Hey guys, Darius here, bringing to you my review of BATMAN ETERNAL #14. Now in BATMAN ETERNAL #14, the Gang War reaches a bloody climax as Batman and Jason Bard must bear witness to the horrifying last stand of The Penguin! Plus, Jim Gordon makes a terrible decision that will shape the rest of his life.
Even before I read this issue, I was excited because of what happened in #13 with Jim Gordon and his major decision to Bard arresting most of Falcone’s men and finding out Forbes works for Falcone. Let me start by saying the cover to this issue is awesome! It conveys exactly what the issue is going to be about in a creative and artistic way. Jason Fabok does a good job on art duties. I have always enjoyed his art, he’s not one of my favorite artists who has done BATMAN ETERNAL so far; but, he did a good job with this issue. The writing is always solid. In this issue specifically, with James Tynion IV on script duties, I felt the pace was great and the action was intense. Let’s get more detailed with the positives and negatives of this issue.
- I credit Tynion for how the Penguin is portrayed in this issue. I loved this Penguin! In this issue, he’s angry, he’s out for revenge and he wants blood. For an instance, he channeled the personality of the Danny Devito “Batman Returns” Penguin and how messed up he was, physically and mentally. James Fabok captured Penguin’s emotions perfectly, especially in the motel scene where Penguin dug his thumbs into his lacky’s neck, spewing blood everywhere. Penguin was so angry and determined to regain control, and through his dialogue and Fabok’s art, the reader can tell that Penguin means business this time around. Penguin and Falcone’s scene was gruesome. Too bad it ended with their arrests. Was I the only one rooting for Penguin to kill Falcone?
- Jason Bard’s scene where he is interrogating the Mayor and playing the recording of Forbes and Falcone’s conversation was so cool. You can tell Bard is playing no games, he wants Falcone and he’s willing to take down the Mayor to do so. I love the last little dialogue between them, where the Mayor says “You’re just like Gordon kid…” and Bard says “Thank you” So awesome! Also we’re starting to see his methods of going about purging Gotham, and we see that Batman does not like his methods. This can be problematic for Batman in the coming issues in the sense that he can’t trust Bard’s moral compass.
- Jim Gordon’s conversation with Batman was pretty heartfelt. You can tell he pondered leaving and a part of me wish he did escape just to see what the outcome would have been. With Batman’s warning to him about Blackgate becoming the most dangerous part of Gotham, I wonder how Jim is going to stay safe there. I guess he’s been doing good so far, but, with Penguin and Falcone coming there, I don’t think he will be safe for too long.
- Joker’s Daughter showing up at the end was cool. Her attempting to kill Scarecrow and what not. What stuck out to me, and I assume to the rest of you guys, was her last words to Scarecrow which was “…after all, that’s what my Daddy told me.” Holy crap, if Joker is alive, which I assumed he was anyway, business is about to pick up in the coming issues. Who knows what catastrophe is going to fall upon Gotham!
- The whole scenario with Red Robin and Harper Row needs to go somewhere. I feel like it is just taking up pages that could be used for other plot points. Either start making these characters’ plot move along when they are added into issue as cameos or give them their own issue that develops their plot more so when they do make a cameo, I don’t get taken out of what is happening in the issue.
Another good issue, with Penguin going to his dark side and Jim Gordon contemplating escape, readers will definitely enjoy this issue. It is gritty and gruesome at some points as well and Scott Snyder and the crew kind of pays an homage to “Batman Returns” which is kind of cool in a way. This was one of the darkest issues that we had since BATMAN ETERNAL started and I found it interesting and entertaining. I recommend this issue.