Batman Eternal #33. Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV- Story, Kyle Higgins- Script, Ray Fawkes & Tim Seeley- Consulting Writers, Alvaro Martinez- Pencils, Raul Fernandez- Inks, Brad Anderson- Colors.
With this issue, we have come upon a significant point in this grand story. The fact that we are still months away from the conclusion makes this issue’s finale seem premature, however, there is plenty more ahead. We finally get the showdown between Batman and Hush which has been teased for the past few issues.
The issue opens with Julia barely surviving her encounter with Hush, with a Batman rescue thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, another weapons cache has been detonated and it sets in motion Hush’s ultimate plan to tear down Bruce/Batman. This is of course the difference between Hush and so many of Batman’s villains- Tommy Elliot knows that Bruce is Batman and is clever enough to find a way to attack both aspects.
Batman finds Hush and has a relatively easy time taking him down physically. But, it’s far from over as Batman soon discovers that Wayne Enterprises has been seized by the Federal Government. Problems, Bruce? The Joker poisoning the city will seem like a walk in the park. Yeah, it’s not over, Batman Eternal has really just begun.
Being able to take the story to another level after the physical confrontation with Hush is certainly a big win. The reader has sort of been lulled into believing that Bats would stop Hush and it would be over, but the pieces of Hush’s plan have already been put together and it is working. The transition to another artist was not as jarring this time. Martinez is not too dissimilar from Pasarin that it was a seamless transition from last issue.
The caches still bother me. One could feel like this was a faux ending with another ending to come next issue, but there are so many open storylines that instead it feels like a well planned ending to an act with more to come. Was that even a negative?
Again the smaller cast this issue and the tighter plotting make this issue feel accessible to the new reader even if it is picking up in medias res. The set up for the next act is daunting enough to draw a new reader in. Batman Eternal continues to be a great Batman series with big ideas and quality execution.