My Parents are Dead!
Written by: Genevieve Valentine
Art by: Fernando Blanco, John Rauch and Corey Breen
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: March 2, 2016
Last week's issue of Eternal was one of my favorites of the series and best in a long while. When it ended with Damian showing up (with a few days to kill? I love that reference) and the fact that Genevieve Valentine was also returning this issue (with a few days to...write?), I was actually looking forward to this issue more than I could have imagined only weeks ago. I am not a hard man to please, all I need from Eternal is to have good art and a story that doesn't step all over itself and make everything I've already read a damn mess. That doesn't seem that crazy, so why has it been so hard to come by? Like the number of licks of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know. However, we aren't here to talk about the past (unless it's a Batman Flashback of course), but to see if this weeks Eternal is any good. Well, is it? Let's find out...
The issue opens up in Mother's base of operations...at the Arctic Circle. Okay...This lady sure gets around and I really want to know how much money it took to build such a huge and hi-tech base there. We see as Mother is getting the Somnus Satellite in position and in case we all forgot, we get a reminder of how awful she is. Poor Adam, poor, poor Adam
While it is actually hard for me to care about Adam (I hardly knew Ye), I do care about Harper and hearing her talk about her Mother got some feels out of me, but when she tells Cassandra she "feels nothing" when it comes to her, I rolled my eyes a bit. Come on Harper, don't bottle it all up.
We then shift to the Robins and the part I was eagerly anticipating...Damian. While Valentine seems to "get" each Robin, something was definitely lost in translation and the dialogue comes off stiff, forced and even unrelated to what others are saying. It doesn't help that they are throwing the biggest pity party known to man and unfortunately, we're all invited. That's when Damian steps up and tries to recreate every one's favorite Batman and Robin meme. It fell flat..so flat. It did lead to the best part of the issue, however, when Damian rallies the troops by telling them what Batman really thought of them.
We get to see a Batman and (Damian) Robin flashback that showed just how much Bruce learned from his interactions/confrontations with Mother and used them to become a better person, mentor and father. It was one of the best moments in this whole series, but it just wasn't enough. On a side note, is it just me or does Jason really get the short end of the stick this whole issue? He comes off as an awful emotional flip flopper and the "praise" he gets is hardly anything to write home about.
Back with Mother, Orphan and Poppy arrive with Harper and Cassandra and while she seems happy to see the girls, she is disappointed with David. Poor, poor David. Actually, the guy was a real piece of shit, but he did love his Mother. The issue ends with a little bubbly, an Orphan cosplay contest and some trouble at the Times Square Amalgam. Why are there so many kids out at this time of night? What happened to rules people? Hey, where the hell are my kids? Oh god, that one kid with the hat looks like my son, Ethan! #WorstDadEver.
I'm sure you can tell already, but I didn't like this issue. The dialogue was pretty awful and while the overall story pretty much stalled out, the big moments came and went with little impact. I did really like seeing that Batman learned from his mistakes, but it was not enough to make this issue worth reading. Also, having Damian was a waste and only used to set up a flashback. You have one of the most dynamic and interesting characters in the DCU in the book with a real reason to be pissed off and he pretty much is there for reassurance and to be a cheerleader.
As much as I didn't like the dialogue and story progression, I liked Fernando Blanco's art even less. What the hell happened Fernando?!? I have always been a fan of his art so I actually hope this was rushed or just mailed in, otherwise I would have to change my opinion of him and I'm not ready to do that just yet.
Bits and Pieces:
I should have known that after loving the last issue of Eternal, I was only setting myself up for a big disappointment. This issue had bad dialogue, poor characterizations and awful art. While we get a really good flashback scene, most of this issue was just setup for the cliffhanger and this book's stretch run. I am tired and just want it to end. Please, make it end.