Batman Eternal #33. Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV- Story, Kyle Higgins- Script, Ray Fawkes & Tim Seeley- Consulting Writers, Jason Fabok- Art, Brad Anderson- Colors.
The storytelling noose continues to tighten around the central plot in Batman Eternal with issue #33. The creative team is drawing things in, seemingly preparing for a big finale, but we know that’s still months away. Despite this the tension continues to rise as Batman and Hush draw closer to another confrontation.
As Gotham reels from the perceived terrorist attack by Batman, Bruce and Co. have to try and prevent any of the other caches from being detonated by Hush. Never one to worry about his public image as either Batman or Bruce Wayne, Batman forges ahead with his immediate goal to go to each cache personally and disarm them. At her urging he enlists Julia Pennyworth to split up the responsibility. Meanwhile, Lucius Fox has to deal with the problem from Wayne Enterprise’s concern. It’s clearly not looking good for either Bruce or Batman as the Gotham Police are attempting to bring Batman in as directed by Hush’s pawn, Jason Bard. While anticipating the showdown between Batman and Hush, Julia appears to have beaten Batman to it. It’s not looking so good for Julia either.
Jason Fabok’s art suits this series well and he presents a nice looking issue, again. It’s more classic Batman rather than some of the more expressionistic takes that some of the other artists on this series have provided. The story is moving at a very intriguing pace, enough to keep the reader interested, but at the same time allotting room for the narrative to be stretched over the months with the very effective cliffhangers. I compared this to classic newspaper comic strips of years gone by in a previous review, and it feels pertinent with this issue to mention it again. It’s very hard to imagine dropping this comic as the intensity continues to build each month.
I think the thing that stands out most as a concern with this issue is not in form or execution, but rather the matter of content. Why does Batman have all these weapons caches anyway? He attempts to answer it in the issue, but it is glossed over and very generic an answer. So, to the writers, why? One hopes that this is expounded upon later in the tale, but at this point it feels like a bit of plot necessity without logical explanation.
Batman Eternal continues to please and excite. This issue is an easy jump on point for new readers, the tight story and smaller cast allow a new reader to get involved and excited about the direction without feeling lost. This is certainly a difficult thing to do in a weekly series in its 33rd installment.