This will be the last week where we only have one weekly book to review. Next time, we’ll have Future’s End to discuss, but in the meantime, we have Batman Eternal #4 where we get our first switch in the writing and artwork departments. Let’s give it a look.
(WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW)
Batman Eternal #4
Lead Writer: John Layman
Consulting Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, and Tim Seeley
Artist: Dustin Nguyen
Jim Gordon’s first appearance in court after the disaster that left 162 people dead ends poorly for him; his request for bail is denied and he’s sent to Blackgate Prison for the duration of the trial. Barbara Gordon, AKA Batgirl, does not take this well and goes on a rampage to try to track down who is responsible for setting up her father.
Stephanie Brown calls home to inform her mother about how her father (the Cluemaster) is trying to burn down Gotham and is now trying to kill her for overhearing the plan. Unfortunately, mommy… may be in on it as well.
Batman tries to calm Batgirl down by letting her get some shuteye in the Batcave after being awake for possibly a couple days now. However, she decided to spend her time using the Batcomputer and has possibly found a suspect that may be involved in the case, a Brazilian soap opera star and possible cartel member named Gonzolo Dominguez. She then rides off to go possibly beat the ever-loving s**t out of him to see if he knows anything.
At Blackgate, Gordon may be in far more trouble than he realizes. Outside of the very hostile warden named Agatha Zorbatos whom he had discharged from the police force long ago, the prison inmates do not like cops at all, especially him. With criminals like Emperor Penguin, Wrath, and Amygdala looming around and wanting his head, Gordon’s time in the slammer may come to an end sooner than he expects.
After a very intense and thrilling opening arc, this one doesn’t pull out many surprises or twists like previous issues. That being said, it’s still a pretty good issue overall and enjoyable to read. The transition between the writers went very smoothly and you barely tell a difference (whether that’s good or not since we can’t see Layman’s influence is up to you). Plus, it does continue all the subplots reasonably well, while also getting a lot more rather interesting storylines going and introducing even more characters to the mix. It’s all rather exciting.
Of course, the biggest change up with the issue was Dustin Nguyen on art duties for this issue. His artwork here is great overall and he does some fantastic looking pages and panels of the Bat-Family (he especially does a good job with drawing Batgirl) and some rather good moody imagery as well. Plus, he and his usual partner in crime, inker Derek Fridolfs, deliver an enjoyable looking read that has me anticipating whenever they are coming back to draw more issues (apparently in July).
Sorry, only two punches allowed, Babs.