Wednesday, June 18, 2014

SPOILERS: Batman Eternal #11

While many characters are dealing with their father issues (more than you might think), Barbara Gordon takes a trip down south of the equator to find a man she believes responsible for her father's imprisonment.

The Spoilers:

So let's start with Brazil first, shall we? Batgirl is down there looking for this Dominguez character who she spotted loitering around the train station before the accident in #1, and sure enough when she does find him, things get messy, as Scorpiana of the Club of Villains is out to collect a debt from Dominguez, to be paid with his life. Babs eventually gets some distance between herself/Dominguez and Scorpiana, and once she does, she goes into full on interrogation mode. Turns out an associate of the Club of Villains "wanted to be handsome" like Dominguez, so a Dr. Mangaritvite did some effed up stuff, to Dominguez, allowing this mystery man to prance around like him. Babs isn't sure how much she believes this story, but there's no time, as Scorpiana finds them.

The two have to jump out a window to avoid death by scorpion, but as Babs is trying to catch Dominguez with her line, he freaks out about some bugs on him, and she loses him. Luckily, a spaceship seemingly appears out of nowhere and catches Dominguez. Inside, Starfire talks to Jason Todd on the radio, letting him know they got Dominguez, but asks what to do with Scorpiana, who Jason has called Gaucho in to deal with. Not knowing any of this is happening, Babs gets to the nearest rooftop, yelling that she needs Dominguez, but Jason shows up behind her to tell her the truth, that Dominguez was for sure not in Gotham at the time of the accident, and is telling the truth... He also comments on her rashness and anger is a very Red Hood thing of her to do.

Meanwhile in Gotham, there's a woman in a cemetery, who finds a letter left for on a grave, addressing her as the writer's daughter... Notice the theme yet? While this is all happening, Alfred and Julia's relationship isn't going well, Julia already angry at her father for abandoning her, is given more ammo seeing how he's just become a butler since then. Julia is still wounded though, so Alfred patches her back up, and tells her that Bruce Wayne wants Falcone in jail, and will offer her and the SRR any assistance they need to do so. MORE father/daughter stuff goes on as Stephanie Brown looks up her father's past exploits, and comes to the realization that her family life was nothing but an alibi, remembering the time Batman found her father's secret identity, but showed mercy on him when he pulled the family card.

Finally, back to the grave, which we find out belongs to Lola, Selina Kyle's former fence and best friend. The letter seems to be from her father, who mentions Lola was the only person he trusted to look out for her after the Kyles failed him. Batman shows up soon after Selina is finished reading the letter, and offers her "a light" so she can burn the letter. Bruce tries to talk to her about Carmine Falcone, but she leaves before he can really say anything, telling him to stop worrying about her, saying she never had a daddy, and doesn't need one now.


The Review:

This was a weird issue in more ways than one while the theme of fathers and daughters were clear, I think the stuff in Gotham was definitely executed better than Barbara's story in Brazil. Nothing seemed to really come from Babs' story other than the revelation of someone wearing Dominguez's face... Which very well could be a big revelation, that said, half of the issue was more or less just there for Jason to point out Babs was acting without thinking. Basically I just wish a little bit more came from that section of the book... That said, I can get on board with any time Tim Seeley wants to use Batman Incorporated elements. 

Moving back to Gotham, I thought the stuff with Julia, Steph and Selina was much more interesting than Babs' section. Julia is definitely the wild card in this story, her introduction came at a complete surprise, so it's hard to know what to expect from her (other than she might be the person in the cave found in Batman #28) but it's really interesting to watch the relationship between her and her father. Then we get a bit more of Steph's origin, mostly pertaining to her father, who's a two-bit joke of villain, but is nevertheless cunning and manipulative. Then of course there's Selina's story, possibly the best (albeit shortest) portion of the book. Selina potentially being the daughter of Carmine Falcone is nothing new, but as far as I know, it was never confirmed in the Loeb/Sale stuff. Well, it seems the Eternal team is going out of its way to pick up that thread and confirm it... So basically Selina is the Jon Snow of Gotham, which is pretty okay by me!

Finally, let's talk about the art. I guess it's a hot button topic? Ian Bertram's art is extremely out of the ordinary for anything DC publishes outside of Vertigo. That said, I thought it was fantastic. I can see where Bertram's style will be jarring to some, but I found it to be this great mix of Frank Quitely meets Moebius with his own unique flare. Before I read the issue, I saw Scott Snyder, John Layman and Tim Seeley out on twitter praising the art and damning the haters, which I respect. They know how weird this book looks by comparison, but stand by it 100%, that's called integrity. If there's one thing I truly didn't like about the art, was the interpretation of Scorpiana. Her headpiece was more centipede than scorpion, and the changes to the rest of her costume just look flat, and there's a balance issue with how it looks since she's nearly entirely covered up now.

The Bottom Line:

If there's one thing that I really enjoyed about this issue was that it sort of just snuck up with this father/daughter theme, but it wasn't presented in a way that hits you over the head with it. After reading through this issue it really did strike me how much father/daughter stuff is going on in this book and got me to thinking what the possible reason for all of it could be. Outside of that, the issue definitely delivered some key points, some whose impact can be seen coming, and some who may seem small now, but could blow up in a big way down the line. Overall, another solid issue, which definitely was one of the most visually interesting as well.

(NOTE: Reminder, I'm not doing actual number scores anymore, because I think they're stupid)


  1. I had to go back and double-check that this issue wasn't done by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely! Man, do I miss those two in the Bat-universe.

  2. With the exception of Scorpiana's costume, I absolutely loved the art, especially the eyes. Was there anything specific in the issue that points to Selina being Falcone's daughter because I totally missed that? Also, I like that you got rid of the number rating because I do believe they trivialize td comics for lack of a better word. However, I thought one of the reasons is that you wanted to separate the recap and the review portions. Besides that I love the revamp.

  3. It's weird that they named Mangaritvite after a real plastic surgeon (with a slight alteration) named Mangaravite.