Batman Eternal #47

Shit happens.

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #47
Written by Tim Seeley; Drawn by Juan Ferreyra

As of now we’re five issues away from the ending of Batman Eternal. This is shown by the fact we’re finally getting a brief glimpse of Gotham going to shit. Hush is able to break out and get a hold of Alfred as a hostage, who isn’t having the best week if you’ve also read Batman #39, and says he’s invited a family friend, said family friend I believe again to be Lincoln March who is behind all of this. We get a brief glimpse of the mastermind and by brief I mean covered in shadows upon shadows. Why mention this now? Its the most significant thing in the whole issue as to the overall story. Hush launches Julia out of the Batcave and remotely crashes the Batwing. Its some nicely paced and exciting stuff.

Really one of the main highlights of the issue is the art of Juan Ferreyra. He has such a nicely detailed look to it. It has a painted like how the art on C.O.W.L. and Phil Noto’s is. It is utterly lovely to look at from the people, propers, and scenery. I quite loved it. He does nice action too such as when the other highlight happens when the Batfamily go after the Arkham escapees with specific attacks after Julia gets the info from Catwoman. The issue really had a nice sense of pacing and was focused for the most part since elsewhere Steph and Cullen apparently need Vicki Vale to get the word out. There wasn’t too much to what was going on there which kinda drags the issue down a little.

The way the Batfamily goes after the Rogues are great for how they are geared to their targets. More then some get into some action with some being left for next week, or at least I hope since again we gotta get shit wrapped up.

While the issue is good, it still is slightly frustrating in how its dragging a little bit but hey I liked it. Its starting to feel alive again. Let us hope it still has a pulse next week.

RATING: 4/5

Batman Eternal #46

This week we truly find out if Batman is truly eternal.

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #46
Written by Tim Seeley; Drawn by Alessandro Vitti, Christian Duce, and Ronan Cliquet

Well let’s cross of Ra’s al Ghul of the list of those possibly behind the events of the whole book. He got Bruce’s attention to get his help since he’s in some bad shape from their last encounter. This is after of course Batman is faced off with Lord Death Man and Dr. Darrk through a cloud of some trippy drugs. Said drugs causing him to see past and future version of himself and Ra’s goes on about destiny and how we all are through life. Is Batman eternal? I say yes and well Batman does too with all the heroes he’s built up, the spirit of Batman is always going to live on in some form or another. Its a very good sequence that features some stand up writing from Tim Seeley who really gets to Batman this issue by fully understanding him.

Now this part of the art is handled by Alessandtro Vitti who shines here with his nicely done pencil that have a bit of a rough edge to it but just looks right when dealing with some Batman action and the outrageously designed villains of Lord Death Man and Darrk. Its a real testament to where this book will often go.

Speaking of going, this issue feels far more focused than any recent issue with a centralized story that moves us along nicely by seeing Ra’s has no business in the party that someone has invted plenty of people to. Very nicely written in regards to the character.

Now as for the subplots, well Julia is feature a bit just fucking with Hush in a couple pages drawn by Ronan Cliquet who has a nicely polished style to his art that served things up nicely, but Selina goes to visit daddy Rex about shipments being made through their company which turns out to be Poison Ivy who is planning…something. She opens the book in vagueness and ends it that way by ordering equipment for her band of fellow Arkham escapees and while wonderfully drawn by Christian Duce, really feels like a placeholder for next week.

Now to take a bit of a different turn. I’ve seen some outlandish theories as to who is behind this but there is one person that’s been thought of I think is the best answer and I’ve mostly seen it from the wonderful site, Gotham Spoilers ran by FHIZ. He’s proposed that Lincoln March is behind this all. Forgotten who Lincoln March is? Well remember way back to the last couple issues of the Court of Owls story by Scott Snyder? Lincoln March as a mayoral candidate for Gotham City that claimed to be Bruce’s brother and had a battle among Gotham skies that left him trapped in an exploding building with no body to be found.

To expound upon this, I think its true. Now Lincoln has a very delusional mind that would lead him to thinking he’s the brother of our dear Batman and he knows Batman and Bruce hold Gotham near and dear to their heart so for them to get revenge on missing a childhood and being neglected, take away what they cherish most. Gotham is at the heart of Bruce’s crime fighting obsession. Lincoln also knows how much the Batfamily means to Bruce so hey two birds with one stone. I think this theory is going to hold up and he’ll be revealed to be the matermind behind this all when we wrap back around to #1 next month. I haven’t heard or thought of a better suggestion than Lincoln March.

This issue was better in many ways while still having a bit of a focus problem, but its getting my trust back when it really needs it this close to the end. Carry on Batman Eternal, carry on!

