Sunday, October 19, 2014

Batman Eternal by Snyder and Tynion issue #1

I knew I couldn't delay reading this series any longer especially since Scott Snyder's latest issue for this month's Batman picks up after the events of Eternal. I would've read it last week but I was afraid of spoilers so I decided to get into this already because boy do I have plenty to catch up on (I endeavor to finish reading and reviewing the sixteen issues before the week is out. That wouldn't be an easy task but wish me luck!). I confess that I also have another ulterior motive: I really DON'T WANT to read any more of Tony Daniel's issues for Detective Comics (but I will finish #8-#12, okay? I made a commitment) so this was a welcome break from that trifling arrangement. Just four issues into Batman Eternal and I was incredibly thrilled by what the story has offered me so far. Frankly, I forgot what I read three months ago in the teaser issue #28 squeezed between Zero Year issues and at this point I don't think it matters that much because I remember that issue being a flash-forward to a plot point that has yet to emerge in the four issues of Eternal I just finished digesting in the wee hours of morning. I may go back to it some time but right now I'm trying to maintain the momentum on reading this chronologically.

It's worth nothing that this is a WEEKLY series as oppose to your usual monthly release comic issue and it's a hefty collaboration among writers and artists namely Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, John Layman, Tim Seeley, and Jason Fabok. The first issue was tantalizing enough, zeroing in on some GCPD in-house politics while also introducing the character Jason Bard; showcasing a confrontation between Batman inside some pretty badass suit of armor and the delightfully deranged Professor Pyg; and effectively keeping the readers on their toes as the climactic scene at the end drops like a bomb within the pages. Jason Fabok, being the main artist, depicted the scenes superbly.

SPOILERS TERRITORY: While in the middle of chasing perps down the subway station, Commissioner Jim Gordon was able to almost apprehend one of them and shoots the guy because said perp was aiming a gun at him. You know, standard police procedure. HOWEVER, the video footage later on reveals that the perp didn't have ANY WEAPON and it looks like Gordon just fucking shot him without probable cause. To make matters so much frighteningly worse, the bullet from Gordon's gun hit some sort of electric mechanism (again, it doesn't make any logical sense whatever the hell that was) and this led to one of the trains crashing. That two-paged sequence was wonderfully drawn but I can only imagine the number of casualties--and it's all Jimmy's fault. So he was arrested and Jason Bard (newbie officer just recruited by Gordon himself) had to do the unwanted honors of cuffing and booking him.

My only criticism of this issue is that it took a while to find its voice in narrative and dialogue, and some parts of it were clunky and underwhelming. I did like the twist at the end though, and it made me ask more questions which I hope could only be answered as the story goes on. At this point I know there's going to be a Big Bad on the horizon but I am mostly more concerned about Gordon because he's one of my favorites and I worry about the directions they are taking him. I know Batman won't fail him, however. I'm pretty much an optimist at this point and very happy to go along the motions for now.

I'll be writing the reviews for the next three right after this. I'm in that kind of mood. All in all, this was a great opener with nice slices of action but the plot is still a bit unclear and messy on some aspects.


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