I don't say it in the video, but had the first three pages not been as good, this would have been a 6.5/10 issue, 6/10 if the art was anything but its A-game.
But they were all there and collectively kept it at a 7.1/10. The plot is still senseless and the logic of why neither character destroys the other in that moment is a real issue.
It's the strength of Jack's fighting spirit and the Aku dialogue that single-handedly keep this book strong this month, and even so I'm actually not sure if I'm not over-rating it.
I wouldn't recommend it as a buy, but it was the best reading experience of the three, so at least that's something.
It had great ideas like Batman helping a kid whose in a bad home situation, and exploring the villains further, but the plot meanders so much that I can't get a firm grasp of enjoyment on it.
This is compounded by the baffling inclusion of Julian Day's Calendar Man origin. Why was that even here?
Combine all that with an art downgrade, and I have to give the book a 6.8/10, and that may still be too high given the $5 price tag. In any case, I'd avoid the investment.
Lastly, there was Batman Eternal #17, which by now has reached the point where I am BEGGING for this Arkham storyline to finish.
The art was OK but not spectacular and the only thing that I could call good was the subplot where Batman first faced Deacon Blackfire in the New 52 continuity. Seriously, why wasn't that a comic? It'd be more fun than what I was reading.
There are aspects of this book that are done pretty well, but not much is accomplished and I found myself getting bored with it at times. Much of the emotion that was in the title has been drained here and I'm just waiting for The Spectre to appear and end this part of the story.
I give it a flat 5/10. It's not bad, but I am certainly not calling it good or even passable. But some seem to find enjoyment in Batman stories like this, so maybe I'm missing something.
In any case, flip through it before you do anything with it.
Just a final heads-up, I've got a busy first week of August in store with SEVEN titles coming out in one week. So if there are delays, sorry in advance, I'll probably blog about the titles in this order:
Blog 1: Action Comics Annual #3, Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #1 and Action Comics #34
Blog 2: Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet #3 and Batman Eternal #18
Blog 3: Detective Comics #34 and Green Arrow #34
If you can't tell, I'm saving the titles I have the most enthusiasm for to be the last blogs because I want to knock out the ones I expect to criticize most out of the way so I can enjoy my big titles.
Anyway, see you all then!