Hey its 2015! Let’s ring in the new year with the last 2014 issue of Batman Eternal!
So hey remember how Riddler was suppose to be something here? Riddler is something here in this issue alright. Batman and Julia decipher the code Riddler left behind many issues ago and find it leads to outside of Gotham at an abandoned ski resort.
Ray Fawkes, who is doing Gotham by Midnight now which is excellent so far into its two issues, writes a really damn fine Riddler who spends the majority of the issue behind his monitors just playing with Batman’s head and fucking with him. This is when I love Riddler most, when he’s just standing back and letting his thing happen. I do love the Riddler, he’s a great and fascinating character to me. I love how his mind works and the psychological aspect of the character. Snyder did some great work with him recently in Zero Year, which I recommend.
Riddler seems he might know who is behind the Eternal events after all since he was given an invitation but found this sort of thing beneath him. He wants to take down Batman himself and he tells him a Riddle which the answer is “You are echo”. Of course no straight answer about that is given since we got so many more issues left to go and the finale is set for March. When Batman tries to take Riddler back to Gotham, he sets off bombs which create an avalanche. This easily is the best thing of the issue.
Elsewhere we have the Arkham escapees are being brought in but their caravan is stopped by a mysterious figure who not only gives them Batman’s tech to go wild with, but also extends an invite to Selina Kyle to join in on the fun. This is nicely mysterious as its building so I think we’re soon going to find out who the mastermind is.
The weak point was the Vicki Vale subplot where she is starting to feel conflicted on the story about Bard but is convinced to go through with it. Doesn’t do anything until the end when some intern shoots her boss dead and remarks that she wasn’t supposed to be there. I feel like I’m over the Vicki parts of the story unless this goes somewhere.
Fawkes is on point here with the writing for the most point, though art by Felix Ruiz is wonderful. The art on this book has been damn fine for the most part and I find this new style well done. It does characters and action quite very well.
Now as for the Big Man, I have no theory set in stone for myself. I honestly can’t gage who is the mastermind behind all of this so sound off in the comments below. Otherwise, this was a damn fine issue.