Batman Eternal #50
Review by Paul Bowler
Gotham is in turmoil, the Penguin has instigated a riot in Blackgate, and villains are running amok in the city. Hush escaped and corrupted the Bat-Tec but Alfred managed to defeat him. Batman and his allies must coordinate their efforts to save Gotham City as Commissioner Bard leads a team from GCPD to rescue Gordon from Blackgate. Now, as the city burns, the Dark Knight must prepare to confront the mastermind behind it all…
Its non-stop action all the way in Batman Eternal #50, in this story from writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, with script also by James Tynion IV, and consulting writers Ray Fawkes, Kyle Higgins and Tim Seeley, as this year long Bat-Epic nears its conclusion.
As the dust settle over last issues Robo-Suit-Bane Vs. Batman-In-A-Jet Fighter cliff-hanger, Batman gets a quick update of the situation in Gotham via Penny One in the Bat-Cave and Penny Two in Robin’s Nest, before setting out to end the chaos and deal with the Rogue’s Galley of villains currently giving the Bat-Family a run for their money after Hush disable their Bat-Tec. Batman isn’t messing about either, he goes up against the Scarecrow, Mr Freeze, and Clayface, using highly effective and even brutal methods to bring them down.
Commissioner Bard shouldn’t have worried so much about Gordon either. Jim’s more than capable of looking after himself, after all he’s weathered far worse things than this riot in Blackgate in his time, and it seems his marine training and the well heeded advice of an old friend has served him very well indeed here.
This is one hell of a fast-paced issue. Alvaro Martinze’s art really conveys the intense pace as events unfold in quick succession: we’ve the aftermath of Batman’s confrontation with Bane, the riot in Blackgate, showdowns with the Dark Knights deadliest foes, and Martinez also get to pack in some pretty spectacular scenes of carnage as well – especial when another villain with a penchant for fire takes to the skies as Gotham burns! Raul Fernandez’s inks also highlight the finer details in every scene, and the colors by June Chung are rich and vibrant throughout.
The refitted Wayne-Tec drones Penny One and Penny Two use to bring Batman a citywide update of the situation may have allowed the Dark Knight to help his allies, but the identity of who is actually behind everything that’s happened in Gotham remains a frustratingly elusive quandary for Batman. Its not often we see the Dark Knight like this, exhausted, worn down, and angry as hell, he becomes as ruthlessly efficient at dealing with his enemies in this issue as he does at barking out orders to the rest of the Bat-Family. There are some lighter moments though. Red Hood’s quip after Bane is defeated is fun, as is Red Robin’s comment about being offline, and Batgirl gets to show off because she didn’t need any help to defeat her opponent.
Batman Eternal #50 delivers this weekly series’ most shocking surprise of all during its closing moments. It is here, as the final pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place, that Batman races to Beacon Tower for a confrontation with the hidden nemesis that has been responsible for all the events in Batman Eternal. The fact this moments takes place in front of the shattered Bat-Signal makes it all the more powerful and symbolic. This is an absolutely cracking issue of Batman Eternal. The clues have indeed been there right from the beginning and with only two issues remaining everything is now in place for a stunning finale to this weekly series!