Considering the next issue of her series comes out in a week, Batman Eternal definitely took it's time getting Selina to the Batman #28 status quo, but nevertheless, here it is.
Jason kept his promise to Bruce, kept Batgirl inline while she traveled to South America, now he's heading back out of Gotham, but not before his teammates, specifically Starfire, suggest he at least say goodbye to Barbara, who is currently having her way with Jason Bard.
Elsewhere, Bone has Catwoman tied up in one of his clubs, putting on a grim show for many of Gotham's sleaziest who have paid to see her death. Unfortunately for Bone, Killer Croc knows Jade is there, and decides to crash the party. Croc starts wrecking shit left and right, which gives Selina an opening to get Bone away from her. Jade runs up to Selina in an attempt to untie her, but while this is going on, Bone is trying to get Ibanescu to "make up" for leading Croc there and shoot Selina. Problem is, Ibanescu is a terrible shot and ends up hitting and killing Jade. That doesn't go well for him in regards to the current crocodile program.
Batman shows up when the chaos has dwindled down, having followed Flamingo who he had let go in an attempt to follow him to Hush. Bruce immediately goes after Croc, who is just cradling Jade's body, saying how he's got nothing left and is ready for the demons at Arkham, but Selina gets him to stop, eventually breaking down in grief herself.
Jason finds Barbara dangling Bard off a building, but gets her hold on... only to let go of the rope himself, in order to have Barbara prove to herself that she's better than that by saving Bard (and consequently causing damage to his leg... easter eggs!)
Barbra and Jason eventually do share a goodbye. Jason tries to convince Barbara to leave Gotham, she tries to convince him to stay, which he refuses to do, citing what she told her when they first met, he'll never be Dick Grayson.
Finally, in Blackgate, Selina finds her father and requests the info on all his old contacts, saying that he was right, and only the daughter of the Lion can bring the crime in Gotham back inline.
I really enjoyed this particular issue for both the story and the art. Seeley writes a great, humanized Killer Croc, and seeing him with Jade in his arms, just having no will to live any longer was just heartbreaking. Then of course, we finally get to Catwoman's turning point, which finally means I get to enjoy Catwoman again starting next week. HOORAY! I just hope we continue to see the specifically Eternal related Selina stuff handled by Seeley, because like Croc, he's got a good voice for her.
Meghan Hetrick illustrated this week's issue, and I'll be flat out honest and say that I hope we see more of her in the finally months of this book. If you've followed me for any length of time, you'll probably know that when it comes to comic art, 90% of the time, I'll take an artist with an unique that stands out visually from your standard house style super hero looking books. Hetrick definitely stands out with her characters a more animated looking flare to them compared to your standard Jim Lee inspired action figure looking books. She's got a great handle on anatomy, can draw sexy without being exploitative, and most important to me, has the ability to draw a wide variety of facial expressions. For all the positives, I will say that there were one or two spots in the issue where I think the panel-to-panel flow felt pretty choppy. For instance, there's a two panel sequence where Selina goes from being in Batman's arms to being all the way across the room ready to exit via a big broken window. Maybe it was just the script direction or something else, but it just felt like that there was a transition/motion panel that was missing. Not a huge deal to be honest, it just was a bit jarring for a second upon my initial reading. Considering Hetrick has only been drawing comics professionally for about a year now (I could be wrong, just basing this on Comic Vine credits) I'd say the positives outweigh a jarring panel transition or two.
Overall, I thought this was one of the stronger issues post-Hush reveal in both story and art. Glad to see what was set up and really looking forward to whatever may be coming from it.