This beauty arrived in my store late last night — a well-loved copy of “Batman” #121 from 1959, boasting the First Appearance of villain Mr. Freeze! Back then he went by “Mr. Zero” and carried around what looks to be an ice-blasting tea kettle.

FREEZE

I’m going to be honest — I almost chucked this thinking it was too beat up to sell, but I always look stuff up in the “Overstreet Price Guide” first, when BAM! I realized what this issue truly is. So crazy! Even in this shape it closes in on $100.

What’s your most prized “Batman” comic? Off the top of my head, I’d say 1992’s “Detective Comics” #647 for me, the First Appearance of Stephanie Brown, the Spoiler. It’s not very valuable, but it holds a special place in my heart since Steph’s one of my favorite characters. Now that I think about it, probably the most valuable “Batman” comic I own is the First Appearance of Harley Quinn in print form, 1993’s “Batman Adventures” #12 — and it was bought off the newsstand at cover price! In fact, I have two copies since at that time (I was 9) my mom would buy me a copy to read, then secretly buy one to save which she later gave to me in life. So cool. My mom’s awesome.

Now we know who Batman’s pulling for in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs!

BATMAN_LA_KINGS

The Los Angeles Kings begin their series against the San Jose Sharks tonight at Staples Center.

GO KINGS GO!!

UPDATE: Gotta love the fan interaction of the @LAKings twitter account!

KINGS_TWITTER

In the February 2013 “Previews” catalogue, which solicits new comic book releases for April, DC Comics revealed their “WTF Certified” marketing ploy, expected to traverse the entire New 52 line-up. The initiative boasts a WTF (“What the F**k!”) moment in every issue published that month, stating each one is “going to leave readers in a state of shock.”

While flipping through the catalogue, I’ve taken my best guesses as to what these “WTF Certified” revelations may be for a bunch of titles (as initially tweeted on my little blue bird feed), listing the first thing that came to mind upon seeing the cover or reading the solicit text. Some are good, most are bad, but they’ll all leave you saying “What the f**k!?” So grab your copy of today’s newly pressed “Previews” catalogue and follow along on pages 81-129 or by clicking here!

WARNING: Swearing ahead!

wtfJL

“Justice League” #19

-The “WTF Certified” thing DC is touting for April sounds pretty lame. Each issue they put out that month contains a #WTF moment? OoOok…

Green Arrow #19 #WTFCertified moment: it’s not cancelled by #20 and Jeff Lemire is staying on at least through to #21. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!

Justice League of America’s Vibe #3 #WTFCertified moment: it’s announced at the end his series won’t be cancelled at #8, but #10. WHAT THE FUCK!?!???!?

Justice League #19 #WTFCertified moment: Superman beats Aquaman at the backstroke. WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?!? Who saw that one coming!

"Aquaman" #19

“Aquaman” #19

Aquaman #19 #WTFCertified moment: The Ice King’s responsible for blue flavored freezie pops tasting so delicious. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Savage Hawkman #19 #WTFCertified moment: The announcement Rob Liefeld’s back on writing AND art duties with #20. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?

DC Universe Presents #19 #WTFCertified moment: With a giant fucking sword run straight through Flash on the cover, this series actually sells a copy off the shelf. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?

"DC Universe Presents" #19

“DC Universe Presents” #19

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #19 #WTFCertifiedmoment: THIS SERIES IS STILL BEING PUBLISHED!? WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!

Worlds’ Finest #11 #WTFCertified moment: Power Girl goes black and doesn’t go back. WHAT THE F — wait, that makes sense.

Action Comics #19 #WTFCertified moment: The guy who wrote Marvel’s “Shadowland” is now writing a flagship DC title? WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?!?

Superman #19 #WTFCertified moment: Superman goes an entire issue WITHOUT WEARING A CAPE. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?

wtfWF

“Worlds’ Finest” #11

Talon #7 #WTFCertified moment: Calvin Rose gets the shit kicked out of him on the cover of his own book yet again. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?

Batman the Dark Knight #19 #WTFCertified moment: People still buy this book despite clearly being the worst of the Bat lot. WHAT THE FUCK!?

Detective Comics #19 #WTFCertified moment: John Layman quits Image comics and “Chew” to write this series forever. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!!

Catwoman #19 #WTFCertified moment: Nope, with a cover like that, this one’s too damn easy.

wtfSUPERMAN

“Superman” #19

Birds of Prey #19 #WTFCertified moment: Batgirl and company present an all mime issue! WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?!?

Batwing #19 #WTFCertified moment: Batwing dies at the end. WHAT THE F — oh, wait. He’s not caucasian. We all saw that one coming.

