Welcome back to another round of Weekly Weeklies. This time, we’ve got Batman Eternal #16, where we continue our story of the dark depths of Arkham Asylum. Then, in Futures End #12, more trouble continues to happen and we also get a glimpse of the far future. Let’s dive in and see how they are!
Batman Eternal #16 (DC Comics)
Lead Writer: Ray Fawkes
Corresponding Writers: Scott Snyder, John Layman, Tim Seeley and James Tynion IV
Artist: Dustin Nguyen
As Jim Corrigan is being confronted and attacked by the ghosts/spirts/demons in Arkham Asylum, Batwing is currently being held hostage by Joker’s Daughter. She has a very special plan for him and it seems to have to do with her “boss.” Meanwhile, Batman is checking in on Jason Bard, who continues to rid the streets of gangsters and also seems to have caught the eye of Vicki Vale.
On the ground floor of Arkham Asylum, the police drop off Professor Pyg into Professor Milo’s care. However, Milo, who is involved in all of this craziness, has plans for Pyg and puts him into the same situation that Scarecrow is in.
As Red Robin hits the streets of Tokyo looking for his suspect, he’s attacked by these metal tentacle things. However, Harper Row rushes in to save him and manages to deactivate with a gizmo she made. As she does though, Professor Sergei Alexandrov appears and tells them that was their first test. Now they get to talk to him before being tested again.
Jim Corrigan gets the upper hand and manages to escape from Mr. Bygone. Batwing does the same thing with Joker’s Daughter, who reveals to him that everyone there is planning on remaking Gotham City for their leader. Their leader requires a vessel though, and it happens to be Maxie Zeus, who attacks Batwing.
After a brief tussle with Zeus, Batwing gets away from him and, looking for an escape, runs into Corrigan. He’s figured out who is behind everything and what the people here are trying to do: resurrect a soul from hell in an extremely crude way. Just as the two head to stop everything, it’s too late. Maxie’s body is used in the ritual and Deacon Blackfire is reborn. With his arrival, he demands that two of them are brought into his holy sanctuary, dead or alive.
Last time, I said that comic felt like it was trying to take on too many stories at once and was having a hard time juggling them. This issue felt much better about this, focusing mainly on the Arkham story while having two others going on. Combined with the fact the comic transitions much better between stories, the whole experience feels smoother this time around. Admittedly, these other stories interrupt the horror tone the book is going for and the timeline here seems very sketchy.
Regardless, everything is still solid with the issue. It’s very creepy, the characters are well characterized, the interactions and dialogue between everyone is well done, there are some good scenes, the ending is great, and the artwork really delivers on making this is a very memorable experience. Overall, a good experience and I forward to the arc’s conclusion in the next issue.
Nah-ah! No touching the arm, lady.
Futures End #12 (DC Comics)
Writers: Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, and Keith Giffen
Artist: Jesus Merino
After an intense crash, Frankenstein, Hawkman, and Amethyst are confronted by these strange robots on the planet they crashed on. These robots seem to have the Brainiac symbol on their heads and are not very peaceful, so our heroes have to fight them off. But there’s trouble as Frankenstein is actually starting to bleed during the fight.
During the fight the Engineer, member of Stormwatch, appears! However, she looks like she has been corrupted by some unknown entity and captures the group.
Mr. Faraday confronts a woman named Mercy/Courtney about her past and how “they” are keeping an eye on her. Once he leaves, she contacts Voodoo and lets her know about what is going on and that they’ll need to meet up soon.
Somewhere in Metropolis, Rampage has brought Ethan to a hideout to change him back. He says he will, but goes back on his word and turns her into an even bigger rage monster to distract Superman while he escapes and meets up with an unknown person.
In the very far distant future where the world is utter hell, the Joker is dragged out of his cell because Brother Eye’s plan for him is finally about to commence. They need to prep him for surgery and take him to a place, where another certain person is. Batman/Bruce Wayne, still alive after appearing to have to perished back in Futures End #0. For the first time in years, the Joker feels alive and starts laughing.
I’m of two minds on this issue. On one hand, the comic was better than usual, focusing itself a bit more than usual in terms of story. There were only four stories going on in the entire issue and they were all given a rather decent amount of time, with no awkward cuts or transitions. Thus, the comic felt a lot smoother to read. Second, there were some good surprises in here in the beginning and ending that have really gotten me more interested than usual. Third and finally, artwork does get a chance to really shine a bit, especially the first and ending story of the book. Overall, the issue had a strong opening and closing.
On the other hand, the middle was rather dry and slow going. Both stories were not that interesting, introducing another character to the mix who isn’t really that compelling yet and the other story being very predictable (you spend most of the time waiting for the hammer to drop). The artwork still can be a bit boring in areas where it doesn’t have much to draw that can really make it shine and there’s some inconsistency with it in areas. One character who should have completely pale white skin ends up having regular white skin. It was odd.
Frankenstein will break you!