And so it begins. Possibly the biggest book of the month has arrived: Batman Eternal #1. It’s the start of the new weekly Batman series, written by an all-star team: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, John Layman (for now at least), Tim Seeley, and Kyle Higgins (later on though). Can these men deliver on the hype circling around this book? Is it good?
Batman Eternal #1 (DC Comics)
After a flash-forward to what appears to be Gotham in flames (they’ll be fine, this sort of thing happens all the time), we cut to the present. We meet the newest police lieutenant, Jason Bard, as he arrives in the city. Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon and Batman are dealing with Professor Pyg and his goons. It all seems par for the course for these two, like any other night in this crazy town, but things will be soon changing.
Sorry, I stopped at the drive-thru at McDonalds.
For the very first issue of this series, this is one hell of a way to get started. It does a great job getting you excited and into the story. It starts with a shocking flash-forward (though Gotham constantly seems to be on fire or in trouble); introduces a lot of the characters, both new and old, with some good characterization; and starts up a few very intriguing storylines and subplots to make us interested in seeing what happens next. The tone and mood is very intense and thrilling and the ending has a pretty fantastic cliffhanger that even if the all the storylines before it didn’t interest, you would certainly want to know what happens next. All in all, its job is to get you pumped and interested in this weekly and this first issue more than succeeds at its job.
The writing is handled by both Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, while the others merely consult, and they both do an excellent job here. While you do see Snyder’s tendency for being a bit wordy and monologue-y at the beginning with Bard’s discussion of lights, it clears up pretty quickly and the dialogue ends up reading fairly nicely (except for the opening bit with the mayor, which seems a bit unnatural in some areas) and features some decent lines. The story is well-paced, knowing when to be quick and when to be slow in the right scenes and moments. The mood and tone are especially good, getting very tense and thrilling at points like with the leadup to the big subway crash. It’s just all very well done and I look forward to see whatever the other writers bring to the table.
Place your bets people. This mayor A) will die B) is corrupt and will die) or C) is the big bad guy overall.
The artwork is done by Jason Fabok, who has drawn most of John Layman’s Detective Comics run. His work is especially good as you would expect, perfectly fitting the dark and gritty world of Batman. His characters look great (though is it just me, or does the mayor look a bit like Emperor Penguin?), being very distinguishable and have a good range of facial expressions. The action and designs look great overall, along with some decent layouts and impressive double page spreads. The inking and coloring are also nice and capture the mood of the comic. While Fabok only does the first three issues of the run (at least, as far as we know) and soon, other artists will take over, it gets the comic off on the right foot artwise and I look forward to the remaining issues he has drawn.
I have nothing. This speaks for itself.
Is It Good?
Batman Eternal #1 is a fantastic start to this new weekly series, really knowing how to suck in the audience with its intriguing story, shocking cliffhanger, great characters, and fantastic looking artwork. If you were having doubts before this comic started, this will put them to rest. Even if you are not interested in buying the entire series right away, this is still worth your time.