Nightwing #19 #WTFCertified moment: It’s revealed the blue costume never existed. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?!!????!!!? MY CHILDHOOD IS RUINED!

Red Hood and the Outlaws 19 #WTFCertified moment: Starfire’s new costume, a full-body jumpsuit, fuses to her body — PERMANENTLY. WHAT THE FUCK!?!

"Talon" #7

“Talon” #7

Green Lantern #19 #WTFCertified moment: Introducing the Poop Brown Lantern Corps! WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?

Green Lantern Corps #19 #WTFCertified moment: Somebody actually cares about Guy Gardner for 5 seconds. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?

Green Lantern New Guardians #19 #WTFCertified moment: With that ridiculous faceplate, it’s revealed Kyle is truly RoboCop. WHAT THE FUCK?!?!

Red Lanterns #19 #WTFCertified moment: That stupid cat kills every Lantern that isn’t Green, Red or Blue. WHAT THE F — I mean, THANK YOU!!!

"Catwoman" #19

“Catwoman” #19

Phantom Stranger #7 #WTFCertified moment: The title character finally speaks a sentence that isn’t cryptic bullshit. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?!

Sword of Sorcery #7 #WTFCertified moment: Nobody’s reading this, are they? WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!???

Animal Man #19 #WTFCertified moment: The Rot does not appear, nor is mentioned in any way, shape or form during this issue. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?

Swamp Thing #19 #WTFCertified moment: “Charles Soule” is revealed to be a nom de plume of Scott Snyder. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!!?!?

"Birds of Prey" #19

“Birds of Prey” #19

Dial H #11 #WTFCertified moment: People who have read all 11 issues still have no idea what’s going on. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Demon Knights #19 #WTFCertified moment: X-O Manowar shows up, blasting the shit out of everyone. WHAT THE F — no. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I Vampire #19 #WTFCertified moment: This is the final issue while “Firestorm” & “Suicide Squad” continue publication. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?!

"Batman" #19

“Batman” #19

Threshold #4: This issue actually doesn’t get a #WTFCertified moment considering nobody read #1-3.

Suicide Squad #19 #WTFCertified moment: Everyone finally commits suicide, ending the series. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Legion of Super-Heroes #19 #WTFCertified moment: Legion goes back to the 80s to prevent the creation of any more crappy “Legion” comics after that time. WHAT THE FUCK!

Teen Titans #19 #WTFCertified moment: In a single “Flashpoint-esque” stroke, it’s as if this series never existed. THANK FUCKING GOD!!!!!!!!

The Ravagers #11 #WTFCertified moment: See the WTF Certified moment for “Teen Titans” #19.

-And that’s that. Is your mind blown by all these insane #WTFCertifiedmoments? MINE SURE IS! I need a mint.

-Truth be told though, #WTFCertified can be cool. The “Batman” #19 cover makes you guess and the belief in Lemire’s “Green Arrow” feels legit.

-Juan Jose Ryp is an artist who slips under the radar — I’ll buy “Katana” #3 for the cover alone. The blade… #WTFCertified?

-I want “Katana” to be successful. She’s an exciting, energetic character who’s unpredictably precise — Ann Nocenti has a great opportunity to succeed where the latest “Huntress” miniseries failed.

Which #WTFCertified issues will  you be reading?

Last weekend I attended the Long Beach Comic & Horror Con and had a blast. I covered the Scott Lodell panel for CBR where the writer spoke on his three DC Comics titles promising a new direction for “Superman,” changes in “Teen Titans” and the “most severe beating of the Joker” ever in “Red Hood and the Outlaws.”  It was a good time!

LBCC: Lobdell Promises Radical Changes for “Superman,” “Teen Titans” & “Red Hood” — Click to read entire article

“Having just recently taken the reins on DC Comics’ ‘Superman,’ Scott Lobdell has already made significant changes to Clark Kent’s mythos. At the 2012 Long Beach Comic & Horror Con, Lobdell expanded on his upcoming ‘Superman’ work and the new, radical direction for Kent. He also revealed what’s in store for Jason Todd in the ‘Red Hood and the Outlaws’ tie-in stories for the Batman family crossover event, ‘Death of the Family,’ and gave some details on where ‘Teen Titans’ is headed after its tie-in issues conclude.

Lobdell was candid throughout the entire panel, fielding questions from fans and even moderating debates between people in the crowd over the topics discussed. Most notably, the subject of Superman and Wonder Woman’s relationship, which began in ‘Justice League’ #12, sparked heated conversations between audience members.

The biggest exchange began when a woman in the crowd made the comment that the relationship between the leading Justice League members ‘feels like a fan story.’ A cosplayer dressed as Superman quickly replied, ‘It’s natural!’ Lobdell let the two converse and they both settled on agreeing to disagree, hugging out their differences. This set the tempo and mood for the rest of the panel, a lively venue where fans peppered Lobdell with their questions and opinions.”

