Welcome, friends to the second installment of “The 3cap,” our weekly recap of DC’s three weekly titles: “Batman Eternal,” “Earth 2: World’s End,” and “New 52: Futures End.” Each week, we will take a look at the each issue released, while recapping the action and asking the burning questions. If you spot something we missed, make sure to leave a note in the comments!
Batman Eternal #28
Written by Tim Seeley, Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Meghan Hetrick
Reviewed by Vince Ostrowski
News, notes, and debuts:
– No debuts, but perhaps a farewell for Jason Todd? At least for the foreseeable future. We saw his fellow *shudder* “Outlaws” fly in and pick the Red Hood up, but not before sharing a near-perfect scene with Batgirl. Barbara Gordon, obsessed with clearing her father’s name, has been hanging Lt. Bard over a building. Todd shows up to push things forward and force Barbara’s hand. Not only does Barbara prove to be the hero we know her to be, but it shows a nice demonstration of the role that Jason still plays with the family. He’s the one willing to push things, and he knows that Barbara is better than that.
– I say it was “near” perfect, because it felt a little weird to see Barbara coming on to Jason at the end. I guess they tried to earn it with the way their story has been developing, but it would have been cool to have that duo play out without any sort of romantic angle, because it didn’t feel necessary.
– Meghan Hetrick shows up with another terrific turn on art duties. I just love the general aesthetic of her work, with how thick the outlines of the characters are and the playful staging of them. More specifically, the characters are so animated. Even Batman, who has been his typically stoic self throughout “Batman Eternal”, gets an opportunity to grin a bit and show some emotion and empathy toward the end of the issue. But the standout is Hetrick’s dynamic rendition of Catwoman. I’d love to see her on a more longterm stint with the character.
Three Eternal Questions:
1. What’s next for Jason Bard?
This issue felt like it had a lot of closure in it, didn’t it? Basically every plotline that was actually shown in this issue came to a satisfying conclusion, so I suppose I’ll examine the possibilities for the aftermath of a few of them. After all, Batgirl’s interrogation of Bard came to its logical conclusion. So what becomes of Bard now? Surely he wasn’t let go, right? So where does the interrogation go next? Does Batman get involved? The cheapest thing to extend the plot would be to have let Bard go just because Batgirl was almost going “too far.” We’re around the halfway point of “Batman Eternal” – time to switch gears and get Bard out of the picture?
2. Is this where Catwoman gets her sharper claws?
Catwoman’s ascension in the Gotham crime scene is starting to become clearer. Thematically, Catwoman taking the death of Jade as hard as she did was pretty satisfying, given Jade’s status as an “orphan” and all. Catwoman’s eventual status as Gotham’s criminal ringleader has been and continues to be the most interesting aspect of “Eternal”, but I fear that it’s going to take something wonky and wholly unbelievable to make the jump to make it happen. I hope that’s not the case.
3. Can we just keep Red Hood in Gotham and out of that other book?
Earth 2: World’s End #2
Written by Daniel H. Wilson, Marguerite Bennett, and Mike Johnson
Illustrated by Eddy Barrows, Tyler Kirkham, Paolo Siqueira, Jorge Jiminez and Scott McDaniel
Reviewed by Brian Salvatore
News, notes, and debuts:
In this issue, we get to see the Furies in full force, popping up all over the world, as well as get some resolution to a few of the lingering plot points that were very much from the first few years of “Earth 2,” as opposed to new ideas for the weekly. One of the things that, thus far, this series has been doing very well is incorporating small character moments that reference the past, without taking the reader out of the current story. For example, in his brief appearance, Jay Garrick mutters to himself about finding his mother – this is a major plot point from Tom Taylor’s run, not quite tossed off, but inserted for longtime fans, and done in a simple enough way to bring in new readers as well.Continued below
The two most interesting pieces of the plot this week deal with Terry Sloane, Mr. Miracle, and Michael Holt finding a way to bring down Bedlam, using their quite impressive minds to set up a verbal trigger to take him out, and the interaction between Lois Lane/Red Tornado and K’Li. K’Li has reanimated the dead and transformed them into parademons, and takes a few occasions to remind Lois that she is, essentially, no more than these reanimated corpses – she, too, is dead. This is an effective and jarring thing to read, as “Earth 2” has done a great job turning Lois into a compelling character.
The issue, again, features a ton of artists, all working off of McDaniel’s breakdowns, and for the most part, the styles are similar enough, and the settings different enough, that everything flows nicely. The one exception to that is the aforementioned Holt/Sloan/Miracle section, which I am purely guessing is Siqueira’s section, which is the most visually interesting but least consistent of the issue, and so that section stands out from the pack a little more – again, not a terrible thing, but I would be interested to see if this multiple artist rotation is how this particular weekly is going to deal with the sheer number of pages that need to be turned out each month.
