There were two things I thought of when I first learned a weekly Batman series was on the horizon. First, “Man my wallet is going to hate me”. Secondly, who’s going to be featured in it and to what extent? Since it’s been announced we’ve seen and heard rumors of plot details, character’s set to make their first appearance in the New 52 continuity, and of all the different artists collaborating on this series. Finally with Issue #28 we get answers, and boy did they blow our minds. Scott Snyder and co-writer James Tynion IV take a break from “Zero Year” to give us “Gotham Eternal”, a clever filler issue that sets up “Batman Eternal”.
So let’s just jump right into it, and as always this review is full of spoilers so you’ve been warned.
Artist Dustin Nguyen does an admirable job with this issue showing off his stylistic versatility and really making the characters pop off the page. His work on Li’l Gotham was really fun and cutesy but he shows off a more serious approach to this issue as you can tell with his art of the Egyptian casino.
The real winners of this issue are the females of the Bat-universe. Very rarely does Batman take a back seat to anyone, let alone in his own series but that is exactly what happens in this issue, and it is awesome.
Center of so many rumors and speculations sat Harper Row, was she the new Nightwing, would she become Batman’s new sidekick? Now we know she is indeed not the new Nightwing, but Bluebird.
I was very much against the idea of anyone being the new Nightwing, but I can dig Bluebird. She doesn’t have the natural athleticism to rely on, like many of Batman’s previous sidekicks, so she relies on her gadgetry and smarts to give her the upper hand. Also any chick carrying around huge shock guns is always badass.
Selina Kyle is the next woman to steal the scene, we’ve heard from Scott Snyder himself talking about the new “Kingpin” of the Gotham Underworld but be honest, how many people guessed Selina Kyle? After being teased with a fallout between her and Batman, I can’t wait to see how their relationship develops, or deteriorates in “Batman Eternal”.
Finally, in perhaps one of the most anticipated moments in New 52 history, the return of Stephanie Brown aka Spoiler!
With her return she brings a whole bunch of questions, what is this “plague” that is infecting the Narrows and rest of Gotham and what exactly does Ms. Brown know about it?
There isn’t many huge problems with this issue, but for the sake of argument here’s what I could see people questioning. This is issue is clearly a notorious “filler issue”, it does give us some answers but for the most part we end the story wondering a lot more than when we started.
Also, someone else is working the Bat-Computer in the cave, not Alfred! Is this blasphemy? What has Snyder done with Alfred? The person working the computer could be a multitude of people; from Barbara Gordon to Carrie Kelly to Cullen Row.
Lastly, with the death of Batman’s son Damian probably still fresh in his mind, is it really time for another child sidekick? Seems like just tearing open a wound before it fully heals.
If this issue doesn’t get you pumped for the weekly “Batman Eternal” chances are you weren’t even going to pick up the book in the first place. Scott Snyder will continue his great run with Batman into this weekly series and it should produce great moments for the entirety of its run. That being said any fan of Batman, Stephanie Brown, or Harper Row is salivating at the mouth until Eternal drops in April. It’s a must buy.
Also another thought, how does Harper/Bluebird keep those huge guns in that small backpack she was rocking earlier in the issue? Mhmm I’d like to learn more about that.