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Batman Eternal #6

Review by Paul Bowler

While scanning one of Carmine Falcone’s weapons stores, Batwing is attacked by the Gentleman Ghost. Batman is also on the scene, and helps drive the Gentleman Ghost away. When Bruce Wayne receives a visit from Jim Corrigan he learns more about the sudden rise of supernatural manifestations in Gotham. With his attention focused on containing the gang war between Carmine Falcone and the Penguin, Batman sends Batwing with Corrigan to investigate the sinister happenings brewing in the tunnels beneath Arkham Asylum, and it looks like they will need The Spectre’s help to deal with the new horror that awaits them in the shadowy depths of Arkham…

Events shift into the realm of the supernatural in Batman Eternal #6 as the Dark Knight must divide his attention between the gang war and the macabre horrors unfolding in Arkham Asylum. With Jim Gordon now locked up in Blackgate Penitentiary after being refused bail, Batman knows Commissioner Forbes will do nothing to prevent the escalation in hostilities between Falcone and the Penguin. Following Jim Corrigan’s visit to Wayne Manor, Bruce decides to send Batwing to Arkham with Corrigan while Batman concentrates on keeping Falcone’s forces off the streets.

Batman Eterna; #6 (Cover)

“The Denied” is a great story by Scott Snyder & Jams Tynion IV, with script by John Laymans script, and consulting writers Ray Fakes and Tim Seeley. In many ways Batman Eternal #6 is a refreshing trip to the dark side, especially after last issue, when Red Robin’s investigation into the outbreak of a nanobot swarm in the Narrows of Gotham, where Harper Row’s brother, Cullen, became infected by the swarm. Batman Eternal #6 shows just how flexible and innovative the format of a weekly series can be, allowing the writers to explore a wealth of characters, storylines, and situations. Although the focus may have shifted to Batwing’s and Corrigan’s mission to Arkham Asylum, while Batman deals with the crime war, the narrative of the main story arc with Gordon is never far from our minds as it bubbles away in the background.

Its good to see Batwing featuring in Batman Eternal #6 as well, he has some great scenes battling the Gentleman Ghost, the character also works really well with Batman, and I like the banter with Corrigan as well. Batman is also quick to point out to Batwing that his over reliance on his suits sensors won’t always work for him, and that sometimes you have to look beyond logic and reason to deal with the creatures that stalk the dark corners of Gotham’s underworld. I think Batwing and Jim Corrigan will make a great team as they explore Arkham Asylum, with Batwing’s hi-tech suit and Corrigan’s expertise with occult forces, it will be interesting to see how they work together as they prepare to face the dark forces lurking within Arkham.

Batman Eternal #6 features some terrific artwork by Trevor McCarthy. From the urban sprawl of the deserted truck yard to the library inside Wayne Manor, McCarthy captures the darker tone of this story perfectly. The scenes inside Arkham are wonderfully dark and macabre, as we descend into the nightmarish lair of horror and death below the Asylum, an unexpected appearance awaits us as another unfortunate inmate meets his fate. The colors by Guy Major are also excellent, Dr Phosphorous looks incredible, his skeleton boiling in shimmering green flames, leaving glowing footprints and handprints in his wake as he wanders the tunnels. The scene outside Arkham Asylum is also really atmospheric; as Batwing and Corrigan stand on a hilltop with the sun setting behind Arkham.

With its dark, brooding atmosphere, Batman Eternal #6 is a terrific issue, steeped in the supernatural; it builds to an explosively orchestrated climax. Batman Eternal continues to go from strength to strength, with every issue expanding the scope and scale of the story and characters. This weekly series is has me completely hooked!