By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, John Layman, Tim Seeley, Guillem March & Tomeu Morey
The struggle for Batman to regain control over Gotham from Falcone continues in this issue of Batman Eternal. John Layman does the scripting of this week’s addition to the story by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV with consulting from Ray Fawkes and Tim Seeley, as we’re given another look at how much power Falcone really has over Gotham. With his men running rampant throughout the city and Commissioner Forbes continuing to let it all happen, Batman decides it’s high time he figures out why Falcone came back to Gotham.
This series has been including different allies of Batman in each issue, however, this issue sticks with the Batman/Police storyline that’s been weaving through the series so far. We’re given a scene with Lieutenant Bullock and Lieutenant Bard trying to decide whether or not to go ahead with Forbes’ decision to keep letting the criminals that Batman keeps leaving “gift-wrapped” for them go. This scene shows us Gotham still has at least a couple cops who aren’t corrupted (which is good news for Batman). Tim Seeley does well to continue to build this dynamic of corruption and judgment up even stronger in this issue. We’re also reminded of Stephanie (Arthur’s…I mean…Cluemaster’s daughter) and what’s being done since she “knows too much”.
Guillem March’s artwork in this issue is well done and he successfully creates a very menacing Dark Knight as he warns one of Falcone’s men Gotham is “his” city. Something else worth noting was his depiction of the Gotham night sky as the Bat-Signal scours through the dark. He uses a sketch pattern and creates a big contrast to the carefully drawn characters. Colorist Tomeu Morey takes March’s great art to the next level. A page divided into three vertical columns showcasing Batman delivering some justice is soaked in a deep red that looks even better next to the page beside it, which takes place beside the sunken Iceberg Casino (poor Penguin). Morey does a great job during the scene of Stephanie in panic as she continues to call her mother and question her safety with a light purple covering each panel and giving a more innocent view of the Gotham streets, visually working to place her character in a more vulnerable state.
The cover is once again done by Andy Kubert and Brad Anderson and shows Batman fighting off Gotham’s finest in the bright light of the Bat-Signal, all of which seem to be rather poor shots, in their defense though it is Batman. The cover shows both the strength and agility of the Dark Knight as he dodges bullets and throws a man over his head…while punching another and being tackled, oh, and kicking one in the face. The red background of the night sky being ignited by the white light of the Bat-Signal creates a great scene for a rooftop brawl and shows a glimpse into where the story inside will lead.
Batman Eternal utilizes different writers and artists each week and this issue continues the great story being told about the dismal city known as Gotham, so if you’re not reading this series…START NOW!