Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Batman Eternal by Snyder and Tynion issue #28

This issue was illustrated by a female artist named Meghan Hetrick. I don't know her body of work but her contribution for this story was pretty impressive, especially the detail she puts in a character's facial expressions, particularly that of Catwoman. Entitled Letting Go, there is a lot of meat to this issue readers will enjoy feasting on. We have plenty of action where bad people shoot at stuff and Batsy beats up said people (normal superhero fodder), some heartfelt drama (and subtle romance) among characters, an intriguing line said by a supposed chief villain, and a resonant pay-off for a particular character by the end of the pages.

These scenes were held together by Hetrick's animated visuals especially the more dramatic scenes which I believe she was able to capture the intensity and poignancy of. The cover for this issue is Batgirl but she carries only third of the issue's arc. On her side of the story, we finally get the conclusion of her confrontation with Jason Bard in this one, which played out terrifically especially when she realized she couldn't go through executing him after all, thanks to Red Hood and his perfect timing. In my previous reviews, I claimed that I've been shipping BeeGee and Jason Todd but this issue sadly closes whatever remote possibility could occur between them which I'm sure other readers are fine with. I specifically enjoyed Jason Todd in here in  way I haven't before and I think it's because he blatantly stated that he will never be Dick Grayson which I actually find myself applauding him for because he acknowledged it at least and I don't think he meant it to be bitter.

There is a hole that Dick's absence left behind, and Jason isn't likely to fill that nor does he have to. He won't be chummy with Tim on the side; he won't romantically pursue Barbara. That's all Dick, and he's Jason fucking Todd a.k.a Red Hood and he's going somewhere people (Roy and Starfire) actually wanted him as who he is, and not as a version in someone's head he has to live up to. So good for you, Jason. I'm just pouting because my BeeGee-Jason ship crashed before it even sailed. But that's okay. Work and self-respect should always come first for my kickass heroes!

Killer Croc once again smashes his way into the story to save Jade McKillen, but first he has to clean up the scum who abducted her, including the kid's sleazy and opportunistic uncle. He also luckily interrupts Catwoman's public torture and execution and shit gets real fast as gangsters try to kill Croc and fight Catwoman at the same time. It's hard to be the average thug in Gotham these days and Batman's appearance on the scene only escalated the already complicated situation. To make matters worse, Jade get caught up in all of this and she tries her best to free Catwoman from her cuffs, only to be shot at by her uncle from a far. Nobody likes it when children die in a real-life shoot-out, even in a fictional scenario, so this was a pretty moving scene for me, most especially with Killer Croc holding her in his arms like that. This very humane characterization of a supposed sewer monster often gets to me, you know. I think Jade's death was significant not because she was a crucial character, but it's really more of what her death has signified not just to Croc but also to Catwoman. Immediately after that, Selina visits her father, former mob boss Rex Calabrese, and finally decides to accept the mantle of becoming the queen of the underworld. Catwoman is not fucking around anymore. She's not running away this time. Alone but dignified, she's ready to take the reigns and put a stop to any more senseless bloodshed on the streets. I'm very, very eager to see that happen next!

To end this review, I would like to talk about Jason Bard. I have strong feelings towards this character from the start, one that is of fondness and hope--and then he crushed it by revealing himself as an accomplice to Hush's diabolical schemes. And yet I didn't want him to die. I'm glad Babs didn't allow it. However, it's notable that as he was about to fall for his death, his last words were "I'm sorry, Gotham" which leads me to believe that there might be something more to his motivation; that perhaps he isn't just there to be greedy and exploitative for the sake of it--he might have real personal reasons, and perhaps he even cared about Gotham and its people. This really pains me. I just want to completely denounced Jason Bard at this point and yet the writers still give me hope that maybe along the way he can be...redeemed. FUCK THIS! Please don't toy with me!


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