Six issues later, I’m going to go ahead and call it. Batman Eternal….works and works well. I was skeptical as to whether or not a). a weekly Batman series could function with all the other existing Bat-titles in play and b). if we needed one at all with other existing Bat-titles in play. However, Scott Snyder has given this book its very own signature style that really separates it from the rest of its ilk. This is a less of a Batman book and more of a Gotham book that really delves into the heart of this machine, highlighting the parts that keep it functioning and the monkey wrenches seeking to take it apart.
In this issue, Batman still has his hands full trying to keep the gang war between Carmine Falcone and the Penguin from exploding into complete bedlam on the streets. If that’s not enough, there’s yet another mystery villain that wants him out of the way. He doesn’t even have time for a nap (sorry, Alfred) let alone Jim Corrigan bringing his attention to a completely separate threat over at Arkham Asylum. Bruce Wayne has less time for bathroom breaks than Jack Bauer. Thankfully, with delegating being one of his superpowers, he sends Batwing in his stead to check it out. Right away, this book has done something DC hasn’t previously done: it got me interested in Batwing. Not only is this team-up with Corrigan really entertaining, but we even see him get a brief yet fun dust-up against Gentleman Ghost. This book is proving to be the kind of slow burn we see from shows like Game of Thrones (honestly, there aren’t many shows like GoT) where different installments highlight different characters and settings, but still move towards the same narrative destination. The weak link in the chain this week, however, definitely goes to Trevor McCarthy’s artwork. He seems to be fantastic at drawing people as long as they’re in masks and costumes, but the facial expressions on regular people feel rigid and lifeless.
Bottom Line: Eternal is still proving to be an engaging book despite this week’s questionable artwork. 7.5. out of 10