[EDITOR’S NOTE: Batman Forever is brought to you by the gracious cooperation of Legend Comics & Coffee in Omaha, NE. Check ’em out!]
Welcome to an all-new double-sized Batman Forever! Just like in the old days, it’s at no extra cost to you, dear reader. (Better than the $8.99 double-sized comics of today, amiright?)
Batman Eternal #8
KREASSH! Batman is kicking a lot Falcone thugs in the face. The Batboat makes an appearance! (As I said it would.) We catch up (ever so briefly) with Stephanie Brown. The cops are so corrupt that even Harvey Bullock can’t stop criminals. And bye, bye Bat Signal.
What an issue. Batman starts off by kicking the crap out of Falcone’s goons, except they’re not arrested because the GCPD is incredibly corrupt. This ends in a super-fun scene where they try to trap Batman and only succeed in getting their faces punched in. I think it’s only a matter of time before something bad happens to the new commissioner.
It was a fun fight, and it’s nice to see a lot of Batman in a comic with his name on it.
I did enjoy the Stephanie Brown pages, but it was basically just a rehash of what we already knew. Her part of this is a bit of a mystery, and I’m interested to see where it goes.
I really enjoyed the look at new Gotham cop Jason Bard. His back-and-forth with Vicki Vale, his insubordination and his verbal sparring with Commissioner Ass-Face (I don’t like Forbes very much) were pretty fun.
Since this is a double-sized edition of Batman Forever, I’ll get to the predictions after my thoughts on issue #9.
Batman Eternal #9
WAPOW! Batman goes to Hong Kong! Batman of Japan (!) shows up to knock around some thugs. Martial arts fights through a stereotypical Chinese pavilion. Catwoman returns, and a long out-of-continuity character shows her face.
This was a wild issue that mostly takes place in Hong Kong with a few flashes to what’s going on in Gotham.
While Batman investigates Falcone’s past in Hong Kong, Falcone battles an old foe back in Gotham. (An aside: Falcone was thought dead or at least cryogenically frozen at the end of “Dark Victory.” Will we ever get an explanation on how he was unfrozen, escaped from Two-Face and ended up in Hong Kong?)
Batman joins up with Jiro, the Batman of Japan, to kick around the crime boss of Hong Kong. Does anyone else find it hilarious that the Batman Inc. penthouse in Hong Kong has a giant Chinese “cash” coin and a huge Godzilla monster much like the Batcave’s penny and T-Rex? So awesome.
It’s a pretty fun sequence and Guillem March’s art does the fight sequences justice. They all feel explosive. (And special kudos for his cover work on this issue as well as the final panel with Alfred.)
The exchange between Catwoman and Falcone that references “The Long Halloween” absolutely delighted me.
While I’m loving the Batman throw-downs, we’re still suffering from the problem that there are two other major storylines that continually get ignored. Hoping we catch up with those soon.
Next Week in issue #10: 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.
Next week’s cameo: Two-Face. Though he appears to have died back in Batman & Robin #28, he’s too good of a villain not to have banging around while Falcone is up to no good in Gotham.
Was I right?
Last time, I said, “Robin is still kicking around, and he and Harper will team up to investigate what’s happening in the Narrows. Jim Gordon eats lunch in the prison mess. Penguin teams up with someone to strike back at Falcone. And Falcone seeks revenge for the death of his man, Rhodes.” I also predicted a cameo from Bruce Wayne himself.
Robin and Harper aren’t even seen. Gordon appears in a single panel. Penguin’s Iceberg Casino is being robbed by treasure hunters, and Falcone’s content to kick the crap out of the police commissioner, Catwoman and Batman. Bruce Wayne took off the Bat-mask long enough to work out.
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.