RATING: 3/5

Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Wednesday Incident

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A full on Marc Evan Jackson guest appearance makes for yet another classic episode.

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2: Episode 16: The Wednesday Incident: GRADE: A

Now Brooklyn Nine-Nine is in the homestretch of its second season and they have two things to focus on now, the wedding of Boyle’s dad to Gina’s mom and resolving the Amy and Jake situation so The Wednesday Incident just feels like a filler episode. Nothing wrong with something like that but if you need a placeholder you need to make it a damn good one and thanks in part to more than just a cameo appearance from Marc Evan Jackson, The Wednesday Incident instantly became one of my favorite episodes of the show.

Really what makes The Wednesday Incident such a memorable episode is how tight and fast paced the script and direction is for the episode. There isn’t even really a cold open, the whole story is revolved around the main plot of Jake trying to figure out what has Captain Holt in a bad mood and proving it wasn’t his fault last Wednesday when he accidentally setting off the sprinklers in Holt’s office. Meanwhile Boyle is trying to prove he’s a damn good cop and did indeed crack his bank robbing case while his elderly suspect puts on a show to just outright fuck with Boyle. There’s even a minor sub story of Terry going around and keeping things in order so Holt don’t get angrier. It all ties and fits in so well together.

First to our main plot. As I’ve said in different reviews, I’d love to seen a guest appearance Marc Evan Jackson and Captain Holt’s husband Kevin Cozner since his first appearance last season was a genuine highlight to me and wouldn’t you know we get it this week. Jackson has become a recent favorite person of mine to see pop up from time to time. His straight frowardness in many roles is what is funny but his range and sense of timing just works wonders. I’m always pleased to see him whenever he’s on anything. His chemistry with comedy’s greatest gift this episode, Andre Braugher, still shines, but we get to see him stretch out as most of his screen time is with Gina and Jake trying to retrace Holt’s morning before getting into the office.

This was my favorite thing in the episode among a lot of favorite things in the episode. For as much progress Jake has made this season, there is still a lot to learn, how when and when not to meddle in the affairs of others. Jake’s relationship with the precinct this season has been a running plot point that’s even had its own couple of episodes dedicated to it, this is the case again when he tries to truly understand Captain Holt. They already have admiration and respect for each other but they just aren’t friends. Jake wants to change that. Through this search we get plenty of nice little moments such as Jake’s marveling at the fact Holt paints multiple still lives of a gray rock and how Holt only vents about Jake to those he encounters, and how Jake asks what they’re doing after this. Jake, stop getting everyone to like you so much.

Jake’s persistence almost gets everyone in trouble, including Holt’s marriage, but the way its all handled from character interactions just works. Holt’s confession that he prevented himself from being mugged was an honestly touching little moment that showed regret over something lets us see that Braugher still has got major chops. His bonding with Jake at the end is sweet and feels right given the progress of the characters and the story. As is how Jake makes up to Holt at the end and this is a big reason why I love Brooklyn-Nine-Nine. Also to go back to Braugher, his anger is a joy to look at from his tirade at the crew to a whole level of anger that’s just smiling, I believe this man was made for the stylings of comedy.

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Speaking of comedy, Boyle shines this week with his subplot. He finally nails down the bank robber he’s been chasing, who turns out to be an elderly man played by legendary Garry Marshall. This subplot works well because not only do we get to see more Joe Lo Truglio being him. Boyle here isn’t hero worshipping Jake, though we get a quick bit of that, but doing his job. You know with Boyle being Boyle so much its easy to forget how good he is at his job as evidenced in this episode. He puts in about as much work as everyone else around the office.

Garry Marshall’s appearance is also spectacular with how he’ll play with Amy and Rosa asking for a ginger ale one moment then coyly mention to Boyle he did to watch the tellers squirm because he gets off on violence. Even have a tea party with Amy and Rosa, leading Boyle to wonder what they’re doing with the monster. Of course its wrapped up by how he is right since Amy was tipped with one of the stolen bills, but still for all the actors involved with this short and sweet subplot, they all win.

As I mentioned, a minor story of how Terry is again keeping things running by putting out fires all over from breakdancing the silver breakdancer away from the precinct to Rosa’s personal calls and stomping on burning oatmeal while holding a lit road flare. Just Terry doing Terry. He really shines through in small moments here and man I love it.

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Again the real star is the script by Laura McCreary and the direction by Claire Scanlon. They melted so perfectly into one another and also the cast was firing on all cylinders from the opening shot. Everything went into one another nicely and just made watching (and re-watching) it a hilarious treat. There is no sophomore slump for Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Batman Eternal #45

Well sure let’s just throw in his character!

