Batman Eternal #4
Potential Spoilers Ahead in Problems section.
Batman Eternal is proving to be a fascinating concept. I was not into comics at the time when weekly series were a thing so this is my first time having one and I'm finding it great. There are problems with this issue though and I hope they aren't a sign of potential problems in the future. I enjoyed Batgirl in this issue. Her obsessing over her father's case makes sense and reminds me of Bruce obsessing over Damian in recent Batman and Robin issues. We get to see more of Stephanie Brown and learn more about her family, although for everything we learn about her, 2 more questions take its place. I don't know how I feel about Carmine Falcone here. While I love Falcone as a Bat-villain and I love the idea of the Gotham mob coming back into play, he almost feels different. He feels like he has to be getting help from some other Bat-villain to accomplish everything he seems to be accomplishing.
Talk about a misleading cover. Not only does not it happen within the book, but when Batman does confront Batgirl it is very level headed and relatively indirect indirect. They don't exchange blows and they don't really have an argument. The way they interact almost informal and doesn't really cary weight.
Another problems is the fact that Gordon is put into gen-pop. No prosecutor, judge, or lawyer is going to let a cop, especially a high ranking cop like Gordon, be put there. It makes very little sense to have your primary suspect killed before they're convicted. Also, I may be wrong because I didn't pay much attention to the Arkham War Forever Evil tie-ins but I though Gordon and Warden Zarbotos were on generally good terms. Here it seems like she hates him and actually wants him dead by putting him in gen-pop with criminals that clearly want him dead.
There are some sections where the art just seems rushed. Sometimes its clear the colorist rushed, but there is one particular panel where Batman is landing on a mook that clearly Nguyen rushed out. It's is a shame because Nguyen is a great artist and seeing him rushed on weekly book seems to be taking a toll.
Batman Eternal is shaping up to be my favorite Batman arc since the New 52 began. That's not to say that it is without its problems. As a weekly series there are bound to be weeks where they don't knock it out of the park. Part of that is a good thing as it keeps the reader on their toes, though this issue can be considered more setup than anything else.