddy Barrows | 176pp | $24.99
Why is this on the list: This was the first crossover event for Aquaman and the Justice League in the New 52 and it was impressive in the extreme. I loved this one and would recommend this one as highly as Volume 2.
BLACK CANARY: ZERO YEAR?! Well, it’s definitely a BATMAN: ZERO YEAR tie-in issue as we look into a pivotal moment in Black Canary’s history! Don’t miss assassins, mystery men and an ancient evil in Gotham City!
Writer: Christy Marx | Art: Romano Molenaar, Jonathan Glapion | Cover: Jorge Molina | 40pp | $3.99
Why is this on the list: I’ve pretty much given up on the series, but I can’t deny the draw of this issue being a tie-in for Zero Year. Last chance I’m taking with Christy Marx.
He-Man and The Masters of The Universe #8
He-Man and a small team of Masters set off toward Mount Zoar to undertake King Randor’s desperate plan to free Eternia from the Horde Occupation.
Writer: Dan Abnett | Art: Rafael Kayanan | Cover: Joe Bennett | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: I haven’t yet caught up with October’s issues, but I’m definitely getting this one because there has been a much more positive buzz about the previous issue, with the creative team change, so something else to look forward to in the third week.
Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion #2
Separated from their leader Captain Cold and trapped in Metropolis, the Rogues must fight for their lives against the Secret Society’s secret weapon: the horrifying Parasite!
Writer: Brian Buccellato | Art: Patrick Zircher | Cover: Declan Shalvey | Variant: Declan Shalvey | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: The first issue was pretty damn good, and Brian is definitely on a really good run right now. Would hate to miss it!
Justice League of America’s Vibe #9
Vibe is stuck in another dimension, where he must stop an alien invasion of Earth and rescue his brother—who is busy trying to kill Vibe! No problem, right?
Writer: Sterling Gates | Art: Andres Guinaldo, Mark Irwin | Cover: Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: Another series I’m extremely close to dropping completely. The last issue was pretty WTF and this is another issue that is going to decide whether or not I continue.
Following the shocking events of TRINITY WAR, Pandora can now physically harm the Seven Deadly Sins! But by going after Greed and Sloth at the same time, she may have bitten off more than she can chew. Plus: A surprising new player takes the stage, determined to end the immortal Pandora’s life!
Writer: Ray Fawkes | Art: Francis Portela | Cover: Julian Totino Tedesco | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: The series is finally finding its legs with consistency, and I’m finally liking something that Fawkes is doing.
“KRYPTON RETURNS” continues as Supergirl faces the clone wars of Krypton. Just as she was starting to accept Superboy’s clone origins, she faces the horrible past of her home planet. And she must once again face H’El.
Writer: Michael Alan Nelson, Scott Lobdell | Art: Paolo Siqueira | Cover: Kenneth Rocafort | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: This is going to tie-in to something that Scott Lobdell is writing so I’m turned off automatically and its only Michael’s name that is drawing me to this one since he pretty much revived Supergirl in the New 52. And I just may have to get the Superman and Superboy issues to make sense of another crazy crossover from Lobdell.
The Dark Knight faces deadly foes including Poison Ivy, Clayface and the Penguin in these stories from DETECTIVE COMICS #13-18. This volume also includes chapters from the epic “Death of the Family” and “Requiem” sagas.
Writer: John Layman | Art: Jason Fabok, Andy Clarke | Cover: Jason Fabok | 192pp | $24.99
Why is this on the list: The Villain’s Month issue with Penguin was really good and while it wasn’t written by John, I’m getting this graphic novel for the fact that I’m enjoying John’s current work on Detective Comics and because I really enjoy Penguin as a character.
THE EXTRA-SIZED CONCLUSION TO “DEATH OF A KING”! Aquaman now knows the true responsibility that comes with being King of Atlantis. But that means he and Mera face a difficult choice—one that could destroy the love that’s defined their lives! Villains become allies, friends become enemies, and the scope of Aquaman’s undersea world grows bigger than ever!
