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Batman Eternal #35

Review by Paul Bowler

Events in Batman Eternal #35 introduce the new world order in Gotham. Batman confronted Hush and defeated him. However, it was far from a decisive victory for the Dark Knight. Wayne Enterprises and its subsidiaries have been seized because of their involvement with Batmans secret weapons caches. Bruce Wayne’s assets are frozen, Wayne Manor is being transformed into Arkham Manor, and now it seems that the GCPD have actually beaten Batman!

Batman Eternal #35 opens with a short flash forward to the action-packed final moments depicted on this issues cover, before detailing the events that have transpired following the fall of Hush. Out of Control begins the third act of Batman Eternal with a bang, in this fast paced story by writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, with script also by James Tynion IV, and consulting writers Ray Fawkes, Kyle Higgins, and Tim Seeley, in which Lucius Fox sets out just how bad things really are for Bruce Wayne now that Wayne Enterprises has fallen and the remnants of Batman Incorporated have been raided by Commissioner Bard.

Batman Eternal #35

With Hush now confined in the Batcave and construction crews working on Arkham Manor, it falls to Julia Pennyworth to keep watch over their prisoner while ensuring the cave is secure until Bruce can establish a new base in the city. Meanwhile, Vicky Vale begins working on new story, one that leads her back to Bard’s old stomping ground in Detroit. In order to draw Batman out, Commissioner Bard orders the demolition of the Wayne housing restoration project. Thanks to a thinly veiled warning from Lucius Fox, Batman knows he will be driving into a trap, yet despite Julia’s warnings his attempt to force a confrontation may yet prove unfounded as Bard and the GCPD seem better prepared than the Dark Knight anticipated.

The art by Fenando Blanco, with its dynamic panel layouts, really brings across the intense tone of Batman Eternal #34, and the colors by Marcelo Maiolo also complements Blanco’s work perfectly. From Bruce’s initial meeting with Fox in the shadow of Wayne Tower, to the scenes in the Batcave, and the pedal to the metal excitement of the closing moments, Blanco’s richly detailed environments and Maiolo’s bold colors ensures this issue of Batman Eternal looks great and wrings every ounce of tension from the action-packed plot.

The big highlight of this issue sees Commissioner Bard doing a Batman Returns style hijack of the Batmobile, taunting the Dark Knight from the screen on the dashboard, while Batman struggles to regain control of the vehicle. Over the exciting final pages, the net slowly closes in on Batman as the Batmobile is sent flying – quite literally – through the heart of everything Bruce’s fortune and reputation stands for before culminating in one of this weekly series most thrilling cliff-hangers to date.

It is this moment, together with the startling revelations uncovered by Vicky Vale about Gotham’s new Police Commissioner, that kicks off this dark new chapter of Batman Eternal and keeps us guessing right up until the final page as Batman’s world gradually unravels around him. Batman Eternal #35 contains plenty of twists and turns in the plot to keep you hooked right from the first page, which together with its excellent artwork, makes this another thoroughly exciting and enjoyable issue of this weekly DC Comics series.