I loved Batman Eternal, so much so that I think it may have been one of my favorite Batman titles/arcs to come out of the New 52. This however, oh man. This series was just a disappointment week after week. I really wanted this series to be either as good or better than its predecessor but it wasn’t. I felt so lost in this series week to week that it barely made sense. I actually forgot what this was supposed to be about so here it is as described from DC Comics website:
“It’s here at last—the sequel to the blockbuster weekly series BATMAN ETERNAL!
Five years ago, Batman and Robin worked the most disturbing case of their crime fighting careers—bringing down the organization of the ultimate human trafficker, the mysterious woman known only as Mother. At the time, Dick Grayson never quite understood the scope of that case, but now its darkest secrets are coming back to haunt him and everyone else who ever worked with Batman! With Bruce Wayne now lost to them, Dick and all his allies are out in the cold! Who can they trust? Is someone among them not who they say they are? And who is the deadly, silent young woman in black who’s come to Gotham City looking for Batman?
Prepare yourself for six months of international intrigue, twists and turns, and new additions to the world of Batman and Robin, from showrunners James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder, and writers Tim Seeley, Steve Orlando, Genevieve Valentine, Ed Brisson, and Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly!”
I really wish the book lived up to the hype and the truth is, I should have had an inkling that this series would not deliver when I found out that James Tynion IV was the lead writer on it. While I like Tynion with some other titles, I do not particularly care about his Batman storylines. This was built up to be the next best thing in the Batman series, which mainly consisted of a mediocre (at best) storyline involving the Robins. All this series managed to do was reestablish Cassandra Cain, Azrael and a few others in the soon to be defunct New 52-verse. So not only did this deliver a mediocre story line about someone named, “Mother” that trains orphans into a weird army for people (what are the odds of an original name like that) that ties into fan favorite Harper Row aka Bluebird.
The one redeeming factor to this series, aside from the fact that its now over, was the writing duties of one Steve Orlando. While I really like Tim Seeley, I was already familiar with his work way before this but I felt Orlando was the stand out. His work on Midnighter has been great, so it was fun to see him tackle some of the Bat-Family characters. I rather enjoyed the dialogue he was writing between characters and, spoiler alert, when Midnighter shows ups in the series it was just great. I mean really, when you’re reading a comic once a week that is a story that could honestly have been told in AT LEAST half the issues, good writing starts to stand out and he was one of the best. As far as the art went, I really enjoyed how Tony Daniel was teased as the series artist until he wasn’t anymore which paved the way for some mediocre sequentials. All of which is no ones fault, I mean the truth is, the story was very weak.
I still cannot believe this series exists. I mean, I would rather have seen Prez continue than for all of the allowed issues (12 in total) than for this to have ran 26. Honestly there was no reason for it to have been that long. What is most upsetting for me in this series is that everyone involved is extremely talented but, hubris got in the way with the success of Batman Eternal which brings to mind the old adage from Dr. Ian Malcolm, “your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”