writer: Kyle Higgins / artist: Jason Fabok

Batman Eternal is having a really good run as of late. The book is at its best when it’s less cluttered and less pressured to tie multiple plotlines together. Lately, all of the character development in previous issues (some of which I was convinced was going absolutely NOWHERE) is really paying off for a couple of key players.

Well, when we last left our hero, Hush had just slipped past Batman and revealed the next step in his grand plan to level Gotham: blowing it up using Batman’s secret bunkers filled with explosives. Because Batman wouldn’t be Batman if he didn’t have The Most Horrible Thing Imaginable ready to go just in case of The Most Horrible Thing Imaginable. It occurs to me that for a guy that always seems to have a plan for every occasion, he NEVER seems to have a plan for someone coming along and stealing his plans. You never really have to have a plan for beating Batman. You can just use one of his. It’s not like he’ll see it coming. Anyway, now, Batman and Julia Pennyworth have teamed up to try and beat Hush to the punch and neutralize the bunkers before Hush can blow Gotham all to Hell. Kyle Higgins is quarterbacking the scripting on this issue and does a really good job of balancing action and exposition.

Having a smaller cast to deal with this time around helps him really flesh out characters and make some that haven’t gotten their due feel a bit more fleshed out. Jason Fabok’s visuals have definitely stepped up a notch from last week. He seems to be improving each week. The action beats feel twice as crisp, the facial expressions feel even more definitive than before. This, mixed with the improvement in script pacing, makes this chapter in the series one of the best yet.

Bottom Line: As the stakes get higher in the fight for the soul of Gotham, so does the quality of the book. Hopefully, the team can maintain. 8.5 out of 10

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