Batman Eternal #1
Review by Paul Bowler
Now that Batman’s 75th Anniversary year is well under way, the celebrations really kick into high gear this week with the release of Batman Eternal #1, the first issue of a new weekly series that will focus on the relationship between Batman, his many allies, his enemies, and even Gotham itself, as the Dark Knight’s world is explored over the course of this year-long event. With its all star creative team consisting of Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, Jason Fabok, John Layman, and Tim Seeley, we can rest assured that Batman Eternal and its year-long storyline will have us eagerly returning to Gotham City week after week.
This debut issue with story and script by writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV (consulting writers Ray Fawkes, John Layman, and Tim Seeley) with art by Jason Fabok, certainly gets Batman Eternal #1 off to an explosive start, as we first get a glimpse of what the future holds for the Dark Knight, before returning to the present where a series of events place Commissioner James Gordon on the wrong side of the law.
With its fantastic opening tease fanning the flames of the future Batman Eternal #1 quickly introduces us to a new arrival in Gotham City, Jason Bard, a Lieutenant newly transferred from Detroit to join the GCPD. Gordon has assigned Bard to be the new Lieutenant night shift, a role that Jim Gordon himself once held. However, when Jim calls in for backup the new recruits first collar quickly proves to be an eventful one.
Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV masterfully weave these scenes where Bullock shows Bard around GCPD while the action unfolds at a nearby museum, where Gordon is busy protecting a group of children and fighting off a vicious attack from Professor Pyg as he attempts to transform them into Dollotrons. The dialogue over the comlink between Gordon and Batman really builds the tension here, as the Dark Knight is delayed, and is still on en route to the scene. These opening scenes really highlight the close bond Gordon and Batman have. When the Dark Knight does arrive, Gordon accompanies him in chasing their quarry.
Batman goes after Pyg while Gordon races after the stray henchman who makes a break for the subway station. What follows is a brilliantly tense and exhilarating series of events that will keep you glued to every page, as Jim makes a split-second decision that could change his life and career forever. Snyder and Tynion keep us hanging on every word as this sequence, along with its terrifying consequences and equally devastating repercussions unfold.
The art by Jason Fabok is also excellent; there are so many stand-out moments in this first issue of Batman Eternal: the battle in the museum is brilliant, its really frenetic and exciting, with Batman making one hell of an entrance. Fabok makes Batman look really powerful and imposing, especially when he catches up with Pyg, he also includes some really fine detailing on the Bat-Suit as well. Each character is clearly defined, with excellent facial expressions, and the sense of urgency in he build up to the scene with the subway train is almost palpable.
The colors by Brad Anderson really complement Fabok’s art too; the Gotham skyline seamlessly reflects the way the narration depicts the city, casting a new light on this familiar skyline. From the explosive showdown in the museum to the climatic moments in the subway station, this issue looks incredible.
With Batman Eternal #1 also featuring an amazing cover by Jason Fabok , this first issue is a really stunner. Batman Eternal #1 certainly lives up to all the hype, and this action packed debut issue really gets things off to a great start. Needles to say I’m hooked, and I’m confident that Scott Snyder and his exceptionally talented creative team can meet the challenge of producing this new weekly Batman series, and if this first issue is anything to go by its bound to keep us looking forward to our weekly visits to Gotham City.