Tag Archives: batman

Review: Batman Annual #5

Batman Annual #5

I’ve been a bit mixed on James Tynion IV‘s run on Batman. The various arcs so far have had great ideas but each has felt like an incomplete stand-alone story instead they’ve built upon each other to set up a new status-quo. One of the more interesting aspects and additions is Clownhunter, a young man named Bao whose parents were killed by the Joker. During the “Joker War” storyline, Clownhunter struck brutal terror in the clown gangs dealing “justice” by executing those who themselves terrorize. Batman Annual #5 delivers more of the history about the character as well as his dealing with the after-effects of his actions.

Tynion is joined by James Stokoe who handles the art for an interesting exploration of a character that is Batman without his “no killing” policy. Clownhunter visits longtime Batman friend Leslie Thompkins, a suggestion by Batman himself. Clownhunter talks his motivation and evolution from Bao to Clownhunter. We get the story of a young man whose faith in “the system” is let down. The Joker murdered his parents and Batman never delivers the justice promised. It’s an interesting discussion and evolution and one I can’t really blame.

Bao’s story is one of a broken system, one where morals are cherished more than stopping the hurt and destruction. It’s an interesting debate and we get all sides of the discussion. Clownhunter feels violence should be met with violence. Batman believes that violence should be met with violence but draws the line at killing. Thompkins feels that violence should not be met with violence and absolutely no killing. Each has their view and we can debate whose is more effective. The issue delivers no answers to the question, nor should it. Instead we’re left to ponder it ourselves. By killing, is Clownhunter no better than those he hunts? What about Batman’s inability to end the killing, does his line make him responsible for the death others commit?

Stokoe’s art enhances the experience. His style delivers a slight horror tinge to the story. There’s a fit to the art to what Bao experiences and how he’s feeling. Batman, Leslie, Crime Alley, the Joker, there’s a look to them all that fits the experiences depicted. It’s a weird exaggeration that one might experience in a dream. It made me the reader question the reality of it a bit as well, much like you would a nightmare. It’s very fitting for the annual and story as a whole.

Batman Annual #5 delivers both concepts and story. It feels more like an example of what Tynion’s run has been missing up to this point. There have been concepts thrown around but not much of an exploration of them and definitely only a slight exploration through the events of each arc. Batman Annual #5 asks philosophical questions while delivering no answers. It makes me want to read more to see if I can ever come up with my own.

Story: James Tynion IV, James Stokoe Art: James Stokoe Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Avengers #40

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Avengers #40 (Marvel) – “Enter the Phoenix” begins as the cosmic force returns to Earth looking for a new host.

Bad Reception (AfterShock) – If you missed the individual issues of this slasher horror comic, now’s your chance to see what you missed.

Batman Annual #5 (DC Comics) – Clownhunter gets the spotlight in this issue where we learn more about the intriguing character.

Dark Nights: Death Metal The Last 52: War of the Multiverses #1 (DC Comics) – The event wraps up next week but we’re getting one final spin-off one-shot before the big finale.

Ghost Rider: Return of Vengeance #1 (Marvel) – The rather interesting Ghost Rider gets the focus in the next chapter in that pocket of the Marvel universe.

Kaiju Score #2 (AfterShock) – A robbery under the cover of a kaiju attack is a nice twist on the genre. The first issue had a lot of personality and details that stood out and where this all goes should be a lot of fun.

Nailbiter Returns #8 (Image Comics) – The horror series wraps up the year and it’s been a great addition and return. It’s proof not all horror sequels have to stink.

Power Pack #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was a fun return of the team of kids. The tie-in to “Outlawed” also has worked out well so far. There’s a nice mix of event and standing on its own and it has us wanting an ongoing series.

Transformers: Escape #1 (IDW Publishing) – A new limited series that spins out of “World War”. With war raging, the Ark program is reactivated to get those caught in the crossfire off the planet.

Pop! Heroes: DC Imperial Palace Wave 1 is Out Soon

DC‘s collaboration with the Chinese Imperial Palace is getting the Funko treatment with Pop! Heroes: Imperial Palace.

The figures feature Batman, Joker, Harley Quinn, and Robin with a chase figure.

Announced in 2019 Pop Life Global and China’s Imperial Palace revealed a collaboration with DC Collectibles. Figures from that were to launch in retail in June 2019. These new Funko Pop!s riff on those designs.


This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Save Up to 84% off with the DC Holiday Sale

Save Up to 84% off with the DC Holiday Sale at comiXology.com! The sale is running now until January 4, 2021.

There’s over 3,000 comics on sale right now including JLA, Action Comics, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and so much more. Get some classic comics or discover something new!


This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Preview: Batman Annual #5

Batman Annual #5

Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: James Stokoe

The riveting new vigilante known as Clownhunter was a breakout star of “The Joker War”…but what’s the tragic origin of this teenage assassin? How did his parents die at the hands of the Joker, and is there a place for him in the evolving Gotham City? Can there be redemption for the infamous Clownhunter? This epic tale reteams writer James Tynion IV and artist James Stokoe, the storytellers behind the definitive Clownhunter tale from Batman: The Joker War Zone #1!

Batman Annual #5

Bruce Wayne Attempts to find O-Sensei in this Batman: Soul of the Dragon Clip

Check out the first official clip from Batman: Soul of the Dragon. The clip features Bruce Wayne making the arduous trek to find O-Sensei and his mysterious martial arts training school. Bruce Wayne is voiced by David Giuntoli (Grimm, A Million Little Things) and O-Sensei is voiced by James Hong (Big Trouble in Little China).

