Batman Eternal started off strong in the first 4 issues of the series.  Setting up an intriguing scenario in which a villain from the past is longing for a Gotham of the past, before the freaks took over.  Carmine Falcone says, “I can still see Gotham as it has always been, what it is fighting to become once again.”  I too recall a Gotham before the New52 and it seems to me that the further we get from September 2011 the closer the comics revert back to what they once were.  Batman Eternal seems to be a perfect example of this.  I have thus far counted almost 20 examples of old characters showing up with no introduction for new readers as to who they are but within the universe they act as if a past exists with them.  While knowing who these characters are is not always integral to understanding the main story I can see how a new reader might think they had missed an issue when characters start showing up that they don’t remember.

The last 2 issues seemed to get slightly off track but I’m guessing that as things continue all the story lines will converge into one.  Or at least one can hope.  This particular issue brings the focus back to our main story.  While this is a good thing I can’t help but feeling that this issue didn’t bring anything new to the table.  Chocked full of action but very little of the story contained any true meat.  At times it felt almost rushed or overcrowded.  Trying to tell too much in too few pages.

The major plot point which occurs in this issue is Falcone escalating his war against Penguin and sinking the Iceberg Lounge, which has been in the comics for the last 19 years as the Penguin’s base of operations.  The funny thing about that is, that while it is ultimately the purpose of this issue and should be the thing that holds your main attention, the conflict between Batman and Pyg is far more entertaining.  Falcone intended Pyg to distract Batman from his attack against Penguin, and ultimately this occurred for the audience as well.

Catwoman’s convenient involvement at the Iceberg right when the attack comes is just that.  Her inclusion in the story was completely unnecessary and almost felt shoehorned in.  The confrontation between her and Penguin seems like an advertisement for her comic, in no small part due to the fact that they reference two different story arcs that have occurred in her comic during their fight.  It was almost a shame to inter cut the fights between Catwoman and Penguin with Batman and Pyg.  I just wanted to watch Batman and Catwoman kept interfering.

Spoiler
How can Forbes not get in trouble for releasing Pyg.  He would be indirectly responsible for anyone Pyg kills now.

Random Thoughts

  • I hate those bat knee pads on the suit.  Anyone else with me?
  • With the mask that Pyg wears and the crazy dialogue he utters, it has the same vibe as the Bioshock game from 2007.
  • On page 10 when Pyg says, “What does the bat say?  The Bat goes…EEEEEEE.”  I heard it in the voice of Ylvis, The Fox.  Considering Pyg openly talks about his love of music he may have heard this song.  Not to mention the creepy masks in the video.

Interesting Facts

  • Tiger Shark is a Batman character from 1949.
  • The killer whale reminded me of a Batman character from 2000 called Orca.  While it is most likely not Orca in this comic I wouldn’t put it past them if it had been since they add characters all the time in this series with no introduction.

Recommended If…

  • Your a fan of Lazlo Valentin…Pyg
  • You thought the Iceberg Lounge was an eyesore.
  • Batman kicking Dollotron butt makes you happy.

Overall

Not the best Batman Eternal has to offer thus far but far from the worst.  Plus Professor Pyg!

SCORE: 6/10