Wednesday, April 9, 2014

SPOILERS: Batman Eternal #1

We've all seen in, the very first page... THE END. Bruce is tied up, bat carved into his chest, Gotham a flame, and someone telling him that he's lost. OMINOUS! 

Flash back to... the now? Jason Bard is the GCPD's newest hire from Detroit, and while he was expecting to meet the man who hired him, Bullock's the one to greet him to Gotham, as Jim Gordon is currently dealing with a Pyg infestation.

Somewhere else in Gotham, Pyg has returned to his gloriously crazy roots and is attacking Gordon and some kids with a plane that shoots syringes out of its machine gun. Yep! Crazy Pyg is back! When it looks like Gordon and the kids are doomed for, Batman makes his entrance, using the same suit he fought the Talons off with to crash Pyg's plane.

Both Batman and Gordon then give chase to Pyg's men who get split up. Batman takes Pyg, Gordon goes after the lone henchman into the subway. Once Batman ties up Pyg (yes, he makes a hog-tied pun... or says he should), he gets notice from Alfred that there's a problem in the subway, as two trains are on the same track, headed towards Gordon.

At the GCPD, Bullock brings Bard in to meet the gang, and first up is Major Dickhead Who you'll remember from David Finch's The Dark Knight as the cop who had it out for Gordon... still a dick. Maggie Sawyer shows up too, but she brings news of Gordon calling for backup in the subway, so they all head down to the scene.

Gordon has Pyg's thug he was chasing back up against a wall (with a transformer behind him), gun drawn, because that guy has a gun too. Gordon tells the thug to drop his weapon, but General Thug #4 doesn't seem to know what Gordon is talking about, claiming not to have a gun. After the count of three, Gordon fires, and shit goes real bad from there...

The bullet seemingly passes right through the guy Gordon was aiming at, hits the transformer, big explosion. Meanwhile two trains are still coming, and while Batman gets Gordon off the tracks, Alfred can't seem to take control of either and boom, head on collision, lots of people dead.

In the wreckage, Gordon is seemingly talking to himself, saying he was just trying to disarm the man... but again, seems like something is up, because Batman tells him that the man was never holding a gun. Gets even weirder, because those transformers don't seem to control anything major and shouldn't have exploded like that. Nevertheless, Major Dickhead saw what everyone else saw, and heard what everyone else heard, and uses this opportunity to stroke his hateboner towards Gordon, telling Bard to read Gordon his rights and arrest him.

Bard's a little taken back by his first night on the job, but Gordon tells him that he was hired for a reason and that was to do his job, and do it well. So with that, Bard reads Gordon his rights, and takes him away in cuffs.


The Good:

As was generally expected, this was pretty solid start to a sure to be big Batman story. Nice pace, old characters (both good and bad) reintroduced, recently used characters being written a hell of a lot better, and hey look, Jason Fabok is back, delivering that big bombastic Bamtan we all got used to on Detective Comics.

The Bad:

While I enjoyed the issue, want to know what my first thought was after completing the issue? "That was it?" Maybe my expectations are too high, maybe I haven't adjusted my brain to acknowledge we'll get a follow up in seven days, but the big event to kick off the weekly, that somehow ties to Batman being strung up, Catwoman as the kingpin of Gotham, Harper Row becoming Bluebird, Stephanie Brown's introduction, is Gordon being blamed for a train accident that clearly had some outside influence... I mean... why were they even on the same track to begin with? I don't know. My expectations were sky high, and Gordon train accident really failed to meet them.

The Bottom Line:

Batman Eternal's biggest enemy is itself. This is the first #1 issue from the first of DC's recommitment to weekly titles, and with everything that's been promised, and what we know is coming, I honestly think this issue failed to meet the high expectations I, and I know many others, have set for the title. At first glance, aside from that opening page (which... I kind of regret having seen prior to reading the issue) there's no real indication of what this story will eventually become, and just seems like another Batman story, when we know that's not the case. All that being said, I have to remember that this isn't an average Batman story, because instead of waiting a month to see what happens next, the second issue comes out next week, and I'm probably going to have to get used to the different pace of the story. Despite the issue not meeting my sky-high expectations, it's not like it didn't do anything right, as the art was fantastic, there were some good teases of what's to come, and it was cool to see some familiar face we've yet to see in this New 52 continuity. Batman Eternal #1 was a good start, but just keep expectations in check, as this issue clearly only scratches the surface of what's to come.



  1. Any thoughts on who the big mastermind of the story is? The talk of patterns at the end of the issue might suggest Joker(particularly as written by Morrison), but I think he'll be followed up on at the end of Snyder and Capullo's run on the main book. To me, based on the little info we have, my early guess is Lincoln March. The talk of "watching" reflects something important to him, and considering Snyder, who created the character, and Tynion, who co-wrote his possible origin and wrote the story of his accomplice, are the ones who plotted out the overall story, it'd make sense on that score too.

    1. Hard to say, really, but I haven't given it much thought, as we don't seem to be have given enough info to really warrant it.

      That said, I think March could certainly be a possibility. I feel like Snyder said he'd come back at some point. Joker though? While I do believe he'll come back before this story is over, I don't know if it'll be as the mastermind behind this all. I mean, Snyder went out of the way to show Joker under the Morrison-esque "I don't give a fuck who Batman actually is" mentality, so addressing him as Bruce would be weird.

    2. Yeah, it is a bit early, I just had a few thoughts on it based on the limited knowledge we have. Besides the fact that the big bad guy has that interest in making Bruce watch everything crumble around him when the whole idea of watching and being watched was a big part of CoO, Tynion also mentioned that the bad guy in this figures out how to "weaponize", in a way, that feature of Gotham that's a big part of Snyder's run where it shifts to challenge Batman. That also seems like something Lincoln March would be able to understand about the city the way few villains can. But yeah, I just wanted to put those thoughts into words, I know it's too early to really get a good prediction going.

    3. I'm also going to say Hush is another big possibility. Didio said he'd be in the Batman books in 2014... and there really isn't anywhere else to put him.

    4. I am thinking about Hush maybe... I guess it would fit and Dc said a while ago that they are planning to use him in a big way.

    5. Hush is certainly possible, though I think he's kind of a lame character most of the time so I sort of hope it isn't him. Has he even shown up in the New 52 yet? Whether he's the mastermind or not, it does seem like he'll show up in Eternal in some form. Hell, he may even be the "villain who hasn't appeared in the new 52" mentioned in the solicits.

  2. Hnn...Hush is a good possibility along with Lincoln March but could Ras also be a character to look at?

    1. He generally calls Bruce "Detective".