Issue by Issue – Batman Eternal #17

Writer – Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Tim Seeley, Ray Fawkes, John Layman
Artist – Dustin Nguyen
Inker – Derek Fridolfs
Colours – John Kalisz
Letters – Dezi Sienty

Batwing and Jim Corrigan battle for their lives against the newly returned Deacon Blackfire. The Deacon is out for revenge against not only Batman but Gotham as well and he means to make the city his, for it is what is owed to him. As Batwing and Corrigan battle, their plight only worsens until all seems lost. Harper and Red Robin meanwhile have found the man they are looking for and the person they think is responsible for the nanobots while Julia has a few words for her father as she still does not understand how Alfred could have gone from soldier to butler. To Julia, for a man of action to become so docile is a strange thing, though both roles are of service, simply different kinds. This was a great issue in the continuing adventures of Batman’s weekly series with Batwing and the Spectre the main focus, though the eponymous spirit has yet to show his face. Readers get to see some more of Deacon Blackfire who was revealed to be behind the mystical craziness going on at Arkham Asylum in the last issue as well as some of his past which included being defeated by Batman. Harper is still quite interesting, though little of her is known as of yet or why she wears that Grifter-like mask but it is cool nonetheless and hopefully, she gets a little more of the spotlight in a future issue. The quirkiness and sharp lines of Nguyen’s artwork really give the book a distinctive feel and it is nice to see an artist on here for more than one consecutive issue. As far as fascinating characters go, Julia Pennyworth is one and having more of her in the book is a good thing. It is hopeful that she too, gets more of the limelight and her role expanded as the title moves into the future. Aside from all of that, there is only one thing missing and that is the Spectre who has yet to rear his head though readers know it is only a matter of time.

4 out of 5

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