Thursday, November 13, 2014

Batman Eternal by Snyder & Tynion issue #25

I love character-driven stories in comics. I'm still a girl after all, and prone to crying over my favorite characters when they get hurt, die or angst away in the pages; while also having my ovaries melted every now and then when there are shippy interactions. James Tynion IV provided me with the latter and this was an issue that's mostly character-driven with great dialogue in between. While reading, I was engrossed about everything but upon further reflection as soon I finished, I realized that this wasn't a strong story, plot-wise.

Let me just say once and for all that I am totally on board with Barbara Gordon/Jason Todd because I'm a girl that way, and I can appreciate a romantic subplot in my comics as long as it's not done cheaply and can even increase the dramatic tension in the plot. Bee Gee and Jason had the most adorable moments before when they partnered up to gather evidence to free Jimmy Gordon from imprisonment.

This issue picks up from their surprising bonding moment in those previous issues where Barbara is obviously avoiding Jason, most probably because she was starting to feel that their dynamics have slightly changed ever since their Brazil trip. There's also a Tim/Harper emerging which is something I don't really care much for. At first I thought they had enough spark for some enjoyable interactions but there have been minimal moments to indulge on that so their appearance for this issue was jarring. Sure, they have physical tension but I don't see Harper fawning over a boy even if he is a costumed hero. So any expectation for a 'romance' to bud between them would be uncomfortable for me. It's different with Babs and Jason, though. There's heat and affection between them the last time and I can't pretend and deny that I don't want to see where else that could go.

There is a fan service scene too between Jason and Tim where they were all chummy and teasing each other about girls--it was just weird. Jason was never friends with any of the Robins let alone Tim. Moments like this only work when Dick is a part of it because he's usually the big brother who can diffuse the tension among his surrogate sibs with his usual charm and warmth. On that note: God, I miss Dick. I keep thinking about how he would have helped the situation with Batsy and Barbara if only he was around.

Speaking of Barbara: why is she acting like she was the one who is mainly suffering from all the bad stuff happening to her father? Can't she just pull it the fuck together and talk to him like a caring daughter as oppose to berate him with her own bitter feelings about his imprisonment? It's like she's the one who was accused of the train massacre and is behind bars, caught up in a turf war between Penguin and Falcone loyalists. I am still disliking the New 52 Batgirl especially here in Eternal because a lot of her rage is misplaced. She acts like she's entitled to her anger which meant she's also completing ignoring the fact that it's her father who needs the consolation and listen to her bullshit drama. Srsly, Bee Gee, what Jim needs right now is you and not Batgirl.

We get a Batman/Hush confrontation later on at the last pages which was okay enough. I never really liked Hush because I simply didn't think he was that interesting so I couldn't pay him that much attention to. I would even admit that it's a tad disappointing that he was the one in the shadows pulling all the major strings. I just think his character is overhyped. Now I think it's about time I discuss the revelation in issue #21 that made me stop reading this series for five weeks. After all, Batman now knows about it so there's no point in playing coy and not discussing it here in this review and my next ones. Anyway, Bard, the young hotshot commissioner who was definitely like a young James Gordon and who helped Batsy in a lot of ways by containing the Penguin-Falcone mob war--is a TURNCOAT who works for Hush all this time. It broke my heart because I was beginning to fall for him. I could feel that Batman felt very betrayed indeed upon discovering this.

R.M Guerra illustrates this issue and the next one and I don't really like his art style, if I'm to be honest. It was too much of a rough sketch and not enough detail. It looks awkward in many places too, particularly the way he draws character bodies and variations. Visually, it just didn't appeal to me but the choice of colors helped though.


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