Part of the problem with the weekly format is that storytelling works a bit differently compared to the month-to-month format. Stories can be a bit more drawn out at other aspects of the world can be explored because the story isn't stuck in this "has to be in a 6-issue format, so it can fit into a trade." BATMAN ETERNAL works well in this weekly format and each story takes its time to be told, rather than rushing ahead because of length restraints. Within this issue, the reader is treated to a story of Catwoman being passed around between villains, as well as a bit more about what's going on with Cluemaster. Both stories balance the overall issue out pretty well, and keep it moving.
Open this book up and the reader is treated to one awesome looking splash page from Riccardo Burchielli with colors from Dave McCaig. Artistically, this is a brilliant way to open up the issue. The facial expressions on both Catwoman and Falcone's faces are completely fitting for the situation, readers get to see just how Falcone got that scratch on his face, and McCaig's color work is amazing, especially with what he does with the background.
The final page of this issue leads the audience to believe that Falcone isn't the real enemy, but someone else may be pulling his strings. This is a fantastic addition to the story and really helps raise the bar for the overall book.
Shadows tended to be a consistent problem throughout the issue, for the most part. There are numerous times where someone's shadow, over another character resulted in just a black mass blocking out the other character's face or body. Many books have shadows just darken the colors they encase. The black mass shadows here felt weird and out of place.
There was one thing about Burchielli's art that didn't sit well. The few pages that contained Bruce Wayne made it see as his eyes were always closed or he was squinting. At the same time, in the Jason Todd scene, which felt a tad pointless, Jason Todd looked very weird and unlike himself. If it weren't for Bruce flatout calling him "Jason" or "Red Hood," fans wouldn't know who this is.
This issue was overall just ok. It does stimulate the reader as much as the previous issues and there's only a few points within the issue that really matter. It's a real slow opening and there's a few moments that just don't feel like they fit in with the rest of the book.
BATMAN ETERNAL #9 wasn't bad but wasn't a home-run either. It's still a solid week-to-week book that you should give a shot, but this particular issue was a bit down the middle of the road. There is a lot of good in this issue. McCaig does some killer color work, the opening page looks amazing, and the fight scenes are a lot of fun, but overall, it just fails to grab the reader and there's a few problems within the art department. However, overall, I'll still give this a mild recommendation.