Wednesday, April 16, 2014

SPOILERS: Batman Eternal #2

With the Gotham Gazzette about to run the story on Jim Gordon, it's not long before most of the Bat-family is alerted to the news via various sources. While the news breaks, the less than reputable Mayor Hady retreats into his office, where an old friend waits for him in the shadows.

With most of the GCPD cleaning up the accident, Bruce visits Gordon in jail, and Gordon doesn't seem to be doing well, as he's emotionally drained and defeated form the incident. Gordon starts to question himself, maybe he's too old, maybe he was bound to make a mistake at some point, but Bruce tells them that they both know he doesn't truly believe that, and promises to get to the bottom of it after taking a blood sample.

Meanwhile, a series of other events unfolds... Hady's friend tends to a rose garden and talks about how the city used to be, before freaks, before Batman, before Gordon, and how now is their chance to take back the city... HMM, wonder who this is... Meanwhile, at the crime scene, officer Nancy Strode finds a man at the scene who should be... This man in a greet suit has equally glowing green eyes, and casts an interesting shadow... Maybe he's there to hand out vengeance... like an angry spirit of some sorts, but nevertheless, he does some mystic voodoo and Nancy forgets she ever saw him. And finally, at Arkham, Doctor Phosphorous is screaming about voices or something, but an inmate screaming at Arkham? What else is new... I'll tell you what's new, Blackfire, he's new, and he's back from obscurity to blast Phosphorus away, making sure all know his name.

Meanwhile at the MTA building, Bruce is going over as much footage as he can of the incident, running facial recognition on the man Jim shot at. Catwoman sneaks up behind him, but after some thrown batarangs, Bruce tells her he doesn't have time for her that night. After some failed flirting attempts, Selina eventually gets serious and asks what's going on, but Bruce gets a hit on the facial recognition and tries to leave immediately, with the results not being a good sign.

Selina chases Bruce outside, demanding he not run away without telling her who he's so afraid of... So Bruce spills it, the man he ID'd? That guy left Gotham five years ago after his boss was run out of town by Gordon and himself. So this guy comes back to Gotham less than 24 hours ago, and Bruce doesn't believe he was alone. Who is the poor sap's boss? None other than the Roman... Oh, and guess who's talking to Mayor Hady... None other than the Roman, Carmine Falcone, seemingly having planned Gordon's downfall as a way to get back to the top.


The Good:

Where the first issue of the series had this big event that... I don't know, sort of fell a little flat to me, this issue on the other hand really started to show the scope of what Eternal has planned. Carmine Falcone? Awesome. Spectre? What the fuck? But cool! Blackfire? Who saw that guy coming? While I was already sold on the title for obvious reasons (Batman, duh), this issue really went above and beyond to really sell me on the crazy limitless potential of this weekly beast.

Then of course, how can I go without mentioning Batman and Catwoman? If you didn't know any better, it'd be hard to say that this wasn't a post-Hush interaction between the two, I was half expecting Selina to call Bruce by his first name at one point. That's the Bat/Cat I like... not whatever the fuck we've gotten in her series in the past year+. 

Then there's the art. Jason Fabok had a blog post a couple days ago where he praised Brad Anderson's color work, and having gone through a couple colorists in the past year, finally feeling he's found his collaborator that fits so well... and I've got to agree. I'm very familiar with Anderson's work, which of it, his collaborations with Andy Kubert are most noticeable, but I've got to say... this is some of the best work I've seen from him so far. Just great work all around.

The Bad:

Thought things got just a bit choppy around the Spectre and Blackfire scenes, but whatever, introductions are introductions, there's still 50 something issues to go!

The Bottom Line:

Like I said before, I was already sold on this book, that was a given, but this issue really starts to demonstrate what Batman Eternal could, and will eventually become. The scope of this series is wide, and after the inciting incident, the spotlight has started to widen, allowing characters and concepts both expected and unexpected, to step in and start to craft one big, crazy story.



  1. Maybe you know something about this that I don't, but I can't quite figure out if the guy who spoke to Officer Strode was The Spectre or Ragman. Both primarily are wear green and have that style of hood.

    1. Pretty sure that was Jim Corrigan, who got turned into the Spectre's host in Gotham early on in The Phantom Stranger book.

    2. Ah. I haven't read much of The Phantom Stranger so I don't know what Jim Corrigan looks like in the new 52.

  2. Blackfire? From the "Batman: Cult" limited series?
    Oh shit!

    1. Yep. He's definitely changed a bit, but it's definitely not Starfire's sister, so there's that!

  3. Carmine Falcone has the scars from Year One.. How is that even possible?

    1. Just like everything else that's been adapted in the New 52, under different circumstances. Batman already said he forced Falcone out of town, and Catwoman is clearly familiar with him, so chances are, they have history. Not that hard.