Whether you're a fan or not, it's undeniable that this week's comic book news belonged to DC Comics.
It's highly anticipated and critically-panned film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice hit theaters and has been breaking records all weekend, grossing nearly $430 million in just its first three days. But the real news of the week didn't come from the film, but the comics, as DC announced plans via live stream for DC Universe Rebirth, a line-wide relaunch set to kick off in May.
The new line of titles will bring back much of the universe's pre-New 52 characters and concepts, everything from Batwoman teaming up with Batman to train new sidekicks to Superman being married to Lois Lane once again. Don't call it a reboot, though, as New 52 mainstays like the Batgirl from Burnside and an actually cool Aquaman are here to stay. There's plenty to look forward to, so check out the full video below for all of this week's book announcements.
No matter which side you're on, here are some must-reads for this week.
For all intents and purposes, this week brought writer Scott Snyder's and artist Greg Capullo's Batman saga to a close, and it was more than fitting. Sure, there are two more issues left in the run officially, but this issue gave us exactly what we wanted. Bruce is back, baby, and he's got a brand new Batsuit. Seriously, it looks great.
But this issue also saw the closing of the chapter of Gordon as Batman, and his villain, Mr. Bloom, revealed plenty about Gordon's character in his own demise. We're reminded that this last chapter has been awfully weird, with a robot Batsuit and an army of Robins, but it's also shown us that even though the idea of Batman transcends Bruce Wayne, he really is the only one who can hold the mantle. Plus, Duke is being set up as a new official Robin, and that's all kinds of awesome.
Likewise with Batman, Grayson is also coming to a close. And with the announcement that Dick will be donning the blue and black in his return as Nightwing later this year, it looks like things are wrapping up nicely for Agent 37. Well, that would be true if he wasn't having to fight for his life on every other page.
This issue has a lot to do with Helena Bertinelli, and her run as Matron of Spyral, the spy agency Dick was tasked with infiltrating way back at the end of Forever Evil. With only a few issues left, we're left wondering who is going to survive the series. One thing is for sure though, and that's that Midnighter is here to stay. Seriously, between this and Batman and Robin Eternal, it's tough to want to read any other character.
Contest of Champions #6
And the winner for one of the best All-New comics that came out of nowhere is Al Ewing's Contest of Champions, which, believe it or not is based on a mobile game of the same name. This series has been awesome, essentially mixing concepts from films like The Hunger Games, Rollerball and more and tossing in legacy Marvel characters. It's also serving as a cosmic epilogue to Secret Wars, with Maestro still on the hunt to rule Battleworld.
And if the end of this issue is enough of a hint, he may just get to do that. Ewing also writes The Ultimates, which is another one of the better books out right now, and it looks like these two are going to crossover. Black Panther vs. Punisher 2099? Heck yes. We can't wait for that.
Hyperion is a Marvel character you may not have heard of, and that's mainly because he hasn't been around much lately. He was most recently known for his role in the pre-Secret Wars Avengers series, where him and Thor became best buds and grew awesome beards together. After that, we saw him in Squadron Sinister, and now he leads the Squadron Supreme, a team of heroes from the destroyed realities of Secret Wars.
Here, he's finally got a solo book, and it looks like it's going to be great. The first issue has him driving long distance in an eighteen wheeler, seemingly in disguise, when a girl who recognizes him tries to get his help. There's plenty of mystery here, as the reader is left wondering whether this is actually Hyperion or not, but the payoff is great. Hyperion can be much more than Marvel's Superman, and I think he will be.
Totally Awesome Hulk #4
Aside from this series' first issue, it's been pretty hit or miss. Amadeus Cho is a great character, and he brings a lot of snark and wit to the table, but it's hard to sell him as Hulk. That is, until this issue reveals how exactly his Hulk-like abilities came about. Spoilers aside, it looks like the next few issues are finally going to tell us just what happened to Bruce Banner. This issue is the start of that.
Plus it's nice to have a younger Hulk who isn't just pure rage. Sure we have Hulkling, but he's not technically a Hulk and he's more of a team player anyway. Cho's Hulk is a solo act, aside from the occasional team up and the help from his sister. And with a team up comes guest characters like She-Hulk and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) who both showed up and kicked butt in this issue.