Art by: David LaFuente
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 28, 2015
It's been a long race, but the finish line is in sight. In fact, this week's issue of Batman: Eternal finally gets us caught up to Batman #28. It's been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait. Last issue we got to see Harper become Bluebird and it was so awesome and when Catwoman captured Stephanie Brown at the end of the issue, I couldn't wait for this week. Well, it's here and I'll let you know, it's pretty damn good.
When the issue began, I have to admit it, I thought I had missed something. I finally realized that it was an "out of sequence" issue and that I'm a huge dummy. I also realized that I love Harper Row. Seeing her with Batman in her Bluebird costume is great enough, but I loved her quick and snappy dialogue even more. This series can't be the last we see of this awesome character or I may have to have a little sit down with the higher ups at DC, if you no what I mean.
Harper heads off to her apartment where her brother, Cullen, is keeping Stephanie Brown company. Remember, "out of sequence". James Tynion continues the great dialogue with those two with Cullen being almost as good as his sister. While they watch "Gotham Heights" (which looks like a cross between Street Fighter and Double Dragon for some reason), Harper shows up and the fireworks go off. Harper and Stephanie don't see eye-to-eye, but Steph has been through so much, it's understandable.
If you don't know what she's been through, we get to see a bit. We also get to see that Harper missed her brother and how she made her Bluebird costume. It all leads to Selina Kyle's underground casino and it's one of the best sequences this book has had. Cards are flying, Batman is karate kicking and Harper is being her awesome snarky self. She may lack experience (and maybe even talent), but she makes up for it in enthusiasm. The fight ends in an odd way, with Selina just handing Stephanie over to Batman and we get back to the present with her and Harper hanging out in her apartment. The best thing here is they are starting to like each other. I smell a Breakfast Club-like teamup! The only thing they can't agree with is trusting Batman and the cliffhanger tells us why Stephanie doesn't trust the Bat one damn bit. It's crazy and awesome.
I really enjoyed this issue. It was fun, action packed and features one of my favorite characters, Harper. Harper? Bluebird? I love them both and I'll take as much of her as I can get. As for the cliffhanger, I obviously think it's a bit of smoke and mirrors, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it's explained.
I didn't think I was going to like David LaFuente's art when I saw the preview, but seeing the full issue made me a fan. The anime/manga style was so good for what was going on in the issue and besides Selina's overly sharp features, I liked the character work a lot. The only thing that worries me is how this chapter will fit in visually when this book is collected in the trade. However, that's been an issue before in the series and is part of the nature of a weekly book.
Bits and Pieces:
I really enjoyed this issue and just love Harper Row as Bluebird. James Tynion and David LaFuente may have given readers the most fun this series has seen and I'm all for fun. However, the end throws another wrench into the story and with less than ten issue left, I hope things start coming together real soon. Recommended.