This is the best issue of Batman Eternal I have read in 3 months! There are so many excellent scenes in this comic it is almost unfair. Maybe they could have doled out some of this awesomeness into previous issues instead of cramming it all into one. James Tynion IV completely nails it with this one. This story is all about character moments, developments, revelations… The bulk of this issue is entirely allocated to people just chatting with one another, and I found it thoroughly engaging and highly entertaining.
For me, the main show stealer was Selina Kyle; she has so many amazing moments that listing them all would monopolize the entire article! I found myself hanging on her every word, and it looks like Steph and Harper were also somewhat taken with her. Even though Selina is essentially the “Bad Guy” here, we see Harper and Steph looking up to her, and in some ways, wanting to emulate a female who they see as having made it. Through Selina’s dialogue we also see some hints at just how bored she really is with this whole kingpin job. For Selina, it really is all about the game and the thrill. Being a kingpin is too much like work, even if it is easy work.
I found the sections with Harper, Cullen and Steph to be highly amusing: most of the humor emanated from fun cultural references (Duckfacing, hahaha); the humor also relied on the fact that they come from varying social and economic backgrounds, but in the end it turns out that regardless of their differing backgrounds, they do have some things they can relate to. It kind of reminded me of one of those movies geared toward little kids, where two characters from varying social circles are forced to work on the same group project for school, in the process learning that they aren’t all that different from one another.
Let’s be honest, Harper is a cocky little kid! She seems to have a real gift for rubbing people the wrong way. She is a blunt instrument when it comes to talking with people, she needs to learn some finesse. It’s like she has no filter for her internal monologue. She just says the first thing that pops into her head. You can either be irritated by her or find a way to chuckle at her posturing. While I find some of the things she says to be irksome, for the most part, I find her attitudinizing nature to be humorous.
Given that Eternal has shown a habit for playing the long game and drawing out the questions that we have, I assumed that this issue would be no different. There were two new questions that this issue posed to me. I found myself wondering when I was going to get an answer to them and assumed I was going to have to wait till later to discover the outcome. Lo and behold, both of my new questions were answered, and in the very same issue that they were postulated no less!
David Lafuente handles art this time around. It’s kind of cartoony, very stylized, has a hint of anime thrown in, and perhaps doesn’t really fit the tone of Eternal but I absolutely loved it! I especially loved all the fun little details that were scattered throughout Harper and Cullen’s apartment and Selena’s Egyptian Casino. I only had one negative about the art: in a couple of panels Selina’s face is very unflattering.
Last week I commented on how confusing the credits were. Now maybe this is a complete coincidence, but this week the credits actually tell which artists are responsible for which tasks and even site page numbers. That is exactly what I requested they do last week. Is someone from DC reading my articles? If so, thanks DC, I appreciate it!
- Tim not good at fighting?!? Oh, come on now. That is just ludicrous! I’ll admit that fighting was never Tim’s strongest area, but to say he isn’t good enough to impart some wisdom to an upstart is just plain insulting. I guess when you consider the fact that Harper has a somewhat overzealous opinion of herself, then it’s probably just her opinion on the matter and not necessarily the truth (merely devised to flatter Batman and score her some training), but still. She totally just dissed my boy!
- Ok, so Batman didn’t hand you your marching orders personally, that is no reason to yell at Tim. Shouldn’t you at least be happy you’re even being involved. So entitled….
- I know the place that Harper and Cullen visited wasn’t a comic shop, but it was like a comic shop, and probably the kind of place that many of us have been in before. Harper just called that place an antiquated dinosaur. She just made fun of the audience that is reading her story. First she made fun of Tim and now she is taking pot shots at me. I like you Harper, but sometimes your personality can be a little grating. You have some growing up to do.
- Harper says she, “hasn’t quite got this whole acrobatic thing down”. Hasn’t quite??? How about shouldn’t be able to at all. Last issue she tripped while jumping from rooftop to rooftop. Now she is doing acrobatics. I think not.
- How did Steph get in her costume? When we saw her last she was wearing regular street cloths. Am I to assume that when Selina kidnapped her she took the time to grab her costume, then stripped her down while she was unconscious and redressed her in her spoiler gear. Why!?!?!
- Bruce Wayne huh? In the past, Hush has underwent plastic surgery to look like Bruce Wayne. Lincoln March, being Bruce’s brother, also resembles Bruce. It’s possible that Steph saw either of them?
- The game that is playing on Cullen’s TV is Streets of Rage 2 from the 16-bit gaming console Sega Genesis. Back in 1992 when it came out it was my absolute favorite game! I still own it too. Now you want to hear something really weird. 4 days ago I went to a dinner party. Turns out the host’s 15 year old had it! After dinner, the adults stayed around the table chatting while the two of us took a seat on the living room floor and played us some STREETS OF RAGE!!!! What?…don’t judge me. Laying waste to an army of street thugs or listening to people gripe about their jobs, you know I made right choice. I’m coming for you Mister X!
- You love character driven stories.
- Humor is your cup of tea. (Yeah, but what kind of tea?)
- Seeing a well written Selina Kyle is something you are dying to see.
- You’re a big fan of the female characters, they all get lots of page time in this story.
- Lots of well crafted dialogue is key to you enjoying a story.
- A story that starts to give you more answers than questions sounds like a welcome change.
This is the best issue of Batman Eternal in months! Character moments, comedy, and some actual answers for a change. Only 9 issues of Eternal to go! Hopefully we can maintain this level of quality until the finish line.
SCORE: 9 / 10