BATMAN ETERNAL #11
Author: Bobby Barrett (Follow @BATBOBBY)
June 23, 2014

SYNOPSIS: The trial of Jim Gordon begins!

Call me crazy, but I think I just read a new issue of BATMAN, INCORPORATED! Writer Tim Seeley embraces several of the characters, as well as the tone from that most off-the-wall segment of Grant Morrison's controversial Batman epic and eases them into the plot of BATMAN ETERNAL - delivering what could easily be the single most enjoyable chapter of this series to date.

There are four different stories going on here, and while I criticized Seeley's ability to juggle during his last time in the writer's chair, he handles it all quite well here.

Bookended by a gorgeous graveyard scene in which a mysterious woman (revealed by the end) reads a letter from her father, the main focus of issue #11 is Batgirl in Brazil. Barbara Gordon has traveled down to South America to track down a native soap opera actor, whom it seems was the man who lead Jim Gordon to the train stop in issue #1. Of course, to get any answers, he'll have to be alive - and Scorpiana might have something to say about that! The Argentinean villainess is out to shed some blood due to a debt owed to the Club of Villains.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Brown is getting to the bottom of her father's criminal origins and doing what any average teenager would do - blogging about it. Steph apparently has a fondness for the phrase, "spoiler alert!". Might have some significance moving forward. Just possibly.

And at Wayne Manor, an injured Julia Pennyworth is trying to get back up and going, but is far too hurt to go back to her mission. Her father, tending her wounds, tries his best to explain why his service to Bruce Wayne was worth him leaving their native England. If only she knew…


BATMAN ETERNAL #11 cover

Fathers and daughters are clearly the theme this week, and Seeley gives each plot point just the right amount of attention and screen time. It's nice to see things from all over the Bat Universe come together in some way and make everything feel like it ties together somehow, something BATMAN ETERNAL is definitely eager to accomplish.

The story is brought to life by a newcomer to the Bat Books, Ian Bertram, who really shoots for the moon and draws a book to be remembered. Easily capturing the spirit of the Frank Quietly/Chris Burnham school of art, yet putting his own illustrative spin on it, Bertram gracefully captures the mood of each scene and brings the most out of it. His action scenes in particular are fun to see, and Seeley definitely writes to his strengths.

All in all, this was the most fun I've had reading this title since it started. One of the greatest lessons Grant Morrison conveyed during his time in Gotham City was that a Batman story CAN be both serious and fun at the same time. I personally grew quite fond of the stories written with this mindset, and it pleases me to see this lesson well heard by those taking the reins of the Bat Books, moving forward. All we need is for this series to do its best to move from issue to issue while minimizing the effects of a vast creative team. - Bobby Barrett

GRADE: A-

Bobby Barrett is a lifelong Batman enthusiast living in Fresno, California, with his wife and several cats.
He enjoys reading, writing, acting, and playing very loud rock music.


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