This Week’s Best Bets: DC’s ‘Batman And Robin’ Hopes To Erase Fans’ Movie Memories

There were a lot of options this week for readers interested in comics with crossover appeal. Everything from adaptations of fan-favorite and cult-classic properties to the continuing adventures of popular superheroes with established big-screen presence. Here’s what looks good among the June 3 releases:

TOP OF THE STACK: “BATMAN AND ROBIN” #1 (DC): If anything can wipe away the memory of Joel Schumacher’s unintentionally campy 1997 foray into the Bat-verse, it’s the superstar team of writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely. This is one of those rare occasions where I haven’t read the issue yet, but feel perfectly comfortable recommending it.

From “All-Star Superman” to “We3” (one of my favorite stories put to page in the comics world), Morrison and Quitely have the magic touch that makes any book they collaborate on stand out from the rest. Can these perfect partners work that same magic with DC’s Dynamic Duo, relaunching the team-up title with a brand new story? Put it this way: If they can’t do it, no one can.

“BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: TALES OF THE VAMPIRES” (Dark Horse Comics): While not as high-profile as Morrison and Quitely, the creative team on this one-shot tale from the Buffy-verse is still pretty impressive. Writer Becky Cloonan (“Demo,” “American Virgin”) teams with artist Vasilis Lolos (“The Pirates of Coney Island,” “The Last Call”) for a story about a normal Massachusetts guy who happens to enjoy letting the local vampires drink his blood for fun. Everything changes, however, when a “mysterious and sultry” stranger arrives. Good times in the Whedonverse, as always.

“LEPRECHAUN” #1 (Bluewater Productions): This one makes it onto the list simply because it’s “Leprechaun.” I mean, come on — he once killed someone with a pogo stick. However, I’m actually not sure whether the issue is out this week. If it is, any “Leprechaun” fans out there owe it to themselves to pick this issue up. It’s an all-new story featuring everyone’s favorite sadistic pot o’ gold protector, and while the art isn’t stellar, you know what you’re in for with a project like this: silly b-movie fun.

HONORABLE MENTION: “PUNISHER MAX: NAKED KILL” #1 (Marvel Comics): Written by award-winning horror novelist Jonathan Mayberry, “Naked Kill” puts Castle on the trail of a snuff film ring, armed only with the weapons he can craft from a clever disguise. This one’s guaranteed to be gruesome (much more so than “Leprechaun,” at least), so consider this a warning for weak-stomached readers.

What are you planning to pick up this week? Any recommendations from this week’s comics? Let me know in the comment section!

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