Wednesday, June 25, 2014

SPOILERS: Batman Eternal #12

The wheels of Eternal continue to turn! As the Bat kids are off doing their own thing, Jason Bard is showing why he was handpicked by James Gordon to come to Gotham.

The Spoilers:

As the gang war in Gotham continues to rage on, Jason Bard has come up with a plan to possibly end it, and once he shows it to both Maggie Sawyer and Harvey Bullock, both of them immediately jump on board, noting how much he's starting to remind them of Jim Gordon... Speaking of Jim Gordon, the trial is about to start, and despite a reassurance from Batman that he'll figure everything out, Jim is pretty set on accepting his fate in the hands of the jury.

Elsewhere, the kids are up to some stuff. Following his introduction to Harper, Tim Drake goes out to do some investigation of his own, finding Pyg in his cell, looking to interrogate. Harper on the other hand, having let Tim use her computer, decides to do some digging and hacks her way into his comms system, but doesn't find anything, as Tim eventually locks her out, wondering how she was capable of hacking him. Then in Brazil, Barbara tries to fight Jason off a bit, but he eventually gets her to listen to him, saying he's just there to help, and make sure she does things right, instead of beating the shit out of innocent men, like last issue.

After the opening statements of the trial, where the prosecutor commends Gordon for his years of service and heroics, but absolutely rips that apart once he points out the only thing that matters is the night in question, Vicki Vale and Joey Day meet outside, to discuss the "story." According to Vicki, there is no story here, and is willing to let Lois Lane and the Daily Planet cover it all they want, what she wants to cover is the gang war. Funny she should mention that as Jason Bard is walking by, because she seems to be part of his plan, and she's eager to listen.

Back at the Manor, things are less tense between Alfred and his daughter, but it gets a bit awkward when Tim comes barging in, demanding to know why no one told him about "the Row girl." Before he can spill anything... incriminating, Alfred hastily introduces him to Julia then excuses himself and Tim into the Batcave. Julia was curious to see where they went, but after following them, comes across nothing but an empty study.

That night, Bard and Bullock manage to contact Batman via a number Gordon used to use shortly after Zero Year. Bard's plan hinges on one thing, and that's Batman getting "caught." Bruce is a bit skeptical of Bard still, but Bullock vouches for the kid, and Bruce listens. 

Elsewhere, hey! You see that cover for the next issue? Look real closely in Gordon's glasses. Surprise! Jr. is back, and he's paid off a guard to let him speak with his father privately.


The Review:

I'll admit, I wasn't that big a fan of the last issue James Tynion scripted. Everything just felt sort of out of whack, far from the consistency he displayed with Talon (speaking of which, bring him back, thanks). This issue was much more of an improvement, everyone's voice sounded right, and Vicki Vale wasn't walking up to gang members in the middle of the night demanding they tell her about Carmine Falcone. What I really appreciated about this issue was that it felt long. By the time I finished reading it, I felt as if there were more pages than the standard 20. It was a dense issue, but not overly dense, where there's too much dialogue, there's just a lot of stuff going on, and all the scenes throughout the issue were paced well, no one feeling either too short or too long. 

Mikel Janin's art was fantastic as usual. While it may not have all the visual flair that came with some of the crazy mystical stuff he drew in Justice League Dark, Janin's just got one of those very clean styles where everyone he draws looks really good. Looking forward to two more straight weeks of his art with next week's Eternal and Grayson following that. 

If there's one negative I'd have to list, it's that I feel like this book could use a good kick in the balls "OH SHIT" moment. We've gotten a years worth of issues, and though there have been steady notable reveals, there has yet to really be that one big moment. 

And as a final note, I enjoyed the Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen cameos. Gotham seems to get so walled off from the DCU sometimes, so it's nice to see other characters pop in from time to time.

The Bottom Line:

This was one of those issues where Batman Eternal really demonstrated its worth, juggling lots of different plots, but never overwhelms the reader with too much too soon. Tynion continues to develop his specific plot lines, like seeding Harper's eventual Bluebird turn, better establishing the Gotham Gazette, and so on, while setting up other plot lines such as Jason and Barbara, which I believe will be handled by Tim Seeley. On top of the ever deepening plot, we once again get a fantastic addition to the Eternal artistic team in Mikel Janin, who normally I'd be disappointed is only drawing two issues, but we've got Grayson to look froward to in two weeks. So overall, another great issue of Eternal which I thoroughly enjoyed.

1 comment :

  1. I love this book, its like watching a tv show every week. I can't wait until Batwoman eneters the story.