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Does Mr. Freeze's newfound family stand a chance? Find out in our exclusive first look at DC Comics' "Batman: The Dark Knight #23.2 - Mr. Freeze!"

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"Part of keeping a readership on their toes, part of keeping them scared, part of keeping Batman heroic is constantly reinventing them, rethinking the villains that have become maybe too familiar."

Gregg Hurwitz is in the business is deconstruction. With his mini-series "Penguin: Pain and Prejudice" he dug deep into the psyche of Batman's flippered foe, presenting a nuanced and non-judgmental view of the frequently vile crime boss. He carved the same path when he came on board "Batman: The Dark Knight," with his take on the Scarecrow. In Hurwitz's view, the villains are just as, if not more important than Bruce Wayne, as they are the prism through which we view both Gotham City and its pointy-eared hero. Artist Ethan Van Sciver joins Hurwitz on "Batman: The Dark Knight" with issue 16, taking over for David Finch, as he moves on to "Justice League of America" with Geoff Johns. I spoke with Hurwitz and Van Sciver about their new collaboration, showing the more horrific side of Batman's world and why being gruesome and gross is not only important, but fun.

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This September, DC Comics is turning it all the way back to zero, taking a look at what went on in the DCU before the New 52. Like we did a year ago with the first month of DC’s new universe, we’re going to give you some looks at all the "Zero Month" titles coming out over the next few weeks.

So here we go:

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Catwoman and Batwing writer Judd Winick jumps on board Batman: The Dark Knight #9 for the Bat-family crossover, Night of the Owls!
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Mark it down, folks. This isn’t the biggest week ever in quantity, but it’s worth taking note, if for no other reason than the fact that the infrequently seen Batman Incorporated is shipping alongside the even more rarely seen (only once, as a matter of fact) The Dark Knight. It’s almost a certainty that you won’t see this combination a month from now.

Batman Incorporated #4
Last month, Grant Morrison did what Grant Morrison does: took disparate Silver Age elements, the majority of which are goofy to say the least (plot details from a parrot? A femme fatale wearing a giant scorpion mask, complete with a tail and stinger hanging from the top? A criminal mastermind in a luchadore mask?), and combined them with some James Bond-esque stylings (from the in media res opening to the inexplicable-but-awesome tango sequence)…and it all kind of worked, inexplicably. With Bruce Wayne visiting Argentina on a Batman Inc. mission, Batman teamed up with Gaucho to solve a case of three missing children. However, they were betrayed in the issue’s closing pages, left in a death trap where the two of them are about to be forced to fight to the death, battering each other with electrified gloves.

This month takes a step back a bit. The arrival of Batwoman (Kate Kane) leads to a flashback sequence involving the original Batwoman (Kathy Kane). The artwork, originally promised to be Yanick Paquette again, has instead been delivered by the newly-exclusive Chris Burnham…and that is just fine. Read More...

Batman: The Dark Knight #1
Far and away the stand-out title of the week is this one, the beginning of another new monthly ongoing series for Batman. The distinguishing characteristic this time is that the book is both written and drawn by former Marvel exclusive artist, David Finch (with inks by the well-regarded Scott Williams). The writer/artist concept really seems to be taking hold in the Batman editorial offices, with Finch doing double-duty on this book and Tony Daniel doing the same on Batman.

A cynic would look at DC’s slate of titles and question the necessity of this book…and that cynic would probably be right to do so. However, in fairness, several other Batman monthlies are coming to an end in the near future, so it’s not completely unjustifiable.

Little is actually known about the feel of Finch’s story. DC hasn’t run any online previews, either on their own site or elsewhere, but solicitation copy promises a look at “the more supernatural and esoteric areas of Gotham City.” Granted, that is a pretty vague description, but at least DC appears to be making an effort to carve an actual niche for this book, rather than just taking the easy road (knowing that this book IS going to sell) and letting it be just another ongoing Read More...

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