Have you been waiting for the right moment to leap into the realm of Batman? Well guess what my friends, there is no time like the present! Since Bruce Wayne went ‘missing’ in Batman R.I.P and Final Crisis, the whole Bat-verse has been uprooted, reformed, and kicked into total bad ass mode! In-case you’ve been out of the comics loop for awhile, here’s the low down on what’s going on:

batmanadnrobin-195x300Batman and Robin: Written by the guy who offed Bruce, Grant Morrison, and drawn by Frank Quitely, this book follows the adventures of the new Batman and Robin. Dick Grayson has taken on the Cape and Cowl, and Bruce’s punk kid, Damian, dons the red, green, and yellow. The story line is about the villain Pyg and his group of freak cronies who are on a psychotic mission to make people ‘perfect.’ And by perfect I mean that Pyg will melt a sick mask onto your faces, burning the ugliness away from your filthy life. Nasty. Plus, we’re provided awesome banter between Dick and Damian as they adjust to their new roles in Gotham City. There’s even a flying Batmobile!

Batman: Where Batman and Robin focuses on the dynamic duo, Batman puts the spotlight on Dick Grayson. Sure, Damian is still around (after all he is Robin), but this title gives us a more intricate look at how Dick and Alfred are handling their new duties in Gotham. We see how the new Batcave was established (which isn’t really a cave), Dick’s first meeting with members of the JLA post Bruce’s ‘death’, the fallout of Tim Drake, and how much of a snarky prick Damian can be. The script is provided by Judd Winick (don’t worry, no one has turned up HIV positive… yet), with art by Ed Benes (whose style looks awesomely similar to Jim Lee), and the villain appears to be our favorite straw wearing psychopath. Batman is a must read for fans of the Caped Crusader.

streets-of-gotham1-195x300Streets of Gotham: Unjustifiably, this new series has been branded the bastard child of the Bat-books. The common thought here is “well, I’m already reading Batman and Robin and Batman, so I don’t need to check out Streets of Gotham.” If that’s your attitude my friends, all I can say is you’re missing out on one kick ass book! First of all it’s written by Paul Dini (so how can you go wrong), and secondly Dustin Nguyen’s pencils and Derek Fridolfs inks give Streets the perfect look for a Bat-book. Whereas Batman and Robin and Batman’s art is clean and bright, Streets is dark, shadowy, and mysterious- everything a Bat-title should be, right? This title balances nicely with the other two, and gives us a more in-depth take on the character of Damian. The villains are Firefly and someone who made his first appearance in the 2000’s (but I won’t reveal who that is here), with special appearances by Commissioner Gordon and the Gotham PD. Plus in every issue there is a backup story about the female badass vigilante, Manhunter. So be sure to check this one out, your eyes will thank you.

Red Robin: Tim Drake fans, this hot new series is a must read for you! Everyone else may think that Bruce Wayne is dead, but Tim thinks otherwise. He has opted to leave Gotham and (being the hardcore detective that he is) travel the world in search of his former mentor. He won’t be satisfied until he either finds Wayne or see’s his body, and to begin his search takes him to the beautiful country of Spain… only, he isn’t there for sight seeing. Marvel scribe Chris Yost visits the other side of the pond as he writes this title and Ramon Bachs provides the pencils.

detective854c-194x300Detective Comics: Out of all the new Bat-titles, Detective easily takes the cake in the art department. J.H. Williams III’s pencils along with Dave Stewart’s colors make for a striking, unique take on Gotham City’s newest cape- Batwoman.  Williams switches art styles when the story features Batwoman and when she’s traipsing around as her alter ego, Katherine Kane, and the layouts in this comic are so fantastic and avant-garde that they alone are worth the price of admission. Batwoman is a no-nonsense character who doesn’t hold back in a fight, and writer Greg Rucka makes this relatively unknown character one of the most intriguing in the Bat-family to date.  She originally appeared waaay back in 1956 in Detective Comics #233, and didn’t show her face again until 50 years later in 52 #7. Now in 2009 she’s cementing her name as one of the most feared in Gotham City. Plus each issue features a backup story featuring The Question!

Gotham City Sirens: Think Birds of Prey but instead of Black Canary, Oracle, and Huntress, you get Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn. Now toss into the mix an old school Bat-villain and a new guy who wants to make a name for himself, and you have one exciting new Batman story! Paul Dini also writes this new series with art provided by Guillem March. Fans of the old BoP books or any female driven series will dig Sirens.

Outsiders: Alfred’s calling the shots and people get hacked in half. ‘Nuff said.

I know what you’re thinking; what about Barbara Gordon and Cassandra Cain? Where are they in this new Bat-revamp? Well, they haven’t popped up yet, but don’t worry. They’re going to appear again soon enough…

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