Time to dust off your Boxing Glove arrow, fire up the Arrowcar and join DC in celebrating eight decades of emerald excellence! On June 29, the Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 brings together some of comics’ greatest storytellers to pay tribute to Green Arrow’s legacy and the heroes and villains that have fought aside and against him.
Since his first appearance in More Fun Comics #73 in 1941, Oliver Queen, a.k.a. the Green Arrow has been one of the premier (and loudest) characters in the DCU, always at the forefront of where the superhero genre is headed as the eternal champion of the underdog. This over-sized anniversary issue follows in those footsteps, combining an all-star line-up of Green Arrow storytelling legends such as Mike Grell, Jeff Lemire, Phil Hester, Otto Schmidt, Ben Percy, Tom Taylor, and Devin Grayson alongside new Green Arrow contributors, including Stephanie Phillips, Mariko Tamaki, Ram V, Vita Ayala, Nicola Scott, Chris Mitten, Laura Braga, Max Fiumara, Brandon Thomas, and others to pay homage not just to the Battling Bowman, but Ollie’s partner-in-crime fighting Black Canary, Connor Hawke, Arsenal, Red Arrow, Speedy, Onomatopoeia, Count Vertigo and more!
Featuring a breathtaking cover by Detective Comics artist Dan Mora, this can’t- miss collectible will also feature an incredible selection of “decade” variant covers, courtesy of some of the best artists in the business:
1940’s Variant: Michael Cho
1950’s Variant: Daniel Warren Johnson
1960’s Variant: Neal Adams
1970’s Variant: Derrick Chew
1980’s Variant: Gary Frank
1990’s Variant: Howard Porter
2000’s Variant: Jen Bartel
2010’s Variant: Simone Di Meo
See what the past, present and future have in store for Green Arrow his allies and his enemies when the Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular arrives in comic book stores and on participating digital platforms on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 for $9.99.
As seen in TheLego Batman Movie, the Arkham video games, and the Batman comics of the 1990s and early 2000s, Batman’s strength is in the world and characters that he creates access to. Whether that’s his allies, villains, nooks and crannies of Gotham, or even police officers that he either works with or against, these personalities and settings are why I continue to return to the Batman side of the DC Universe. The creators of Batman: Urban Legends #1 understand this and flesh out different Batman-adjacent characters and even sometimes explore their relationship to the Dark Knight while also telling action, romance, and crime stories.
First up in this Gotham-themed anthology is the beginning of a six part Batman and Red Hood serial where Batman and his former protege-turned-killer vigilante (He’s switched to rubber bullets for the moment.) investigate a source of a hallucinatory street drug tackily called Cheerdrops. Writer Chip Zdarsky has a firm grasp on Jason Todd’s voice, including the darkness inside his soul and his hunger for justice, especially for Gotham’s beleaguered working class. Artists Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira and colorist Adriano Lucas nail the grit of the city with explosive linework and jagged layouts to go with a color palette that has had all the light sucked out of it. However, Excalibur’s MarcusTo does the art in the flashbacks, which features brighter colors as well as simpler, cleaner lines with a more traditional superhero feel even though one of the scenes is set during “Under the Red Hood” when Jason Todd came back from the dead and started killing criminals.
“Batman and Red Hood” is also a study in contrasts in how two very different crime fighters deal with the same crisis. Batman is the World’s Greatest Detective and is super methodical with Barrows and Ferreria drawing him looking at the chemical makeup of Cheerdrops CSI-style, and his All-Star Superman-esque moment with a jumper is less feel-good and more evidence collection. On the other hand, Jason fights crime with his guts and heart and even admits in a wry line from Zdarsky that he’s not a great detective as he struggles to find a Cheerdrop stash house. However, he does find a boy named Tyler, and of course, Jason is great with kids and even lets him wear part of his mask while he looks for his dad in a dodgy part of Gotham. Zdarsky, Barrows, and Ferreira create something truly heartwarming between Jason Todd and Tyler.
