We have finally reached the end of the line. This is the last issue of Batman Eternal. It’s been a very long ride, starting all the way last year. The only thing left to do is read the last issue and see how it all went down. Is it good?
Batman Eternal #52 (DC Comics)
Lincoln March has returned and he’s got Batman trapped and at the end of his rope. After snatching the plan away from Cluemaster, he’s ready to finish off our hero. Meanwhile, the rest of the heroes are still struggling to keep Gotham from falling apart all around them. How will this all come to an end?
In general, I would say that Batman Eternal #52 is a very enjoyable way to end this series. Understandably, it feels rushed in areas given how drawn out the series got toward the end and this issue alone had to juggle several different plotlines in order to wrap everything up. However, I would still say it came together as best as it could have in the end and delivered a pretty fun last issue. It’ll probably not satisfy everyone who felt burned out by this point, but it was still as could as it could have been.
Come on man! I’ve been working on these evil villain speeches forever!
At least the story wraps up everything reasonably well, including a lot of plotlines and story threads that have been building, and it provides some epilogues to previously wrapped up storylines and even hints to the current events happening in other Batman comics. A lot of the characters got to have a decent moment (though Alfred and Julia felt absent from this issue disappointingly), which was nice. Like I said though, some parts felt rushed—The whole situation with Lincoln March escaping at the end, but only to be captured off-panel by the Court of Owls? I think it’s a great and fitting end for the character, now at least, but it feels abrupt here. There are more moments like that or even things that were disappointing (oh sure, Talon finally appears and it’s for only three pages), but the point here is that I wish this story was paced better at the end. Maybe it could have been this issue was the epilogue, while the last issue was the climax.
The writing as a whole here did feel better and not as problematic. Yes, the pacing was pretty rushed in areas, but the story structure didn’t falter at all. Everything still reasonably flowed from scene to scene without any poor transitions. The characterization was pretty strong and fit the characters, giving them all appropriate endings. I mean, some people were bothered by Stephanie Brown’s character leaving in the last issue (which made perfect sense to me given all the crap she went through during this series), but this should feel a lot better. The dialogue was good, with plenty of great lines and some good exchanges between the cast.
The artwork had quite a bit of people working on it. We had Eduardo Pansica, Robson Rocha, David Lafuente, and even Tim Seeley and Ray Fawkes themselves as well. Personally, I found them to be pretty good (outside of Fawkes’ work, but I blame the colorist more than anything) and their work did make for a nice looking finale. Sure, Pansica’s work got a bit rough towards the end of his part, but it wasn’t that bad. I will say that happily, even with this many artists working on the book, it wasn’t that big of a problem.
There were no art changes during the middle of a scene so that it would look jarring or just radically different. All the artists worked on their own little scenes separately from one another so it would make for a much better experience. I also found some of the choices of artists to be pretty clever. Lafuente got to draw another scene with Harper Row and Stephanie Brown hanging out at Row’s home, Seeley got to draw the final Catwoman scene after writing most of her story, and Fawkes got to do the same but with Batwing. All in all, not a bad looking book, but I still see people maybe not liking multiple artists on this.
Is It Good?
Batman Eternal #52 is a pretty fitting conclusion for the series, wrapping up most of the story pretty well. Its major problem was that the ending felt rushed in areas and there is a bit of disappointment to be found with this. It still wrapped up as best as it could and still provided plenty of fun times, but overall, your mileage may vary depending on how you were feeling by the end of the series.
Do I recommend Batman Eternal now that I’ve seen it all? Sure, but only if you can get the trades cheaply.