Last week DC began its first weekly title of the New 52, Batman: Eternal. This is a story that affects the entire Bat-family and has some deep repercussions for all the heroes involved here. The first issue, penned by the Snyder-Tynion duo, was a fairly good look at a brand-new crossover in Gotham that sees the GCPD go up against Professor Pyg and come out with one of its best and brightest brought down in a shocking way. The two writers started the series on a bang and the art was also quite good, which helped a great deal. Now its time to look at what comes after.
In Batman: Eternal #2 we see a very focused story as Batman seeks to learn the mystery behind what happened in the last issue, and the other Bat-family members begin to get drawn in. What happened has some major consequences for them all, including Catwoman, because one of Gotham’s greatest criminal masterminds is returning to the city. Snyder-Tynion are still the ones to pen this issue as well, with the other contributing writers to the series serving as consultants. The same team from the previous issue is back basically, and they are all just as good as they were in the last issue, if not better. It is all about the big reveal at the end.
You see, the thing is that there is a great conspiracy in place and the aforementioned mastermind is behind it all. When a character as big as this is making a return, things are bound to get freaky and chaotic. For hints as to what is going to happen, you only need to look at the Thanksgiving teaser image that DC released last year, which shows off the entire Bat-family and several members of their supporting cast. The clues are all in there as to what is happening and what might happen. You just need a fine eye and a willingness to trawl through several forums looking for the meanings therein.
But, facts remain that Gordon is now facing murder charges because of a mistake he made, an honest mistake but a mistake nonetheless. That he was set-up is beyond the point since there is no evidence to the contrary. That is where Batman comes in because people like Gordon, well, they don’t exactly do screw-ups like this. And this all reeks of manipulation and what not. But it is masterful, the way everything is done. Snyder and Tynion draw in Selina Kyle aka Catwoman into the story as well and that ends up having some repercussions once the two heroes (well, one hero and one… anti-hero?) learn who is behind everything that has happened in Gotham.
Because yes, even we learn who is behind the goings on in the city. Possibly at least. The clues are all there, they just need to be connected. I have to say though that the big reveal, the way that it is set up and the way that it all plays out for that one final page, is just awesome. I had totally forgotten about that Thanksgiving teaser image and now that I see what some of it meant, I am stunned. Great job by DC’s Bat-desk in working all this out. It is stories like this that really elevate Batman (and related) comics above the other titles, and the way that this is all going, there is going to be some kind of an explosive finish. Characters like the big bad villain here don’t just come back to chill and hang out. They have plans within plans and they are ruthless in the execution of these plans.
As the story shows so far and will show in the next month.
Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson, Nick J. Napolitano and Tomeu Morey are back for another exciting installment of this new weekly series and just as last time they deliver on the promise. The dark, broody, mysterious and overbearing feeling of Gotham is all there in these pages thanks to these artists, and I wouldn’t trade these guys for anyone else, quite frankly. The best part of this issue has to be a surprising cameo by a supernatural character that we haven’t seen much of recently. His entry into the series is quite muted, his identity only hinted at, whether through dialogue or art. But it is the art that makes the most difference. Fabok and Anderson go the subtle route and it works wonders. And their Selina is also pretty awesome, although I’m not sure about her debut panel since it involves quite a body-twister that I’m not sure even she can pull off.
Still, what matters is that this was an awesome story and some quite awesome art. Just a few improvements here and there to make this even better.
More Batman: Eternal: #1.