There’s a throughline between this and the flashbacks where Batman (Portrayed as more of an action figure than man by To) struggles being a father figure to Jason, and Alfred does the job perfectly because he sees him as a human being and not an obstacle in his war on crime. Chip Zdarsky writes Alfred Pennyworth as the perfect parent to the Bat-family, who isn’t afraid to tell Batman that he’s full of shit and chooses compassion over a closed fist. And speaking of Batman, I love how Zdarsky doesn’t give him an inner monologue and depicts him more as a force of nature than a gun toting, broken man like Jason Todd, who agonizes over every decision and whose interaction with Tyler bring back memories of his mom who died of a drug overdose. Also, he’s not afraid to go a little dark, and Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira jagged layouts and emotional poses are along for the ride.
The second story in Batman: Urban Legends #1 is an eight page Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy one-off from writer Stephanie Phillips, artist Laura Braga, and colorist Ivan Plascencia. Plascencia is this story’s secret weapon that shows the happy, hilarious times of Harley and Ivy’s first dates and the bleak current times for Harley as she has moved back to Gotham in her solo title and as a recurring character in Batman. Braga’s art is expressive and high energy for both the good times (Harley and Ivy smooching and snapping selfies) and bad times (A sudden bolt of lightning shattering their pictures), and she is a good fit for a story that isn’t centered around a heist or fight against a superhero, but a relationship. She and Phillips tap into the depth of feelings that Harley has for Ivy, and through some handy plant symbolism, they create hope for the relationship that has become very popular for fans in the past decade. “Harley and Ivy” is a nice, nearly slice of life oasis in the midst of the three other stories, which have more moving parts.
The third story in this comic is a 10 page “Outsiders” feature by Brandon Thomas, Max Dunbar, and Luis Guerrero starring Black Lightning, Katana, and an interesting take on Metamorpho. Thomas turns in kind of a mystery plot with the story starting with Black Lightning and an unseen Metamorpho in a Japanese prison before cutting to a bonkers, two page spread of a speedboat chase. Unlike the previous two stories in Batman: Urban Legends #1, Thomas and Dunbar go for a action over character focus, and honestly, I’m here for it. Dunbar uses arrows from their pursuers to act as eye-lines to follow the high speed chase, and he and Thomas have a clever moment or two up their sleeve, especially in regards to Metamorpho’s first appearance. The story isn’t particularly deep, but it has the vibe of a James Bond cold open with superpowers as Guerrero really makes Black Lightning’s abilities sizzle. Finally, Brandon Thomas’ plotting really kept me engaged with thinking about why characters were acting a certain way, and the the mini mystery box structure has me intrigued for the upcoming issue.
Grifter is a character I didn’t really know a lot about except for some random comics like the New 52 Team 7 and JLA/WildCATs, but Matthew Rosenberg, Ryan Benjamin, and Antonio Fabela have made this anti-hero/rapscallion and his various pratfalls quite lovable and hilarious Batman: Urban Legends #1’s final story. Grifter is like that guy who bluffs at poker, but never has a good hand. And until maybe the penultimate page of the comic, he’s either screwing up or making a joke about it beginning with his mad rush towards supervillain fire during his Team 6 days with a lot of characters with familiar names from Wildstorm comics. (I’m not an expert on these characters, and you don’t have to be to enjoy the story.) Grifter uses his sense of humor to detract from his mediocre performance as Lucius Fox’s bodyguard or to avoid getting his ass kicked by Batman, but he also has a mystery side that is revealed when he has a “date” at one of Penguin’s bars. The mystery starts to really unfold towards the end of the comic, but Rosenberg hints at every time, he talks on a headset with what I assume is his older brother.
