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Batman Eternal #10
EE-EYE-EE-EYE-OH! Catwoman is captured. Falcone is pissed. Bruce Wayne is curious. Stephanie Brown is on the run. Professor Pyg is out for revenge.
Everyone has something they’re gunning for in this issue. While Falcone is taking his revenge on Catwoman, Pyg is seeking something else and raids the scene. Batman shows up just in time to mete out justice and save the day.
The cops are still corrupt, but Lt. Bard is becoming my favorite character. He’s the only good guy in an organization full of questionable individuals. He’s like the perfect Jim Gordon replacement. (Wait a minute…)
The most exciting part of this issue is, of course, the ending. Something is fishy with Falcone. Though he’s now the top dog of crime in Gotham right now, a few things he speaks about leads Bats and Catwoman to realize he may be taking orders (or at least suggestions) from a higher power.
Who could it be? We have yet to find out, but there are some hints as well as a shadowy look at the big bad.
This is one of the weakest issues of “Batman: Eternal” as far as art is concerned. The action ain’t bad and Pyg’s gross animal henchman are pretty gnarly, but Riccardo Burchielli’s art style is way different from everyone else that has been on the series. Unfortunately, that means his depictions of characters such as Alfred are a little off and Bruce Wayne and Jason Todd just look like any two dudes off the street.
I predict Batman turns into full detective mode to figure out who’s been supplying Falcone with information. Catwoman goes off on her own. Jason Todd and Barbara Gordon butt heads. The Spectre checks back in. We see Jim Gordon again, although briefly. Someone gets gravely injured.
Next week’s cameo:
The Riddler (Batman’s speech had an emphasis on a “big question”)
Was I right?
Last time, I said, “Professor Pyg is employed by Falcone to torture Catwoman. It doesn’t go well. Batman returns to Gotham and has an uncomfortable conversation with Alfred. Meanwhile, stuff goes down at Arkham Asylum that pulls Batman’s attention from Wayne Manor.” I also predicted a cameo from Two-Face.
Well, Pyg wasn’t employed by Falcone, but he does show up at the Falcone-Catwoman torture party. Wayne and Alfred do indeed have some talking to do. Nothing is apparently going on at Arkham even though the place was about ready to quite literally explode a few issues ago. (Is this being touched on somewhere else?) No Two-Face, but I suspect that he might have been named in this issue without being named.
Batman: Eternal #11
CRACK! A mysterious figure steps into the Gotham Cemetery. A trip to Brazil means fights with an actor and a bug lady! Another international Batman shows his face. Alfred gets nowhere with his daughter. Cluemaster gets a bit of an origin story.
This issue of Eternal moves the story along quite nicely (although I’m still waiting to catch up with a few things that happened about six issues ago) when Red Hood and Batgirl head south. I love that El Gaucho shows up to throw down (and be fawned over by some busty babes).
This story is as much about Gotham as anything else, but that it occasionally crosses borders and takes on an international flavor makes the story pretty awesome. In the real world, Batman’s criminal enemies must be working in international circles from time to time.
I enjoyed the explorations of Stephanie Brown’s story and her issues with her father, the super-villian Cluemaster who’s also trying to kill her. And then there’s Catwoman’s little visit to the graveyard and a meeting with Batman, which makes a bit of interesting character development.
While Ian Bertram’s art has a real John Romita Jr./John Cassaday thing going on, it totally doesn’t fit in with this series. I do dig his style, but it feels a little too cartoony and warped to be in a Batman book. It just doesn’t fit. Bertram’s stuff is great, and I’d love to see it in a different book.
Batman: Eternal #12
BRATTA RATTA RATTA TAK-TAKAK-TAK – Falcone orders a brutal takedown. The cops (at least some of them) stake a stand. Jim Gordon gets out of prison (if only to go to court). Batman slips into a different uniform. We finally catch up with Robin and Harper. Red Hood and Batgirl spar a bit in Brazil. A certain famous reporter from Metropolis makes a quick cameo.
With Jim Gordon at trial, the heat is on for his costumed and GCPD pals to exonerate him, and they’re all working really hard to do so. Gordon’s plight is so serious (and so tied to the Falcone-Penguin gang war) that they all have some major work to do. They’re setting things up to save Gordon, and the good Lt. Bard has a crazy plan that involves Batman.
This series has a thing with long-lost, long-forgotten or otherwise estranged children. Gordon gets visited by his long-thought-dead (I believe) son, James Jr., which brings to mind that Alfred, Gordon, Batman, Catwoman and Falcone are all dealing with some parent/children issues. What’s the deal with that?
A few notes…
Question: Is Professor Pyg’s mask permanently attached to his face? Cuz when Robin busts into Arkham to interrogate him, he’s wearing it. In his cell.
I love Harvey Bullock’s references to the things that happen “right after Zero Year,” by which he means the events of Year One, The Long Halloween and Dark Victory.
As for the art, I’d like to find more stuff by Mikel Janin. His lines are crisp, his layouts are kinetic, and the art gives each character some personality.
Gordon’s trial continues after he has an uncomfortable talk with his son. Batman and Bard set up a switcheroo on the GCPD. Falcone’s gang war gets even more violent when Penguin strikes back. Batgirl finds some evidence in South America, but she won’t be able to get back to Gotham in time to save her father. And we go back to Arkham. Finally.
Next week’s cameo:
Two Face (I said it before, but I have more confidence this time.)
Was I right?
After Issue #10, I said “I predict Batman goes into full Detective Mode to figure out who’s been supplying Falcone with information. Catwoman goes off on her own. Jason Todd and Barbara Gordon butt heads. The Spectre checks back in. We see Jim Gordon again, although briefly. Someone gets gravely injured.” After a reference to a “big question,” I also predicted a cameo by The Riddler.
Red Hood and Batgirl do some investigating (and ass kicking) in South America. Catwoman rejects Batman’s help. And Batman is looking hard into Gordon’s case (even going undercover as a prison guard), but he’s turning up squat. Gordon, one of the central characters of the book, finally turns up for most of the issue. No one was gravely injured. Yet. And no Riddler. (He’s a little busy in Batman: Zero Year right now.)
By night, Kevin Coffey fights crime as a masked vigilante. By day, he’s the music critic for the Omaha World-Herald, Dungeon Master, lover of the Muppets, husband and father. He also enjoys making snide comments during movies (his wife has asked that he stop, but he refuses). Read his musings on Twitter (@owhmusicguy), music reviews and previews at Omaha.com, and bloggy stuff at his blog, Rock Candy.