Batman Eternal #34

Things aren’t what they appear to be here in Batman Eternal #34!

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #34
Written by Kyle Higgins; Drawn by Alvaro Martinez

We got a tease last issue that Hush and Julia were going to have a big showdown. Of they fight within one of the caches Batman has set up over Gotham, but its not the big fight you think. Hush blows the cache but Julia survives because she’s seen in the current Batman Endgame storyline which takes place after Eternal. That’s my very minor gripe with this excellent issue of the weekly series since things are shifted. Batman and Hush finally have their big showdown and I have to give who props to Higgins for the high emotion and weight the dialogue has during it and to the new artist Alvaro Martinez for getting across with is very nice detailed style of penciling and facial work. The perspectives and angles are very good on it. His work on the issue is dynamite and I hope to see more of his work on here.

The fight is great and gets pretty brutal. Blood is drawn and secrets revealed as Hush is in possession of the same invitation on Hush that Carmine Falcone had. Hush might not be the big man so to speak. Which only opens the question as to, if not Hush who? Could the Court of Owls be bag at it again as a personal revenge against Bruce from the beginnings of Scott Snyder’s run in the New 52? This raises so many entertaining questions and theories.

Oh and Bruce is now broke. We finally get to that little plot point. During the issue, Mayor Hady and Commissioner Bard are talking to Lucius Fox about the explosions (Hush destroying Batman’s caches) and how its gotten out of hand. Its pretty damn good on its own and leads to the Federal Government taking over Wayne Enterprises and effectively shut it down.

Whoever the true mastermind is has gotten what he wanted. Bruce is beyond broken right now and its only going to get worst from here. The series feels its on track to something now with the mystery going much and much further. Also I do realize I was wrong about Hush, shut up! Batman Eternal seemed like it was going to remain in stasis for a while but its come out of it and gotten a new live right and that’s exciting! I can’t wait to read next week!

RATING: 5/5

Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: USPIS

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Ed Helms comes on for one of the best episodes of the show yet.

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2: Episode 8: USPIS: GRADE: A

Just straightforward Brooklyn Nine-Nine is what we got this week and that’s what makes this a very funny episode. Our main story ties back into Rosa leading the Giggle Pig task force and a lead they have brings them into contact with United States Postal Inspection Service agent, Jack Danger (pronounced Donger) played by the always welcomed and talented Ed Helms who does not disappoint. His self-righteousness and incompetent personality played for the role is spot-on hilarious and actually fits within the world that Brooklyn Nine-Nine has now established. He sees this position as being the older brother to Jake. He works so well with the cast it perfectly highlights how well the show does with its guest stars. He does play a big part in the mystery and isn’t himself a suspect although they had a couple setups where he could have been, its just more of his character being him and that worked. The chemistry is there and I hope this isn’t our only appearance of his character.

Of course this character frustrates Jake on many levels where he nearly compromises the task force since he thinks being Rosa’s friend gives him some sort of free reign and when he does fuck up, he apologies to Rosa, which felt like an eternity to her, and it shows their true bond as well as who they as as their own person. Boyle of course gets some very good lines in about licking vintage stamps for just the taste, wanting to ride on the back of Jake’s future robotic partner, more worship of Jake, and finally breaking in a door successfully and giving the prep a high 10.

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Our B-story is Amy trying to give up smoking cold turkey and man was I happy with this since it shows off Melissa Fumero’s comedic ability front and center and deal with Holt, Terry, and Gina since they too had past addictions of gambling, eating, and shopping respectively, though I think Gina isn’t fully over her addiction which wouldn’t surprise me. They each try to show her their methods with hilarious results from Terry’s ice sink, Holt’s running, and Gina’s meditation. They each feel true to the character they belong to. The flashbacks to Terry in a fatsuit to show his past addiction and Holt being every his emotional self at the race track are great highlights to me. This rang true of what Brooklyn Nine-Nine is.

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Hell even Hitchcock and Scully got one over the crew in the cold open which ends with Scully accidentally taking a sip from his thumbtack cup. That’s what made this episode work so well is that we’re once again this week back to how each actor and character work on their own and together with others. This episode felt true to itself since all character motivations and actions felt within character and they provided a load of laughs as well as story progression. I seriously do love Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Batman Eternal #33

Big fallout from last week’s ending dives Gotham into further madness.

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #33
Written by Kyle Higgins; Drawn by Jason Fabok

This week’s issue primarily deals with the fall out of the explosion of last week and it works well. Higgins does great character work showing how Batman is dealing with it as well as further bringing in Julia into the Batfamily. She’s really come around into a fully developed character and her interactions are welcomed. Its tricky to bring in a new character into a mythos and long standing character such as Batman, but she, and Harper Row, have worked out for the best. They are more than welcomed additions.

