In BATMAN ETERNAL #17, we see kind of a back story to the return of a power that which even Batman could barely overcome before…DEACON BLACKFIRE!
I really loved this issue. I loved how we got a glimpse into the past where Deacon Blackfire and Batman had their final confrontation. It was was amazing to see how the tables turned on Deacon Blackfire. Nguyen and Fawkes are really doing a great job with these last couple of issues and they continue doing fantastic work in this issue. Artwork was gruesomely beautiful and the dialogue was engaging and enticing. Let’s get more in detail with the positives and negatives of BATMAN ETERNAL #17!
I love that we got to see Deacon Blackfire’s back story in the form of a flashback. The man was as crazy as any other incarnation of him. The guy drugged the innocence and even was able to capture Batman. The dude’s power of persuasion was on a whole other level, he’s such a unique villain if you think about it. What I like most about the flashback scene so much is the back and forth between Deacon Blackfire and Batman. That whole scene leading up to Deacon Blackfire’s death was just awesome! Batman has a way of persuading people as well, I’m sure he didn’t intend for them to kill Deacon Blackfire, but Deacon Blackfire was too powerful with just his words. Now that he’s back with an army of like vampire-like creatures and with a host body that has almost as much strength as Bane, I don’t know if Batman can beat him this time. It will be interesting to see how Deacon’s plans unfold!
The writing and artwork is superb in this issue and it is a step up from last issue. Dustin Nguyen knows gruesome. His strongest work is all the scenes that happens in Arkham Asylum. The Joker’s Daughter looks as menacing as ever, the vampire-like creatures are just creepy, and the surrounding environment is drawn so well that it sets the tone perfectly. Up until this supernatural element of BATMAN ETERNAL is done, Nguyen should be the artist to handle artwork, he just does it so brilliantly! Ray Fawkes can’t do no wrong, he knows his direction and these characters so well. Of course, Snyder and Tynion IV gets my compliments as well. However, I know that the way the story went, Fawkes had his hand in keeping the pace consistent, it jumped a few times, but for the most part, it was well thought out, well paced, and was greatly executed!
It was interesting to see the scene with Luke’s best friend and roomy, Rory, pop up. What will his role be and why is he having nightmares about what is happening? I am interested to see where this goes and I am hoping that it is written out really well and cohesive instead of it being forced. Let’s be honest, I rather see the plot with Deacon Blackfire progress than to have this one scene in the issue.
Another negative I had was the scene with Julia and Alfred. I wish they go somewhere with their interactions because it is starting to be repetitive and annoying. For the most part, it is the way Julia’s dialogue with Alfred is being written. Like we get it, she’s upset that Alfred became the Waynes’ butler, but, that was established the last time we saw her, she don’t have to keep rubbing it in his face nor our faces. I know he can’t tell her about Bruce being Batman because she is an S.R.R. agent, but, I just want whatever is going to happen between to get some kind of development.
I thought this was another good installment in this arc. Nguyen’s artwork was horrifyingly awesome, Fawkes writing was really good, and we got to see some Deacon Blackfire’s background! There were a few problems in character interaction and the jumps in logic in Deacon Blackfire’s origin was sometimes annoying; however, overall you guys will really like this issue as much I did. I recommend this!