Welcome back Weekly Weeklies fanatics: in Batman Eternal #13, Jason Bard hatches his plan to put an end to the Gang War, placing Batman directly in the crossfire. In Futures End #9, Patrick Zircher returns to deliver us some fabulous artwork and a certain character isn’t as dead as we thought.
WARNING: Spoilers Below!
Batman Eternal #13
Lead Writer: James Tynion IV
Corresponding Writers: Scott Snyder, John Layman, Tim Seeley and Ray Fawkes
Artists: Mike Janin and Guillermo Ortego
James Gordon Jr. comes to Jim Gordon during the middle of the night at Blackgate with a special opportunity; one that will certainly help Jim but also compromise his principles.
Meanwhile, Jason Bard presents his special plan to Commissioner Forbes that’ll take down the Batman once and for all — and Vicki Vale is a key component to making it all happen.
James’ offer will allow him Jim to escape from Blackgate, due to some doors being unlock and open the next day. Jim will be free from his hopeless situation, but at the cost of everything he believes in. James believes he will do it, but Jim is adamant.
Bard, Bullock, and Sawyer lead police teams on a raid of what is supposedly Batman’s munitions safe house. However, it turns out to be one of Falcone’s hideouts and the police end up arresting everyone in there. When one crook tries to call Falcone about what is happening, Bard takes the phone and tells the crime boss that he is taking back the city.
At the police station, Forbes is angry about this bust and demands the criminals be freed, but Vicki Vale is there. If Forbes has the police let the criminals go, Vale will expose everything and it’ll be over for the corrupt cop.
Harper Row tracks down Red Robin’s hideout and manages to break into it to take a look around. She ducks out of sight when Robin returns and reveals that he has figured out who created the nano-virus and is heading to Tokyo to confront the creator, Sergei Alexandrov.
Falcone calls Forbes later about the bust and demands that he fixes the situation as soon as possible. However, unbeknownst to them, both Bard and Vale has bugged the phone call and recorded all of it. Vale plans on printing it in the Gotham Gazette as soon as possible.
Stephanie Brown continues working in the shadows of the Gotham Library, working on trying to expose her father’s plans. However, her father is aware of her plans and blows up her friend, Beth, in attempt to break her and force her to seek him out.
The longer the story goes on, the more I just end up loving it. Seeing all these plotlines come together, seeing the characters continue to grow during some thrilling moments (Bard and Vale were fantastic this issue), and getting caught up in wondering what’ll happen next… makes Batman Eternal such a joy to read week after week.
The only thing I’m really wondering about with the storyline is when we are ever getting back to that whole supernatural angle with Batwing and the Spectre. Heck, I’m also wondering when we are ever going to see Batwoman in this story (we saw a cameo of her in the second issue but that’s it). None of this hurts the issue mind you, but it does get a guy wondering.
The rest of the issue is good overall. The writing is fine, the dialogue is decent, the characters are all well written, the way the story progresses is great, and the ending is dark but good. There’s only one plot point that seems a bit off when you think about it, but that’s it. The artwork is split between Janin from last week and now Guillermo Ortego. To be honest, both of their styles blend well together and I couldn’t tell the difference most of the time. Both of them do a fine job.
It’s official. Jason Bard is easily one of my favorite characters in this story.
Futures End #9
Writers: Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, and Keith Giffen
Artist: Patrick Zircher
Grifter remains confined to Cadmus Island under the watchful eyes of Slade Wilson (AKA Deathstroke) and Fifty Sue. They have special plans for him, especially since his ability to see certain people has been evolving from just aliens to people of Earth 2. It seems like Cadmus wants him to hunt down more members of Earth 2 who they have not yet confined to their prison, so they can be either captured or neutralized by Slade and Fifty.
Lois Lane checks out the coordinates on the paper she was given and finds nothing in that portion of the sea. However, somehow hidden from her sights lies a mysterious island. I’m betting on it being Cadmus Island, since that scene transitions into the Grifter part of the book.
Madison Payne visits her father in the Metropolis Armory Ward (think high-tech prison), looking to see if he knows about the dead Teen Titans since he helped the enemy side during the war. However, they are interrupted by an over muscled woman monster called Rampage, who breaks out Ethan Boyer (a “sicko” apparently). Masked Superman flies in to stop them, but is distracted when he is forced to save Madison during the escape.
Michael Holt investigates the mysterious cyborg that Batman Beyond left behind when he fled. Holt admits that the technology is sort of similar to something he has been working on, but has been waiting for modern tech to advance before continuing. As he examines the cyborg, Brother Eye is there talking to him about it.
Terry McGinnis/Batman Beyond decides to work on his next plan on how to break into Terrifitech, and it involves using the criminals who were planning on busting in anyways (including Plastique, who seems still very shaken up about seeing her future dead cyborg self).
In space, Dr. Palmer finishes attaching Hawkman’s arm to Frankenstein since he figures the hero isn’t going to need it anymore. However, he is completely wrong because Hawkman manages to resurrect himself due to the Nth Metal in his blood. The team asks him about what exactly happened, but he can’t seem to remember anything.
Back on Earth, S.H.A.D.E. and Father Time continue to monitor the group in secret for some reason (I honestly don’t get why they are doing it). They remark that the team out there has no idea what they are in for and if they can’t stop what is coming, it’s the end of everything. Again, if Father Time possibly knows, why isn’t he telling the team what is coming?!
I don’t really know what to say about this comic at this point that I haven’t made clear in previous issues. The writing and characters are perfectly fine; the plotlines are intriguing and interesting. The problem is that the comic moves at a glacier-like pace and it still feels like we are moving in circles or several storylines haven’t even gotten off the ground yet. It’s quite annoying, especially after a fantastic issue of Batman Eternal this week that really moved things along.
Patrick Zircher’s great artwork helps elevate the issue a bit, but it’s not very satisfying experience overall. What could seriously help this book right now is if it took its time to focus on one storyline for an entire issue, pushing the others to the back. It wouldn’t hurt to try this at least once instead of hurting the pacing and progression with trying to cram everything into a single issue.
Hmmm… well I don’t think he’s a zombie since he is not asking for brains.