Batman is frantically trying to calm down the mess Hush has made. Speaking of, who isn’t too happy with Bard’s complaining and threatens him with a broken bottle. I gotta say I love that Hush is the main villain of this since you can’t get more personal an enemy with Batman than him, or Jason Todd when he’s correctly used as a villain. Hush is still insane and desperate, but yet keeps himself cool and calm, controlling all the chess pieces and never showing his next hand to Bruce.

There is a tiny subplot with Lucius trying to cool fires at Wayne Enterprises and talk to Bruce about the caches which makes for a great scene between them.

Kyle Higgins is a great Batman writer and Jason Fabok’s pencils on this are fantastic. His art is truly outstanding.

Not a whole lot else happened but I’m kinda glad for that since the explosion fallout needed to take a central focus. Its a pretty big damn development. I will say I’m not missing the Arkham bits at all here. Eternal feels like its back to what it should be telling.

RATING: 4.5/5

Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Lockdown

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The 99th precinct celebrates Thanksgiving together, even though they don’t want to.

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2: Episode 7: Lockdown: GRADE: B-

If there is one show I think could pull off a great bottle episode, its Brooklyn Nine-Nine. We have our characters, the setting is prime for a full episode setting, and a lockdown over a mysterious substance has a believable situation for things to take place. Sadly we only get half of what would have been a great episode.

We’re off in two separate places this week. Jake is in charge of most of the crew while Captain Holt and Terry are off at a conference, but get side tracked to Terry’s place. Let’s get to that first since it is the weakest point of the episode where Holt tries to get Terry over how imitated he is of his returning brother-in-law Zeke. The story does provide one great laugh of Holt enjoying Terry’s exercise ball in his office, or Tiny Terry’s Hobbit Hole as Zeke titles it. Zeke thinks Holt is a hardass like his own boss and that doesn’t that’s how they bond. That’s all there was to it here besides a bouncing Holt. But now to what the episode maybe just should have been.

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Jake is left in charge of the station but before they leave, Boyle knocks over a package with mysterious white powder. LOCKDOWN! Again the situation for the bottle episode is perfect right and it works and its especially funny with Jake in charge and trying to make everyone happy by giving them what everybody once from heat to food. Its also doubly hilarious with Hitchcock left out on the balcony and how Scully never leaves his side by the window. Its really sweet actually. Andy Samberg really plays Jake well and to his strengths this week by again. This is something Jake would too and even help out the group of lawyers out even though he’s still morally opposed to them, nice to see just because of Sophia it doesn’t changes his views. I also love that the lawyers are led by Jeff Lewis of The Guild, who is on equal foot with Samberg.

Jake does of course realize he needs to man up and cat more like holt would in the situation thanks to talks with Amy, thankfully not hindering on his feeling towards her, but honest friendship and respect. Its great to see him put out so many fires, and even a literal one. There are nice character traits like Gina causing fear and panic, Hitchcock being Hitchcock, and Boyle correcting Jake to say “turkey day” instead of Thanksgiving. I think its either because Boyle is such a foodie or he’s part Native American. I can’t tell, but wither way I laughed each time it would happen.

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There’s nothing too outrageous here, aside from the fire, or that too many memorable lines but again we’re relied upon character work and the amazing ensemble for a prerequisite Thanksgiving episode. There’s nothing work with that. Plenty of laughs are to be had here as season two keeps going on being strong and proving Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s place among today’s TV comedies. Happy Turkey Day!

Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Jake and Sophia

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine goes back to relying on what it does best, characters.

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2: Episode 6: Jake and Sophia: GRADE: B

It must be said again that the biggest strength of the Fox comedy is the characters. Which doesn’t surprise me since minds behind the U.S. version of The Office and Parks and Recreation where they were great ensembles. The writing is great and it gives our characters what they need to say and a reason to watch but its the perfect casting of all the right actors and guest stars that have made all the shows thrive.

What’s great about this is that the characters are so well defined and the ensemble of actors are so good we can split them off into any pairing for an episode it more often than not, it’s going to work and that’s what we got with the latest episode.

The main crux is Jake, he is in the episode title, and the titular Sophia, played by guest star Eva Longoria. Jake decides to try and get in the dating game after his date with Rosa’s friend, who is somehow even more closed off than her, doesn’t go well. In a nice small moment of sincerity, Terry gives Jake advice that helped him lead to his marriage and I felt a great connection between them yet again.