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #45
Written by Ray Fawkes; Drawn by Javi Fernandez

Alright so Ra’s al Ghul bought Wayne Enterprises, when he’s not stabbing Green Arrow and kicking him off a cliff, with legal companies. This seems like a legit move that Ra’s would honestly do but, HOLY FUCK, MUST WE THROW IN MORE THINGS?! I think its no secret that I am much more a fan of Eternal’s first half for how well tightened and put together it was at handling multiple storylines. I’ve enjoyed my fair share of issues in the second half, but its lost a bit of its own focus trying to add in plot elements they truly meant to add in, but somehow feel so crammed in as we inch closer and closer to the conclusion of this story.

Now while I think this is suddenly crowbarred in, I’m curious to see how Ra’s fits into all of this since whenever Batman and Ra’s get together, sparks fucking fly in their hatred for each other.

Alright but the issue, just fine I mean I wasn’t too overly thrilled by it. I think Javi Fernandez’s art is the best thing of this issue. Its nicely detailed in regards of action and he did some very good character work. It popped out at me with each page.

The supernatural stuff, actually connected with Batman, Milo, Batwing, and Spectre coming together to find out that a bird came to Milo in a dream to tell him what he did. Yeah, bird told him to get a book and ruin Arkham. Weird, but I’m hopeful about what could come from that. Hopefully.

Steph and Harper? Man what a sum up of this book. It has felt like a chess match of everyone acting as pawns, everyone is just a cog in the machine. Even them in this scene that just barely moves along the plot of Steph saying Bruce Wayne is behind this all. Its not that good a scene and something I would have loved to have read, but I got pretty damn bored.

Eternal really wants to ratchet things up and that’s great, but they also seem to want to see so many other things in there that might not work in the overall story. Really feeling hesitant about reading another series of Eternal right now.

RATING: 2/5

Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Windbreaker City

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The Nine-Nine are back to shoot paintballs and chew bubblegum, and they’re all out of bubblegum.

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2: Episode 15: Windbreaker City: GRADE: A

Break-ups are never easy. They can be pleasant sometimes, but underneath it is all that awkwardness of it and the constant mental anguish of losing what you loved and how you could fix things. Brooklyn Nine-Nine got to this with its opening as Jake brings the things Sophia left at his place to try and get it back to her. Of course the ones to help Jake are Terry and Boyle, by the way I want webisodes of them helping people with love advice, and they help Jake out by letting him know he needs to work through the pain, make it work him to get over Sophia. They let him text her to get her stuff. Jake’s reaction to why hasn’t she answered seconds answer also feels very much in character for him.

From there the episodes roles on as what is in many ways an spiritual sequel to season one’s Tactical Village, which is one the best episodes, in where the Nine-Nine are invited to take part in the Department of Homeland Securities multi-agency counter-terrorist drill. This is partly due to them replacing another agency last minute and their high scores in last year’s tactical village. Just the thing Jake needs to get his mind off of Sophia. But of course the highlight is Amy’s desperate attempt for cheers by shouting “Nine-Nine!” to boost morale. Sorry, but you madame are no Sgt. Terry.

When there, all confidence is taken away when agent in charge, Agent Kendrick, hello Nick Kroll, makes them the hostages. This makes the episode better as it really shows something only shown so often, the Nine-Nine are a group of very good and competent police officers that gets the job done. Yes even Hitchcock and Scully can get things done, occasionally. Jake riles them all up to lead a take over and it works to hilarious results. The action sequences as they are work very well and are nicely shot. I honestly think the show should showcase this more when possible as I think it can really help build the show up more by balancing the the comedy with the cop aspects of the show. It builds up well to a Die Hard referenced laden showoff with Agent Kendrick. I seriously love that Nick Kroll is the guest star for this as he perfectly conveys doucheiness well, which means he’s most likely one the most easy going guys offset. His back and fourth with Samberg is hilarious and had me rolling with laughter. He was on fire for the episode.

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Samberg was the star of this episode as his excitement during the drill and his desperateness to hear from Sophia perfectly balance what a well developed character Jake is. He wants another shot and really that shows signs he might be over Amy than we thought, but then again he’s not getting back with Sophia any time soon. Its nicely done progression of the character while staying true to things we love about him from before, such as his willingness to not let some things go, such as being stuck in a role of hostage in the drill.

Within the drill is a Amy and Rosa subplot where they vie for most kills among them to see who gets Saturday off. Amy wants to go to a TED talk about the benefits of power posing, I think I know a National Geographic show that could help with that, while Rosa wants to go to dinner with her parents. Melissa Fumero just continues to kill it this season and Stephanie Beatriz gets to wisely use her emotional side when revealing the dinner is for introducing Marcus to her folks. What’s that? More solid character development? Yes it is. Amy and Rosa worked great together be it Rosa’s assertiveness or Amy over explaining why she’s like Pinocchio, they just were on fire this week.

