Friday, May 9, 2014

Batman: Eternal #5 Review

Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Andy Clarke
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: May 9, 2014


I was so excited when Batman: Eternal was announced.  Whether or not fans needed another Batman book, let alone a weekly, can be debated, but I couldn't wait for the first issue.  Unfortunately, my fervor has wained since.  To show you exactly where I stand on this book, let me describe you my week of reviewing books.  On Wednesday, the first books I review are the ones I think are most "important" or ones I just plain enjoy.  Eternal was tops on both lists.  It has been the first book I review for the first four issues. Well, now we are on issue #5 and it's Friday.  My second review on Friday.  The book has really fallen down on my list.  Did this issue reignite my passion.  In one word, no.

This week we get James Tynion IV on scripting and Red Robin on hero duty.  This is starting to be an early trend.  Bat Family members show up for a little one-shot action with a big emphasis on the aftermath of Death of the Family.  Tim thinks that Batman is so inspired to bring the hurt to the Gangs of Gotham that he's missed something important.  He's right and it's Nanobots.  How could we not see that coming?

Meanwhile, we get no one's favorite reporter Vicki Vale reminding us how awesome she isn't.  She's mean and nasty and when she drives her fancy car into the Narrows and confronts some lowlifes, we can add pretty stupid to the list of traits.  Seriously, her idea of investigative reporting is to find the craziest looking thug and demand answers after telling everyone she's carrying money.  Lois Lane she ain't.

Vicki and her unlucky intern with the expensive camera are saved by Haper Row and her "tricked out" tasers. The three go back to Harper's apartment where Cullen prepares some coffee.  Then Red Robin and those pesky Nanobots crash through the ceiling, attack everyone and eventually enter Cullen, putting him in a coma.  Cut to a mysterious villain and we have a cliffhanger that doesn't excite me at all.

I'm not sure if you can tell, but I was not a fan of this issue.  I really like Red Robin and seeing him do his thing was nice.  I like that he out thinks Batman who is obviously distracted by the James Gordon arrest and the mounting gang war.  The callbacks to Death of the Family, Damian's death and Nightwing's recent problems were nice as well.  However, an issue mainly featuring Vicki Vale is no friend of mine.  I hope the writers tighten the screws on the plot because right now it's a little sloppy joe.

I was also not a fan of Andy Clarke's art either.  His style seems out of place in this book and his characters seem to change appearances throughout.  I mentioned it last week that I hoped this book didn't become a revolving door of artists, but Clarke is the third already.  Going agianst what i just said, but i hope we have our fourht next week.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman: Eternal #5 is already showing some cracks in the armor.  The plot was muddled coming into this issue and at the end is even more so.  Characters seem to be thrown in just for the sake of it and the interesting parts of the earlier issues have been abandoned for now.  I hope the handful of writers and revolving artists can get this book together and give us more of what we got in the first couple of  issues.


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