Another week has come and gone: You know what that means — another edition of Weekly Weeklies. This week we have Batman Eternal #18 with Tim Seeley taking control. Over in Futures End #14, we get a showdown between Deathstroke and Big Barda. This ought to be good.
WARNING: Spoilers Below!
Batman Eternal #18
Lead Writer: Tim Seeley
Corresponding Writers: Scott Snyder, John Layman, Ray Fawkes, and James Tynion IV
Artist: Andy Clarke
Batgirl, Red Hood, and Batwoman have found their target’s hideout — inside of what appears to be a factory making Batman and friends action figures. Maybe now they’ll find out who’s pulling the strings behind the subway crash and framing Jim Gordon.
Meanwhile, while Jason Bard is making friends with the locals; he spots a man carrying an injured girl into the sewer, with the hopes of getting her to someone important. Bard and Batman, who have been following him, descend below in hopes of finding out what the man’s deal is.
Down in the sewers Batman and Bard find a man dead with his face chewed off. Bard suspects Killer Croc according to the rumors he heard about the guy, and sure enough, Croc soon appears. He claims he would never hurt his friends and allies, angrily attacking the two for accusing him (you see, this issue is a continuation of sorts of Killer Croc’s story from the Villain’s Month issue that was also written by Tim Seeley). Batman calms him down and tells him who the real culprit is, pointing to a bloody handprint on the sewer wall.
In Blackgate Prison, tensions continue to rise now that both gang leaders and their men are on the inside. There could be a big prison riot coming soon, especially with people getting shanked left and right… and Jim Gordon may get caught in the crossfire.
Batman, Croc, and Bard descend further into the sewers, hot on the trail of the killer and whoever kidnapped the girl. Batman has deduced that whoever did this is someone from the Gotham Underground. However, unseen by our unlikely allies is a mysterious and creepy looking creature (a demon/monster from possibly the Deacon Blackfire storyline) watching them from the shadows.
Batwoman, Red Hood, and Batgirl break into the factory and discover it’s a child slavery ring where the kids are forced to make toys. Keeping focus, the three split up and start taking out guards and looking for the ring leader, who is supposed to be the guy that looks like that movie star. Batgirl finds the guy, but gets herself hypnotized and starts attacking the other two heroes.
Now this was a great issue. The new storyline and team are already getting my attention and making me excited to see what comes next. Plus, the progression with the other storylines happening and what they are leading to are really good. Plus, the dialogue and characterization are stellar and the interplay between all the characters is a joy to behold. The only weak aspect of the comic is the artwork with its rather odd looking characters and expressions, but despite that the artwork still manages to primarily shine (I really like how Killer Croc looks in this book). All in all, a really fantastic issue that leaves you with plenty to get excited about.
Also, yeah. Batman is kind of weird like that.
Futures End #14
Writers: Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, and Keith Giffen
Artist: Aaron Lopresti
Big Barda and Emiko are confronted by Deathstroke and Fifty Sue. The two villains want them to either surrender quietly so they can take them back to Cadmus Island or die (Sue personally wants death in this). Obviously, Barda and Emiko have other ideas. Emiko ends up stabbing Deathstroke in the throat, causing him to start bleeding out, while Emiko sets Sue ablaze with a special arrow. Both women escape.
Both Coil and Key want Batman Beyond dead because he is too risky to have around and they have him in their clutches. However, Plastique won’t have any of that and wants them to all work together otherwise she’ll blow the place sky high with her powers. I personally suspect she wants BB around because she wants to find out about that robot lookalike of hers.
Cal meets up with Madison outside of a place she is volunteering (which is her way of trying to make up from all the crimes her father has committed) and there he presents to her the necklace that was stolen. He says that the “police” got it back from the robber.
On Cadmus Island, Cash and Sue (who has returned) break into the lower levels and confront one of the scientists there by the name of Lana (from Earth 2 so… hmmm…) about what she knows. Apparently, according to her, there may sort of be an OMAC with stealth capabilities after all.
Lois Lane is still no closer to figuring out the truth behind the mysterious objects she received (besides the matchbox that led her to Cal/Red Robin). She has no clue about the red arrow, the coordinates were a bust (though did take her to an island that she could not see), and the weird solid green pyramid has nothing of note about it. They are all mysterious to her, just like the disappearance of Clark Kent apparently.
Examining and looking over the pyramid manages to make it finally do something, showing Lois Lane a projection of all of the Earth 2 prisoners on Cadmus Island (though she has no idea where there is). The issue ends on her seeing her Earth 2 self in Red Tornado form being prodded and opened up.
My thoughts regarding Futures End remain mostly the same, with the comic still moving incredibly slowly. On the plus side this issue felt like it was finally getting somewhere with several of the storylines, in particular with Cash Cole and Lois Lane. The characterization wasn’t bad either and that fight scene at the beginning was a lot of fun to watch. Sure, I would have preferred Patrick Zircher’s art on this issue instead of the last (he would have really brought a lot more than Aaron’s art here), but it wasn’t bad. Bottom line: the issue was better than usual and I felt very satisfied for once with the comic. I hope this trend continues.
You know, it might be interesting to show this image to someone without context. “Blazing tutu-wearing children? WTF?!”