[WoB/RR: Event] Batman Eternal (Oct.-Dec.)

25-28:

Really starting to heat up here. It was great after a long time in terms of this series to see the Family working together again. It was also fun to see Julia interact with the family and have her fully established as Penny-Two. She was a source for a lot of good humor – got a good chuckle out of her trying to get Batman to spill the beans on him and Catwoman’s sordid romance. Speaking of, the moment that causes Selina to go forward with her father’s plan works really well.

This was also a good section art-wise. R.M. Guera, who did a good half of the issues was a pleasant surprise. I only remember him doing Scalped at Vertigo, and while it’s a little odd at first (his Batman just screams Dashiell Bad-Horse in a mask to me), the mood and tone of it just fit so well with Batman. I’d love to see him do more work with the character at some point. The issues by Javier Garron and Meghan Hetrick were also great.

The flashback pages by Juan Ferreyra for Hush was also good and the…I’m not sure if I’d call this a retcon or an addition to the original work, but it reminds me of a post I saw…I forget if it was here or on Reddit, but it talked about how Tommy shouldn’t be a childhood friend of Bruce, but more of a crazy stalker. This take on it I think did a good job of basically doing both.

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Hmm…that’s an interesting way of looking at it. Never thought of it quite that way.

I don’t know, for me I think I just never really liked how she was written a lot of the time. Like, unless Gail Simone was writing her, half the time I just thought she was a bad imitation of the 90s A-Hole Batman that a lot of fans didn’t like.

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I suppose the emotional and physical anguish of having your spine severed; and working with Amanda Waller, might dim your sunny disposition a bit :joy: :joy: :joy:
She was definitely an angry woman for a long time.

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True that, though I think it’s something that only goes so far. Like, to me, much like how Wonder Woman is sometimes said to have the best qualities of Batman and Superman, Barbara has the best qualities of Bruce and Dick. She has Bruce’s intelligence, strength of will and drive, but also Dick’s eternal optimism and ability to work with and inspire others. So to me it would be sort of like seeing Dick being written as a forlorn, edgy figure for…30-ish years?

To sort of bring it back to Eternal, I think what happened to Barbara with her father being framed makes sense to see her being much more darker and obsessed than normal, but stuff like having Red Hood seemingly let Bard drop and her catching him is a good example of what I’m talking about there.

Also also – considering what we see in this series, it is so WILD and honestly kind of dumb that Barbara was dating Bard near the end of her Rebirth series. Like, I get that Bard is second only to Dick in terms of Barbara’s love interests, but they needed to retcon that stuff A LOT to make that even remotely make sense.

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That scene was wicked! True, classic Barbara.

Perish the thought :flushed:

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For anyone interested, check out Batgirl #30 and go from there.

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29-32:

Nice to see a solid end to the whole “Arkham Asylum is possessed” storyline. It had been kind of put in the background in a way that’s kind of odd (I know Luke isn’t exactly the biggest member of the family, but you would think it’s odd no one had seen him in a while).

Also a good spotlight for Alfred, both between his team-up with Bane and his reuniting with the family, including her daughter.

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This lady is quickly moving up the ranks to bona fide champion. I would definitely want Bluebird on my team, whether defending the city from criminal lowlifes or family game night. Harper has some serious skills.

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Yeah. The only gripe I might have about Harper is that she makes Stephanie feel redundant, but that’s mostly DC’s fault for temporarily removing Stephanie from the timeline.

Here’s an interview with Scott Snyder about Harper:

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Who? :wink:

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Thanks for the article suggestion. It’s nice to peer into the minds’ of the creators sometimes. I like what he wrote about her motivation to help Gotham ( her city) on her own terms and not so much about becoming a drive to become a bat. It definitely translates onto the pages. I’m really looking forward to her development.

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Can you have too many cameos? Possibly.
Was it necessary for Bruce to confront Ra’s, just to hear him say wasn’t me didn’t do it? I’m not sure what that added to the story. I like this story and am invested (obviously with only four issues left); but the slow drag and drip of information is getting tedious. With so many subplots and side characters i’m nervous the ending will be rushed and unsatisfying. :grimacing:

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Yeah, that one gave me flashbacks to Jeph Loeb’s Hush.

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33-36:

Here we see the climax of the Bard angle of the story, with them using Batman’s own weapons against him and taking Bruce’s company away from him. It’s interesting reading this now when Tynion has actually done something somewhat similar with his run on Batman within the past few months. It’s like there’s a part of the people writing him who want to strip Batman of his wealth.

It makes sense in a way – not only in terms of more modern political thinking (no such thing as an ethical billionaire), but giving Batman infinite resources makes his war on crime feel like it’s a bit on easy mode. It’s nice seeing Batman having to keep track of how much of his tools he’s using and having to go a little more low-tech.

It’s just a shame that they had to use a fairly recognizable character like Jason Bard for this – though that may be more because of hindsight of what they’d do with the character later on in Batgirl.

37-40:

Here we start to see more of Selina as the actual Queenpin of Crime. Would have been nice to see more how she was established other than “Daddy made it so,” but seeing her in this position of power is definitely fun. It was also fun to see the Arkham villains like Mister Freeze, Scarecrow, Bane and Poison Ivy butt heads and bicker and scheme against each other. Shame they had to mention the bleh childhood origin of Freeze, but I guess it can’t be perfect.

