Laura McCarthy reviews Batman Eternal #15…
Who is behind the hell beneath Arkham Asylum? Can Batwing and Jim Corrigan hope to stop it before it breaks out and consumes all of Gotham City?
Hey! Did you miss me? No? Okay then.
If you’re wondering where the review of Batman Eternal #14 is, well, there isn’t one. My review of Grayson #1 last week took a lot of me and since the book left a bad taste in my mouth, I didn’t get around to the rest of that week’s pull until Wednesday morning. I enjoyed it, and that’s all that can really be said at this point. Onto this week’s issue!
Since the gang wars in Gotham are slowly starting to wrap up, Batman Eternal #15 focuses in the trouble brewing in Arkham Asylum, the worst mental institution on the planet. We spend a lot of the issue watching Batwing and Jim Corrigan work their way into the seedy bowels of the hospital to find out what crazy event of the week is happening. Unfortunately I don’t know much about Luke Fox (or even Jim Corrigan for that matter) to feel completely invested in what’s happening to them, but since this is my introduction to the new Batwing – I think it does a pretty okay job at establishing him as somebody that cares about what’s happening in Gotham. I’m interested to see what happens next (even though I’m not sure just yet how I feel about Joker’s Daughter), but probably not enough to go back and pick up the issues of Batwing that came after David Zavimbe left the role. Let’s see if this story will change my mind.
Compared to the main story, the other plot lines just get a passing glance. Harper is just starting to establish her identity as Bluebird, much to Tim’s chagrin – which is hilarious, since he makes a comment about her Grifter-esk mask. Who are you to judge, Swan Queen? Then again, Nguyen didn’t take the time to pencil your wings, so I guess I can’t make that joke here. Batwoman also joins up with Batgirl and Red Hood in South America.
The only real problem I have here, is the conversation between Lieutenant Bard and Batman. In the previous issue, the two had a very serious conversation about Bard’s morals and his willingness to cross the line in ways Batman and Jim Gordon wouldn’t. The scene ended on a tense note, leaving readers to think this would change the growing relationship between the two of them. In this issue, though, they have a completely different conversation – almost as if the previous scene hadn’t happened. It makes me wonder a little bit how much the writing team from Batman Eternal is checking into each other’s scripts, or if the editors are noticing discrepancies like these.
As for the artwork…I can’t say too much about it? My opinion of Dustin Nguyen is very hit-or-miss, I enjoyed his work in Streets of Gotham and a few other books, but on a book with rotating artists, I’m not sure if I like it as much.