Review: Batman Eternal #1
Don’t dare miss the start of the Bat-story so big it’s going to take every week of the month to tell! A massive cast of Gotham City’s best (and worst) examines the relationship between Batman, his allies and his city. In this debut issue, Commissioner James Gordon is caught on the wrong side of the law!
The new, and first of many, weekly DC series kicked off this week in the pages of Batman Eternal #1. The script for the debut issue is handled by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV with Ray Fawkes, John Layman, and Tim Seeley serving as consultants. The art is provided by Jason Fabok with Brad Anderson tackling colors. Nick J. Napolitano rounds things out with lettering. Batman Eternal has a lot of hype behind it, but does it live up to all the press?
The story opens with new Gotham PD transfer Lieutenant Jason Bard coming to the big city for his latest assignment. Bard’s first night in Gotham isn’t quite what he expected though. Commissioner Gordon is trying to rescue some kids from Professor Pyg, and thankfully Batman is there to offer some rather surprising support. When the chase to round up Pyg and his men leads to the subway, things take an unexpected turn. Gordon finds himself on the wrong side of the law and not even Batman can save him. Bard comes face to face with his new boss, but it’s not under ideal circumstances. What happened to Gordon in the tunnels? What sort of game is afoot? Is Batman getting ready to face a challenge even he can’t handle?
Snyder and Tynion kick things off in style. They concoct a tight story that doesn’t focus on several different threads. This is all quality. With 52 weeks of story ahead of us, Snyder and Tynion just focus on one thing and present it extremely well. Batman and Gordon’s relationship hasn’t really been explored all that much in the New 52, but the writing duo presents some of the best material about that particular relationship in a few short pages. The shocking developments also pulls you in and whets your appetite for what’s next. Fabok’s art is absolutely stellar. The detail and care that goes into every panel makes this an almost cinematic experience. Batman is a striking figure with some great suits, yes suits plural. With gunfire, trains, weird villains like Professor Pyg, and Batman himself, Fabok gets a lot of toys to play with. Anderson’s colors are on the money as well. It’s a perfect complement to Fabok’s art and helps set the tone for the story. This is Gotham at night, but just like the story says, it shines.
Bottom Line: Batman Eternal is off to a fantastic start. There are a lot of detractors who are understandably leery of a weekly series, but if this is the level of quality that we’ll get for 52 straight weeks, then it’s worth checking out. 4.5/5
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