Happy Batman Day! Let’s celebrate this day with the BATMAN ETERNAL #16 review! Titled “The Monster Machine”, BATMAN ETERNAL #16 contains Red Robin trying to solve the mystery of the nanovirus spreading among Gotham City’s poorest, but Harper Row isn’t going to let him do it alone. Also, can Batwing escape the clutches of The Joker’s Daughter?
I really enjoyed this issue, it continued off the last issue with the weird and gruesome artwork that is amazing to look at. Fawkes and Nguyen is helming this issue, Fawkes on script and Nguyen on artwork of course. I took a couple things from this issue: I figured out who Mister Bygone was, I’m sensing a change in Lieutenant Bard’s personality, Red Robin and Harper Row’s revelation, and DEACON BLACKFIRE! All of which just made business pick up for BATMAN ETERNAL. The writing was solid and the artwork was great. Snyder and co. is consistent with quality. Anyways, let’s go into more detail with the positives and negatives of this issue.
If you did not realize who Mister Bygone was after he explained, in sad and ominous detail, who he was. Mister Bygone is Martin Ware, an inmate who made an appearance at the early issues of BATMAN ETERNAL. He was put in Arkham because he claimed to be hearing voices in his head. Ironically, he actually was hearing voices in his head, well through the walls as well. Anyways, he was then taken downstairs to the Joker’s Daughter, where he became a guinea for some dark magic. Thus, we have Mister Bygone, the proprietor of sorrow and regrets. I love his design, and I loved how he was getting into Mr. Corrigan’s head. Those spirits he had was so freaky how they just change form and then started clawing into Mr. Corrigan’s chest was so weird and cool! He was exactly what I wanted in his character.
I like that the Red Robin-Harper Row arc is moving forward in a positive and an interesting direction. I am intrigued to find out why Sergi and Maxwell make a return. What is his involvement with the nanobot case? I’m starting to like Red Robin and Harper Row’s dynamic. These two characters play off off each other so well. Maybe it is just me but I feel that they will have a deeper connection soon, in regards to being in a relationship. You heard it hear first folks, Red Robin and Harper Row will end up together, this is my opinion, and I said it first.
Let me say this, Batman and company is in trouble when Mr. Corrigan is truly terrified. You know he seem some of the most strangest supernatural creatures and events and you can tell that him seeing Deacon Blackfire resurrection brought pure fear…and I just ate it up. So if you guys don’t know who Deacon Blackfire is, in other incarnations and it looks to be the same in BATMAN ETERNAL, he is a villain who is basically an evil preacher. His persuasive skills can reach devastating height, to the point where he amassed an army of criminals in an attempt to take over Gotham. If Snyder and Co. are going to go the same route as previous incarnations, then this story arc just got a lot more interesting. Not only is he an evil preacher with dangerous persuasive skills, but in this incarnation he has supernatural capabilities and he teamed with the likes of Joker’s Daughter, Mister Bygone, etc. This just made things even more exciting, I can’t wait to see what Deacon Blackfire’s plans are in the coming issues!
I do not like the way the writers are seemingly doing a complete 180 degrees of Lieutenant Bard. To me, it seems like he went from being a carbon copy of Jim Gordon, to being a slightly immoral carbon copy of Jim Gordon, to now he is like some sort of soulless cop. The way he just shot the criminal in his hand, I know he was just doing his job, but it seemed a bit excessive to me. Also, the way he talked to Vicki Vale was kinda odd when just a couple of issues ago he had a minimum of trust with her.Speaking of Vicki Vale, what was that “Got Him…” phrase for? Now, all of a sudden, Vicki Vale has some sort of underlying agenda? I don’t buy that nor do I buy Bard’s personality switch.
I had a minor grip with this issue, I felt that Mister Bygone was defeated too fast by Mr. Corrigan. I was hoping for more from him and it was as though he was defeated too easily. Hopefully they use him more in the near future as a member of Deacon Blackfire’s army.
This was a solid issue as usual. You get your dose of action here and there and supernatural experiences. You have the revival of Deacon Blackfire from Batman’s villains archive make his New 52 debut in BATMAN ETERNAL, which is always awesome! We have Sergi and Maxwell make a return. You have great artwork by Nguyen and a solid script from Fawkes. I have my one big negative and one gripe, however, I believe that it will not throw off most readers. I recommend this issue.