They hit it off and then discover she’s a defense attorney on a case Jake is testifying in. This goes as well as you’d expect. Its really good chemistry since surprise, the show knows how to cast well and Samberg and Longoria work together. They bounce jokes well and can downplay it in scenes like the end where they try to figure out what they’re going to do. Its really good and Longoria comes in smoothly. This all feels good until you realize this might most likely lead to an episode where Jake, Sophia, Amy, and Teddy all are together and yeah I don’t even need to finish this. Longoria isn’t going to be around long since she’s only a guest star, but I’m going to enjoy what I can of her. She’s just too funny.

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So elsewhere we have Rosa and Amy fighting over trying to get Amy to run against Scully for union rep but Amy doesn’t because of her ambitions to be be Captain and naturally they bring in Holt who can’t do anything about it. Its nicely done since I’d love more Rosa and amy interactions and this lead to more Amy trying to suck up to Holt as much as possible. What’s funnier is how even Scully knows how terrible he is at the job, but no one really wants it. Rosa is of course in her own antagonistic and sarcastic way helping out Amy by realizing what a step up this will be to her. Amy can always just step down from the position in order to be captain at any time. Rosa has shown more and more and of human side as the show has gone on and its nice to see. Amy does win and its a nice little moment. Though the best moment with Amy comes when she’s late for the first time and the display of excitement Holt shows when it turns out he’s right about why she’s late. I laughed way harder at that than I should have but it felt earned.

Of course we end once again with Boyle and Gina bickering over a hotel room giveaway they planned before everything became public and they ended. This of course has good jokes which the funniest are the lengths Gina goes to in order to secure the room. The performances are there but its all just set up for Boyle’s dad and Gina’s mom played by Stephen Root and Sandra Bernhard respectively. I’m kinda looking forward to that now honestly.

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Character pieces are great highlights, even when one section felt a but closed off due to just building towards a potentially hilarious payoff. Its a strong installment for the season so far and from a comedy show, I don’t ask every week by the funniest thing ever conceived, just to be funny and that’s what this week was. Funny.

Batman Eternal #32

Well seems Tommy Elliot is gaining the upper hand this week in Batman Eternal #32.

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #32
Written by Kyle Higgins; Drawn by Jason Fabok

Well its a hell of a week for Tommy Elliot, first appearing on the latest episode of Gotham where the young, soon to be obsessive psychopath got a beat down by Bruce, but his adult self gets revenge by exploding a National Guard route and under one of Batman’s bunkers which thusly frames him. TV and comic appearance. Good on you, Tommy boy!

The bunkers are really just he main crux of the issue as Hush gives this info to Bard who shares it with Vicki. Batman explains them all to Julia. The Bunkers are what bring everything in this issue together. Higgins is back on writing with Jason Fabok back on the art which makes me very happy.

Batman is starting to lose his edge and that’s shown through the art how Hush is getting in his head and its nice to see Fabok show this in some rather small details on the face of Batman. He’s still one the best artists out there today.

The only other noticeable thing that happens here is a brief handicap fight where Batman and Spoiler take on Hush. It was cool to see. I liked there was a main focus to the story this week but it just didn’t provide much beyond moving things a long. Things are starting to feel a bit stagnate, even with a big ending such as this. It feels like a slow burn which I love, but there needs to be a little more.

RATING: 3/5

Batman Eternal #31

Batman Eternal focuses itself once again while balancing so many stories.

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #31
Written by Ray Fawkes; Drawn by Fernando Pasarin

Well you know this issue feels like an improvement. Its still balancing storylines, but it doesn’t feel as fast and disjointed as the past two issues have. Ray Fawkes suddenlt got a good grasp on what and what not to feature here since the crux of it all is still going on at Arkham, or rather the crater that used to be Arkham. Batman quickly takes care of Joker’s Daughter whose bomb vest was a fake. Man, Hush is like a dickish troll right now. Batman handles her as well as a good number of his Rogues trying to take advantage of not being confined in Arkham in some nicely drawn out sequences by the welcomed back Fernando Pasarin who has a nice detail to the faces of his characters, but draws some really damn good action. Nice to get our first look at some of the supporting cast of Arkham Manor.

Speaking of which, there still isn’t any broke Bruce Wayne. But we get Spoiler! For a brief moment where she has a badass moment on her motorcycle before Hush clotheslines her off of it.

The main thing of the issue for me is the team up of Alfred and Bane. Its not a big are prevalent as the cover may lead you to believe, but its a really good part of the issue. They try to help each other out of the rubble. This all is lead up to Alfred finding a secret base within Arkham that Batman had set up throughout Gotham to get him back in contact with the Batfamily. This was noting more sorta to get from point A to point B but I liked how it was done. Oh and Bane was subdued with knockout gas.

A nice blend of semi-focused storytelling and wonderful art managed to make this a more stable issue of the weekly series after a couple of week of chaos. Hopefully we can stay on this path for a little while longer.

RATING: 3.5/5