Braving the gauntlet of Big Two events, prestige format risk-takers, off-the-radar indie releases and a non-stop avalanche of floppies is DoomRocket’s HOT PRESS. With so much media out there screaming for your eyeballs, HOT PRESS is here with short-burst news and reviews of the latest stuff you should be paying attention to. This week: Chip Zdarsky’s ‘Batman’, AHOY Comics’ ‘Justice Warriors’, farewells to two incredible editors, and other things.

by Jarrod Jones. After Wednesday’s earth-shaking (or rather “my own personal desk-shaking”) announcement that moderately tolerated comics blog DoomRocket is returning with a broader format that will once again cover television and film, HOT PRESS is back to talk about stuff. Does the return of TUBE ROCKET and ANTI-MONITOR mean that HOT PRESS will expand its own gaze to the realms of television and film, as well? I don’t know! And I’m scared to find out!

– This week’s biggest comics news item was without a doubt the announcement that Chip Zdarsky will be taking over the main Batman title in July with Jorge Jiménez. Their run kicks off with Batman #125 and will feature a “startling new villain from Batman’s past” (which feels like a contradiction but, what the hey, let’s go with it!) that either will or will not be a previously established character from Chip and Carmine Di Giandomenico’s Batman origin story, Batman: The Knight. If Chip is threading some kind of Bat-Chipperverse, the smart money is we’ll have seen this villain before (just don’t go quoting me on that). Anyway, this is wild, exciting stuff that just might get me reading a monthly superhero title on a regular basis again. (Another selling point for me: This new saga, titled “Failsafe,” will whittle down all the Robins currently floating in the Bat-orbit, briefly, to just Tim Drake.) Here’s some art by Jiménez and series colorist Tomeu Morey; more details can be found in CBR’s exclusive preview at the link above:

Image: DC Comics

– Matt Bors, immensely gifted cartoonist and founder of The Nib, is making his first leap into ongoing comic bookery: Working alongside co-creator Ben Clarkson, Bors is launching a six-issue series called Justice Warriors, published by Good Comics impresario, AHOY Comics. io9 has an exclusive first look at the series, which has been described by Clarkson as “a violent mashup of The Wire, RoboCop, and ‘The Itchy and Scratchy Show,'” which is so incredibly up my alley that the added fact that it’s also an AHOY book makes this an automatic buy for me (and also I should possibly consider getting a restraining order put out on AHOY). Make sure to pre-order Justice Warriors #1 when the June comic book solicits drop, I’m gonna. In the meantime, here’s some art:

Image: AHOY Comics

Just look how cool that is. Jesus.

– The A.V. Club’s Film Editor A.A. Dowd has been ramping down his decade-spanning tenure with the beleaguered pop culture site and it’s definitely felt like the end of an era. This week, he revisited Iron Man 3, one of the first C+ reviews he ever posted with AVC, and comes to grips in a terrific essay that admits, yeah, that movie was pretty okay. (And it is!)

– In related news: I have two more pieces scheduled with The A.V. Club before I close out my one-year run writing for the outlet. I’m incredibly frustrated/sad/depressed about this since writing for AVC has been a dream of mine for eons, but this thread sums up why I can’t continue to write for them anymore. I may share a thread on my personal Twitter at some point with links to my favorite pieces and recaps from my time there, but for now… yeah. It’s a damn shame.

– To my surprise, Chris Arrant, esteemed senior editor of Newsarama for nearly two decades, has moved on from his post. Chris has been a rock for the comics industry and one of my guiding examples of how to write about this daffy business and I will miss his byline on the site like mad. Comic convention titan ReedPOP has already snatched him up as their editor-in-chief, so good for him—and them! Best of luck and all the happiness to Chris.

Copra: Round One TPB. “Ugly. Mean. A superhero revenge machine.” Copra might at first look like a Suicide Squad riff but it has vastly more to offer than indulgent homage or wistful Post-Crisis reverence. Michel Fiffe populates the first entry in his long-running mercenary joint with a ridiculously high body count, a mystery, Hasbro-and-mid-80s-DC-Comics character design, and a mercurial brain in a jar, all of it crucial to what is decidedly a sordid superhero soap opera the likes of which modern-day cape comics just aren’t interested in providing anymore. Fiffe’s spidery-thin lettering can play tough with folks who have crummy eyes (like me), but the shifting alliances, the pyrotechnics, and Fiffe’s intense attention to plot detail will immediately yank you in by the lapels and smack you around a bit. By hook or by crook, Copra is going to be your new comic book obsession. (Buy it.)

Batman: Night Cries. Starts as a black-as-pitch GCPD procedural about Commissioner Gordon’s hunt for a brutal serial killer, and then, through a series of reveals and revelations, it morphs into something far more disturbing. Shadows and secrets and savagery, this book will take you for a ride down dark Gotham avenues you may not want to visit. Archie Goodwin and Scott Hampton’s 1992 graphic novel freaked people out with its frank discussion of child abuse and the cycle of violence it perpetuates, and casual Bat-readers have balked at how deep into the topic Goodwin and Hampton truly go. For those willing to take the dive, Night Cries is an emotionally volatile mood piece of pain, suffering, and what comes afterwards that holds up as a truly unique and unforgettable Dark Knight experience. (Buy it.)

That’s all I got for this week. (It’s been a busy one!) Read any good comics lately? Drop them in the comments or write me: jarrod@doomrocket.com.

More HOT PRESS:

HOT PRESS 2/3/22: Dino-DC, ‘Savage Avengers’, ‘Project MK Ultra’, other craziness

HOT PRESS 1/5/22: The Best Comics of 2021

HOT PRESS 11/10/21: Mosley & Reilly’s ‘The Thing’ clobbers a solid week of comics

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