Batgirl #3

Creative team: Story by Bryan Q. Miller; Art by Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott

Villains to Watch: Scarecrow, Black Mask

They say: It’s a new look and a new costume for the all-new Batgirl! As crime in Gotham City continues to rise, the newest member of the Bat-family vows to wear the mantle of the Bat and fight alongside Batman and Robin in their war on crime. There’s just one problem: She hasn’t told Batman and Robin yet

I say: I’m pulling this book for two reasons: (1) The plot is reasonably interesting, and (2) those covers are just killer. It’s interesting to watch Barbara “Oracle” Gordon as she battles between trying to dissuade Stephanie from the caped lifestyle and supporting her enough that she doesn’t get killed. Kudos to Miller for writing such intriguing, three-dimensional characters. The preview promises a nice Scarecrow arc — which is just the thing for this time of year. So, I’m giving it an unqualified pull.

Blackest Night Batman #3

Creative team: Story by Peter Tomasi; Art by Adrian Syaf and John Dell

Villain to Watch: Black Lantern Grayson Family

They say: The stunning conclusion arrives! Batman and Robin, along with the help of Deadman, try to defend Gotham City against the onslaught of Black Lanterns. But how do you defeat an enemy whose only goal is to feed off the emotions of a city and eat the hearts of all that stand in their way? Prepare for the answer.

I say: I’m not pulling this for the Black Lantern Graysons; I’m pulling it for these sentences in the solicit: “But how do you defeat an enemy whose only goal is to feed off the emotions of a city and eat the hearts of all that stand in their way? Prepare for the answer.” I am ready for an answer. Anything that brings us closer to a conclusion to Blackest Night is a Good Thing as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been relatively cool on the Blackest Night tie-in titles, but Blackest Night Batman has been decent, so it makes the pull list. As you can see by the preview, the art is snare-drum tight, and Tomasi really gets the brother aspect to this new Batman and Robin. Besides, I have to admit that I’m really digging the Batman / Deadman team-up aspect of the arc — which harkens back to Neal Adam’s legendary run on Batman.

G-Man Cape Crisis #3

Creative team: Story and Art by Chris Giarusso

Villain to Watch: G-Man’s brother, Great Man

They say: It’s brother vs. brother! With the magic of G-Man’s cape growing dangerously unstable, things only get worse when G-Man and his brother Great Man disagree on how to handle it. It’s more action-packed laugh-out-loud kid super hero fun from the creator of Mini-Marvels.

I say: I jumped onto this series when I was feeling particularly blah about the mainstream titles I was seeing on the shelf of my comic shop. I have to tell you: G-Man is a deceptively clever comic. The art and the tone is decidedly kid-friendly, but the themes and the relationships work on a much deeper level. This is a beautifully drawn, well-written book, and I’m thrilled to see Image putting its weight behind it. If you enjoy it as much I I did, check out Giarusso’s “Mini Marvels” digest — then do what I did… wonder what the heck is wrong with Marvel Comics that additional Mini Marvels Digests seem to be nowhere in sight! I know my seven-year-old and I want to know that answer to that one. Hey. Marvel… MORE MINI!

Green Lantern Corps #41

Creative team: Story by Peter Tomasi; Art by Patrick Gleason and Rebecca Buchman

Villain to Watch: Black Lanterns

They say: The intense and horrific battle between the Green Lantern Corps and the Black Lanterns on Oa takes a turn for the worse! The Corps realizes that the abominable, ultimate goal of the Black Lanterns is not only to feed off the Corps’ emotions, but to consume and decimate the main power battery and destroy Oa forever!

I say: Yup, sticking with the Corps until the grizzly end. Although, snarkiness aside, this has been a very solid book, and a lot of pretty crucial Darkest Night storytelling is happening in this series. You can check out the preview here, but the most telling of the images is the cover itself which shows a toddler-zombie and the words “Children of the Corps.” As you remember, a Sinestro Corps member, Krib, had stolen a number of children from Green Lantern Corpspeople, and it is insisting that the children are dying without its presence. And of course, that will make them prime targets for black rings.

Secret Six #14

Creative team: Story by Gail Simone; Art by Nicola Scott and Doug Hazlewood

Villain to Watch: Grendel

They say: The shattering conclusion to ‘The Depths’ is here! The Six find themselves pitted against Artemis, Wonder Woman and the hideous secret being from deep within the new Devil’s Island!

I say: Although it hasn’t been the definitive Secret Six storyline, it has still been a solid read. I have no doubt that Simone is ramping up to a nice, big climax with this arc, and I’m hoping it acts as a springboard to a new adventure that brings us back to some of the things that made me fall in love with the series in the first place — taking D-List villains and making them fascinating. The cover promises a Bane-gone0haywire moment — which could be significant in regards to his odd relationship with Scandal Savage.

…And One To Pass…

Trinity #3 (trade paperback)

Creative team: Story by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza; Art by Mark Bagley, Scott McDaniel, and Mike Norton

Villain to Watch: A trio of parallel-universe DC baddies. And the blue people. I hated the blue people.

They say: Collects Trinity (2008 DC) #36-52. The final, massive collection of “Trinity” is here. The world hasn’t just been changed, it’s been destroyed. Can the Trinity still save the day?

I say: For a story that had such a rock solid start, this series got murky and fizzled very quickly. It may have suffered from its own ambition — trying to repeat the success of its weekly-series predecessor, “52.” However, where “52” took the challenge of the weekly deadline to tell several interwoven stories at once, “Trinity” seemed to stumble around blindly in search of a single plot — using side stories to mark time rather than advance the central plot.