Batman Eternal #18
By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Tim Seeley, Ray Fawkes, John Layman, Andy Clarke & Blond
“She’s got the legs of a ballerina and the brains of a librarian.”
Tim Seeley takes over for scripting this week on Batman Eternal and once again is able to blend serious tones alongside comedic ones flawlessly. This issue does a great job of splitting the story in half. We’re given time to indulge in Batman’s story and see his “partnership” with Lt. Bard play out as well as get a nice glimpse into the Batgirl, Red Hood and Batwoman team-up. A lot of the humor in this issue comes from bat-trio as Red Hood is fully equipped to insult anyone at any time, but another character brings some of the funny as well. From the cover you can see a familiar face breaks into this issue – Killer Croc – and his appearance ads for more of a parallel to recent villains being pitted against Batman and the apparent Jim Gordon replacement. He knows what people think about him, but for now, just quit judging and let him prove himself!
The artwork this week is detailed and blasted with color. Andy Clarke is on art duties and he gives detailed visions to the characters – even giving Red Hood a finely detailed mask – and Blond on colors brings great contrasts to the scenes. Something always appealing to see during the page is play between the panels, which Clarke takes full advantage of. We have panels colliding into one another and shadows being cast from one panel to the next. Blond uses this setup to his advantage as well and takes the time to blend colors from the different scenes to contrast or blend perfectly with one another. A scene that shows off his use of colors well is one where Batman makes the decent into the sewers of Gotham. One panel by Clarke shows him making the leap downward as it leads into a smaller panel of his splash below as Blond shows his maroon colored sky turning into the murky green and black of the world below – the splash being a brightened light blue.
This series successfully brings new elements to the forefront each week as some threads are left behind to explore new ones. It doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of sub-plots going on, and is able to reintroduce you to character personalities and motives with each issue. This week we’re given a strong story coming from Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV that Tim Seeley is able to script out in a manner befitting to his artist’s talents. Scenes shoot back and forth from one another with fitting visuals as this story continues strong on its journey to one of Batman’s biggest clashes yet.