Thursday, November 13, 2014

Batman Eternal by Snyder and Tynion issue #27

This was one hell of an issue! SO MANY THINGS ARE HAPPENING ALONGSIDE EACH OTHER but it was exciting all throughout and, for Batman Eternal, that is indeed new! I usually complain about the way the multiple storylines for this series are often smacked together in a single issue and how this practice can frequently affect the quality of the narrative and pacing itself. There were a few gems along the way that were able to pull it off and that's usually when three story arcs are harmoniously arranged together in an issue to make a compelling singular piece filled with action, suspense and character drama. Appropriately entitled Divided, this issue combines six story arcs. SIX!

The writers made each event relevant and meaningful if not correlated with each other. We have an ensemble cast here of major players and extras and, like a well-oiled production, everyone has a role to play and each contribution was not wasted. Artist Javier Garron has a very peculiar cartoon-y style but his characters' facial expressions and body movements are so diverse and expressive that it served to perfectly complement the tonality of the stories, giving the overall visual look a sense of urgency and risk which also enhanced my investment on everything that was going on. He also provided some interesting panel layout choices and they occupied the pages quite wonderfully. They always look richly detailed and pulpy! Each illustration looked hefty but well-balanced in the smallest of details, particularly with the fight sequences. The transition of scenes did not feel abrupt at all. I understood everything and everything was definitely engrossing! I wouldn't mind him becoming a permanent part of the roster for Eternal.

There are four things that stood out for me the most out of the six. First is, of course, is the overdue confrontation between Batgirl and Jason Bard. Finally, Babs is about to unload all that wrath to a person who is definitely responsible for the clusterfuck her dad got into, and one who should definitely take a beating for it. However, they only had two scenes in the entire issue, further increasing my dread and anticipation for how it will end because...honestly, though Bard smashed my heart with a hammer as mighty as Thor's when he was finally revealed to be a backstabbing whore (agent of Hush), I still like him; or at least the noble, promising young cop he was pretending to be. I want him punished and no better person is qualified and has the right to do it than Barbara Gordon. AND YET I fear for Bard's life still. Anyway, this arc is a cliffhanger and one I most look forward to for the next issue.

The second one that I liked a lot are the Killer Croc scenes. Croc's humane portrayal has earned many sympathy points from me lately especially here where he is looking for the little girl Jade McKillen (WHO IS A RELATIVE OF ERIN'S FROM TOMASI'S B&R STORIES, RIGHT?) whom he considers as one of his people and therefore he will never give up on. He investigates possible leads in the best way he could: by smashing his way through several places, succinctly beating up and asking anyone where Jade was, and heading closer to the location scene after scene. That sounds pretty brutal and tacky but Croc makes it so damn amusing and thrilling to watch unfold. I could feel that he is truly earnest in his quest and that he cares for Jade because he feels that it is his obligation to ensure her safety especially given the widening scope of violence and murder in Gotham.

And then we have Batman and Catwoman apprehending several thugs through synchronizd fight scenes, and then having an honest conversation about family and the state of the city. I'm finally happy with how they're writing Catwoman into the stories for Eternal now. She's still coming to terms about what she has to do to possibly bring order to the city, as requested by her recently revealed biological father from issue #23 (former mob boss royalty Rex Calabrese). I think Batman struck a nerve during that conversation. Of course she feels alone with no one to depend on. That's her deal, but I think this is the first time that it's starting to bother and even scare her. Batsy, you're gonna have to do better if you want to make her feel that she can count on you!

Probably the most comical scene of the issue, the last scene sequence with Batman in his mobile while speaking to and Julia Pennyworth about some pertinent information, and the appearance of Eduardo kill Stephanie Brown since she has a bounty in her head now and he's there to collect...if not also eat her face because he totes loves doing that messed-up shit! This villain, of course, was introduced in Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin run in the old continuity (which I fortunately read last month before I got started with Eternal). It was said that Flamingo was just an ordinary man whose brain was surgically operated on so he'll be biologically incapable of feeling things which is what makes him such an efficient hired killer to begin with. Personally, I buy that he's been lobotomized beyond repair because only such an inhumane operation would justify how he was able to parade around IN GODDAMN PINK, unabashed and without a single care. This was a comedic scene, make no mistake, especially with how Batsy took care of him. Stephanie was also able to leave him a note which specified an information that could be useful for Batman (Steph revealed that a hashtag called #battracker is in place online which allows people to archive his appearances and random sightings in Gotham and may even predict where he goes next). I can't wait for Batsy and Steph to meet in person soon enough. In the meantime she's still on the run, and Batman has other pressing concerns to get back to.

Overall, a badass issue! Not a dull moment in between!


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