The comedy in “Grifter” isn’t just limited to Matthew Rosenberg’s delightfully smartass dialogue. It shows up a lot in Ryan Benjamin’s visuals, which range from G.I. Joe or Authority homages (When the superheroes clean up Team 6’s mess.) in the flashback to pure slapstick. For example, Grifter spills a drink at a party Lucius Fox is meeting a client at and spills a drink on a woman. In this situation, Benjamin doesn’t just show a simple facial expression, but throws in some growlixes and makes you know that she’s furious that the soaking wet guy in Converse and blue jeans is even in the same room with her. This playfulness extends to the fight between Batman and Grifter, which starts as a serious throwdown and ends up in a total cat and mouse situation with Grifter finally getting enough self-awareness to call it quits. However, their paths will cross, and you can tell that Batman understands he’s a wildcard with his connections to Lucius Fox, the criminal underworld, and probably those Wildstorm guys. All in all, Matthew Rosenberg, Ryan Benjamin, and Antonio Fabela turn in a hilarious action-comedy set in DC’s weirdest and (sometimes) dourest city and also slowly unveil what seems to be a master plan to merge the worlds of Wildstorm and Gotham.
Batman: Urban Legends #1 is an absolute win for the anthology format that DC Comics has been trying out with all of the four stories in the comic being entertaining and shedding light on a unique cast of characters. The longer stories that bookend the comic are especially noteworthy thanks to Chip Zdarsky’s pitch-perfect handle on the fascinating character of Jason Todd in “Batman and Red Hood” and Matthew Rosenberg and Ryan Benjamin’s skill with verbal and visual humor in “Grifter”.
Story: Chip Zdarsky, Stephanie Phillips, Brandon Thomas, Matthew Rosenberg Art: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Marcus To, Laura Braga, Max Dunbar, Ryan Benjamin Colors: Adriano Lucas, Ivan Plascencia, Luis Guerrero, Antonio Fabela Letters: Becca Carey, Deron Bennett, Steve Wands, Saida Temofonte Story: 8.0 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Written by: Brandon Thomas, Stephanie Nicole Phillips, Matthew Rosenberg, Chip Zdarsky Art by: Eddy Barrows, Laura Braga, Ryan Benjamin, Marcus To
Batman may be the biggest name in Gotham City, but there are lots of other heroes—and villains—who will get a turn to shine in Batman: Urban Legends, a brand-new monthly series tying into the biggest events in Gotham City. The series begins with these can’t-miss tales:
– Superstar writer Chip Zdarsky enters the world of Gotham City with celebrated Detective Comics and DC Future State: Robin Eternal artist Eddy Barrows for a six-part story chronicling Red Hood’s investigation of a new drug sweeping through Gotham. It’s a night that will change his life forever—and put him in Batman’s crosshairs.
– Writer of the DC Future State “Grifters” story Matthew Rosenberg picks up where he left off, continuing from the pages of Batman #101! Superstar artist Ryan Benjamin joins the team as we learn why Cole Cash is in Gotham in a tale that hints at what Halo might be…and we also get Batman vs. Grifter-round two!
– New Harley Quinn writer Stephanie Phillips and DC Future State: The Next Batman artist Laura Braga join forces for a Harley tale set just before the launch of her new series. Harley’s determined to sort out her history with Poison Ivy—but first, she’ll have to find her!
– Coming off the DC Future State “Outsiders” tale, writer Brandon Thomas begins a three-part saga reuniting Black Lightning, Katana and Metamorpho. But this reunion quickly turns into a confrontation with a figure from Katana’s past, in a story drawn by fan-favorite artist Max Dunbar (Champions, Dungeons and Dragons, Judge Dredd)!
Written by: Paula Sevenbergen, Vita Ayala, John Ridley Art by: Aneke, Emanuela Lupacchino, Laura Braga
The next Batman goes head-to-head with the Magistrate’s shock troops to protect the…guilty?! It’s a savage running battle across Gotham City, and it will have the next Dark Knight fighting overwhelming odds to prove that justice still lives in the heart of a broken city.
