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Batman Eternal #19

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By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Tim Seeley, Ray Fawkes, John Layman, Emanuel Simeoni, Blond

“We lost any chance we had a’ doin’ this quiet.”

Batman Eternal continues a strong story that successfully casts an array of Batman’s past and present. Through hysteria or actual inclusion this issue pulls characters from all over into the mix.

Scripting is done by Tim Seeley this issue with consulting by Ray Fawkes and John Layman. Seeley has a knack for bringing humor into his takes on this series as he continues this trend via the quips of Jason Todd/Red Hood. The ongoing evolution of Harper is also a nice thread to the story as we see Red Robin finding himself relating to her character’s behavior more and more.

The story of Jim Gordon has been an intriguing one, taking rather of a standstill storyline in issues past; we’re able to get a great sense of him in this issue. His parallel with Batman is uncanny as it’s made clear justice presides over all else with both of these heroes to Gotham.

Art this issue is done by Emanuel Simeoni with colors by Blond – and they do an EXCELLENT job. The details of the characters are vivid as Simeoni even adds contours and definitions to the mask of Red Hood. His attention to detail is made vibrant with Blond’s take on the colors. Croc’s face is fierce and Batman’s grizzled, while Lt. Bard resembles James Dean from Rebel Without A Cause having stolen John Travolta’s jacket from Grease.  From scenes featuring Batgirl’s escapades to Batman’s travels below Gotham this pair of artists keep stride with their work.

Fitting, the subtitle to this issue is Breaking Bat as a disillusioned Batgirl shows us she’s easily one of Batman’s most capable allies. From the cover to her first contact hit in this issue she is not holding back. The scene featuring her first hit against Red Hood is one that kicks off this issue but sticks with you the whole way through. Her line “I’m bringing you both to justice.” coupled with Todd’s quip “—I’ll do my best to not die.” shows off her abilities before even taking in the sights. From this scene you can see Simeoni and Blond’s work on the details right from the beginning. Batgirl’s cape is braced out behind her as a solid strike of her foot makes contact to Todd’s face. The brush strokes of Blond extenuate the impact as Jason Todd looks to almost fall asleep at the sudden impact.

This take on Gotham is creating a grand story while intertwining its many threads at a steady rate throughout each issue. This time around we’re served scenes from a lot of the major characters and given great scenes to progress their personal stories within the big picture. Batgirl’s fury has been burning brighter and brighter and this issue brings this into the forefront in a BIG way, making it clear this series is about everyone Batman cares about –and for those that have been reading since the very first issue, that’s going to come back to haunt him.

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