I couldn't ask for a better way to end my Batman Eternal experience than this issue illustrated by the ever-spectacular Jason Fabok who I maintain draws the best Batman poses and design ever! If I had my way, Fabok should be illustrating everything for Eternal because his illustrations have so much life and detail to them especially whenever his visuals alone can tell a story.
Before we get right to it, I just want to say that this will be the last time I'm reading and posting reviews for Eternal for now. I want to wait for ten new issues before I jump back into this since I have other titles (namely The Dark Knight and Batman Incorporated) to focus on as well as two graphic novels that are on my shelf and I have to finish before December ends. Not to mention I'm still reviewing the ongoing updates for Snyder and Tomasi's titles. I don't think I can stretch myself too thin for this series alone so you gotta believe me when I say that typing this very last review for Eternal is like crossing a finish line and winning gold. Look, I enjoyed what this title had offered me in the last five weeks but it's also challenging for me to go on because of the multiple story arcs I had to keep tabs of for this series alone, and a few of them are stuff I couldn't care much about. Still, it has been a wonderful experience that is still going to wait for me next year.
Now I read somewhere that Batman Eternal is contractually going to be composed of FIFTY ISSUES though I can't be certain whether I just misread the source I got that from or if this is really true. If it is then holy fucking Loki, I need to prepare myself for that mental anguish when it comes to writing reviews. It's extra challenging because this comic book is released on a weekly basis so I would accumulate lots of it before I even start reviewing again. Let's cross that bridge next year.
This issue was written by Kyle Higgins (though Sndyer and Tynion are still credited as the constant authors for the entire series) and he massively pulled it off! The trouble with a series with so many multiple arcs is that things have the tendency to get piled up on top of each other that resolutions become impossible to achieve because of so many loose ends to wrap up together neatly. In this issue, we get the opening confrontation between Spoiler and Hush which played out realistically. Steph is not a trained fighter but she can improvise and handle herself well which thankfully lasted until Batman came along to even things out. What follows is one of most engaging fight scenes in Eternal, if not ever, considering it's Hush and Batsy finally getting it all out in the open. I don't even need a dialogue to get into this sequence because Fabok knows how to deliver some action-oriented panels that are cinematic in scope. The next scenes are a nice touch of humanity, with Batwing getting rescued and Alfred having a tearful reunion with his daughter Julia. These were resonant pay-offs for me. I'm sad that I didn't get to see what happened to Corrigan after he was separated from Batwing but I'm just happy that the later is okay after that tremendous shitty ordeal in Arkham he had to put up with for a good six issues or so. Meanwhile, Julia finally realizing that her father is one the bravest and most remarkable men in the world for being Batman's most loyal right-hand is very moving especially after all the flack she gave him back when she didn't know better. I don't mind having Julia around. It'd be nice for Alfred to have his family close by.
And then we head to a new plot threat that was properly introduced unlike a few arcs in the past Eternal issues that simply happened without any acceptable backstory whatsoever, which is what helped this issue to end on a high note. I don't want to spoil any of that here but let me just say that it makes it perfect for me to take a break from this series with this issue as my closer. It holds a lot of promise for a new chapter in Hush's evil scheme to take over Gotham and push Bruce Wayne/Batman out of the way. We get some Jason Bard scenes in here too and I have come to accept that there is always going to be a part of me that hopes he's not an absolute, horrendous villain; that he can be redeemed in the course of the next issues. So there you have it, my last Batman Eternal post for this year. I'm almost regretful that this is where I have to end my Eternal readings. ALMOST.
Next on the shelf for me to review are the revamped Batman Incorporated for New 52 and the first volume of The Dark Knight.