Last time we saw Deacon Blackfire in Batman Eternal, Batman almost took a dirt nap. How will the Caped Crusader fare now that the Deacon is back?
Batman Eternal #30 (DC Comics)
Lead Writer: Ray Fawkes
Other Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Kyle Higgins, and Tim Seeley
Artist: Fernando Pasarin
The huge green beam of light that shot out of Arkham Asylum has disabled a commercial flight, forcing Batman to attend to that problem instead of helping Batwing inside the nuthouse. Speaking of which, the green light has signaled the revival of Deacon Blackfire and he’s ready to attack Gotham. However, with all of the commotion and trouble going on, the Spectre finally appears.
In one easy move, the Spectre takes Blackfire and all of the demons he summons back to hell without any trouble. Once they are gone, he retreats back into Corrigan’s body and the whole cave system starts to collapse. Joker’s Daughter, watching from afar, is led somewhere by a mysterious stranger who says he has a present for her. Batwing and Corrigan, on the other hand, get trapped under the rumble.
Above ground after he rescues the plane, Batman watches as Arkham starts to completely collapse. Alfred and also Bane are still trapped inside Arkham as the place completely collapses in on itself. In one clean swoop, hundreds of people are dead, leaving Batman and Julia Pennyworth (who’s been communicating with him at the Batcave) completely devastated.
Somewhere under the rubble, Batwing struggles to survive as his suit completely fails him and he cannot call for help. Completely lost, he says a prayer as the darkness closes all around him.
As Batman searches the wreckage, the GCPD shows up and tries to arrest him (they’re still on that I guess), but he flees into the hole where the Asylum use to be. He falls down several stories to the bottom and once there, he encounters Joker’s Daughter, who is wearing a suicide bomb vest. The issue closes out with her hitting the trigger and preparing to blow both of them up.
Even though I knew how this was going to end thanks to Arkham Manor… what an issue; it was intense, surprisingly shocking (seeing the utter devastation and how it impacted everyone was very powerful in my opinion), and emotionally charged. Sure, Batman Eternal #30 didn’t answer everything Arkham Manor brought up (like how did Bruce lose all his money?) and to be fair, we know the ending isn’t going anywhere too surprising given where the characters are later on — still, quite an effective issue.
Of course, Batman Eternal #30’s writing is pretty strong. The pacing and storytelling are handled well (though strangely anti-climactic with how it handled Blackfire’s ending), the dialogue is good, the mood and tone are excellent and the characterization was pretty strong. On the flipside, we have the artwork by Fernando Pasarin (he drew a lot of Gail Simone’s Batgirl) and he’s okay. He draws some great scenery, layouts, and action/supernatural elements in the book very well; where he’s troubling is how he portrays certain characters, with their odd body structures and facial expressions. I do wish the artist for the last issue had tackled this one as well.
A good old fashioned Spectre curb-stomp.