Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Batman: Eternal #23 Review

Written by: Tim Seeley
Art by: Dustin Nguyen
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 10, 2014

The Cat's Out of the Bag

Baternal has been on a roll lately.  The past few issues have really been focused at pushing the story forward by leaps and bounds. Hush, the Architect, Penny Two...I've suddenly been back on the bandwagon singing this book's praises.  However, with so many plot threads dangling in the wind, at some point we have to get back to them, right?  Yes and no.  This week is more about setup.  Setup of the feline kind.  Setup of the catty kind.  Setup of the...the hell with it, this is a Catwoman issue.

I'm going to go against my nature and assume everyone reading this has also read Batman #28.  You know, the issue that previewed the future of Batman: Eternal and the one I'm about to spoil?  Still here?  Okay.  Well, in Batman #28 Selina Kyle is the Kingpin (Queenpin?) of the Gotham Underworld.  Well, this is the issue where we start seeing the future happen.  While that's interesting enough, it's also fun to see who helps her in her climb to power.

If you have read any of Catwoman's solo book (or read any of my reviews) you know how horrible it is.  Unfortunately, Tim Seeley seems to be channeling that Selina Kyle in this issue.  Her dialogue is wooden and ridiculous and her actions aren't much better.  If she's going to be one of the major players, I hope they start getting her right.

Selina isn't the only thing happening, however.  We get such a minor glimpse at Killer Croc that it seems like a mistake.  An equally brief reminder that Bard is bad and calling the shots at City Hall.  A little Batman-Architect-Hush action centering on Beacon Tower that throws in an earthquake for good measure and a weird recap of all the places we've been.  There is no denying it, this issue is thre quarters setup and one quarter filler.

I like Dustin Nguyen's art, but on Eternal. he's been hit or miss.  This issue is a miss for me.  Without the mystical, his art falls flat and in such a Catwoman heavy issue, he doesn't do a good Catwoman.  That's a problem.

I would love to say that I had a strong reaction to this issue.  Loved it?  Hated it?  Nope, I'm right down the middle when it comes to this mediocre issue.  Like I said earlier, it seems like a lot of setup and a bit of filler all rolled into one.  After the last couple of issues, this one was a disappointment.  I guess that's the nature of a weekly book, but it sucks all the same.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman: Eternal #23 may be an important chapter in the long run of the series, but reading it right now, I was not a fan.  Tim Seeley doesn't write a good Catwoman and Dustin Nguyen's art didn't impress me.  To make matters worse, besides Catwoman, every thing else just fell flat.  Hopefully such a setup heavy issue sets up something awesome.


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