The issue ends with K’Li in control of Kara, Helena, and Lois – we can only presume this is a temporary possession, but it would certainly make for an interesting few issues if they remained under K’Li’s influence.
Three Worldly Questions:
1. Who is Oliver Queen on Earth 2?
Commander Khan is looking for Oliver Queen at a time when his attention could probably be better served elsewhere. So, who is Oliver Queen of Earth 2? We know he wasn’t Red Arrow, who is now on Earth-Prime, but he must be someone special. Does Khan want his financial resources? Does he want his leadership skills? Are they just out of Q-Pads? I am very interested to see how he manages to play into the series, and hopefully it isn’t too long before we see him.
2. Will the Elementals join the fight?
Alan briefly mentions that he doesn’t believe the Elementals will simply stand by and let the Earth be taken over – but we are years into Apokoliptan occupation and threats – what are they waiting for? Could it be that neither we nor they know…
3. Who are their avatars?
Alan Scott is the avatar of the Green, Grundy of the Grey. But who are the other avatars? Have they not been tapped for their service yet? Are the Elementals simple waiting until the avatars are “ready” to take up the mantle? Or are they actively searching?
The New 52: Futures End #23
Written by Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Keith Giffen, and Dan Jurgens
Illustrated by Jesus Merino and Dan Green
Reviewed by Zach Wilkerson
News, notes, and debuts:
There’s very little in the way of news and debuts in this issue, which is in fact very similar to the last. We get more scenes of Stormwatch fighting/fleeing Brainiac drones, as well as more of the burgeoning Tim/Ronnie/Madison love triangle. I’ll let you guess which of these plots continues to be the more interesting one.
On the new side of things, we get a fun and interesting interaction with Mister Miracle and Fury, recently released from the control of Brother Eye. The DC3 have mentioned ad nauseum our general disinterest in the Cadmus story arc. However, the prospect of Miracle and Fury working together to overthrow Brother Eye is a very interesting one. Other interesting developments in this issue include the Engineer’s return to the side of angels after fleeing Brainiac’s reach, as well as Jason Rusch and Dr. Yamazake’s first successful attempt at material teleportation.
Artistically, this issue stands out as one of the best non-Zircher issues in recent memory. Jesus Merino and Dan Green provide slick, technically strong super hero art, which colorist Hi-Fi richly builds upon. The silent page in which Miracle nurses his wounds is especially strong, thanks to interesting panel layouts and perspective, and the following Miracle/Fury scene looks is similarly memorable, thanks to Hi-Fi’s contributions.Continued below
As is often the case with this book, the “cheese” factor rears its ugly head. On more than one occasion characters spout off unnatural lines of dialogue that disengage the reader from the scene. This is especially present in the Constantine and Tim/Ronnie/Madison segments of the issue. However, in spite of the CW level of melodrama, the book continues to remain enjoyable and compelling.
Three Future Questions:
1. Is there a new New God Love Triangle?
When we catch up with Mister Miracle and Fury on Cadmus, it’s heavily intimated that the two have developed a sort of relationship. This is a big departure from the usual pairing of Miracle and Big Barda. DC has shown no reticence in breaking up well established couples, so this may be par for the course. However, it will be very interesting to see how the situation plays out when Miracle and Barda are inevitably reunited.
2. Why so down, Constantine?
At the issues’s end, Constantine and his crew are viciously attacked by the mysterious Brainiac robot. Prior to Superman showing up, the machine murders and tortures Constantine’s companions as the mage kneels to the ground and…monologues? Is Constantine’s sudden ineptitude due to some effect of the machine, or is there something terribly wrong with the character’s psyche? Regardless, this is a far cry from the trickster seen in last month’s “Futures End: Constantine.”
3. What is Dr. Yamazake’s endgame?
Jason and Dr. Yamazake make their first real progress in their research on teleportation technology. However, the two process the success in different ways, with Jason optimistic but cautious Yamazake jumping to the human trial stage. Yamazake has shown some level of instability over the course of the series, and his present level of paranoia and disregard indicate sinister things in the character’s future. A recent solicit for an upcoming issue of “Futures End” mentions a Dr. Polaris gaining access to the Justice League satellite. Considering the character’s vendetta against the League, and the fact that the satellite is usually reached by teleportation, it bears questioning; is Dr. Yamazake the new Dr. Polaris?