One year later and here we are.
When reading the first issue, and also the last few issues, of Batman Eternal, you know with what it showed at the start, it had to build up to one hell of a final issue where a lot of shit would go down. This issue didn’t disappoint.
This issue begins with a nice surprise actually where Cluemaster was on his way to Harbor House, the mansion of the Court of Owls and finds them all dead around a dinner table. This takes place within the events of Batman #10 during the Court of Owls storyline. Cluemaster is there to get funding for his crusade against Batman and discovers Lincoln March who is revealed to be the one who did in the Court and so on takes all their money to help finance the events of Batman Eternal and I have to say, I loved this twist. It really was a nice little inclusion and back detail of the story I loved to see not just for the tie-in to one of the most recent greatest comic book stories written, but for the set as to how this all came to be. Its nicely plotted and then we’re off to the races with a familiar scene of Batman and Lincoln flying about the skies of Gotham which even Bruce remarks on quickly ends the tour.
Really I think this issue is great and well worth the price. It honestly is and something I think is gonna be one of the best single Batman issues ever. This gets to the core of Batman, Gotham, the Batfamily, the meaning of being a hero, it just hits on so much. The moment Gordon talks to Gotham and tells them they are all Batman that night have GCPD precincts light up makeshift Batsignals is seriously like every kind of awesome thing ever combined. It really is a cool moment as the fight between Bruce and Lincoln go on. The fight itself is great, nicely paced, well drawn to show everything going on, and just furious, brutal action. I even love the makeshift Batman costume Bruce makes up to keep his identity secret, its really nice.
The battle gets better with the whole Batfamily swinging into action, even the Birds of Prey and Talon. Yes Talon from the criminally underrated DC book during the New 52. Go pick up the trades please, its worth the read. Advertisement done, its a really cool but not much happens with the whole group and Lincoln makes an escape. Its a nice moment with the build up of seeing everyone individually kick ass but would have been nice to see everyone just get up on Lincoln.
Really that’s where the main story ends for this and we have epilogues and this is mixed part. There are good epilogues like Time Drake and Stephanie Brown being introduced to each other after Tim has a nice heart-to-heart with Harper and Jason Bard resigning with Maggie Sawyer as his replacement and offering the whole story to Vicki Vale. That works on the development between both characters and gives Bard a nice little ending. I was fine with Batwing and Jim Corrigan but they seem to just put a bow on the whole Arkham ghosts thing. That was my issue was just how neatly this big part of the issue got wrapped up, but I gave a nice chuckle when Jim offered Batwing a spot on his team in Gotham By Midnight. I actually do hope Batwing shows up over there.
Batman also just growls at Catwoman for still dealing with the mob and stealing some things while putting on a good face during the riots. Yeah slightly confusing as I’m not too sure where this lines up with the recent issue of Catwoman where they seem to have mended some fences and she’s about to be Catwoman again while still being the head of crime, it was pretty confusing is all I’m saying. Then we see Commissioner Gordon and Barbara relax and catch up, a sweet moment. Though Jason tries to work up the courage to admit he has feelings for Barbara and well I see how that developed over the book I’m not too sure about how that good work. Its a nice little idea to tease, but I’m not too sure how that could work in the long run. Like honestly, I love Batgirl, but Red Hood? Let’s keep with the possible suitors in her own book.
Though we do see what happened to Lincoln and that he was caught by the Court of Owls and is being buried alive. How fitting. The final scene with Batman and Gordon together again is just great. They admit, man things just suck, but this is what we do.
The varying art styles fit this book perfectly as much like the book itself, it goes all over the place, but with each segment, the art feels organic to what is being done. Honestly really great stuff.
Now overall I’d say Batman Eternal is kind of a mess and much like any weekly series has the chance to do, it went all over the place. Sometimes it worked some times it didn’t. This book seemed to lose its way plenty of times and that was frustrating. Especially within the last ten issues or so where they should have gotten more build up going. Execution is what its all about and overall I’d say the execution was pretty good, solid. Its honestly a really good story with plenty of great moments to be mined within the long history of Batman. Its honestly just god. I find this last issue so great, but the event over all just pretty good, but I really recommend it.
If there is one story to really make you proud to be a Batman fan, its this.
ISSUE RATING: 4/5
SERIES RATING: 3.5/5