An all-new original animated film, Batman: Soul Of The Dragon does a deep dive into Elseworlds vibes by putting Batman in the midst of the swinging 1970s. Faced with a deadly menace from his past, and along with his mentor O-Sensei, Bruce Wayne must enlist the help of three former classmates – world-renowned martial artists Richard Dragon, Ben Turner and Lady Shiva – to battle the monsters of this world and beyond. The film is rated R for some violence.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Batman: Soul of the Dragon, the all-new next entry in the DC Universe Movies canon, arrives January 12, 2021, on Digital and January 26, 2021 on 4K Combo Pack & Blu-ray.

Get a New Look at Batman: Soul of the Dragon

Batman: Soul of the Dragon, the all-new next entry in the DC Universe Movies canon, arrives January 12, 2021 on Digital and January 26, 2021 on 4K Combo Pack & Blu-ray.

Check out four new images from the film.

Ben Turner/Bronze Tiger (voiced by Michael Jai White) takes this fight scene to vintage 1970s extremes in this silhouetted image
Bruce Wayne (voiced by David Giuntoli) gets knocked down … but he’s ready to get up again and continue a battle during his marital arts training.
Richard Dragon (voiced by Mark Dacascos) prepares for a fight.
Lady Shiva (voiced by Kelly Hu) reigns on high with Soulbreaker, a sword of incredible power, mounted on the wall above her.

An all-new original animated film, Batman: Soul Of The Dragon does a deep dive into Elseworlds vibes by putting Batman in the midst of the swinging 1970s. Faced with a deadly menace from his past, and along with his mentor O-Sensei, Bruce Wayne must enlist the help of three former classmates – world-renowned martial artists Richard Dragon, Ben Turner and Lady Shiva – to battle the monsters of this world and beyond. The film is rated R for some violence.

Save Up to 84% off with the DC Holiday Sale

Save Up to 84% off with the DC Holiday Sale at comiXology.com! The sale is running now until January 4, 2021.

There’s over 3,000 comics on sale right now including JLA, Action Comics, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and so much more. Get some classic comics or discover something new!


This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Preview: Batman/Superman #15

Batman/Superman #15

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Andrei Bressan

“Solomon Grundy died on a Sunday!” But when this monster man kicks the bucket, all hell breaks loose! When the body of Grundy begins to break down, so begins a toxic time bomb that could wipe out half of North America! It’s up to the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight to get Grundy from S.T.A.R. Labs to Slaughter Swamp before the clock hits zero…but with a horde of super-villains all looking to snag the sizzling super-titan for their own nefarious ends, our heroes had better move quickly!

Batman/Superman #15

Review: Batman #105

Batman #105

James Tynion IV‘s run on Batman, so far, has been a lot of ups and downs. Arcs overall have been good but none are instant classics. It’s all entertaining but not a lot is memorable. Everything is just a setup to something else with very little feeling like real conclusions. Batman #105 continues that pattern as the “Ghost Stories” arc wraps up.

Batman, Harley Quinn, and Clownhunter are still captured by Ghost-Maker with Clownhunter being tempted to enact revenge against Harley with only Batman there to stop him. It’s a test by Ghost-Maker in hopes of making a point to Bruce/Batman that his ways are a failure. It all leads into another battle between Batman and Ghost-Maker as Bruce attempts to make a point his way is better to his long-time friend and rival.

Tynion uses the arc to introduce this new rival/friend but also continues to set up the new status-quo for Batman. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as layers are added to his vision for the character. But, while some themes are touched upon, each new layer seems to forget there was a layer underneath ignoring what has been set up before. In this case, Gotham is still dealing with the after effects of “The Joker War” but that is barely touched upon. Instead we get a bit of a continuation that Bruce/Batman has been a failure.

The forgetting of layers also seems to happen within Batman #105. The first half of the comic focuses on the dynamic between Clownhunter and Harley. As soon as that’s over, Clownhunter stomps off and Harley just disappears. While Bruce fights it out, she’s nowhere to be seen though could have stuck around to help. You’d also think Clownhunter, so focused on revenge, might want to stick around to get some against the person who kidnapped him.

The art of the comic is handled by Carlo Pagulayan, Danny Miki, Alvaro Martinez, Christian Duce. Unlike the previous issue, this one feels much more consistent in art. The different creators aren’t as noticeable and not the detriment like the previous issue. Joined by David Baron on color and Clayton Cowles on lettering, the issue has an almost “classic” design about it. Batman looks much more like Neal Adams’ version, the blue cowl and grey suit. There’s some inconsistency in Batman’s body but overall, everything flows well and there’s a good view of the action. Nothing is confusing or too much of a “quick cut”.

Batman #105 sets up an interesting dynamic by the end of the issue but like the arcs before doesn’t quite satisfy. It again feels like a piece of a bigger puzzle. And due to that, it’s not all that satisfying. These aren’t the classic days where Batman’s adventures were confined to some issues that you could enjoy on their own. Instead, this is just part of a bigger story whose arcs don’t feel like they quite stand on their own.

Story: James Tynion IV Art: Carlo Pagulayan, Danny Miki, Alvaro Martinez, Christian Duce
Color: David Baron Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.35 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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