Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Comic Book Reviews: Batman Eternal #22 and Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet #4

Sometimes you can screw up a story with false advertising. Batman Eternal #22 has that issue.

They promised a grand reveal of the Gotham mastermind, and it was a character who we all saw in the issue prior. Heck, the teaser last week made me think the villain we saw was just a henchman, but apparently not.

And it isn't just false advertising that botches this. From a narrative standpoint, allowing the reader to know the villain gives the reveal less impact, and that's really all the book was selling itself on because the Architect (who I'm fairly certain hasn't been seen since 'Gates of Gotham) was not all that interesting in this issue.

The reason this story still has quality is Julia Pennyworth, who makes her presence in the Batcave known immediately and it's a really solid introduction.

Where it falls short is in the art because some of the reaction faces for Julia and Batman had me laughing at times when I really shouldn't have been laughing.

Outside of some weird panels, the lack of a cliffhanger and the weak reveal, though, the issue is actually really focused and strong. I like it and give it a 8.3/10.

The Batman-Green Hornet crossover continues its great mini-run and Kevin Smith continues to show competence in writing these characters.

He does have a few hiccups where he's a little too over-the-top (yes, even by Adam West standards), but they are few and far-between.

The art remains some of the best in the business, so Ralph Garman should be praised on that front.

From a narrative standpoint, the story hits some snags. A major flashback is given too quickly so I lose some of the emotion on that front.

The issue had a weak cliffhanger as well. It makes very clear that Batman and Robin are in no real danger because the Hornet and Kato are in pursuit, so the final page holds no weight.

Aside from those issues, though, the story is engaging and funny in addition to being a sensible plot (again, by the crazy standards 60s Batman set). I give it a 9/10.

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