This issue was awesome — read it.

“Talon” #0 — Click to read entire article

“‘Talon’ #0 co-plotted by James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder, written by Tynion with art by Guillem March introduces new character Calvin Rose into the Batman mythos. Rose is the Court of Owls’ greatest living weapon and the most promising of its Talon assassins. He makes his first appearance in the debut issue of his ongoing series, penned by a relatively new writer to comics whose credits consist only of New 52 Bat-books.

While Tynion’s origin story isn’t the most original, it’s well-executed and the best I’ve read this month from DC. It has emotion, action and most importantly, character. What the original Azrael did for the Bat-verse in the 1990s and Hush in the early 2000s, Talon does in the modern day — he’s a completely original character thrust into the spotlight of an A-list character’s lore with the goal of generating fan interest.”

I’m involved in the webseries “Super Power Beat Down” with Bat in the Sun Productions. It’s a show which takes two super powered legends from across geek culture and makes them battle in live action fights.

My role with the show is to play co-host and master debater with my pals Damian Beurer, Marisha Ray, Jennifer Wenger and other geek experts on who would win each fight. Our roles are merely supplementary to the kick ass live action battles, but it’s a lot of fun to put together. My character comes off as a misogynistic wiener at times — I promise you I’m not like that in real life!

Our most recent episode went live recently and features two video game personas going head to head — Nathan Drake vs. Lara Croft, a.k.a. Tomb Raider.

Check it out:

Super Power Beat Down #4: Lara Croft vs. Nathan Drake

Catch all three past episodes here:

Episode #3: Wolverine vs. Batman

Episode #2: Gandalf vs. Darth Vader

Episode #1: 1960s Batmobile vs. 1980s Batmobile

If you want to vote for the winner of the next fight visit SuperPowerBeatDown.com — it’s Gambit vs. Nightwing! And now for some more behind the scenes photos:

Scored an exclusive trailer for CBR of the “Batgirl Spoiled” webseries featuring my pals Damian Beurer, Marisha Ray and Joey Rassool.

Click to watch the trailer and read the full article

“The crew of “Batgirl Spoiled” has provided CBR TV with an exclusive trailer of their upcoming webseries, “Batgirl Spoiled.” The production stars Marisha Ray as Stephanie Brown, Taliesin Jaffe as The Riddler and is directed by Damian Beurer. The trailer teases cameo appearances of the Bat family, including Batwoman, The Question and many others.”

Side note — I never realized until I started writing for CBR how fast people rip content from other sites and pass it off as their own. It’s sad.

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…

Star Wars InvasionBelow are quick hits about some exciting comic book news set to take place in the next couple of months:

Dark Horse

Star Wars Rebellion: Dark Horse has pulled the plug on the title. Apparently the series’ time line (which takes place during the original trilogy) made it difficult to come up with new stories that wouldn’t contradict the already existing continuity of the best documented time period of the Star Wars Saga. Editor Randy Stradley said, “[It was a] never ending struggle to keep the line fresh and not fall into the same stuff happening every month.”

Star Wars Invasion: This new monthly title will replace Rebellion, and takes place during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion that occurs during the New Jedi Order novels. In addition to some new characters, Leia, Luke, and the Solo children will be featured. Australian playwright turned comic scribe, Tom Taylor, will write the series.

Star Wars Adventures: A new series featuring standalone stories from characters throughout the Star Wars Universe. To premiere the series, the first story is about Han and Chewie. No word yet if this is a children’s series as it has an ‘Adventures’ tag to it.

Teen Titans #71D.C.

Batman: In June R.I.P. headmaster, Grant Morrison will return to write the title. According to editor Ian Sattler, Batman will somehow tie into the Green Lantern: Blackest Night story line.

Batman Battle for the Cowl: The Network: Some of the discontinued Birds of Prey cast make their way to Gotham City to help quell the storm in Batman’s absence. Said to make appearances in this issue are Huntress, Batgirl, Misfit, Manhunter, and Ragman.

Teen Titans #71: Ravager returns to the team, but is she an ally or enemy?

IDW

GI Joe: Snake Eyes: This mini series was presented to IDW by actor Ray Park, who will be playing the silent warrior in the upcoming Joe film. Park has teamed with co-writer Kevin Van Hook and artist SL Gallant to produce the 4 issue mini series. Apparently, Park enjoyed playing the role so much that he wanted to do more with the character.

