If you were wondering what that pixelated pic from GameStop was where they mentioned a big announcement coming up, well...
Turns out the announcement is for this little game I'm sure none of you have heard of -- Arkham Knight
These exclusives are for GameStop pre-orders only
! Pre-orders will come with not one but TWO (2)
additional DLC packs where you will be able to play as both Harley Quinn (which, apparently, was announced about a month ago and I totally missed it) aaaaand
the Red Hood!
Consider my pants officially wet!
Kate is facing another slew of new bad guys who seem to have their sights set on each other, rather than on Kate, the other Bat-Gang, or the authorities. There's a new assassin in Gotham, seemingly a new Vampire that has apparently no ties to Silver who showed up in the pages of Batgirl just a few issues back, and on top of those problems, Kate has another headache in the form of an old West Point flame. Just another night for Ms. Kane.
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Wonder Woman #32
The First Born is inching closer and closer to his goal of killing the gods. All of the gods. He dispatched Zeus, he killed Hades, and with those two balancing forces gone now he's just picking off the rest in the order he chooses. Diana, who's now the God of War, is his most formidable foe, but luckily she gets some assistance at the end of the book.
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Harley Quinn #7
This book continues to be a riot. It sets comfortably just outside of the doom and gloom that penetrates most of the other DC Books. Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti have taken the Nolan Joker's refrain "Why So Serious" and turned it up a notch for his former flame Harley. This issue sees her visiting the pier beach with Ivy – and might I add, they've included plenty of man candy in skimpy speedos – then fleshing out the rest of the story with her kooky band of supporting sideshow characters. Harley exists in her own world, and it's kind of glorious.
After last month's issue seeing the glorious New 52 debut of Ragdoll, Barbara is back to facing her biggest foe in Gotham: Charise (Knightfall) Carnes. Charise is essentially the Moriarty to Barbara's Sherlock. They're antagonistic towards each other in a much more cerebral way than, say, Batman and The Penguin. Charise has a very twisted sense of justice and she plans on delivering it by force, regardless of who might be killed along the way. Naturally Barbara can't stand idly by and let that happen. She calls on one of her closest Birds of Prey allies to help fight for the cause, and the final page has a very special, very surprising appearance from another DC character who makes the third leg to a fan-favorite trio.
Detective Comics #32
The third part of the ongoing Icarus saga is one of the most interesting Batman-centric stories that DC is publishing right now. I know the entire DC universe is fresh off of the Forever Evil storyline, meanwhile the standalone Batman
book is reliving the past, and Batman Eternal
is taking a look at a potential future, but Detective
is happening right now, and it is a solid book with solid art. Not to mention a Mexican Standoff at the end. If you haven't read this series, start with issue #30 and keep going.
Birds of Prey #32
Since I mentioned earlier that Dinah was making an appearance in Batgirl
#32, I figured I'd suggest giving BoP
#32 a read as well. The character crossovers do not denote tied-together story lines, but Birds is still fairly interesting, especially given the (very small) appearance of the Suicide Squad. Birds is an ensemble book, but it's very much Dinah's story. She has been working through a lot of personal problems during these last few arcs, and this issue is no different. I expect that the next issue will be the official last appearance of this current incarnation of the Suicide Squad, since their book is getting a reboot later this summer.
Sisters are doing it for themselves. This week, I'm taking a look at 3 of the kick-ass women of DC: Wonder Woman, Batwoman and Harley Quinn.
Harley Quinn - #5
Harley has proven a very popular character in the DC universe. Fans love her, cosplay her, fan-art her and revel in her wildness. She originated in the incomparable Batman: The Animated Series,
and has since been developed fully in the comic book universe and the video game universe. Her first standalone series, now in its fifth issue is proving very much to be a riot. She is, in a sense, DC's answer to Deadpool; irreverent, flamboyant and willing to drop a bullet in someone's head on a whim. One of my favorite aspects of the New 52 Harley is that like Superman/Clark Kent "Harley Quinn" is who she is at her core- "Harleen Quinzel" is merely a costume she wears to blend in with society.
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Wonder Woman - #30
Diana and her New 52 creative team are about to part ways. Cliff Chiang's art has been inspired these last couple of years. Brian Azzarello has established the new Diana with an altered genealogy that gives her "goddess" status new meaning. The entire run up to this point has highlighted a battle for the ultimate throne: Olympus. Gods are dying left and right, and Diana is growing more powerful day by day. Chiang's art, truly, will be missed. He's managed to take a character who is so often sexualized in the comic world and make the book feel respectful, grounded and real. I hope the DC editorial team has an artist in mind to continue that respectful handling of her womanhood.
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Batwoman - #30
Speaking of departing creative teams, the absence of J. H. Williams III and W. Hayden Blackman on Batwoman
is particularly noticeable lately. To be sure, it's still a solid book, but their run on issues 1-26 really set the bar for what a nuanced story a mainstream book could tell. Lately, the action has been primarily one-dimensional, with only minor hints at the subplots.
I know I'm posting this a day late, but if you haven't already made your comic selections this week, consider adding these to your intake:
The Wake #6 of 10
is a series created by Scott Snyder - of American Vampire
notoriety - for the Vertigo imprint. It's a water-based creature miniseries that looks at the discovery of an undersea quasi-anthropomorphic race of creatures and the subsequent effects their discovery has on humans. Issues 1-5 were released last fall, focusing largely on the modern-day storyline. The series is back with part two focusing on life 200 years in the future. Featuring some great art by Sean Murphy, I highly recommend you check this issue out. The divide in timelines makes this a great opportunity to jump in, and catch up on 1-5 later.
Tomb Raider #1
Gail Simone is spearheading Lara Croft's storyline between official games in this new monthly from Dark Horse. The theme and title of the issue – "Survivor's Guilt" – is kind of Gail's wheelhouse. What she sets in motion in issue 1 is a story that directly ties to the island of Yamati from the rebooted game. The survivors wish desperately to leave the memories of the island behind, but the loss of their friends and a new supernatural element will not let that happen anytime soon.
[Editorial note: Gail Simone is not just a great read in comic literature, but also on Twitter. Check her out
Harley Quinn #3
Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti are doing a great job at establishing Harley in a standalone series. Whereas in the past she's been a companion to either the Joker or her teammates on the Suicide Squad, she's now lurching forward into an independent life. Last month's issue saw a visit from her best friend (and I hope eventual love interest Poison Ivy) who helped her turn a vacant floor in her new building into a puppy oasis. The series seems to be doing a good job at mixing cute kitsch & psychosis very well. Harley has a lot of crazy love to give, and sometimes her love just manifests itself with an axe to the head. It's a fun journey.