Batman Eternal #45 Review

Batman vs Nico Robin?


Mr. Bygone's a host, Batwing judo chops ghosts, and Harper abandons her post in this spooky, ooky, and pretty freaking goofy forty fifth in the increasingly meandering (but still worthwhile overall) weekly Batman title. Jim Corrigan interrogates Professor Milo with his fist, but of course Milo was transferring his credits from chemistry to necromancy, and he can't do that mid-semester. Harper tries to talk some sense into her new suburban blond friend. And Batman discovers that The Demon's Head has been diversifying his portfolio. But come on, writers. We know who's behind this at this point, and it ain't the Middle Eastern immortal with the Fu Manchu.


I don't know why they keep pushing this Mr. Bygone guy who I think used to work at Arkham and now he goes around as a conduit for spirits with a grudge. Maybe it's just me being tired of this supernatural crap in the book, but I am just not very interested in this guy. He was walloped easily by Corrigan many issues ago and I'd be surprised if anybody even remembers this guy. I'm not even saying that a character like this, who is compelled by supernatural forces, who doesn't want to be part of this but can't help it, can't work. But it isn't working here, especially this late in the game.


"Oh, did I say you're lying? I meant you're boring."


Aren't we done with this story element already? Spectre was summoned, smacked Deacon Blackfire down, Corrigan healed Maxie Zeus, that's it. If I gave a shit about Batwing, I'd have read his book, but I, like almost everybody on this planet, don't really care about Batwing.. At all. And never will. Batwing is terrible, this supernatural stuff is a waste of time, and if I want to see Jim Corrigan, I'll read Gotham At Midnight. None of these things make up what makes Batman "eternal". Only what makes Batman Eternal seem like forever.


It's really more of a chop, or maybe a slap.


The only compelling thing about this issue, aside from Batman's determination to resuscitate Professor Milo while surrounded by law enforcement, is Harper's interaction with Stephanie. Harper calls out Stephanie over her stupid "Batman caused all of Gotham's problems by existing" crap. In Spoiler's defense, she believes Bruce Wayne is behind all the horrors currently happening in Gotham and Wayne is well-known as the financier of Batman's efforts. With all that Steph does know mixed with what she believes she knows, it's not difficult for her to jump to the conclusions a lot of comic book fans have, that Batman escalated things and so the response by the criminal element was likewise escalated. An interesting concept, but Steph is just huffy because she has some lingering attachment to her dad and on some level believes he's bad because Batman forced him to go to the level he did. She's just reacting to the sudden change in her life and doesn't really know how to support her thoughts. Arthur Brown became Cluemaster because he was an arrogant douchebag and a bad seed, and if Batman hadn't come along, he would have just found some other awful act to perpetrate.


"Don't worry, though. That's just how I do foreplay."


Harper may be a Batman fangirl, but she's not completely starry-eyed or naive. She knows that Batman may not be perfect, but Steph is just lashing out, and his presence in Gotham doesn't remove the responsibility of the criminals themselves. Far from that, Batman is the reason so many Gothamites have survived in this town for this long. And right now he's trying his best to help Stephanie and everyone else in the city. So I'm glad Harper dismisses her attitude. But, unfortunately, what isn't so bright is leaving Stephanie in her apartment while she goes to talk to Batman. She doesn't have a way of contacting him? Can't shoot Tim an e-mail he can reroute? Steph's not a moron, she might be able to find a way to get away from that stun gun on automatic.


To be fair, though, now that she's spilled the beans about what she knows, she's pretty worthless again. Ah well.


Next Issue: Ra's al Fool!


- Penguin Truth


"Ten seconds? I can't get off in ten seconds!"


Story: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Script: Ray Fawkes
Consulting Writers: Kyle Higgins & Tim Seeley
Art: Javi Fernandez
Colors: Dan Brown
Lettering: Steve Wands
Cover By: Ethan Van Sciver & Marcelo Maiolo
Editor: Chris Conroy
Asst. Editor: Dave Wielgosz
Group Editor: Mark Doyle
Batman Created By Bob K--AHAHAHAHA, NO. Batman Created By Bill Finger

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