Batman Eternal #28
Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV- Story, Tim Seeley- Script, Meghan Hetrick- Art, Romulo Farjardo, Jr.- Colors.
This issue’s cover proclaims “Turning Point!” and it seems accurate from the plot movement in the last issue. It’s a slow turn for Barbara as she gets a goodbye visit from the Red Hood. Not sure why Jason is vacating Gotham at this point, but it sets up a classic- “I’m not Dick Grayson,” kiss off line. Jason steps in and nearly finishes the job on Bard for Barbara, before chastising Barbara for her actions. Most of the issue focuses on Catwoman and her predicament. Tied to a pole in a strip club she is the headline act in the Ferryman’s bludgeoning act. But, apparently, he’s not up to the job- as he hems and haws Catwoman gains an unlikely savior- Killer Croc, and Batman arrives just a little too late. Ibanescu is put to the test by the Ferryman as he cajoles Jade’s father into shooting Croc. But it is a tragic ending as someone…is caught in the crossfire. And this is the real ‘turning point’ in this issue. Batman is there to try and give Selina an opportunity to turn to him, but instead she turns away and chooses a new path. After her second rejection of Bruce in as many issues, one wonders what this will do to the Batman. Will it push him further away from trust and intimacy on any level, or will it solely set him and Catwoman at irreconcilable odds.
The emotional movement in this issue was the highlight. Catwoman has been pushed to the edge and this issue shows the direction in which she will push back. It is disappointing to see Batman and Catwoman set at odds, and knowing the new direction in her own series it seems likely that this will only push them further apart. There is a fun moment again between Bruce and Julia as he relates an Alfred story to her. The chemistry between these two has been building and when contrasted against Bruce’s relationship with Catwoman, one can only wonder if Julia is Bruce’s next love interest.
I would also like to applaud the color palate used by Romulo Fajardo, Jr. It fits the story very well and makes use of many blacks and grays without feeling overused.
The art continues to be a little uneven. While the draftsmanship may not be that appealing, the layouts were much better than last issue. The rigors of a weekly series are taking its toll on this series. Perhaps a better approach would’ve been to have a single artist layout each issue and have the finishing assignments doled out to different artist. While an appropriately moving moment in the story, this issues death was definitely sad. It provides Selina appropriate motivation for her next move, but this sort of thing is never easy to read.
Settling in with series on a weekly basis has its pros and cons. It does move a bit slower than your average series, but the scope of the story is certainly much larger. While touted as ‘turning point,’ and certainly it was, it seems things slowed down a bit this issue- Hush is barely mentioned. This is certainly worth reading, but a new reader will be not only confused, but left wondering if this is the pace of each issue. The varying pace is necessary for the gravity of the issue, but one hopes that the next issue will pick up the action and push things forward a little bit faster.