Selina needs new drapes, Batman hunts down the escaped, and the story loses shape in this thirty-seventh installment of DC's weekly Batman jamboree. Batman's just now getting to tracking down the Arkham inmates that remain at large after the asylum collapsed. I guess you can only look at Hush in that big fish bowl for so long before getting bored. Meanwhile, Selina is living the high life of criminal kingpin, Jason Bard is too little too late, and Batwing's armor is haunted (yawn). It's all very impressively unimpressive.
Maybe I'd have a better time reading this issue if the artwork wasn't abominable. What is this chicken scratch? This is some of the most awkward, hideous, misshapen art I've seen in this series, and not in a bold, artistic way. It's just painful to look at, with people's swollen skin and awful coloring everywhere. This is bargain basement work at best, but 37 weeks into the series, I imagine DC figures we'll keep reading anyway if we've come this far. I guess the good artists needed a break, and that's fine, but you couldn't find another, untapped talent? Andrea Mutti is just not doing the scope of the book justice.
THIS IS NOT EVER OKAY, DC. THIS IS GARBAGE.
Not that this issue has much going for it, anyway. It's a huge step down in quality from the past few weeks.
Can we just be done with that supernatural storyline already? Does anybody reading this care the slightest bit about it? It's a waste of time. It wasn't even that good to begin with, because the readers were just sitting around waiting for the Spectre to come out of Corrigan, and once he did, he one-shotted the main threat, Deacon Blackfire. His plans were foiled, Arkham collapsed, and Batwing was eventually saved. Does his armor also need to be haunted now? That's just stupid, forcing a reason to keep Batwing involved in this storyline. Now we have to start caring about his stupid roommate, too? Nobody even cares about Batwing! His book was cancelled because nobody gave a crap! And supernatural stories in Batman have to strike a good balance, and this storyline is just painfully dragged out. Stop taking up room in this book with this crap!
You probably won't be hearing "Green Bird".
You'd think that at this point, Batman would have had Red Robin, Red Hood, Batgirl, and whoever else he could get tracking down and taking out the Arkham escapees, since there are several, and going at it solo is a waste of time when he has to figure out what the link between all these separate elements are. Batman shows that he is terrible at delegating because he tries to do everything solo in this, and if he ever catches up to Bane and the others, it's just going to take that much more out of him he could be using to solve who's behind this all.
Dude, it's a fucking skin condition, Batman. That's not cool.
And then there's this jockeying by the villains, which is just painful. Painful because we just saw this a little while ago during Peter Tomasi's Arkham War tie-in to the Forever Evil event. And this group is horrible. Clayface acts like a whiny dumbass. Bane is just some posturing thug. Scarecrow's still jabbering on, trying to manipulate everybody into doing what he wants because he's the "smart one", and Joker's Daughter... why does she still exist? Seriously, why?
DC, NOBODY, EVER, IN THE PAST, PRESENT, OR FUTURE, CARES ABOUT JOKER'S DAUGHTER. Nobody finds her funny. Nobody's interested in her back story. No, her wearing Joker's face doesn't make her unsettling, except in how desperate it was to make her a thing. Frankly, Signal Man, Cluemaster, and their group seem more intimidating than Joker's Daughter. She's a terrible character and she needs to go. Where are the lazy Monitors from Countdown when you actually need them?
Even the part with Selina and Batman talking is just rehashing the same things we've seen since she became a crime boss, which you can see better in the Catwoman solo. Huh. Never thought I'd say something positive about that book, but there you go. Blah blah blah, "You're the enemy now", "We could still work together", "Crime is bad", "It needs to be kept under control from the inside", ramalamadingdong. I've heard this tune a million times. Next song, please.
But hey, at least we get to see Jason Bard stumble onto the ground and then Bullock and Sawyer refuse to help him. Except no, no that's awful, too, because the man is at his lowest point, they can see it, and he's coming to them to help the city, and they turn him away. Yes, he's an asshole, so then keep a close eye on him, but at this point you're losing nothing by seeing where he's going with his claim of being able to help with the nanovirus thing.
"Except that case of the crabs you got. You deserved that."
By the way, why isn't the nanovirus more of a thing, anyway? Is it still just in that one isolated area of Gotham? It hasn't spread by now? What has Red Robin been doing all this time?
Get back on task, Batman Eternal. This issue was disappointing.
Next: Bane, Bane, go away, come back when you're Chuck Dixon's Bane!
"I told you, I'm a grower!"
- Penguin Truth
Story: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Script: Tim Seeley
Consulting Writers: Ray Fawkes & Kyle Higgins
Art: Andrea Mutti
Colors: Giulia Brusco
Lettering By: Taylor Esposito
Cover By: Tommy Lee Edwards
Editor: Chris Conroy
Asst. Editor: Dave Wielgosz
Group Editor: Mark Doyle
Batman Created By Bob K--AHAHAHAHA, NO. Batman Created By Bill Finger