By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, John Layman, Tim Seeley & Jason Fabok
Eternal kicks off with the introduction of a fan-favorite character that was first introduced into the NEW 52 in Batman #28 and gives some insight into why she becomes so critical to this story. Carmine Falcone as taken center stage and aims to reclaim his city. As a new criminal war begins, other villainous players prepare for their next move. Meanwhile, Gordon is still in lockup and a new interim commissioner is assigned to the GCPD…
With each issue, the writing team delves deeper into the pantheon of Bat-characters and continually expands the scope of the story. Even with the reveal of Falcone, there are still some adversaries lurking in the shadows, so that can assure readers that there are probably bigger surprises to come. As the writers are keeping their promise of what this series is meant to accomplish, one can’t help but worry that they may be alienating readers by constantly introducing obscure characters. Even I feel should have a Batman encyclopedia by my side! The flip side is that others may love to see these people appear in the New 52.
The concept of Carmine returning the city to the “classic” or former class of criminal was a genius move! It not only ties in heavily with published Batman stories and Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, but is a logical evolution for Gotham. The “freaks” or “masks” replaced the mafia and now to answer this paradigm shift, the mafia adapts and returns anew. Brilliant, brilliant storytelling! By doing this type of story the writers are able to bring in so many rogues because this change will affect all of them who are associated with Gotham.
Mr. Fabok continues to build and expand his Batman sandbox. In this issue alone he illustrates about seven new characters and he does not disappoint. With so many people in a single issue, one would worry that the heart of these individuals would be lost in trying to cover so much material, but Jason handles it very well. He includes several close-up panels to let emotion simmer and depicts their facial expressions beautifully. One in particular is of Gordon speaking to Bard and you see the despair written in his eyes…I mean the panel isn’t even photorealistic and a reader can instantly understand and empathize! I hope DC keeps Fabok on this title as long as they can!!
Stick with this title, with so much information and plot occurring it’s a good thing this is a weekly book. There is something for everyone!