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Batman Eternal #34

Review by Paul Bowler

With marshal law declared in Gotham City and the destruction of Arkham Asylum, Batman and his allies have discovered that Commissioner Bard was in league with Hush all along. Now Hush is targeting Batman’s secret weapons caches all over the city. In order to prevent Hush detonating more sites Batman and Alfred’s daughter, Julia, must split up and disable the explosives at each location. After Julia is confronted by Hush at the Cicero weapons cache, the Dark Knight races to the rescue, and events soon draw Batman towards a fateful showdown with Hush that could very well spell the end of Wayne Enterprises itself…

Julia Pennyworth battles valiantly against Hush in Batman Eternal #34, which sets in motion a chain of events that result in the Dark Knight’s world being shaken to the core like never before. State of Truth is another action packed issue of this weekly DC Comics series, with its densely plotted storyline from writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, script by Kyle Higgins, and consulting writers Ray Fawkes, and Tim Seeley, providing us with a nail biting fight between Penny Two and Hush that really galvanises Julia’s role in Batman Eternal and elevates her standing as one of Batman’s newest, and perhaps most trusted of allies.

Batman Eternal #34 (Cover)

The aforementioned fight is blisteringly violent, with no quarter given and none taken, and the ensuing aftermath – with the heightened tension caused by Julia’s plight – sees Batman facing a race against time to save her from an explosive end. The outcome is ingeniously devised, and there are a couple of heart stopping moments that will keep you guessing too.

With Lucius Fox dealing with the backlash against Wayne Enterprises because of its involvement with Batman’s hidden weapon caches, the Mayor and Commissioner Bard continue to put pressure on Fox to deal with the situation. Meanwhile in the cave, Batman notices that Hush has accessed another cache in a location that holds a great significance for both of them, one that inexorably leads them towards a decisive confrontation.

Alvaro Martinez does a great job with the art for Batman Eternal #34, together with Raul Fernandez’s Inks, and colors by Brad Anderson, they maintain this weekly series high standard of art to deliver a stylishly crafted issue that seamlessly brings a distinct tone and style to each of the key locations featured throughout the story. The intensity of the fight between Hush and Julia is superb, its edge of the seat stuff, and you feel like you are right there with Batman as he frantically claws through the rubble to find her. The scenes at Wayne Enterprises and the Batcave set everything up for the brutal showdown between Batman and Hush; which unfolds over the final pages utilising impressive and dynamic panel layouts that really draw you into the heart of the action.

Batman Eternal #34 continues to impress with its diverse cast of characters, great story and art, and this issue in particular propels the main story-arc towards a startling turning point that few could have predicted. Everything the Dark Knight stands for is about to come crashing down around him. This is one of the best issues so far in this weekly series, tautly scripted and visually striking, Batman Eternal #34 holds dark portents for Gotham, Gordon, and even Bruce Wayne as the full scale of Hush’s grand design finally becomes clear!

 

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