Batman: Eternal #3 (Comics Review)

To celebrate Batman’s 75th anniversary, DC has launched Batman: Eternal as a weekly series that sees the various creators involved take on some really big events in the Bat-verse. In the first two issues, we see how Batman and Commissioner Gordon are embroiled in a conspiracy to cripple the effectiveness of the GCPD and take the latter out of the equation before the villains move on to Batman himself. And last issue, we also learned who was the mastermind behind all of it, someone who was a big name in the city five years back (in-universe) but later went off into the sunset. Now this mastermind is back and is craving revenge.

Batman: Eternal #3 continues the placement of all the pieces of the story. Batman, Commissioner Gordon, the various members of the GCPD and even some fanfavourite characters who’ve been absent in the New 52 since its launch. The entire story is going to have some big repercussions on the Bat-verse and this issue begins to truly hint how everything is going to change. The writing by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV continues to be good, even as the artwork by Jason Fabok and the gang continues to impress.

Batman Eternal 03Drawn by Fabok himself and coloured by Brad Anderson the cover to this issue is one of the best Bat-verse covers I’ve seen to date. The Batmobile looks suitably menacing and muscled, and the entire perspective of the scene is just right. Where the first two covers were character pieces focusing on the actual characters themselves, this cover puts in the Batmobile as a characer, and I love it. The colour palette and the contrasts are just perfect here.

With regards the story itself, we see how Carmine “The Roman” Falcone is consolidating his hold on Gotham now that he’s back to take revenge on those who betrayed and humiliated him, and he’s also back to take control of the city as he did some five years ago. Part of that is to make sure that the people who are the biggest threats to him are already taken care of before he begins to openly. Commissioner Gordon is already out of the picture, locked up a crime that he was set up for. Batman is running ragged trying to preempt the Roman now that he knows his identity. Oscar “The Penguin” Cobblepot declares war on the man he ousted and took over from.

This issue is a right heady mix of characters and it would have been easy to get lost, if not for the writing by Snyder and Tynion. With their deep familiarity of the characters and the setting itself, they navigate the reader through all the events in the issue and make it a totally worthwhile experience. The action is pretty thin on the ground, but the issue is packed with a fair amount of character development, although I was honestly hoping for much more given the history that Batman and Catwoman have with The Roman. Now that would have been something, but I suspect that we are only beginning to see the hints of the long plan here.

The story moves along quickly, even though so many characters are involved, and that’s largely because there is a deep urgency and tension to the story. Whether it is seeing Stephanie Brown for the first time in the New 52 (woohoo!!) or seeing how Falcone is taking over the GCPD, there is always the sense that things are just getting started and that they are going to get worse, a whole lot worse. From what I’ve read, these three issues are meant to introduce the major characters and that starting next week we are going to see some side adventures as well. Which is fine with me.

Jason Fabok is on the art here with Brad Anderson handling the colours and Taylor Esposito handling the letters. Fabok’s Penguin is pretty awesome, and his Stephanie Brown is suitably good as well. We don’t see much of the latter but we do get to see quite a bit of the former, and what we see is pretty damn good. With any of his characters, Fabok excels at their expressions and body language, and his art is always a bit subtle like that in my experience. And Brad Anderson’s colours complete the overall picture. As Fabok does with his characterwork, so Anderson does with his colour palette, having a good eye for how to contrast different things properly or how to make things blend together.

What can I say? This was another great issue and I’m even more excited about this series now.

Rating: 9.5/10

More Batman: Eternal: #1, #2.

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Posted on April 25, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

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