writer: Ray Fawkes / artist: Fernando Pasarin

Last week’s issue of Batman Eternal was a pretty good one. One of the instances where this book is at its best is when Gotham is being put through the wringer. And this book puts the city to the fire all the time. All. The. Time. At this point, you have to wonder if living in Gotham is even worth the cheap housing. I mean, they’ve got to be doing Chicago numbers by now.

Ray Fawkes comes out swinging, doing some of his best work on the series so far. This week, the rise of Deacon Blackfire from beneath Arkham Asylum took up most of the issue and rightfully so. I mean, not only does it bring about epic level destruction, but Batwing and Jim Corrigan have been getting the worst of this infestation of evil since the series started. The least the creative team could do is devote as much page time as possible to the resolution. With Deacon Blackfire ready to swallow Gotham in darkness and Batman not close enough to get in on the action, it’s up to the near defeated Batwing/Corrigan team up to end him.

The big upside to this is a special cameo from a long awaited (if you’ve been keeping up with this plot) superhero which, despite being over with way too soon, was fucking SICK. Fawkes definitely closes this chapter in an exciting fashion, making for a really fun read. Visually, Fernando Pasarin mostly knocks it out of the park with intense expressions and kinetic feeling panels that put you right in the thick of things. There are a couple of panels where characters’ eyes are a little too close to the center of their faces, but it doesn’t happen often enough to make a federal case out of it.

Bottom Line: Great way to highlight the series being kicked into high gear. Exciting action beats, a quality (despite being too damn short) special guest hero and massive destruction make for a fun Batman book. 8 out of 10

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