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Batman Eternal #39

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By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, Kyle Higgins, Tim Seeley, Felix Ruiz, Dave McCaig

“What a haul. Mister Freeze, Clayface, Joker’s Daughter, Bane, Scarecrow. All in one damn trip.”

Gotham gets even crazier in this week’s Batman Eternal #39. Has Bane and his crew of misfits really been captured? And what’s the Riddler have in store for Batman? This week gives some answers as well raises new concerns for Batman and his allies. With all of Bruce Wayne’s money gone and his weapon caches useless, things aren’t looking that great for the Dark Knight and his Bat-family.

Scripting this week’s issue is Ray Fawkes, with consulting from Kyle Higgins and Tim Seeley. Fawkes has a knack for creating darker stories when it comes to his turn on Eternal, and this week is no different. We see Batman traversing through Riddler’s “maze” on one end of the story, the outcome of the encounter between the police and the escaped Arkham inmates, as well as seeing how Vicki is coping with the discovery of Bard’s true intentions – the Bard aspect brings in the darkest scene this week.

On the art side this week is artist Felix Ruiz and colorist Dave McCaig. The artwork style of Ruiz fits perfectly to the tone of the story set by Fawkes. Batman is represented as gritty and worn down, with his cape tapering off behind him (return of the super long cape!). It’s a style that’s definitely refreshing to see. A great scene, though not really loaded with colors, features Batman following some of Riddler’s clues – which have led him to a snow-covered mountain. The white/blue panels filled with snow give the vibe that it’s really cold as Batman searches for the next clue – his cape once again long and tattered, and jagged like flames as he faces the freezing temperatures.

This week Fawkes brought us a dark and gritty story featuring the worn down Batman of recent weeks. Wayne has lost everything, but still he pushes on in order to save Gotham. This week makes it clear however that things are going to get far worse for Batman before they get any better (much worse!).

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