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Batman Eternal #41

Review by Paul Bowler

A new threat menaces Gotham in Batman Eternal #41, as the children infected by the nano-swarm are drawn to a warehouse, where assembly has begun on a giant transmitter. It’s up to Red Robin, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Harper Row to investigate and stop whoever is controlling the nano-controlled teens before the device can be activated.

With Batman busy dealing with the Riddler, Batman Eternal #41, finds Red Robin and his allies tackling the threat posed by the nano-tech virus in this fast-paced story from writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, with script by Kyle Higgins, and consulting writers Ray Fawkes, and Tim Seeley. From its chilling opening moments, the terrible power of the nano-swarm is finally revealed, and even Gotham’s protectors are unaware of the terrible danger they now face.

Batman Etertnal #41 (CVR)

The spotlight falls on Red Robin, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Harper Row this issue as events focus on the victims of the nano-virus and the way they are being manipulated into building a strange device in an old warehouse. I really liked these opening scenes as Red Robin takes charge, he even keeps Batgirl and Red Hood in line, but it is the moments between Red Robin and Harper Row that really shine here. Harper is understandably worried her brother, Cullen, is also affected and inside the building. The way Red Robin persuades Harper to remain on the roof and monitor the situation is handled really well, and the advice Red Robin offers Harper is especially heartfelt and poignant.

Though initially I felt the art by Joe Quinones with colors by Kelsey Shannon seemed a little too bright and breezy, after a few pages Quinones’s bold lines and sharp attention to detail soon won me over, and together with Shannon’s vivid colors, this issues art actually really suited the nano-tech slant and themes of the story perfectly. This issue features some really inventive panel layouts as well: the stakeout merges seamlessly with the view from Red Robin’s binoculars, the brief interlude with Spoiler was also exciting, and the battle in the warehouse were Red Robin, Batgirl and Red Hood make a valiant stand against impossible odds is a kinetic flurry of dynamic angles and inter-cutting perspectives.

The Swarm also features the surprise appearance of a Bat-Villain, one whose there to see the nano-tech is used to its full potential, and someone that also coincidentally has a tenuous connection to the technology used to hypnotize Jim Gordon. Its clever how these throwaway remarks all tie into the major events that kicked off Batman Eternal, the ongoing sub-plot with the nano-swarm now makes a lot more sense as well, especially now that we are beginning to see how it actually slots into the overall scheme of things.

While I’m not entirely sure Batman would approve of Red Hood going all ballistic during the fight inside the warehouse given the age of the targets, despite the fact he uses rubber bullets, this issue of Batman Eternal is an action-packed spectacle that still finds time to squeeze in one last big surprise. With the nanites set to tear the Narrows of Gotham apart, a life changing decision will be made, and a new hero will rise to defend Gotham City. Batman Eternal #41 is a cracking issue of this weekly DC Comics series, with great story, art, and lots of surprises, it’s certainly an issue not to be missed.