Of course that leaves us with Holt and Gina who sparkle together. Yes I said sparkle as I believe Gina would say that. She needs someone to evaluate for her psych class and while she would love to have a great case with Amy, Hitchcock, or Boyle, which that would only guarantee an A+,  she goes for Holt. When they end up in the same psychological classification, Andre Braugher again proves he is a gift graced upon the world of comedy. He unravels so well trying to prove he stands out as an original being in a way that’s different than when he deals with Wuntch. Of course this is only half of what makes that funny as Gina just slays it. Their personalities clash in a beautiful way that’s similar and different from Jake and Holt. Jake is laid back, but Gina better exceeds at that with her superiority complex as well. This to me was the funniest bit of the night and what excelled it to its A grade, well that and how damn good the episode was itself of course.

I think this is one of the off pairings of the show that needs to be explored more. Holt and Gina are electric together.

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This episode had everything working for it, but I think I’m ready for more consistent aired episodes as sports are over. I’d love for Nine-Nine to be here each week until summer hiatus to provide laughs, but be it on and off for weeks, you can still depends of this crew to make you enjoy taking 30 minutes out of your week to laugh.

Batman Eternal #44

Batman Eternal brings back ghosts. That’s exactly what we need so close to the end of the book.

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #44
Written by Ray Fawkes; Drawn by Aco

Batman Eternal brings back the Batwing and ghosts story that revolved around Arkham is back and well we did need to get back to it but after the twist and development of last issue, why? This is throwing a wrench in the development and progress of the book since we’re a month away from our conclusion of it. Its just confusing and befuddling as all hell. Maybe do this after 42 then go a couple issues, resolve, tie into what’s next and set up what all is going to happen to our conclusion.

This issue deals with that by showing Batwing equipping his gloves with some Nth metal and ready to kick some ghost ass, but then we cut to Batman hunting down old familiar Professor Milo, who I’m guessing might not get an extended role in Gotham Academy after being revealed to have been behind all the freaky shit that went down at Arkham. That doesn’t surprise me, seems very in character and I like seeing Milo, he’s one my favorite underused characters. Oh that is all we get of Batwing or his haunted roommate, yeah I remember, for the whole damn thing.

Aco is the artist on this issue and I like his art for the most part since some of the faces he makes with characters are not so good and look a bit ugly. He handles action stuff very well with the double page spread of Batman flying across the Gotham rooftops. That’s pretty goddamn great. He can draw people well sometimes, depending on who the subject is.

No Batman catches up to Milo and depends to know who gave him the invitation. As he asks, ghost hands come up from the ground of Gotham Airport. CLIFFHANGER!

Elsewhere, Steph tries to leave but Harper stops her. That’s that.

Batman Eternal really needed to keep moving forward but this week felt stalled, as if it wasn’t really moving in the direction it needs to. We’re this close to the finish line and shit needs to be connecting right now and things must be brought up. I’m liking it right now but patience is a little tested right now.

RATING: 2.5/5

Batman Eternal #43

Things have started to pick up!

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #43
Written by James Tynion IV; Drawn by David Lafuente

Basically the story of this issue here is the other side of what happened in Batman #28 last year and its excellent. That makes it not so surprising that James Tynion IV is writing being of Snyder’s camp. The majority of the issue is a conversation between Selina and Stephanie in where Selina psychoanalyzes Step and its wonderfully done writing. The interaction is delightful and intriguing. Seeing Selina play with Steph’s mind is great as it also allows for some great lines from Steph. Selina knows Steph has all the info that Batman needs and lets her decide: go with Batman and possibly die with the bounty still on her head or stay. She chooses Batman.

That leads to the other best part, her interactions with Harper. They bounce off each other so damn fast and its just pure fun. It also shows that Stephanie Brown is truly still Stephanie Brown which I love since I was worried she wouldn’t be her same old self. It can lead to some great possibilities.

That interaction leads to the cliffhanger in where Steph talks about her trust issues stemming from childhood to what’s going on, especially how she doesn’t trust Batman since the person she saw talking to her dad and the other criminals at the beginning of Eternal was the man who funds Batman, Bruce Wayne!

I’m gonna say this was Hush. I mean can’t be Clayface because that wouldn’t make any goddamn sense before Eternal started and now since he was one the Arkham escapees when it went boom and he’s now in Arkham Manor. This clearly has to be part of Hush’s contributions to the whole series of events.

As for art, David Lafuente’s art was so damn good. Nicely animated, fun, and so engaging. It was a nice change up from last week and add some variety to it as well. Shame he’s only doing this one issue. I would love to see more from him.

Eternal is starting to show some signs of life again and let’s hope that’s not just a blip on the heart monitor.

RATING: 4/5