Thursday, November 13, 2014

Batman Eternal by Snyder and Tynion issue #26

This was a polarizing issue for me. On one hand I enjoyed the small moments of interactions among the Bat-family and even with Julia who is becoming a rather likable supporting character at this point. On the other, the re-imagining of Tommy Elliot/Hush's origin alienated me even more from the character. I honestly preferred his old origin because it was still horrific and yet convincingly rendered than this new one. I thought his old origin captured that he's a monster not because he's as crazy as the Joker but mostly because he's a heartless opportunist who cared for no one and only wanted to satiate his greed for power and money. Here he is actually a cuckoo and his obsession with Bruce is like a second-rated version of the Joker's. It's unsettling and not even in the remotely interesting sort of way.

Guerra's art style is beginning to look better than the last issue.  It's still going to take me a while to grow fond of it, though...though I hope I'm getting there. His characters' facial work is more nuanced and expressive and I liked the looming shadings for his depiction of the conversation in the bat-cave with Bruce and his kids. A different artist (Juan Ferreyra) worked for the flashback sequence for the Hush's origin story and it resembled Guerra's own style so the transition between the scenes flowed smoothly enough. The content, as I've stated above, did not please me though. I cannot stress enough how much I disliked this change in Hush's motivation for wanting Bruce/Batman dead. Good thing there were very strong character interactions that did appeal to me and so consequently allowed me to rate this issue with a solid six.

Tim opening yet another discussion concerning the Joker almost destroying their family the last time, and that they shouldn't let it get in the way of working together and helping each other again, was a balm on Bruce's open wounds. Jason and Barbara agrees and concedes readily enough so the three of them can start assisting Bruce in putting a stop on Hush's plans. Oh, how fast and brave the children have grown up to be. Julia has made a point to remark that Bruce has a wonderful family and it was a sincere compliment from a stranger who has no idea how much fire and brimstone it took for all of them to get to the same place of cooperation and respect again.

I've expressed before that I was irritated with Julia Pennyworth because of the way she belittled her father just because he chose a life of servitude by becoming Bruce Wayne's butler. I found her generally cross, conceited and ungrateful. However, since issue #21 where her father was attacked and she subsequently found out about he bat-cave and what Alfred and Bruce are doing, she has changed her perspective at last and I was slowly softening up to her as well. This issue provided me some great moments between Batman and Julia as they stood together inside Alfred's room at the hospital. Batman opened up to her by telling her the story of his childhood friend-turned-sworn-enemy Thomas Elliot, otherwise known as Hush. Julia also allowed herself to step into her father's shoes readily not just in handling the technical commands for the bat-cave but also by saying comforting words to Batman so he could go on and do the right thing. I very much went "awwww" during that scene. It was refreshing because I really loathed Julia easily when she first appeared in the previous issues but now I'm convinced she will make a great temporary replacement for Alfred while he's recuperating. Speaking of Alfred....WHY? Why put him through more hell, writers? WHY?!

The ending cliffhanger made me want to puke on someone's face and then punch it. Said face belongs to the Joker's Daughter who is still the most criminally loathsome character in New 52 right now. Can we please, please kill her once the series is over? Does she even have a fanbase? Should we even bother incorporating her in the stories? The answer is a RESOUNDING NO.


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