Friday, September 18, 2015

Booknote: Batman Eternal, Volume 2

Scott Snyder,, Batman Eternal, Volume 2. Burbank, CA: DC Comics, 2015.  ISBN: 9781401252311.

Genre: graphic novels and comics
Subgenre: superheroes
Format: e-book galley
Source: Provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange of honest review.

From the description:

"After Commissioner Gordon's arrest, Batman's world is turned upside down. New allies emerge, old allies fall and his rogues gallery of villains are not quite who they seem. With a new power structure being established in Gotham amidst rising tension and chaos, can Batman adapt to the changing status quo?

Collects issues #22-34." 
I am reading this, and it just keeps going and going. This is one of those comics events where they throw just about anything they can throw in. Hush is back, and he is orchestrating a massive attack on Gotham and Batman. The volume is a continuation of the previous story where Jim Gordon was sent to prison for manslaughter, only it turns out he was framed and should have been exonerated by evidence Batgirl uncovered. However, the new commissioner is in Hush's pocket along with the police, so Gordon remains in jail. That is the least of Batman's concerns as the city begins to explode in riots, and the Bat Family scrambles to try to keep a semblance of order in the midst of chaos. Also, Alfred is attacked, and he is given a massive injection of fear toxin. He is hospitalized. His daughter makes his way to the Batcave, and she now becomes Batman's eyes and ears running the systems from the Batcave, taking her father's place. Actually, seeing her evolve in this new role is one of the neat developments in the story.

While the story is exciting at times, it is also very overwhelming. Snyder is pretty much throwing in plot after plot after plot, and at some point the reader begins to wonder where is this all heading. Just when you think you have a grasp on things, new elements emerge. The story also has a lot of subplots, some may be important, and others the author could have left out. To be honest, the whole thing with the summoning that one guy from beyond seemed a bit much. There is a lot of tension and intrigue, and that should keep readers going. Overall, it is a solid story, but it is also a very busy comic with a lot going on. You can tell they will be "salami slicing" this one into a few other comics down the road. In fact, they had adverts at the back of the volume advertising other comics that are specifically labeled as coming out of this comics run. The Catwoman one looks interesting. Another is the Arkham Manor, which is a follow up to the end of this volume of Batman Eternal. On a side note, I do have a galley of Arkham Manor, which I will review after reading it. In the end, I would say this is not a volume to rush through. Read a chapter/issue here, read another there, and take your time. I will add that the art on this one is very good, a nice gritty sensibility that makes the darkness of Gotham City come to life.

I liked it. I wish I could like it more, but the tale is very overwhelming at times. This is one to read in small spurts. Still, good solid plot on the main plotline, but some of the subplots could have been left out. It is those subplots that make the volume feel like it has been a bit padded at times. What makes it worth it is the ending, which sets up for future series, and it leaves things seriously hanging in the balance. It will leave you wondering how bad things will get before they get better. Will they get better? You will have to keep reading to find out.

I am willing to give it 3 out of 5 stars.

This book qualifies for the following 2015 Reading Challenges:

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