Issue by Issue – Batman Eternal #51

Writer – Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Kyle Higgins, Ray Fawkes, Tim Seeley
Artist – Álvaro Martínez Bueno
Inker – Raúl Fernández
Colours – June Chung
Letters – John J. Hill

Batman is a broken man, and yet broken or not, he still has a card or two up his sleeve though it most likely will not be enough. After the big reveal in the last issue of the Cluemaster being the man behind everything, he goes into Bond villain mode and starts telling Bats about how he pulled everything off and it really is quite impressive. It was innovative and methodical and should Cluemaster escape this series with his life, he will have been elevated into A-list villain status because of it. The best part of the whole book is that stunning imagery of Cluemaster cutting the emblem off of Batman’s chest, almost like he is excising Batman from the city. Bruce meanwhile, is all tied up, beaten and bloody and forced to listen to the Cluemaster go on and on but one knows before he even does it, that Batman is going to escape to give Cluemaster the fight of his life or at least as much as he can manage in the current shape he is in. It is good to see Gordon out of prison once again and doing his whole rallying-the-forces thing that he always does. It works well, of course, inspiring Bard to take a stand and perhaps get the city back on its feet once again. It will be an uphill battle for everyone as it is currently on fire, one that is out of control and will take everything that everyone has to give to manage it, and hopefully save something before there is nothing left of the city to save. Meanwhile, Catwoman is just standing by deciding on what she wants to do, Spoiler is getting out of the city as fast as she can and the rest of our heroes are doing what they can to save civilians wherever they might be in trouble. There is a lot going on and everyone is being pushed to their limits which then takes readers back to Batman and the cliff-hanger this issue is left on as well. The book just keeps on surprising, not to mention keeping the pace and the action moving at a frantic pace. It is hard to fathom what more can happen, but one knows that they will come back for the next issue to find out what Snyder and company have in store.

4 out of 5

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