Donate to TFF Book Review
Subscribe by email!
Shadowhawk runs down the top DC comics to be looking forward to in January, 2014.
2014 has finally begun and there are some really cool titles and stories coming from DC this month, especially since there are quite a few creator shake-ups such as for The Flash and Aquaman. The list this month is unusually light, mostly because I’ve cut down most of the Forever Evil books from my anticipated lists. December was quite a dreadful month for the event and if I wasn’t already so invested in it, then I would have given up on it altogether. Buccellato and Hepburn’s Rogues Rebellion is the only bright light for the event and even that title is struggling a bit.
As with December, the number of interesting graphic novels being released this week is quite thin since there isn’t all that much coming out, and what little there is comes for books like Superman and Superboy, which all I detest, so there’s that.
Still, January is going to be quite a fun month, all things told, and here are the titles that I’m really looking forward to.
DC Entertainment presents this mega-sized issue featuring an all-star roster of Batman creators past and present!
Don’t miss a modern-day retelling of The Dark Knight’s origin by the incredible team of writer Brad Meltzer and artist Bryan Hitch! Plus, all-new stories by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy, Peter J. Tomasi and Guillem March, Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen, Gregg Hurwitz and Neal Adams, new art by legendary Batman writer/artist Frank Miller and more!
Also in this issue, John Layman and Jason Fabok kick off the new storyline “GOTHTOPIA”! It’s a bright, shiny, happy place where dreams come true…as long as you don’t look at things too closely.
Writer: John Layman, Scott Snyder, Paul Dini, Brad Meltzer, Gregg Hurwitz, Peter J. Tomasi | Art: Jason Fabok, Neal Adams, Dustin Nguyen, Guillem March, Frank Miller | Cover: Greg Capullo | Variant: Jason Fabok, Kelley Jones, Chris Burnham | 96pp | $7.99
Why is this on the list: This issue is going to be quite expensive and it is jam-packed with some incredible talent. As a landmark issue, this one should be on anyone’s list for the month and it definitely is on mine. Its been said that the stories here will be quite relevant to the Bat-titles in 2014, so that’s another reason to get it.
“The Outsiders War” part 2! Green Arrow fights for his life against the head of the Shield Clan, the deadly Kodiak! Plus, learn the tragic secret that turned Oliver Queen into Green Arrow!
Writer: Jeff Lemire | Art: Andrea Sorrentino | Cover: Andrea Sorrentino | Variant: Andrea Sorrentino | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: The previous issue was absolutely amazing. I’ve finally hit the rhythm on this series and Lemire/Sorrentino are doing a really incredible job exploring the rich mythology and lore of the character.
Vengeance Moth and Burden are left alone to fight the Graveyard Faction! Only they and Tremor stand can prevent a disaster beneath Coral City!
Writer: Gail Simone | Art: Freddie E Williams II | Cover: Juan Doe| 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: This series is one of those few ones in comics that get better as time goes on and Simone/Williams are doing some top-rate stuff. The current story with Moth and Burden is quite endearing and I just love the pairing between the two of them.
Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger #15
A FOREVER EVIL tie-in! With the secret of the Sea King revealed, the Phantom Stranger is faced with an impossible choice: Let the villains win or destroy the last true friend he has! Continued in this month’s CONSTANTINE #10!
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis | Art: Fernando Blanco | Cover: Guillem March | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: One of the best titles from DC right now? Hell yeah. That’s all that needs to be said.
Holy overactive imagination! When Scarecrow attacks using his fear gas, only humans are affected, leaving Batman, Robin and the Mystery Inc. gang trapped facing “monsters” from their own imaginations. Now, it’s up to canine crusaders Scooby-Doo and Ace the Bat-Hound to save the day!
Writer: Sholly Fisch | Art: Dario Brizuela | Cover: Dario Brizuela | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: What can I say, I’m a Scooby-fan. The first issue was great and this one promises to be too. Plus we have Ace the Bat-Hound! That’s a winner!
For the first time, DC Comics collects Batman stories originally published between 1948 and 1966 that were adapted into specific episodes of the classic Batman TV series! Starring The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler and Mr. Freeze (here called “Mr. Zero”), and featuring the debut of Batgirl, these stories have never been collected together before. Collected from BATMAN #53, 73, 121, 140, 169 and 171, and DETECTIVE COMICS #230, 346 and 359.
Writer: Bill Finger, Gardner Fox, John Broome, Various | Art: Bob Kane, Dick Sprang, Sheldon Moldoff, Carmine Infantino, Various | Cover: Amanda Conner | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: I loved the show and I love all these villains, so this is pretty much a must-read for me.
In this tale tying into “GOTHTOPIA,” what kind of sick world pairs up Batgirl and the woman who tried to kill Jim Gordon — Knightfall?!
Writer: Gail Simone | Art: Fernando Pasarin | Cover: Alex Garner | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: The series moves into its next arc with this title and I’m really curious where Simone goes next, plus this is part of the big Bat-event Gothtopia so I’m very, very intrigued. And this book isn’t my top favourite from DC for nothing.
A FOREVER EVIL tie-in! Brought low by the evil of Blight, Constantine struggles to rally his mystical allies and turn the tide of battle. Only one thing stands in his path: the righteous wrath of The Spectre! Continued in this month’s TRINITY OF SIN: PANDORA #7!
Writer: Ray Fawkes | Art: Aco | Cover: Howard Porter | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: The Spectre returns? Sign me up!
DC Universe vs The Masters of The Universe #4
At long last, the identity of Skeletor’s dark master is revealed! Can the combined forces of the Masters of the Universe and the Justice League withstand the power of his dark magic?
Writer: Keith Giffen, Tony Bedard | Art: Dexter Soy | Cover: Ed Benes | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: This book has been quite silly and quirky and that’s why I love it. Simple as that.
Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion #4
The Rogues just can’t catch a break! On the run from the Crime Syndicate and the Secret Society, the Rogues are forced into a showdown with an army of escapees from Arkham Asylum!
Writer: Brian Buccellato | Art: Scott Hepburn | Cover: Declan Shalvey | Variant: Declan Shalvey | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: Like I said, the book is struggling a bit with the rotating cast of antagonists, but the stories are still good and the art is fantastic.
Before the team can figure out what happened to their memories, Cadmus sends some seemingly familiar faces into the darkness of Commonwealth space to face off against the first member of a new group of villains called LOCUS!
Writer: Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis | Art: Howard Porter | Cover: Howard Porter | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: The first issue wasn’t as good as I’d expected, but it was promising and I’m definitely sticking around to see how Giffen/DeMatteis/Porter progress next.
Nightwing’s being visited by an old friend from Gotham — the Mad Hatter! Desperate to protect Chicago, Nightwing’s been forced into an uneasy alliance with the mysterious Marionette. But who’s really pulling the strings?
Writer: Kyle Higgins | Art: Will Conrad | Cover: Will Conrad | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: Mad Hatter, one of the craziest villains in Batman’s rogues gallery. That’s enough for me.
Harley and guest star Poison Ivy set out to rescue a bunch of cute puppies and kitties! What could possibly go wrong?
Writer: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti | Art: Chad Hardin | Cover: Amanda Conner | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: Can anyone else capture cute and grim in one place like Conner and Palmiotti? I don’t think so. The first two issues have been fairly good and I’m hoping for more of the same with this new issue.
A FOREVER EVIL tie-in! With the Justice League still missing, a barely functional Cyborg will need help if he’s going to take down the Crime Syndicate! To do that, he must find Doctor Will Magnus!
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: Last month’s issue was a bit of a blank bullet, but I’m chalking that up to being a freak event and am hoping that the series gets back on track with Cyborg here, one of the most interesting of New 52 characters despite his limited appearances.
A FOREVER EVIL tie-in! A major turning point for Pandora, who reluctantly joins forces with John Constantine’s team of mystical underdogs to confront the personification of all evil: Blight! Continued in this month’s JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #27.
Writer: Ray Fawkes | Art: Francis Portela | Cover: Julian Totino Tedesco | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: I haven’t read the December issue yet, but this title has been improving steadily and it ties into a really fun event, so that’s that.
From the depths of the ocean comes the Karaqan — a monster so immense, Aquaman doesn’t even know how to start battling it! And while he may have no idea what it is, the people of Atlantis do — and the LAST thing they want is for their king to try to stop it!
Writer: Jeff Parker | Art: Paul Pelletier, Netho Diaz, Sean Parsons | Cover: Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons | Variant: Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: Parker’s first issue on the title, #26, came out yesterday and I haven’t read it yet, but just looking at that amazing cover makes me wish I could time travel.
“ZERO YEAR” reaches an all-important crossroads as Batman and Jim Gordon try to turn the lights back on in Gotham City. This issue leads directly into the final arc of Zero Year, which begins here next month!
Writer: Scott Snyder | Art: Greg Capullo, Danny Miki | Cover: Greg Capullo | 32pp | $3.99
Why is this on the list: After the hiccup of #25, #26 was really good and the entire arc is winding down so I’m hoping for some really good stuff here..
In this conclusion to the storyline “VOICELESS,” the illegal immigrants of Gotham City have been forced into slave labor by the Penguin. And Batman will stop at nothing to shut it all down!
Writer: Gregg Hurwitz | Art: Alberto Ponticelli | Cover: Chris Burnham | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: Haven’t read the previous issue yet, but I love the artwork here and I love the premise too.
The Flash faces a mystical serial killer who might be responsible for his mother’s murder!
Writer: Brian Buccellato | Art: Patrick Zircher | Cover: Pasqual Ferry | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: As with Aquaman above, the previous issue of The Flash came out yesterday and I haven’t been able to read it yet. But Buccellato is back on the title for this issue (at least) and there’s no way I’m missing out on it!
A FOREVER EVIL tie-in! There is now only one final obstacle John Constantine’s ragtag team must vanquish…and its name is Blight! Continued from this month’s CONSTANTINE #10!
Writer: J. M. DeMatteis | Art: Mikel Janin | Cover: Mikel Janin | 32pp | $3.99
Why is this on the list: Like with DeMatteis’ Phantom Stranger, this is one of DC’s best titles right now and each issue is an absolute joy to read.
Larfleeze is branded “Public Enemy #1” by the Council of Ten! Plus, fallout from “Revolt of the Orange Lanterns” as the former Corpsmen find themselves imprisoned again!
Writer: Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis | Art: Scott Kolins | Cover: Tyler Kirkham | 32pp | $2.99
Why is this on the list: A new arc that carries on from the first. Both the art and the writing have been on point for this series so far and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
The Man of Tomorrow and the Superman of yesterday go at it—no holds barred! Supes goes full throttle after his would-be ally, Wraith, in a seismic battle ranging from deep space to the ocean’s floor and ultimately the core of the earth! Meanwhile, Lois Lane holds the key to defeating Ascension, but she needs to reach the Fortress of Solitude to ensure its safekeeping—not to mention hers! And she’s being pursued by a heavily armed force, and it isn’t Ascension!
Writer: Scott Snyder | Art: Jim Lee, Scott Williams | Backup Art: Dustin Nguyen | Cover: Jim Lee, Scott Williams | Variant Cover: Jim Lee, Scott Williams | 32pp | $3.99
Why is this on the list: Another book where the previous issue came out yesterday. So not much to say other than that I’m really excited for this story now, having found the first couple of issues to be not as good.