In the finale of “Batgirls,” after discovering the person locked in the high-security cell is the one who’s been sending out “Batman Lives” signals to the Resistance, Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain must work together to make sure they take that person when they escape their prison!
Plus, in the conclusion of “Gotham City Sirens,” Catwoman and the new android Siren hide out in Poison Ivy’s newly built paradise, where they discuss their past relationships, including what Catwoman has—or had—with Batman. But when Peacekeeper forces arrive, the new Siren will have to make a sacrifice to save her friends.
Written by: Brandon Thomas, Paul Jenkins, John Ridley Art by: Jack Herbert, Sumit Kumar, Laura Braga
The adventures of the next Batman continue! Batman has captured a pair of murderous fugitives, but he faces a tough decision: leave them for the Magistrate troops, which means certain death, or risk his life and fight his way through Gotham City to deliver them to the GCPD for trial. He’s Batman…so there’s only one choice!
And in “Outsiders,” Katana has reunited with Black Lightning, but her old friend and ally has changed…big time! Now composed of literal black lightning, Jefferson Pierce arrives with a dire warning about Duke Thomas and his mission to liberate Gotham from the oppression of the Magistrate. They’ll have to work together—and we really mean together—to have any hope of defeating the forces working against them!
Plus, in “Arkham Knights,” Astrid Arkham and her band of maniacal misfits have picked a fight with the Magistrate…and they’re not going to back down! On the eve of their mission into the heart of Gotham’s fascist occupiers, Croc, Zsasz, Phosphorus, Clayface, Harvey, and the rest steel themselves to try and shine a beacon of hope into the darkness—but not everyone will make it out alive!
Written by: Vita Ayala, Paula Sevenbergen, John Ridley Art by: Aneke, Emanuela Lupacchino, Laura Braga
In this second Future State: Batman chapter, wearing a mask in Gotham City is now a crime-and when it’s compounded with murder, it can be a shoot-on-sight offense! Batman is on the trail of a murderous couple but quickly finds that all is not as it seems…and finds himself in the firing line of the Magistrate and their Peacekeepers! The gritty, street-level adventures of the new Dark Knight continue! Also in this issue, Batgirls Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown find themselves in a prison where the Magistrate throws heroes and villains alike! What no one knows, though, is that Cassandra was sent there with a mission… And in a story of the Gotham City Sirens, some girls just want to have fun-so what do you do when you find Gotham City in turmoil and overrun by Cybers? You go shopping, of course! Join Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and a new Siren on a gal’s night out. They’re on the town, looking for trouble…and finding it!
Explore the world of Gotham in a brand new anthology series, Batman: Urban Legends which launches in March 2021 from DC Comics. Batman may be the biggest name in Gotham City, but there are lots of other heroes—and villains—who will get a turn to shine in a brand-new monthly anthology series highlighting top talent and a mix of new voices making their mark on the city the Dark Knight calls home.
The first six issues are anchored by a Batman/Red Hood thriller from writer Chip Zdarsky and fan-favorite artist Eddy Barrows. Renegade vigilante Jason Todd, a.k.a. Red Hood is investigating a new and lethal drug sweeping through Gotham City. In the course of one night, this investigation will change his life forever – and put him in Batman’s crosshairs.
Future State: Grifters writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Ryan Benjamin continue from the pages of Batman #101, as gun-for-hire Cole Cash is still in Gotham, on the trail of the true motives of the Halo Corporation…and yes, Batman and Grifter go head-to-head again!
In a story set before the launch of the new ongoing Harley Quinn series, writer Stephanie Phillips and Future State: The Next Batman artist Laura Braga team up to help Harley sort out her complicated history with Poison Ivy – but first she’ll have to find her!
This debut issue also launches a three-part tale of the Outsiders, courtesy of Future State: Outsiders writer Brandon Thomas with art by Max Dunbar. This saga reunites team members Black Lightning, Katana, and Metamorpho, but this reunion quickly turns into a confrontation with the appearance of a figure from Katana’s past!
