It’s now been seven weeks since Batman: Eternal launched but has it lived up to the hype and what have you missed? In this latest Comic Rant I plan to divulge just what has happened throughout the weekly so far, sharing my personal thoughts on the series. So if you’ve yet to read the series and want to avoid spoilers now’s you chance to leave, otherwise continue reading and see if my comments match your own.
Commissioner Gordon No More
The first big development to hit this series was a bad judgement call from Commissioner Jim Gordon which caused the death of many, lost him his job and ultimately put him in Blackgate Prison.
This was an explosive way to open the series and with one of Gotham’s most loved citizens being stripped of everything that defines him it’s also a very bold development. Now the main thing that I’ve enjoyed about Gordon’s incarceration is the change that this has caused to the GCPD (Gotham City Police Department) as with Jack Forbes as the new Commissioner Batman doesn’t have any allies left. In fact Batman’s association with the GCPD has flipped a full 180 with the GCPD being once again tasked with taking down the Bat.
One of the key selling points of this series was the announced introduction of Stephanie Brown to the New 52 Universe with her brief appearance in the pages of Batman #28 adding to the anticipation. Now I for one was a big fan of Stephanie Brown prior to the New 52, as though her brief time as Robin wasn’t the best development point for her during that period, she was brilliant as both Spoiler and Batgirl.
The way that the creative team re-introduced Stephanie Brown was simply amazing, as though much of her background is the same the whole Cluemaster angle was very intense. The most shocking part of the new telling of Stephanie Brown’s background has to be the fact that her mother is working alongside Cluemaster, showing that Stephanie really is on her own.
One thing that has bugged me about the Spoiler angle as of late has been her absence as following the revelation about her parents we haven’t seen anything from her making me question her current whereabouts.
War Games: Falcone’s Return
Another big name Batman character making his New 52 début in this series is former crime boss Carmine “The Roman” Falcone. Following issue two’s reveal that he was behind Gordon’s accident he’s been playing a dangerous game in an attempt to rule Gotham once more.
Falcone has been a thorn in Batman’s side in the past with his criminal/mob like background bringing a different element to the Batman rouges gallery. It’s this reason that makes me happy to see The Roman return and the fact it was a surprise made it all the better.
Falcone’s plans have also been a intriguing development point in the series so far, as though it’s still firmly in the early stages it shows major signs of promise. From what we’ve seen so far the main aspects that appeal to me is his influence over the Mayor and the GCPD and his bid to take down crime rings within Gotham, allowing the door to open for his operations.
The Bat-Family was announced to have a relatively big role in this weekly and so far that has proven very true. I personally was very happy when this was announced and following these first seven issues I’m still happy about their appearance. I do however feel that their presence sometimes takes away from the bigger picture with their personal appearances being slightly removed from the main events.
One member of the Bat-Family who I look forward to seeing more from is Harper Row as following her appearance in both Batman #28 as well as the fifth issue of this series I look forward to seeing her transformation into Bluebird and how Batman reacts to this new sidekick.
Due to Batman: Eternal being a weekly series it naturally needs many people working on it creatively. Now the core writers have remained the same throughout with Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV acting as story writers along with John Layman, Tim Seeley and Ray Fawkes joining them as both script writers and consulting writers. Additionally the art team has changed from issue to issue with Jason Fabok tackling the first three issues and Dustin Nguyen, Andy Clarke, Trevor McCarthy and Emanuel Simeoni working on an issue each following. Other fabulous artists including Guillem March and Mikel Janin as well as writer Kyle Higgins are also scheduled to work on the series.
Now with such a huge amount of talent working on the one series there is the possibility for variant tones or contrasting looks. Luckily however this series has kept a relatively consistent style so far as though the artist give their own unique looks with different writers also having their own styles the core story hasn’t drastically varied.
As the series is planned to last sixty issues it’s safe to say that we haven’t seen nothing yet as with other villains hinted to make an appearance in the series future along with the build-up to the teased events of Batman #28 there should be a lot to keep reader interested.