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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Review of Batman Eternal #3 - Gangwar and Enter the Clue Master

Review of Batman Eternal #3


Review of Batman Eternal #3

Batman is not happy.  Batman is actually especially angry and he is a bit like the Hulk in that no one likes him when he is angry.

SPOILERS, SPOILERS, and then Some SPOILERS

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Review:
After a slow, but chaotic Batman Eternal #2 the series finds its footing.  Batman gets into fray, and the book begins to refocus on a couple of major plotlines.   The refocusing greatly helps and there is some additional action sequences that also help liven the mood.  Additionally, they introduce one new plot thread with a character I enjoy so my overall impression of this book was much improved.  I do feel that they are pacing this comic differently with it being a weekly series.  It is almost like they expect readers to save up one, two, or three of these and binge read them, in a similar fashion one might watch a netflix series.  This means they can jackhammer on the plot like they did on #2 to have payouts down the road.

The art is a mixture of brooding, dark and slick.  It has a TV/Cinematic vibe.  It is not quite as slick as Jim Lee's old Batman Hush series but it definitely has a cool, hipness to it.  I have enjoyed the art through out the series very much so far.  Numerous panels have me doing double takes. 


Summary:

Spoilers

Batman is done wallowing in the aftermath of Jim Gordon being arrested and is ready to kick some tail.  Whose tail....The Penguins because....?....It is fun and he is the Penguin and nobody likes the Penguin.
Batman bursts into Penguin's Iceberg Casino punches him, then asks Penguin what he knows about Falcone returning to Gotham.  This freaks out Penguin more than Batman because apparently he knows nothing about Falcone making moves in Gotham.  To Penguin who relishes knowing everything missing something like this is enough to elicit outright terror.

It is interesting that Falcone has managed to seemingly outsmart the Gotham Police, Batman, and the Penguin.  This begs the question did he have help? and if so who?  It is clear that as Batman leaves the Iceberg that an all out gang war is about to begin in Gotham.

The other major story arc in this thread concerns the Gotham PD.  With the commissioner gone the leadership role is now in question.  This is put to rest when the Mayor steps in and puts the weaselly Forbes in charge.  Forbes is of course in cahoots with Falcone.  Instead, of responding the wave gang violence the police are now ordered to pursue Batman and only Batman.  With this occurring Batman is very much alone battling the gang violence gripping the city.

The next major plotline I really enjoyed.  It begins fairly innocuous as a teenage girl walks down the street telling off her mother on the phone.  She then innocently walks up and into her fathers house and OOPS her Dad is a supervillain having a secret supervillain meeting.

Her father is the Cluemaster.  Someone correct me but this is the first i have seen the Cluemaster in the new 52.  I liked the Cluemaster in the past.  He is a bit silly, he likes puzzles and leaves clues behind when he commits crimes.  Eventually, he comes to his senses and stops leaving clues behind.  Unfortunately for the Cluemaster his daughter learns of his evil works and decides to start leaving clues behind.  She eventually calls herself the Spoiler and becomes a minor super hero.  I always liked Stephanie as the Spoiler she is a cool character.  The villain as a parent always seemed to be an underused Superhero origin story.  She also begins a relationship with the Robin.

Will the new 52 lead us down a similar path with this Cluemaster and his daughter Stephanie?  It sure seems like it.  It seems like it will be one of the subplots of Batman Eternal and if it does feature Stephanie turning into the Spoiler then what a great launch pad the series will be for that character.

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