Batman Eternal #45. Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV- Story, Ray Fawkes- Script, Kyle Higgins & Tim Seeley- Consulting Writers, Javi Fernandez- Art, Dan Brown- Colors.
Five weeks ago in my review of Batman Eternal #40, I suggested an identity for the big bad behind all of the shenanigans in Batman Eternal. In this week’s issue, my selection seems to be confirmed. Do you know the terms “Iblis,” “Dajjal,” or “Jin?” Well, Batman does, and so does Julia Pennyworth. As she states, they are all references to Arabic Demon myths. Sound familiar?
The ghosts summoned by Professor Milo accuse Batman and Milo of crimes as they rise up from the abyss on the tarmac of Gotham International Airport. Batman dispatches of an all too tangible spirit in time to save Milo and take him for an audience with Jim Corrigan, resident supernatural expert in Gotham City. Meanwhile, Stephanie Brown and Harper Row continue their verbal sparring over the goodness of Batman and Bruce Wayne. Harper leaves Steph in a trap of sorts, but makes it clear she’s not holding a grudge. This leads us back to Bruce who is now in the Batcave with Julia investigating the Wayne Enterprises holding structure. It’s been divided up unnecessarily complicated. It is here that the two find the companies with the names of Arabic Demon myths…
Issue #45’s final panel promised “The Truth,” in this issue. It seems to do just that, but there is always the chance for misdirection. As we get closer to the end of this series, it seems as if the momentum is picking up. The supernatural aspects of the past couple of issues are a clear in-story ad for Gotham By Midnight, but they do point to an aspect of the apparent true villain in this story. It’s an enjoyable angle to Batman as many of his stories and villains are very grounded in reality relative to some of the more fantastic characters published by DC. Batman Eternal has tread the line between street level and supernatural in terms of content and genre. This issue prepares us for the next with a question in the last panel- “Is Batman Eternal?” This nicely dovetails into the reveal in this issue, because we know that this Bat-nemesis is certainly known to be eternal.
I’m hard-pressed to come up with something here. Perhaps, the Steph/Harper subplot seems a little out of place for the rest of the issue. So much goes into the main storyline of Batman getting closer to the identity of the villain that this side story distracts a bit.
We are finally here, set for the last act of Batman Eternal. It is shaping up to be a classic showdown, and these two have had many an epic confrontation. Tune in next week Bat-fans, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!
Make it 4 1/2 Daily Planets!