By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, John Layman, Tim Seeley, Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson
The Penguin is loose!
James Tynion IV does the scripting for this issue and creates a hard-boiled detective feel as we see characters revealing sides of themselves we haven’t seen up to this point. Bard – Gordon’s “Replacement” – takes some steps you might not have seen coming, but his actions create a compelling scene between him and Batman. Bard’s actions raise questions about his character and what the Dark Knight might do in the issues to follow. Tynion keeps the story moving and keeps it exciting. Flashbacks of James Jr. – Gordon’s son – haunt Gordon as he struggles with his actions from the beginning of the series, but how he handles his situation is what proves himself as a true hero. Gordon is a character Batman knows he can trust, but has been put into a situation neither can change. This issue sets up a nice contrast between Gordon and Bard that could have combustible ramifications for the future.
The art in this issue is done by Jason Fabok and the colors by Brad Anderson. Together they create some truly gruesome scenes to fit Tynion’s take on Gotham. The standout panel is one of the Penguin, drooling, sadistic, and ready for revenge. He grips his umbrella/weapon as foam drips from the edges of his mouth, his stare is deranged, and even his free hand looks mangled into a claw. Falcone’s reaction fits the one reader’s will have when seeing the image themselves and his words match too “Oh, God . . .”
The first page showcasing Penguin is when we see a lot of Anderson’s play with the colors. It’s made clear right from the start in this issue that the Penguin has lost it. Usually he keeps his cool, but that’s not the case in this issue. We see this in a repetitive panel that pops up throughout the issue. It contains a menacing stare before an intense scene. Then it’s followed by a panel of just the Penguin’s eyes, whic his the recurring glare seen throughout the issue.
The events of this issue are big, the events of next issue . . . sound even bigger. Batman Eternal #14 does not disappoint as it keeps the momentum rushing forward in this strong weekly series.