Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Batman Eternal by Snyder and Tynion issue #30

Now this is weird. As soon as finished reading the previous issue which made feel like I was dead inside (only a few books could ever accomplish that so issue #29 is an achievement on its own in that regard), I actually began to wish that Arkham Asylum will collapse on itself (they bombed Penguin's casino back in the earlier Eternal issues so why not?). I briefly wanted a complete wipe-out for this very fine constitution so that I may never have to read anything about this particular story arc ever again. I wasn't even serious, of course, considering Alfred is trapped inside, held against his will while hallucinating terribly. So when the issue ends with the destruction of Arkham (the whole place literally sank to the ground and created a giant hole in its stead), I slightly panicked. See where dangerous wishful thinking got you, Eka? I wanted Blackfyre and the Joker's Daughter to get obliterated so badly that I forgot to think about possible collateral damage. Alfred is not collateral damage at that!

My favorite thing about this issue had to be the appearance of the Spectre which really surprised me but thrilled me no less. Sure, it's good old-fashioned Deus ex Machina but it was believable enough to work. Besides, it's the goddamn Spectre, fools! I haven't seen the guy in a long time (which mostly has more to do with the fact that I haven't read other comic books besides Batman and Hellblazer this year). So he takes care of Blackfyre, disposes him in the most shameful way possible (again, awesome stuff). Corrigan is finally awake and he and Batwing escape together, hopefully to have a few banters in between which is the only thing delightful about the Arkham arc in the first place. But then a domino effect took place where Blackfyre's death actually causes the entire place to collapse since his powers apparently are keeping it together. So huge rocks fell upon Corrigan while Batwings gets stuck in a tight space, and his suit is running out of energy. Is Corrigan dead? I want to believe he survived that (and he probably had; doesn't he have a spin-off based on this story arc? I can't remember for sure but he better damn live!) I need him and Batwing to be bros. I need that fucking banter to happen again!

I like the build-up leading to the destruction because there are three people I care about who are about to get seriously fucked and it made me feel bad that I wished for something so horrible to happen in the first place because I was such a selfish brat. I was literally making noises (mostly composed of "no, no, no, Alfred...wait, is that Bane? Not Bane, dear god!"

Visually, there is this one-page illustration of debris and piles of rocks which was impressively done by artist Fernando Pasarin. Those three panels look very realistic depictions of what a colossal pile of junk and broken things would look like, and I enjoyed staring at them, trying to figure out what objects I was seeing. I also enjoyed that part with Batwing who started praying the Lord's Prayer which only shows that he has nothing else to turn to now but faith. I had a very strict and formal Catholic upbringing myself and I know the comfort that such prayers can give you especially when they stop being just words you utter and start to serve as a haven you can clung onto as you hope for rescue which was exactly what Batwing is doing now. That was very moving to read.

Overall, this was a better issue (far more superior in every conceivable way) than its predecessor. The pacing and the visuals gave me a heightened sense of urgency. I'm beginning to enjoy this arc now and I probably would continue to do so as long as the Joker's Daughter dies in a gruesome death somewhere along the way. Or at least just stop getting in the way of the story.


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