It’s Weekly Weeklies time once again, folks: in Batman Eternal #12 we see the trial of Jim Gordon finally begin while in Futures End #8, we see more events unravel on Cadmus Island. Let’s get to it:
WARNING: Spoilers Below!
Batman Eternal #12
Lead Writer: James Tynion IV
Corresponding Writers: Scott Snyder, John Layman, Tim Seeley and Ray Fawkes
Artist: Mike Janin
The body count keeps rising in the gang war and Jason Bard has had enough. He calls Captain Sawyer and Detective Bullock to his apartment and lets them in on a special plan. Meanwhile, Jim Gordon begins the first day of his trial and everything seems hopeless, even to Batman and his allies as they still continue to look for answers.
When Red Robin tries interrogating Professor Pyg about whether or not he infected the kids with the nano-virus, Harper Row actually manages to hack into his special system due to him previously getting into her laptop. Tim manages to shut her out, but is shocked nonetheless.
It takes some convincing, but Batgirl ends up letting Red Hood help her in searching for more answers on who framed her father.
As the trial of Jim Gordon is underway, Vicki Vale is a bit annoyed that the trial is overshadowing the dangerous gang war, especially with Lois Lane there only focusing on this trial. However, Bard approaches her with opportunity on how to fix the situation.
Tim approaches Alfred about who Harper really is and how she managed to hack his system. Alfred does so, but when the two of them disappear into the Batcave, Julia Pennyworth starts getting suspicious of what is going on at Wayne Manor.
Jason Bard and Detective Bullock manage to contact Batman using an old method that Jim used back during the first Gang War. Bard presents to Batman an idea on how to stop the gang war in a week and it involves letting them capture him.
During the middle of the night at Blackgate Penitentiary, Jim Gordon is summoned from his cell to meet a special visitor. The visitor in question? His son and known serial killer, James Gordon Jr., who he thought had died.
A good way to summarize Batman Eternal #12: it’s a “catch up” issue. It’s sort of what Futures End is doing where it focuses on all of the storylines and characters at once. Because of that approach, there isn’t a lot of advancement for one particular storyline like previous issues of Batman Eternal and the issue can feel a bit uneventful and slow in areas.
On the other hand, the writers do a pretty good of balancing all of these storylines. There’s also plenty of good lines and you do end up getting more curious for what’ll happen next. The artist, Mike Janin, is a step up from last week, though to a certain extent his style doesn’t fit as well tonally with the story. It’s just on the border and may have been better suited for last week’s more extravagant narrative.
Hey, I’m doing the best that I can… umm… I mean, who is this Batman you speak of?
Futures End #8
Writers: Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, and Keith Giffen
Artist: Scot Eaton
A lot going on in this issue: Slade Wilson and Mr. Faraday continue to discuss Grifter and their need of his special abilities to perceive super humans, while Fifty Sue continues to mess with Grifter. Lois Lane continues to inspect the contents of the box she got awhile back and is wondering what the rest of it means, while Jason helps Dr. Yamazake with the first test run of his teleporter/transporter.
Lois decides to check out the coordinates she was given next, which seem to be for an empty spot in the Indian Ocean. My guess is that there is where Cadmus Island is located.
The testing of the teleporter is a failure and Dr. Yamazake is completely dishearten by what has happened. When Jason is alone, Masked Superman shows wondering where Firestorm has been. Jason tells him about his breaking up with Raymond and Sups tells him to fix things since Firestorm is still needed. Before he leaves, Superman hints that the transporter failing might have been for the best, making Jason wonder if he caused it to fail.
The S.H.A.D.E. team has finally reached its destination and begins the bodies of the dead Stormwatch. Ray Palmer notes that both Midnighter and the Engineer are missing before he begins his autopsy. First thing first, he cuts off Hawkman’s arm and gives it to Frankenstein so he can attach it to himself (he is still quite armless on one side).
Somewhere in Southeast Asia, of group of hunters/mercenaries/treasure hunters uncover an ancient temple in the war-torn land where a war with Earth 2 happened. They get more than they bargain for when a mysterious android appears and kills them. The android itself looks rather similar to Red Tornado in ways and in the temple walls the marking of Brainaic can be seen.
Somewhere in New Orleans, John Constantine and his friend Midge come to a dangerous conclusion that end for all is coming very soon.
At this point in time, I really wish this comic would get on with it. Compared with Batman Eternal, this is moribund snail slow. The story feels like it is still setting things up and is unclear about what direction it is going. All we know is that something bad and big is going to happen, but we have no real clear idea of what it is and or how the hell any of these stories will tie together. It’s really making the experience a chore at times as we wait for something big and shocking to happen.
Besides that, the rest of the writing is perfectly fine. The character work is good, there are some interesting mysteries here, the story structure and flow are fine, and the ending is alright. The artist this time is Scot Eaton and he is also just fine, making to keep the comic looking consistent with his style and the way he depicts things. Unlike Batman Eternal, this comic manages to keep everything so far looking consistent from issue to issue, with the exception of Patrick Zircher honestly.
Could be worse. She could have sent him to the Cornfield.