The monthly Bat-family titles are doing very well, in my estimation, but I really have missed the weekly Batman Eternal. Regardless of the schedule, I knew for a whole year that every single week I went to the local comics shop, I would be buying and bringing home to read an excellent Bat-comic. It was great!
Well, now the sequel has arrived, and while it’s only going to run six months this time, I’m still really engaged in this book, and I’m highly recommending it!
Previously in BATMAN & ROBIN ETERNAL: “It’s here at last—the sequel to the blockbuster weekly series BATMAN ETERNAL!
“Five years ago, Batman and Robin worked the most disturbing case of their crimefighting careers—bringing down the organization of the ultimate human trafficker, the mysterious woman known only as Mother. At the time, Dick Grayson never quite understood the scope of that case, but now its darkest secrets are coming back to haunt him and everyone else who ever worked with Batman! With Bruce Wayne now lost to them, Dick and all his allies are out in the cold! Who can they trust? Is someone among them not who they say they are? And who is the deadly, silent young woman in black who’s come to Gotham City looking for Batman?
“Prepare yourself for six months of international intrigue, twists and turns, and new additions to the world of Batman and Robin, from showrunners James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder, and writers Tim Seeley, Steve Orlando, Genevieve Valentine, Ed Brisson, and Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly!”
TAKING PLACE IN THE CURRENT CONTINUITY
Now, before anyone wonders, I want to point out that this weekly comic is happening pretty much around the time that the other Bat-books are taking place in. Bruce Wayne doesn’t remember he’s Batman, and Jim Gordon is in the Bat-armor.
We do see Batman as needed, but these appearances take place in flashbacks. Still, I like the chance to focus in on the many secondary heroes in the Bat-verse. Oh, and we do see Bruce in this issue, by the way.
In Batman Eternal, we got to see Stephanie Brown re-introduced into the comics. I really thought they did a good job with her, and she continues to appear around DC.
This time, we are re-discovering Cassandra Cain, who was what I called the “silent” Batgirl a long time back. She slowly developed a vocabulary, but at first she rarely spoke, and then only in a single word or two. Cassandra is back to her roots, rarely speaking, but now using gestures to communicate instead.
The trick with Cassandra is, she has to develop the ability to speak more over time or it’s not all that believable. The bad news is, as she does that, she loses her uniqueness. However, I do think they’re using her with great effect in this series.
BATMAN MADE A MISTAKE?
The other intriguing part of the story is that Batman has left a recording that says he made a mistake having to do with Dick Grayson, the first Robin. It apparently has something to do with a ring of child enslavers, and the details of that are slowly being revealed. I like it that way!
Of course, we’ll find out more about this mysterious “Mother” as the issues appear, and I’m intrigued at the use of a familial name for this baddie. It makes me think of Granny Goodness from the New Gods. Boy, was she ever going with the wrong name! We’ll see if “Mother” has the same thing going on.
One of the best parts of this issue is when Cassandra identifies what each Robin brings to the table, one the heart, another the brains, and yet another the muscles. Very effective way to help new readers get the gist of what each guy is all about. And Red Robin is an important part of what’s happening, too!
The flashbacks are important because they are highlighting events from Batman and Dick’s early cases, and I expect they’ll have something to do with what’s taking place overall.
THE KIND OF ART THAT KEEPS ME COMING BACK FOR MORE
Doing a weekly comic is quite the scheduling challenge, so there’s no way a single artist can keep up with it. In Batman Eternal, there was a rotating list of artists, and they did a very strong job of keeping the quality high.
The same thing is happening in this series, and this month’s artist is Paul Pelletier, who always does a great job as a comics artist. He’s particularly powerful on movement and action, and that shows in this issue. I was especially taken by the flashback when Robin and Batman are talking after an encounter with the Scarecrow. Nicely done!
I look forward to seeing Mr. Pelletier do more issues in the coming months, but I expect great art even when he’s not working on a particular book.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Another Excellent Weekly
A comics shop owner I often speak with tells me that one of the things that DC does particularly well is the weekly comic. For a time not long ago, there were several weeklies happening, and they all seemed to sell well and have their individual fan bases. I have to say that these Bat-weeklies really are my favorites!
The tough part is, you can’t miss a week! However, most stores seem to have ordered appropriately, so if you don’t get an issue, check with your local shop or others in the area if you have to. I don’t think it will take you long to find a copy. Or you can purchase and download a missed issue via comixology.com.
If you like a longer tale as much as I do, this book is the one for you! And you don’t have many issues to catch up on, either! Highly recommended!