"Batman: Curse of the White Knight" (DC Comics, $39.99): It's not your Daddy's Batman! Come to think of it, it's not even your older brother's Batman. A couple of years ago, comics multi-hyphenate Sean Murphy wrote and drew a miniseries about ... oh, let's call it a parallel-universe Gotham City. In this world, Batman is so out of control that Bruce Wayne sets up a Batman cleanup fund to replace all the stuff the Batmaniac breaks. Another difference is that the Joker gets cured, and Jack Napier (as he called himself) gets himself elected to the city council. And there are two Harley Quinns, the one we saw in "Batman: The Animated Series" (who also gets cured) and a second one, the "Suicide Squad" version, who is more lethal.

So, the Joker is a "white knight," trying to protect Gotham from its obsessive vigilante, with a calm and rational Harleen Quinzel at his side. Murphy turned the status quo upside down.

"Curse of the White Knight" is a sequel, where the Joker personality takes over Napier again, and he goes bad. And Batman reforms and goes good. And ... wait a minute! It is your Daddy's Batman!

"House of El Book One: The Shadow Threat" ($16.99, DC Comics): This is the first of a three-book series, so fair warning: It ends on a cliffhanger. But that's about my only complaint about this book. It's set a couple of years before the destruction of Krypton, but unlike the TV show "Krypton," takes its time connecting to Superman. It actually focuses on two teens with unfamiliar names whose connection with the usual suspects (Jor-El, Lara, baby Kal-El, General Zod) isn't immediately apparent. And I like these kids. Oh, it's obvious they're going to have a teen romance. But that's almost required in a YA novel, and writer Claudia Gray gives us enough background on the pair to make 'em likable.

Gray is well known for her "Star Wars" novels, the Evernight series and other nerd favorites, and her expertise shows in other ways, too. For one thing, she does some impressive world-building, giving us a Krypton never seen before. Eric Zawadzki's art also has to do a lot of world-building, and does so without being obvious. It's easy to fall into this world, which fits together seamlessly.

Snowpiercer the Prequel Part 2: Apocalypse (Titan Comics, $19.99): The cynical among us will likely point out that "Snowpiercer" — the graphic novel that inspired both a movie and a current TV show — was meant to be a stand-alone, and will roll their eyes at the furtherance of the story. And no doubt they're right. But just because economics more or less insists that Matz (aka French writer Alexis Nolent) continue "Snowpiercer" through more books, that doesn't mean they're necessarily poorly done money grabs. In fact, they're the reverse.

I've already been impressed with how Matz continued the story in two sequels, given how the ending of the first book didn't leave much wiggle room. It was not only plausible, it continued what is so awesome about "Snowpiercer": its social consciousness; its juxtaposition of brutal necessity and a high-tech environment; and its thoughtful, downbeat vibe. The prequels do the same. Sadly, there is no Sean Bean. That's just on the TV show.