Wednesday, August 6, 2014

SPOILERS: Batman Eternal #18

Batgirl, Batwoman and Red Hood team up in South America, but that's not the only team-up-trio to be had this issue, and I bet you won't guess what the other one is... that is, if you don't look at the cover!

The Spoilers:

While Babs, Kate and Jason track down their target in Brazil to a sweatshop, Batman remains in Gotham, observing Lt. Bard while he has some face time with the residents of The Narrows, which seems genuine, no cameras for publicity around... Then things go bad as they both see a panicked man carrying a young girl into the sewers, causing them both to investigate (and Batman to reveal that he was watching Bard).

Inside the sewers, it doesn't take long for Batman and Bard to find the man, seemly mauled to death, but there's no sign of the girl. Bard has heard the stories, so he brings up the possibility of Killer Croc being their perp, and speak of the devil. After some fighting, during which Croc claims innocence, as the victim was his friend, one of those he protects, Batman eventually gets the fight to stop, believing croc, and pointing out signs of the Gotham Underground's involvement. The three go off deeper into the sewers, Croc acting as a guide, and pointing out to Bard that there are scarier things than him in the shadows.

Cutaway to Gordon still in Blackgate, as Penguin and Falcone's factions are being funneled into the system, and bodies are already dropping. 

Back to Brazil, the Bat-trio enter the sweatshop and try and decide if they go in quiet, or take swift action. Not being a fan of enslaving kids, Jason wants to mistake some people's faces for kneecaps, but Babs wants to go quite. Kate being the only objective one in the group, she decides they go quiet, with Jason as cover if needed. Doesn't take long for Jason to just participate in the stealth take downs, despite Kate going "WTF?" He goes on to explain that requiring cover for Babs is unnecessary, and tells Kate a bit about her and just how truly good she is.

Unfortunately for Babs, despite her physical abilities and nimbleness, the "handsome man" they're after has some sort of hypnotic abilities, and ends up turning Babs agains Kate and Jason, who need cover to help them being jumped by Babs. Irony!


The Review:

I thought last year's "Villains Month" was kind of a waste of time, most issues considered. One of the issues that I actually did enjoy was Tim Seeley's Killer Croc, which featured great "more than just a monster" characterization, which is getting followed up with here, as we read the very odd, yet entertaining team-up between Batman, Bard and Croc. So weird, but Seeley tends to have this sort of endearing, unexpected weirdness to some of his stories, so I ain't complaining. Then we got the other plot with the Bat kids in Brazil, and despite my wanting a little more clarification on just who they're after, especially when he randomly has hypnotic powers, I loved the dynamic between the three, especially Jason. This is a setting Jason works extremely well in. I talked about this on twitter a couple of weeks ago, but I'm so tired of Jason Todd in space, or Jason being some child of destiny/the chosen one, whatever. It's all garbage to me. Jason getting down and dirty on the streets, and teaming up with Bats that aren't of the "man" variety is infinite times more appealing than what his own book has turned into. Finally, we've got Andy Clarke's art, which is just masterful. I like his work more and more each time I read an issue illustrated by him. He's one of those guys who just makes certain characters look fantastic, and his Killer Croc, Red Hood and Batwoman were particular standouts this time around. I certainly hope Mike Marts didn't permanently poach him at Marvel. I want more Clarke on Eternal, and I want it yesterday.

The Bottom Line:

With another writer switch, we've got another change of pace for Eternal. Sure, going from Fawkes to Seeley is a bit jarring, given the huge differences in the types of stories they're telling, but if you're willing to roll with the punches, it's fine. The start of this arc was fun, beautifully drawn, and in my opinion, treated some characters better than they're treated in their own book, so that was a welcome development for me.

1 comment :

  1. I would've liked a minor scene involving Arkham, just as a coda, and I am bored with Falcone but I agree that the Croc/Batman/Bard team up was fun.