Batman: Urban Legends #1 is a $7.99 prestige format series, debuting on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 with covers by Hicham Habchi (main), David Finch (variant), and Kael Ngu (variant).
Even before the announcement of DC Future State and Future State: The Next Batman, by John Ridley, Nick Derington, and Laura Braga, the news that a person of color could be the next to don the cape and cowl as Gotham City’s protector created excitement and speculation as to how that person would be.
Today, the speculation finally ends with the reveal of this surprise variant cover to issue #2 of the four-issue January/February miniseries. Featuring striking art by Doug Braithwaite and Diego Rodriguez, Gotham’s defender in this dystopian future is revealed as Tim (Jace) Fox, estranged son of Lucius Fox and brother to the former Batwing Luke Fox.
Tim Fox’s first comic book appearance was in Batman #313, April 10, 1979. The character has since been teased in the current Batman line, first as a mention in “Family Ties,” the John Ridley/Olivier Coipel story from September’s Batman: The Joker War Zone anthology. In October’s Batman #101, he also shows up in a conversation between Batman and Lucius Fox, who has since acquired the Wayne fortune and technology as a result of The Joker War.
On February 23, 2021. Ridley and Coipel reunite to tell another story of The Next Batman and give him a sidekick as part of DC’s Batman: Black & White anthology series.
Future State: The Next Batman debuts in comic book stores and participating digital platforms on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, with new issues available every other week (issue #2 on January 26, issue #3 on February 2, and issue #4 on February 16). Each 64-page oversized issue includes backup stories of other Gotham City heroes and villains taking on the oppressive rule of The Magistrate and its war on vigilantes:
Future State: Arkham Knights, by Paul Jenkins and Jack Herbert (issues #1 and #3)
Future State: Outsiders, by Brandon Thomas and Sumit Kumar (issues #1 and #3)
Future State: Batgirls, by Vita Ayala and Aneke (issues #2 and #4)
Future State: Gotham City Sirens, by Paula Sevenbergen and Emanuela Lupacchino (issues #2 and #4)
Steve Orlando and Davide Tinto’s new hit series Commanders In Crisis will pack an extra punch with four stunning variant covers for issue #2 this November.
These variant covers will showcase the talents of Joe Quinones (1:25 incentive), Brett Booth (1:10 incentive), Laura Braga, and Paul Harding.
In Commanders In Crisis #2, The Crisis Command, last survivors of the multiverse, are faced with an impossible task: avenging the death…of an idea! DOA is EMPATHY ITSELF, and while empathy withers and dies across the world, Originator uses her abilities to bring the John Doe back for 24 hours to reveal the name of his killer!
Commanders In Crisis #2 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, November 18:
Cover A by Tinto – Diamond Code SEP200193
Cover B by Harding – Diamond Code SEP200194
Cover C by Braga – Diamond Code SEP200195
Cover D [limited 1:10 incentive] by Brett Booth – Diamond Code SEP208285
Cover E [limited 1:25 incentive] by Joe Quinones – Diamond Code SEP208286
Script: Mariko Tamaki and Kevin Panetta Art: Laura Braga, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli Cover: Laura Braga 978-1-64576-948-4 $12.99 US/$15.99 CAN 6 5/8 x 10 3/16” 120 pp, Full Color Direct Market On-Sale Date: 10/21
There’s a new girl in Riverdale and she’s turning heads—and NOT everyone is happy about that! Who is Katy Keene and why is she so Insta-famous and beloved in Riverdale? And, moreover, why is she quickly becoming Archie’s biggest competition? Find out in this brand new collection from the creative team of writers Mariko Tamaki and Kevin Panetta and artist Laura Braga! Collects the full four-issue Archie and Katy Keene mini-series (Archie #710 – #713).