Titled “The Common Limit”, BATMAN ETERNAL #15 takes place mostly in Arkham Asylum where we find out who is behind the hell beneath Arkham and we see if Batwing and Jim Corrigan can stop it before it breaks out of Arkham and consumes all of Gotham City.
I love this issue! It is issues, like this one, that makes me enjoy BATMAN ETERNAL as a series, because I never know which way it is going to go sometimes. This was a very dark and gruesome issue, similar to last week’s issue. We have the magic element finally taking center stage and we finally figure out what was happening to Arkham Asylum in the early issues of “Eternal.” Ray Fawkes does a great job with script and Dustin Nguyen did a masterful job with the odd and freaky art that displayed how messed up Arkham is. His artwork really set the tone for this issue. So let’s get more in detail with the positives and negatives of BATMAN ETERNAL #15.
This issue did so many things right. The improved writing made for a much more enjoyable read, specifically, the character interactions were very engaging. It seemed as though every character had someone to bounce off dialogue with and it made the issue even more enjoyable. For example, you have the Jim Corrigan and Batwing dynamic. These guys, who I thought initially would be a very odd pairing for the Arkham mission, actually have become my favorite character interaction because of their banter. Jim Corrigan is just plain awesome in this issue. Bringing along a kind of comedic character such as Batwing, Snyder has created a new dynamic duo for me to enjoy.
This time around I even enjoyed the Harper Row and Red Robin dynamic! I finally understand the direction that Snyder and company are going with these two characters, it all pertains to that nanobot attack many issues ago. I understand this and now we are moving forward with these characters down a path that will be entertaining to see unfold. Also, I like Harper’s makeshift costume. It is pretty cool how it blends so well and it fits the type of character she is. We may be looking at a new member of the Bat-Family. Now, I am interested in where Red Robin’s investigation ends up!
Let’s talk artwork for this issue. I loved it! Honestly, Dustin Nguyen knows how to draw creepy because truthfully, I was as creeped out as much as I was entertained! The two creepiest scenes of this issue were the ones with the ghoulish-like creatures coming out of the walls and floors attacking Jim Corrigan and Batwing and the other was where they found Scarecrow attached to the bottom of the pillar of blood in his cell. Scratch that, there was one more that creeped me out: Joker’s Daughter. She truly is a terrifying person to look at. On a side note, she keeps referring to be speaking to her daddy, the Joker. When will he make his return?! The anticipation is killing me!
The last positive I have is the character reveal of Mister Bygone. He is a new character that I, and most of you readers, have not seen before. In a recent interview, Ray Fawkes said that Mister Bygone is the result of the magic effecting and warping a character we were introduced to before. I can’t wait to find out which character it was and what is Mister Bygone’s agenda and role in what is happening in Arkham Asylum. I know one thing, Mister Bygone is a creepy character who is as pale as the Joker and refers to himself in third person…I like him already.
I did not like the Bard and Batman scene, which is weird to say. It felt, not just out of place, but boring. I was so interested in the supernatural aspect of the book that I did not care for their scene. Don’t misunderstand, I see that the writers wanted us to understand that Batman and Jason Bard has a mutual respect for one another and Batman still doesn’t know if he can trust Bard fully, but I thought it fell flat.
The scene with Batgirl, Red Hood, and Batwoman wasn’t bad. I was just lost at why Batwoman made a sudden appearance. Last time I saw her, it was the very first issue of BATMAN ETERNAL, so what is she investigating? Is she helping with trying to figure out what happened with Jim Gordon as well? Hopefully, in next week’s issue, we find out more information. To sum things up, her appearance just seemed odd to me when we haven’t seen any prior introduction besides her cameo in the first issue.
I loved this issue. Whenever BATMAN ETERNAL goes supernatural, I am always interested. The artwork was amazing, the character interactions were entertaining, and we got introduced to a new character which, more often than not, is always a plus, especially in a story arc such as this. I guarantee you guys will enjoy this issue as much as I did! Highly recommend.