Writer: Geoff Johns | Art: Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons | Cover: Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons | Variant: Paul Pelletier | 40pp | $3.99
Why is this on the list: Lots of revelations about Aquaman’s family history in the last issue and this one is going to end Geoff’s run on the series. This is not an issue to be missed!
As the world adjusts to its new status quo, Col. Steve Trevor and A.R.G.U.S. go on the offensive to stop the rise of evil! The first obstacle in Trevor’s path? Deathstroke!
Writer: Matt Kindt | Art: Phillip Tan, Jason Paz | Cover: Mikel Janin | Variant: Mikel Janin | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: The first issue was mediocre but had some really cool moments and a fight between Deathstroke and Steve Trevor is pretty badass.
FOREVER EVIL continues as the Crime Syndicate hunts down the few heroes left foolish enough to challenge them—including Batman’s protege, Dick Grayson. But Owlman has other plans for Nightwing…and Owlman’s teammate: the most deadly being on the planet: Ultraman!
Writer: Geoff Johns | Art: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado | Cover: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado | Variant: Aaron Kuder, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado | 32pp | $3.99
Why is this on the list: Kind of funny that I’m enjoying tie-in issues far more than the event book for Forever Evil itself. But then, that’s what a pairing of Geoff, Ivan and Joe is all about. They are pretty much a perfect team!
A FOREVER EVIL tie-in! Alone in a world where Super-Villains reign, John Constantine must enlist the aid of Swamp Thing in order to turn the tide.
Writer: J. M. DeMatteis | Art: Mikel Janin | Cover: Mikel Janin | Variant: Mikel Janin | 32pp | $3.99
Why is this on the list: DeMatteis began his run on this series last month in a spectacular manner and since this month really kicks off the Forever Evil: Blight storyline, I’m totally excited.
In the wake of the revolt of the Orange Lanterns, Larfleeze faces his worst nightmare: living as the possession of someone else!
Writer: Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis | Art: Scott Kolins | Cover: Tyler Kirkham | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: Larfleeze. Nothing more needs to be said.
A BATMAN: ZERO YEAR tie-in! What crucial part did Barry Allen play in the Zero Year saga, and how did it shape his future as The Flash?
Writer: Francis Manapul, Brian Buccellato | Art: Chris Sprouse, Karl Story | Cover: Francis Manapul | Variant: Francis Manapul | 40pp | $3.99
Why is this on the list: The series has been as good as any of my other top titles I’m reading. Manapul and Buccellato have definitely made into fans of Barry.
DC Universe vs The Masters of The Universe #3
After the shocking ending to issue #2, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe find themselves hunted by the Justice League. In the midst of the chaos, Skeletor’s plan moves into its next, dangerous phase!
Writer: Keith Giffen| Art: Dexter Soy | Cover: Ed Benes | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: This book is silly fun and I’m enjoying the hilarity of it, much like Larfleeze but a bit more… out there.
Green Arrow Volume 1
In these 1980s stories from GREEN ARROW #1-6, Green Arrow hunts down a child killer, races to find a lost biological weapon before Chinese spies can find it, and tackles a rash of inner-city violence.
Writer: Mike Grell | Art: Edward Hannigan, Dick Giordano, Frank McLaughlin | Cover: Mike Grell | 160pp | $14.99
Why is this on the list: This is something that looks really promising and I love the bearded version of Ollie, much different than his current incarnation. A really silly reason I know, but that’s what it is!
Lois Lane: A Celebration of 75 Years
Don’t miss these tales starring Lois Lane, Superman and more, reprinted from ACTION COMICS #1-2, 6, 484, 600 and 662, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #631, ALL-STAR SUPERMAN #2-3, MAN OF STEEL #2, SHOWCASE #9, SUPERMAN #29, 33-34, 58 and 168, SUPERMAN 80-PAGE GIANT 2011 #1, SUPERMAN: LOIS LANE #1, SUPERMAN’S GIRL FRIEND LOIS LANE #5, 16, 23, 42 and 106, and WONDER WOMAN #170!
Writer: Various | Art: Various | 384pp | $27.99
Why is this on the list: I’ve been waiting for this book to come out all year and its finally coming out at the end of the month. Should be great.