Batman Eternal #31 Review

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Kicking ass with brawn and class! With brutality and sass, they break the black mass, and boy do they have the brass for the task! It's the team up that, frankly, I never would have thought of wanting! In this thirty-first issue of DC's weekly Batman happening, Alfred Pennyworth fights his way from out of the wreckage of Arkham Asylum with the help of the masked beefcake Bane, who, despite not actually being very insane, was being housed at Arkham, probably for the safety of other prisoners (I think it's that case for a number of Batman foes). Meanwhile, Hush brings the hurt to Spoiler and Batman develops a rapport with Julia. This issue does a great job making up for that lackluster previous one.

 

"Remember when I rated, Batman?" "Psh... yeah, in that 90s cartoon."

 

Of course, even though we start out on a high note with Bane rescuing a hallucinating Alfred, we also have Joker's Daughter's usual pathetic attempt to be relevant to anything. Her attempt at suicide bombing is, as you might expect, a complete failure, because her bomb is actually a row of plasticine. In other words, it's modelling clay. The only thing Joker's Daughter can do with that is blow up the art scene with daring abstract sculptures. Batman looks more annoyed than anything. What is even the hell with this scene? I mean, it's only one page, but come on! While I do enjoy seeing JD get kicked hard into a bunch of wreckage, why even have her in this storyline if she isn't going to contribute anything?

 

Mmm. This is my favorite panel of a great issue.

 

On the bright side, most of the issue is about the budding romance between a butler and a luchador. Well, okay, it's a team up out of pure convenience for both of them. Bane has somebody to watch his back as he cleaves through the swarm of demon things and Alfred has somebody with massive strength that can clear the way to the hidden Bat chamber in the area. Bane clearly ends up respecting Alfred's abilities, even if he's ready to snap the guy in half now and then for perceived slights. I guess Knightfall must've gone down a lot different in the new continuity because Bane should already remember Alfred, Bruce Wayne's butler. But I guess we all have brain farts now and then.

 

 

"You're a big guy." "For you."

 

Alfred manages not only to hold his own against the demon things (why are they there if Spectre took care of that crap?) and earn Bane's respect, but he also then tricks Bane (who's going to be mighty upset when he awakes) and makes contact with Batman and the others. Alfred Pennyworth, ex-soldier, butler, all-around badass. He'll serve you a whuppin' just as soon as easy as he serves tea. Don't mess with him.

 

"I just asked if you wanted to talk about ethics in game journalism!"

 

Oh, and Hush clotheslines Spoiler in an alley! Yikes. Well, let's hope she has better luck with this socialite-turned-murderer than she had with Black Mask back in War Games. Actually, I could go either way on this. I like the current Steph, but I still remember the old Steph, and kind of want to see this guy break out a power drill.

 

Teenage girls have it rough in this issue.

NEXT: Alley Bat!

 

- Penguin Truth
(2014)

 

"The Mariah Carey Device works perfectly!"

 

Story: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Script: Ray Fawkes
Consulting Writers: Kyle Higgins & Tim Seeley
Pencils: Fernando Pasarin
Inks: Matt Ryan
Colors: Blond
Lettering By: Taylor Esposito
Cover By: Rafael Albuquerque
Editor: Chris Conroy
Asst. Editor: Dave Wielgosz
Group Editor: Mark Doyle
Batman Created By Bob K--AHAHAHAHA, NO. Batman Created By Bill Finger