Sunday, December 7, 2014

Batman: Eternal #35 Review

Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Fernando Blanco
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 3, 2014

Let Me Tell You My Story...

For a while now, Batman: Eternal has been all about what the heck Hush is going to do next.  Well, that kind of ended last week and while I loved the battle between him and Batman, I was more excited about what followed.  The issue ended with Wayne Enterprises being taken over by the Federal Government and Bruce Wayne's fortune being seized.  While that twist was spoiled by DC and Arkham Manor, it was still huge.  Everyone knows that Batman prepares for everything, but that seemed to take even him by surprise.  So, saying I was looking forward to this week's issue is an understatement.  With Hush taken care of and Bruce in financial ruin, I was really interested in where this book would go for what is the beginning of it's third act. While this week's issue is action packed (just look at the cover), it's more about motivations and secrets that have been lingering behind the scenes from the get go. I'm starting to get interested in this book again.

A couple weeks have gone by since last issue and Gotham has been a busy place. Wayne Manor is already being converted into the new Arkham, Hush is in a cell beneath it in the Batcave and Bard is busy detonating all the Bat caches around town. I think it might be easier just to clear out the weapons, but Bard seems to like explosions and he's trying to draw Batman out of hiding. What's more of a head scratcher is who is helping him.  Lucius Fox, Maggie Sawyer and Harvey Bullock are all there and even help as Bard takes control of the Batmobile and Batman's life. I wish that Sawyer and Bullock put up more of a fight, but what Lucius does is too much.  I didn't like it at all.

What I did like, was the exploration of Bard's motivation.  Why Bard has been doing all this has been a mystery since the beginning and who better to get to the bottom of it than his girlfriend, Vicky Vale?  She heads off to Detroit to figure out just what is going on.  The little bit she finds out is personal and has already changed my perspective of what and why Bard is doing.  I can't wait to find out more.

In the meantime, Bard is playing a very one-sided game of chicken with Batman and neither of them is giving up.  I always love seeing Batman's preparation, but seeing it used against him is even better.  Evil, but better.  The issue ends with Batman seemingly plummeting to his death just as we get a final nugget of Bard's motivation.  Well done, Mr. Tynion.

The art is also well done.  Fernando Blanco does a really good job with all the crazy action, but I really like the facial expressions this week.  Julia's shock and horror, Hush's glee and Bard and Batman's grim determination all help tell the story.  Marcelo Maiolo's colors are also really good, with my favorite being the dull yellow glow of Hush's cell.

Bits and Pieces: 

While this issue is action packed, it's the revelations about Bard's motivations that are the most explosive.  James Tynion does a great job of starting off the next phase of this book and Fernando Blanco's art was great.  I did have a problem with a few key players going way out of character, but in the end, this issue has me excited for the future of this weekly.  I have been up and down on this book, but I am up again...for now.


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