Title: Batman: Detective Comics.
Story-Arc: Batmen Eternal.
Writer(s): James Tynion IV.
Penciller(s): Alvaro Martinez, Javier Fernandez, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Philippe Briones & Scot Eaton.
Inker(s): Raul Fernandez, Javier Fernandez, Wayne Faucher & Eber Ferreira.
Colourist(s): Brad Anderson, John Kalisz, Adriano Lucas & Allen Passalaqua.
Letterer(s): Tom Napolitano.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Format: Single Issues.
Release Date: September 18th 2018.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.
Previously on DC Universe Rebirth’s Batman: Detective Comics series:
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 1): Rise of the Batmen by James Tynion IV
Batman (Vol. 1.5): Night of the Monster Men by Steve Orlando
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 2): The Victim Syndicate by James Tynion IV
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 3): League of Shadows by James Tynion IV
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 4): Deus Ex Machina by James Tynion IV
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 5): A Lonely Place of Living by James Tynion IV
Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 6): Fall of the Batmen by James Tynion IV
With this story arc, writer James Tynion IV says goodbye to the series that he has been leading from the beginning of the Rebirth era of DC Comics. Parallelly to writer Tom King’s canonical Batman series, James Tynion IV completed some great stories for fans to indulge, focusing mostly on building a team of heroes and in bringing the series to focus on multiple characters and their dynamic together. With countless mysteries at the center of each story, he gave this series a unique feel that distinguished it from other runs and attempted to establish certain characters in ways that have never been done before. To close out this chapter, he turns the weaknesses of every hero and shows us why they deserve to wear the Bat symbol proudly in their hearts.
What is Batman: Detective Comics: Batmen Eternal about? Collecting Detective Comics issues #975-981, the story picks up right where it left off with the tragic death of one of the members of the Bat Family. The actions of Batwoman thus leads the team to fall apart, creating two camps who perceive their vigilantism with completely different sets of eyes. While Batwoman walks on a very thin line, Tim Drake (Red Robin) also sees himself at odds with Bruce Wayne as his plans to create a Knights Protocol (a team-up system that would allow the future to be perfectly handled by vigilantes, in synchronization with the police) are thrown aside following their recent loss. However, a threat from the past brings these heroes to withhold their contempt towards one another to save one of them from succumbing to evil forces.
Introducing a new supervillain as well as an interesting technology, while bringing back a story arc around Future-Tim Drake back into play, James Tynion IV tilts the spotlight back onto this beloved character who takes center-stage in the confrontation that ensues. While the volume starts off on the right foot, with a fascinating trial for Batwoman where Batgirl shined in her in-depth analysis of Batman and his mommy issues, the story tripped its way to an ending that was uncalled for, with the return of a character that never should have been brought back. Throughout the story there were also a lot of sequences that were inexplicably fast-forwarded while other parts of the story took shortcuts that made no sense.
The artwork continues to be a mixed bag with countless artists working on this story arc again. While some of them are decent and are easy to identify as a style that fits with this series, others seemed odd, accentuating some of the puzzling mood swings in some characters, notably Red Robin. Watching him go on a tantrum and then reconciling himself with Batman, who even cracks a smile, were some of the oddest scenes in the story that continued to highlight James Tynion IV’s tendency to sometime work against the current and make some of his characters do things that aren’t usually associated to them. I did enjoy when the artwork would test new panel structures and orientations, à la Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, where the comic book would need to be flipped vertically to be read. Otherwise, the artwork remained standard in its compilation of various styles and excellent colouring.
Batman: Detective Comics: Batmen Eternal is James Tynion IV’s farewell to his run as he wraps up his character’s story in a bittersweet fashion while returning the crew to an unwarranted status quo.