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Batman Eternal #40

Review by Paul Bowler

The stakes are raised even higher in Batman Eternal #40, especially now that Batman no longer has the assets of Wayne Enterprises at his disposal. Given access to the Dark Knight’s secret weapons and resources by an unknown backer, a group of Batman’s deadliest foes are now ready to embark on a violent crime spree in Gotham. Having followed Riddler’s clues to his hideaway on Miller Mountain, Batman confronted the Riddler, but determined to avoid returning to Gotham at all costs Nygma detonated explosive charges and caused an avalanche. Now while Batman and Riddler battle to survive against the elements, Catwoman decides on a new course of action; and Vicky Vale must confront the treacherous intern Patrick in the offices of the Gotham Gazette.

Events really kick into high gear in Batman Eternal #40, in this action-packed issue by writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, with script by Ray Fawkes, and consulting writers Kyle Higgins, and Tim Seeley, as the specially chosen members of Batman’s rogues gallery prepare to unleash carnage on Gotham while the Dark Knight finds himself locked in a deadly battle for survival with the Riddler as conditions on the mountain deteriorate.

Batman Eternal #40 (Cover)

Turn and Turn Again begins as Penny Two’s voice crackles over the airwaves following the avalanche, the bleak mountainside seems unsettlingly still, until Batman finally responds. Batman and the Riddler have been engulfed by the avalanche that Edward Nygma triggered; now Batman must help his old foe as they attempt to escape from the mountain. Meanwhile, back in Gotham, the group of Batman’s enemies can hardly believe their luck as they begin planning how to use the Dark Knight’s secret arsenal which has just been handed to them on a plate. Now that Catwoman runs more of city than anyone could ever know, Gotham’s new Kingpin of crime decides she wants no part in the proposition which she, and her former associates, have been offered via the speaker system by their mysterious benefactor. However, Catwoman soon discovers that life at the top in Gotham City can be brutal and deadly!

The Art by Davide Furno and Paolo Armitano captures the harsh frozen landscape of the mountain scenes perfectly, and you really get a sense of the danger Batman and Riddler face. The gritty urban environment of Gotham provides a stark contrast to events on the mountain, Furno and Armitano do a good job with these scenes featuring lots of Batman’s villains, and the tense excitement of Vicky Vale’s plight is another highlight of this issue. John Kalisz’s colors are also extremely good, brining added depth to every scene, particularly those on Miller Mountain.

There are some great scenes between Batman and the Riddler too, and it seems the Riddler’s not about to divulge his secrets anytime soon. We get to see how tough and resourceful Vicky Vale is when Patrick tries to kill her at the Gotham Gazette, and the subplot with Catwoman also develops an interesting, spoiler themed, twist that is sure to lead to some big developments down the line.

Batman Eternal #40 is another terrific instalment of this weekly series from DC Comics. This tautly plotted issue continues to build the mystery and suspense. It seems we are growing ever closer now to finding out who has been messing with Batman and secretly orchestrating events in Batman Eternal. With all hell breaking loose on Gotham’s streets, a short interlude with Jim Corrigan, and the final moments hinting that even darker times await Batman upon his return to Gotham, Batman Eternal #40 is an outstanding, and great looking issue.