Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Batman: Eternal #39 Review

Written by: Ray Fawkes
Art by: Felix Ruiz
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 31, 2014

Keys to the Kingdom

So much has happened in Baternal to lead to this point that it'd be foolish for me to even think I could explain it in a paragraph. This weekly has got to the "you've read it or you haven't" point.  The other problem with giving it a nice and clean synopsis is the book has been far from that.  Plot threads have popped up only to be shoved aside or forgotten completely, while others get more time than they deserve.  Throughout all this mess, the big question has been who the Big Bad is.  Commisioner Bard? Hush? Someone else? Eric Shea of Weird Science? Mike Reno of Loverboy?  Just when you think you know, the book shows all the villains to merely be David from Lost Boys. Who is this book's Max?!?  I want to know, dammit.

Funny thing is, Batman wants to know as well.  Lucky for him, the Riddler does know and is game to spill the beans.  Of course "game" means that he's set up a series of elaborate clues to let Batman find him.  Batman does just that, but the Riddler seems to be having fun keeping the information from him.

I'll tell you right now, I'm not a huge Riddler fan.  Scott Snyder's Zero Year story didn't change that fact one bit, but I actually like him here.  It's not all about the riddles here, it's about how the Riddler sees Batman.  He's genuinely pissed at Batman for not figuring out who the main villain is yet.  The best part, however, is when he convinces Batman that he doesn't want to fight him because he's not on his A game.  Riddler wants to knock down the Bat at his best.  Awesome.

While all this is going on, the rogues gallery that Batman took care of (too easily if you ask me) last issue are being transported and like a typical action movie, are set free in a hail of bullets.  I'm not sure yet what is really going on here, but it involves the Cluemaster and his band of buddies  and Catwoman to boot.  It's nice to see Cluemaster again and just wait until you see the toys that they are allowed to play with now.  It's one thing to take Batman's money away, but giving away his tech to his enemies? That's just crazy, whack, funky.

The other major development is with Vicki Vale.  Up until now, I have found her to be forced into the story a bit too much and this issue is no different.  She is kind of forced into gathering information to blow the lid off of City Hall.  I guess that is her job, though.  The issue ends with Batman and Riddler packed in ice, Batman's enemies up to their eyeballs in cool gadgets and Vicki meeting the top candidate for worst intern ever.

This issue was all about the tease.  We still don't know who the main villain is, but instead get more riddles and mystery.  Batman's rogues are gearing up for destruction, but for who, for what?  And then the Cliffhanger throws more into the mix.  Seriously, I want a few answers and I want them soon.

I like Felix Ruiz's pencil heavy art style a lot...just not in this book.  I don't think his style shows emotions that well and a bit of the Riddler/Batman interaction is lost because of it.  I also don't like his Batman, in general, but I love, love, love his Mr. Freeze.  I wish there was more of him in this issue.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue continues with the same problems I've had with Baternal for months now.  Nothing ever gets resolved.  Instead, more plot points are thrown in to dangle on the plot point dangling tree.  I did like why the Riddler continues to mess with Batman and what Batman's Rogues have gotten their hands on, but I'd give a hundred Bat-Mechs to get some answers soon.



  1. Its a comic built on suspense Jim....they won't just blurt out who the main guy is....but nevertheless good review

    1. I know...I'm just getting tired of the whole thing...the false starts and plot threads left hanging are killing me. I want to see some more Spoiler and was really looking forward to a little more of Harper.

  2. okay i might have jsut had a small heart attack, i did not see the Riddler in the cover at first