SO. MANY. THINGS. ARE. GOING ON. How do I keep up with it all?
Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, John Layman, Tim Seeley, and Riccardo Burchielli venture into the Eternal story once more! This issue, Professor Pyg wants Falcone to suffer for destroying his lab; and Batman has to save Catwoman from being held prisoner by Falcone!
In this issue, Batman finds out that Falcone isn't, exactly, the mastermind behind gaining control over Gotham City. He finds this out after stopping Pyg from killing Falcone; and, stopping Falcone from killing Catwoman. If this issue does one thing right, it's that Batman will finally turn his sights towards whoever the real threat is and the series can really start moving forward!
While the writers did do the right thing in establishing, to Batman, that Falcone is not the mastermind behind controlling Gotham City; they also did a okay job at tying off, minor, loose ends. The setup of having Batman travel to Hong Kong, last issue, for answers as to why Falcone was back in Gotham City was good. This issue didn't make light of the fact that Batman just got back from Hong Kong, and that entire adventure was all for nothing. NO! Instead, the Hong Kong issue helped close off story elements that connected to Carmine Falcone; and now will open the door for Batman to go after the real threat! I will say that I was a little skeptical at first with how they were going to do it. With the sole fact as to how Batman would find out that Falcone is just a pawn in a larger game, but to an extent, the writers did a good job. Nothing that will wow you, but the story does make sense.
Another thing the writers finally closed off was Professor Pyg. Professor Pyg going on a BIG revenge scheme to murder Falcone? HA! I think not. It was boring and just in the story, but thankfully the writers finally closed that aspect of the Eternal story and can focus on more important things. Like villain reveals, Batgirl going insane, and Stephanie 'freaking' Brown!
The artwork was nice. Can't say I liked nor hated it, but it was adequate.
The major problem with this issue was that it felt like it was "thrown" to me, as a consumer of comic book stories, and not "handed" to me. Unlike issue 9's story, this issue felt like it was rushed so that the writers can get to writing issue 11's story. I'm sure the writers can't make every issue great, solely because this series will be coming out every week for one solid year, but still; somethings just felt out of place. For example, Professor Pyg's revenge! Really? Thankfully the writers closed that small part of Eternal and is moving on to better [hopefully] and bigger things, but still, it could've been handled a lot better than a hostage situation. Professor Pyg's purpose in this series was pretty straightforward in the beginning; he caused Gordon to get locked up! YAY! They could've left him alone in prison instead of breaking out this Z-list villain when the story starts to get cold. The cold never bothered me anyway! With SO much going on in this series, I don't need the writers to add a character that I won't care about in the long run. The writers should've cut this aspect of this issue entirely out of the story and focused a bit more on Carmine Falcone, or even Stephanie 'freaking' Brown!
Speaking of, "SO much going on in this series", lets talk about Alfred's daughter. She's living in Wayne Manor after she got stabbed in Hong Kong, well how is that going to work out with the story? "So Alfred has a kid?", AWESOME! "That means we will get an explanation in this issue right?" NOPE! The writers, like I've said countless times, have so much going on; it's a question as to how they keep up with everything! This part, like Professor Pyg, felt forced into this issue; and a forced element is never a good element!
A small problem I had with this issue was Falcone. After Batman successfully saved both Catwoman and Falcone, why didn't the Dark Knight take Falcone prisoner and give him the third degree (interrogation)? He just left him there. That doesn't make any sense, I mean if he was surrounded by cops that would justify it. But he's on the penthouse floor with Catwoman and he jets away in his plane with her; making it a successful escape?! At this point, it looks like the writers aren't even trying because that doesn't seem like a Batman move. But anyway, what's done is done. Let's move on!
And that leads me to my next, and final, point; Stephanie 'freaking' Brown! She showed up! YAY! However, it was more to show us that, yes, she's still alive; but her psycho father [and his friends] are still searching for her. I don't need to know that. The writers, at this point at least, aren't building on her character, but building on the suspense of her character being revealed. Any long time fan of Batman comics knows that Stephanie Brown is, arguably, the best Batgirl ever. Even though she will return to her roots as Spoiler in the New 52 universe. So the writers going through these twists-and-turns with, "OOOOOH, is she gonna die?", is totally pointless! We know she isn't going to die and we don't care/already know, that she is being chased by her psycho father [and his friends]. So instead of focusing on that, they should really do a better job at building up her character!
You should know, by now, if you want to read this series. 2 out of 5. Until the next issue.
Batman: Eternal reviews