Marvel

GeNext United: As if one mini series featuring the future children of the present X-Men wasn’t enough, Chris Claremont returns to write this sequel of the less than average GeNext line. The five part series will continue the new_mutants_vol_3_1pwhere the first mini left off.

What’s going on with the Ultimate Universe: Said scribe Mark Millar, “The thing that was the problem was that the Ultimate line wasn’t very good for quite awhile- it was good when it started, and it really went off the boil after awhile. There were maybe a couple of good books, and then in the end, maybe one good book, and the whole idea is just to make it all good books again.” What Millar is talking about is the complete revamp of the Ultimate Universe as Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, and Ultimate Fantastic Four have all been given the axe. Ultimate fans shouldn’t worry too much though, as the line is going to continue, but in an all new direction. Marvel Editor in Chief, Joe Quesada, comments on how the revamp offers more creative freedom to the production teams, “Now we’re looking at the Ultimate Universe saying, ‘what other doors can we open?’ Let’s get really kind of funky and crazy. I think you’ll see things in the Ultimate comics that we couldn’t do with other books. What is happening is we have a grand opportunity with the Ultimatum event to jump ahead a little bit. Just a little bit- not a lot. At the end of Ultimatum, there’s going to be a jump, and with that jump, we’re going to have a brand new Ultimate Spider-Man comic book.” One can only assume that something unprecedented is in stmpar-cv5_large1store for the Ultimate characters.

New Mutants #1: Due out in May, the title features original New Mutants: Cannonball, Dani Moonstar, Karma, Sunspot, Magma, and Magik. Legion, the man responsible for everything Age of Apocalypse, has returned and the New Mutants need to stop him…

Wildstorm

Storming Paradise: What if the United States armed forces had to invade Japan in the greatest conflict the world has ever seen? Find out in this alternate-history WWII mini series. Since being put on the back burner months ago, Wildstorm is finally finishing up the run beginning with issue #5 due out in May.

Special thanks to Comic Shop News for the quotes.

Check it out:

Thanks for watching!

Batman: Gotham After Midnight is a twelve issue mini series that was marketed as a frightful, scary, dark Batman adventure.

For the most part, the marketing was dead on.

Brief plot synopsis:

While Gotham after dark is dangerous, Gotham after midnight is ‘Hell on Earth.’ The Scarecrow has broken out of Arkham Asylum and has become obsessed with stealing a rare artifact. When The Batman arrives on the scene and tangles with his old foe, he realizes that petty theft isn’t the typical M.O. of The Scarecrow. He draws the logical conclusion; someone (or something) far more sinister must be behind this scheme…

Some thoughts on the issue:

-Writer Steve Niles spins an enveloping detective story, and is careful to refer to the title character as ‘The’ Batman, which I’m a fan of. The scene I enjoyed the most was probably the least action packed; The Batman’s rooftop meeting with Police Commissioner James Gordon. Typically these late night get togethers are a copout way to deliver the exposition (no pun intended). But for the first time in recent memory the rooftop scene, while delivering the necessary expo, flowed with the rest of the plot and didn’t feel forced in delivery. Bravo.

-While the writing is nothing to sneer at, Kelley Jones’ pencils without a doubt make this book. He reverts to the old-time Detective Comics Batman look complete with a flowing cape and long eared cowl. The Batman’s sharp, hawklike features make his appearance far more menacing than the Batman we have grown accustomed to in recent comic book pages. I dig Jones’ use of The Batman’s cape, as it seems to have a mind of its own. We often see it sprawling all over the place, and is very ‘Spawn’ looking in nature. My only qualm with Jones’ work is that in some panels The Batman is drawn awkwardly. Certain body parts aren’t in proportion to others, and at times his body contorts in ways that defy the laws of physics. Still, Jones’ art is perfect for this title and is beautiful to look at.

-Michelle Madsen does a great job with the colors, only complimenting the dark, after midnight mood of the book.

-The Chapter 2 introduction shot of Batman holding a sledgehammer looks… out of place and a little silly.

-Some one liners:

“I’m going to have to have a word with Jeremiah Arkham and maybe Bruce Wayne about donating to Arkham’s security.” – The Batman

“I see. Are you expecting Godzilla to attack Gotham then?” – Alfred

“The best preparation is a full stomach, Master Bruce. Imagine if your stomach were to growl at the wrong time.” -Alfred

-A full page spread gives a unique, intruiging view of the Batcave. It’s very cool looking, as is the one man Batmobile complete with side jets!

The final word:

While more fitting for an October release as opposed to mid summer, overall this issue is a great read. Pick it up if for no other reason than Jones’ art work as it’s definitely worth a look. For the first issue in a 12 issue mini, Batman: Gotham After Midnight can only get darker…

3/5 stars

Batman: Gotham After Midnight #1