Batman Eternal #51 (DC)


Rating: 4.5/5 – Series is Finishing on a High Note.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

I’ve stick around with Batman Eternal throughout its yearlong highs and lows. Throughout Eternal’s fifty-two issues there have been plenty of story arcs with a huge cast of rogues and supporting characters!. After the big reveal of last issue we finally found out who’s been behind it all, and I can pretty much guarantee it’s not who you think it is. In this penultimate issue of the weekly series we get an explanation from this mysterious mastermind on how it was all put together without Batman finding out, along with some excellent art by the young and upcoming artist Alvaro Martinez.

It’s tough to describe the impact last issue’s reveal had without going into spoilers, but the writing team that includes Scott Snyder, James Tynion and more did a great job of making it a surprise while, also keeping it fair. The explanation on how “he” achieved it all was almost “meta” in a way. The way the villain explains how Batman overlooked him, in a way can easily relate to how the reader would miss him as well. It’s clever, well thought out and my only complaint is that I wish more time was spent with him, rather than tying up some of the other storylines including Spoiler’s and Commissioner Gordon’s.

If you haven’t seen Alvaro Martinez’s art, you need to. I love his style with his clean lines and ability to tell the story. The opening pages that correlate right back to the opening sequence in issue number one with Batman chained up on a Bat-Signal are stunning and set the stage for the final confrontation. The colors by June Chung emphasize the oranges of the fire as it rages throughout Gotham City. Martinez is able to show the anger and pain on Batman’s face as he struggles with what’s become an almost out of control situation. Martinez doesn’t have a whole lot of mainstream work, but after seeing him here I expect that to change, and fast.

Batman Eternal as mentioned above has gone through the good arcs and the bad ones, but thankfully this series seems to be finishing on a high note as the creators have seemed to save the best for last. With just one issue to go in a weekly series that never missed a deadline, I’d say that for the most part this “weekly event” was a success. The last page cliffhanger in this issue is even bigger than the reveal in issue number fifty, and it has me grateful that I won’t have to wait long to see how it all wraps up.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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