Saturday, March 28, 2015

Batman Eternal #47 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

OK, I'll admit that this issue is better than the last few (dozen). Rather than using several characters involved in several plots, Snyder and Tynion use several characters to focus on one story.  As Bruce returns from his confrontation with Ra's al Ghul, Julia sends the Bat-family to stop the villains before they use the weapons that the mastermind gave them to destroy Gotham.  It seems to be the denouement, with Bruce likely to confront the mastermind as the family takes out the other villains.  If this series started wtih this issue, it would be pretty sweet.

But, of course, it didn't.  We've got 46 issues of baggage, and it still manages to weigh down the story.  Batman tells Julia that destroying Gotham isn't Ra's' style, and you have to wonder why he didn't have that epiphany before he flew to Pakistan in the middle of the crisis.  Batwing appears from nowhere to take down Scarecrow, and you have to wonder if he ever dealt with the ghosts in his apartment.  Bluebird is sent to take out Mr. Freeze, and you have to wonder why she left Spoiler since she's allegedly the key to everything.  The mastermind breaks into the Batcave to free Hush, and you have to wonder whether the Batcave has started appearing on some sort of "Gotham Map of the Stars!" given all the people that've broken into it lately.  Spoiler calls Vicky Vale for...some reason, and you have to wonder where we last left Bard (and, for that matter, Commissioner Gordon).  At this stage, every new development just reminds you of an abandoned previous one.

Also, some of these new developments still don't make a lot of sense.  Sure, the mastermind helped the villains "level up," if you will, but only Scarecrow seems to be doing anything that could help the mastermind in his goal of destroying Gotham (distributing his fear gas via Wayne Enterprises drones).  Bane is fighting some luchadores in a dive bar, Clayface is filming a movie with actors that he took hostage, Joker's Daughter is drawing Batgirl into a trap at Amusement Mile (where the Joker tortured her father with photos of her), and Mr. Freeze is freezing a family in their home.  (We don't see Poison Ivy at this point.)  It's not exactly ambitious schemes of death and mayhem.  What's the point?

I'm not sure what I expect from this series, but it's sad that, even when an issue is decent, it's too little, too late.  Let's just reveal the mastermind and be done with it, OK?

** (two of five stars)

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