Batman and Jim Gordon team up to hunt down Professor Pyg in Batman Eternal #1.
The Dark Knight recurs
DO we REALLY need another Batman title? After all, DC’s “Batman” umbrella of books in the New 52 includes (deep breath): Batman, The Dark Knight, Detective Comics, Batgirl, Batwing, Batwoman,Nightwing, Catwoman, Batman/Superman, the Batman And … team-up series, and to a certain extent, Red Hood And The Outlaws, Birds Of Prey and the now-cancelled Talon. And that’s not even counting appearances by Batman and his allies and villains in Justice League, Earth 2, and the Forever Evilcrossovers.
As a result, with the possible exception of Scott Snyder’s Batman and David Finch’s The Dark Knight series, many of these titles have been suffering from a case of Bat-fatigue. In fact, after the exhausting Death Of The Family crossover in 2012, most of the Batman books have been pretty unmemorable, with the recentGothopia crossover passing by without as much as a whimper.
So excuse my incredulity when DC announced ANOTHER Batman title – and a weekly one at that – to the already swollen family of Batman titles in the New 52.
Scheduled to run for 60 issues, Batman Eternal will involve five writers (Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, Kyle Higgins and Tim Seeley) and eight artists (Jason Fabok, Dustin Nguyen, Andy Clarke, Trevor McCarthy, Emanuel Simeoni, Guillem March, Ian Bertram and Mikel Janin), with each writer and artist team working on different story arcs over the 60 weeks.
Snyder and Tynion’s first story arc kicks off by introducing long-time Batman character Jason Bard into the New 52 universe, and throwing the rookie cop into the deep end of what turns out to be a horrible first day at work with the Gotham City Police Department (GCPD).
The action consists of Commissioner Jim Gordon and Batman battling the insanely creepy Professor Pyg and his minions, which ends in a horrifically tragic way and results in a rather sticky situation for Gordon at the end of the issue.
Before reading this, I already feared the worse – that this would finally push me to give up on the New 52’s Batman comics altogether.
Fortunately, Batman Eternal #1 is explosive enough to actually make me want more, thanks in part to Snyder and Tynion’s fast and furious start to the first story arc, as well as some stunningly visceral artwork by Fabok.
Ironically, this issue works because Batman was NOT the focal point of the story. Snyder and Tynion’s decision to make this opening chapter revolve around Bard and Gordon deftly counters any Bat-fatigue I might have had before reading this.
Being a fan of the excellent but ultimately short-lived GCPD-centric Gotham Central, I was happy to see Gotham’s Finest given the limelight in a Batman book once again. Things might change in subsequent issues of course, and with 59 issues to go, there is still a chance that the Bat-fatigue might creep in. For the next three Snyder/Tynion-written issues at least, Batman Eternal deserves to be given a chance.