(Received from Netgalley for review.)
Volume two of Snyder’s enormous Batman story felt rather less plodding than volume one had. This may be partly because there are simply less issues here. Instead of 20+ issues, we get about a dozen. Which is much more manageable to read, and I think it kept me from getting quite as bored by the end as I might have been with another 20 issue monster.
Overall, this is turning out to be little more than a roll call of every Batman oriented character ever created. Do we really need to have everybody from Deacon Blackfire to Joker’s Daughter to appear? What about Batmite? Is Batmite coming? Because he would be just about the only Batman character left out, and that would be sad.
In the whole tangle of minor plot desperately trying to become one cohesive story, there are two things that I actually really enjoy reading. Most of all, and this should come as no surprise to anybody who’s heard me rant about how she’d been treated by DC, STEPHANIE. It’s so, so damn good to see her back in action. And I’m finding that I’m really enjoying her storyline. Seeing her turn into Spoiler has been more fun to read than I would have thought, though I really wish she could have been given her own book. Or maybe just a storyline focused on her in one of the books. And, though this goes by really quickly, I kind of totally loved seeing Killer Croc as a sort of sewer-dwelling Fagin. Croc is a character who can easily wander back and forth across the anti-hero line, and I feel like this is a good fit for his character.
But those few bright spots aside, this book is kind of a mess right now. There’s just way, way too much happening, which is largely because there’s so much space to fill. The concept of Batman Eternal is ambitious, but maybe too much so. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to be another 52. I’m being a little generous in my star rating, because I honestly am just that happy to see Stephanie again. I just hope DC does more and better with her.