Joe Patrick said, “Every once in awhile, we get a ‘Batman Forever’ article by Kevin Coffey.”
Well, “every once in awhile” is now! Batman Forever is back with another double-sized issue. Let’s get into it…
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Batman Forever is brought to you by the gracious cooperation of Legend Comics & Coffee in Omaha, NE. Check ’em out!]
Batman Eternal #13
Jim Gordon continues his conversation with his one-eyed, long-though-dead son. Vicki Vale goes after the gang war. Stephanie Brown continues to elude the Cluemaster. Lieutenant Bard’s big bust flies in the face of the corrupt police commissioner. We finally meet back up with Robin and Harper.
James Gordon is the creepiest of creeps in this issue, and he seems to want to break his father out of jail even though he doesn’t really like his father. And then there’s some pages about Stephanie Brown and Robin that are basically setup for future issues.
But my favorite part of this story has to do with Lt. Bard’s plan to screw his boss. He teams up with Vicki Vale to catch a bunch of criminals and, when Commissioner Forbes says to let them go, she gets all the quotes she needs for the Gotham Gazette. I like Bard, and I’ve enjoyed the police corruption storyline. But where does it go from here?
More in the next issue…
Batman Eternal #14
“Arkham Asylum is lost,” according to Scarecrow. Penguin finally goes back to his penguin-like ways. Lt. Bard puts the screws to the mayor, the commisioner and the criminals. Batman and Jim Gordon have an important conversation.
Penguin finally loses it and goes straight after Falcone, and the resulting fight is fan-freaking-tastic. It’s even better when some interlopers arrive.
At one point, Pegnuin says, “Sometimes you have to be a monster to stay on top when you’re competeing against serial-killer clowns and half-faced lawyers.” I love it. It’s Gotham City in a nutshell, and it would be just as appropriate coming from Batman.
While Penguin and Falcone fight, their opposites (Batman and Jim Gordon) have a similar conversation. It’s similar to many others they’ve had about the soul of Gotham, but it’s the kind of thing I love about Batman stories.
And we learn that where Batman and Gordon have a line they will not cross, it’s not so clear-cut for the seemingly heroic Bard.
Jason Fabok’s art is perfectly gritty in this issue, and I particularly loved his creepy shots of Arkham and Penguin foaming at the mouth. The final piece where His half-page shot of Batman standing in the shadows is simply gorgeous.
This was by far the best issue of “Batman: Eternal” so far.
Next Issue: Now that we’ve revisited Arkham Asylum, I predict we see more of the Spectre and the mysterious stuff going on there. Both Arkham and Blackgate are gonna get dangerous. Harper and Robin tussle in Japan. Bard crosses another line. Gordon sits in front of a judge.
Next week’s cameo: The Batman of Japan, Jiro Osamu.
Was I right?
After Issue #12, I said “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.” I also predicted a cameo by Two Face.
Though Gordon hasn’t appeared in court yet, his case is ongoing. Batman and Bard did indeed pull one over on the GCPD and Bard rounded up a lot of bad guys in the process. Penguin struck back to the tune of actually stabbing Falcone. We revisited Arkham briefly. Batgirl hasn’t reappeared yet, but I suspect she will soon. No Two-Face either, but he was referenced by Penguin.
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.