Told you... 211 days ago, to be exact.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
SPOILERS: Batman Eternal #51
Told you... 211 days ago, to be exact.
So Cluemaster fancies himself the big mastermind, finds out Batman is Bruce Wayne and just loves his victory while the city burns and all the heroes are occupied elsewhere. He even does the bad guy thing and explains how he set it all up (very poorly, I might add), and hahaha, he won!
Elsewhere, the GCPD is planning to take back the city one district at a time with all the resources Bard managed to gather (through devious means, which no one seems to want to address, but I guess he hasn't been totally exposed yet? But people know he broke out The Architect, right? Fuck, I've lost track). Gordon is ready to hit the streets, but Bard wants him to guide his old men. Gordon refuses, saying Bard's the commissioner now and reminds Bard what he told him about Gotham and why he was hired early on in the series.
Then there's Steph. She totally wants to bail, and I guess tries to convince Harper to do the same. Harper's just like "You don't get it, but whatever, BYE." And Steph rides off into the fiery sunset... But assuming we're to believe the Tec issue of Endgame, she'll be back next week.
Back to Cluemaster, who basically said "I DID THIS ALL" without giving any explanation to the "clues" he had mentioned, but you know, whatever. But there's a problem, someones at the front door and gassed Ratcatcher, Signalman and all those other D-listers. Meanwhile while Cluemaster is all hyped that a nobody like himself beat Batman, Bruce breaks out of his chains and starts beating the shit out of Cluemaster. But Bruce is tired, so Cluemaster manages to take some of the beating and is happy that a mark will be left, or no one would believe him.
You know in all the movies when the bad guys just ramble on and we're all just like "you know, if you just shot the good guy right now, you'd win" well, Cluemaster is smart in that regard, and basically just goes "Okay, I'm just going to shoot you in the head now." OH WAIT, his throat just got slit. Gurgling on his blood, he looks up and says this wasn't part of the plan...
BUT MOTHER-FUCKING LINCOLN MARCH HAS GOT PLANS OF HIS OWN.
So, like I said... told you. Whatever, I'm not going to bask in my clairvoyant glory or anything, because while I was right with who the big bad was, this hardly makes up for the insanely decompressed story that this was.
Let's just address Cluemaster first. Last issue he ended it by saying that Bruce just had to follow the clues... But what clues were there to him being the big bad guy? Spoilers: There were none, and that's why I was so fucking angry at the last issue. Like I had said, people had guessed Cluemaster was the bad guy, but their only reasoning was "I don't know, no one would expect that so probably?" and that's Cluemaster's only real reasoning in the book. His explanation was that he put some drugs in Gordon's coffee which caused the train accident, and before that he'd sent out the invitations. No explanation of all that supernatural shit, whoever was talking to Joker's Daughter off panel, etc. That's it. No real clues, no nothing. Meanwhile last week I'm reading some of the professional sites like "This reveal was so well played and we just had to go back and look at all the clues and blah blah blah" and I'm just sitting her like "no it fucking wasn't" and sure enough, no it fucking wasn't. So I mean, because this issue barely justifies Cluemaster, it bothered me, but who cares at this point? Whatever, we got Lincoln March to deal with now.
So why doesn't the guy I said would show up 200+ days ago showing up not fixing everything? Because we get back to the issue of pacing. Unless next week's issue ends with "Don't worry, we'll deal with him for realzies in Batman Eternal 2" which would be infuriating, then we have just one single issue to wrap everything up. Remember in high school english, at some point you were introduced to the plot curve diagram with exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution, and all that? Well, the curve of Batman Eternal is entirely fucked, because we got the true climax of the story 51 issues deep, literally on page 1,020. Now we have to deal with everything in one single (albeit a little oversized) issue next week. After weeks and months of the story not progressing anywhere in any meaningful way, it goes from zero to 100 with a single page and now everything hinges on being wrapped up in a satisfying manner next issue, and I don't believe that's possible. That's why I've been at odds with this book for so long, because there was just so much NOTHING, and it got to the point where you knew everything that was meaningful would be saved for the last issue, and sure enough that was right and I hate that. Like imagine in Endgame, the Joker wasn't actually used until the final issue, that'd be entirely frustrating right? What this book was missing was just a final arc of Bruce and company learning what the deal was, hitting the absolute low point for all of them in the series, and fighting back to ultimately win, in some form or another. But no, it's still just 28 to 30 or so pages to deal with this reveal, hit a low, then fight back to end on a high note, maybe.
But hey... at least I was right in that March call. That was something.