We also start to see what I believe @jenoutmind was talking about with Batman’s tour of meeting villains not previously used to figure out who’s behind it all. I think it works fairly well here, but I can agree that it does sort of feel like padding.

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FINAL WEEK! Any final thoughts on Eternal?

In case anyone missed it, I wanted to let the @WorldOfBatsBookClub and @RenegadeRobinsClub know that the former club is currently reading the first arc in James Tynion’s Detective Comics Rebirth run. It’s one of the stories that follows up on the events of Batman Eternal and its sequel, so if you’ve been enjoying the team dynamic in Eternal, you’ll love what Tynion has to offer in 'Tec.

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Dang, you’re doing a better job advertising the club than I am! :sweat_smile:

#41-44/Batman #28:

I REALLY enjoyed how Harper got her superhero origin here. Yeah, I get that she’s yet another teen sidekick in an already pretty packed Bat-Family, but she’s still very cool (and I’m very glad to see she’s back in the current books).

Art-wise this was also a pretty good round of artists, from Joe Quinonnes to Dustin Nguyen and ACO.

It was pretty interesting reading Batman #28 in relation to Eternal, because while it mostly keeps to what we’ve seen, there were little things I noticed that makes me think that plans probably changed from when Snyder originally envisioned Eternal, to what we got on the shelf. For example, Harper talks about the “virus” like it was something far more widespread and biological, not to mention something still going on; whereas in the book she helped defeat the Nanovirus literally just before.

Also, I get the feeling that there was originally going to be a harsher, more violent reason for Selina to turn to being the Queenpin, from the way that Selina talks to Batman. Even in the Eternal issues, she was far more amicable and flirty with Bruce, and of course in the Valentine run of Catwoman, she still had some warm and tender moments with Batman, even though they were on more opposite sides than ever before.

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#45-48:

Overall…I’m not sure I’d call these four issues “filler” per se, but I do think it was kind of written as being the sort of “calm before the storm.”

First off, Batwing the Ghost Puncher was one of the most random/hilarious/kinda awesome things I’ve seen done with Luke Fox. But overall it was cool to see him have this unique relationship with Jim Corrigan. Both of them went through some STUFF in Arkham and it’s cool to see they bonded over it. Would have been neat if maybe they had Luke show up in the then Gotham By Midnight or maybe JLD.

Speaking of JLD, I wonder if that tree that Milo was looking at in his delusion was meant to be the Tree of Wonder that Snyder or possibly Tynion would later establish in No Justice and Justice League Dark. Maybe it was something that they had in mind before getting those big gigs.

Also…is Julia a never-nude? I get she would get creeped out by Hush potentially watching her shower, but I dunno, I would think there would be better ways of showing that scene. Maybe have most of her obscured by the waterfall?

Gripes aside, there were some neat stuff here. Some of the fights the Family were going through was cool, especially Jason fighting…mecha-Bane, I guess? And while it was part of the “tour to disprove villain connections” thing, I thought Batman’s encounter with Ra’s al Ghul had some really cool moments.

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Wrapped up pretty nicely. Glad I read it. I’m sure it would have had an even better impact if I knew who Lincoln March was, hahaha. But I got the gist. (Super baddie who thinks he’s Bats long lost brother, and blames Bruce for all his unhappiness. Not the worst idea; but not exactly original either). How did he kill the Owls? Did he poison them? Did he cut their throats? I couldn’t tell. The scene was a little vague.
I can’t help but smile when the bat family teams up. It raises the stakes and makes everything more exciting.
I’m not hating the idea of a Jason/Babs duo. In a weird way they both soften the other a bit, bring each one down to a more rational and less emotional level. Plus wouldn’t that just chap Dick, if and when he returns, :smiling_imp:
Someone needs to explain to me, why Jason and Vicki get a wrap up scene; but the Pennies are just left at their respective computers without another mention. Rude!
Throughout the series there was some standout art. I’m still dazzled by the full page Penguin. Amazing. And then I think there were some real missed opportunities to show some real talent.



And the final bit with Harper, et al… well maybe it’s an artistic style I just haven’t learned to appreciate yet.
All in all I’m glad I stuck it out to the end; and would probably read it again if it came around.

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49-52:

Overall a great climax to the story, I thought. Jim dealing with the second or third riot in as many months was cool (love the little Rorschach moment) as was him FINALLY getting out of prison. It was really cool seeing all the Bat-Family working together, I especially loved Harper helping inspire Steph to come back as well as her obvious girl-crush on Batwoman (and who can blame her?).

Part of me kind of wishes that Cluemaster was just the main villain in this whole thing. I guess to a certain extent he was the main mastermind of the whole scheme, but it was obvious from the start he had a higher benefactor, and I suppose Cluemaster wouldn’t have been as climactic a battle at the end. Lincoln March wasn’t my favorite villain ever to be the main guy, but he works well enough, and this story does give him a bit of a conclusion to his arc, while making him available for someone else to use later.

Series overall:

Overall I really liked this series. I think you can reasonably say that there’s some bloat or parts that just kind of spin the plate for a week, but I think that’s part and parcel for any big weekly series like this. In terms of weeklies, I would say it’s definitely far better than Countdown, but I don’t know if I would say if it’s as good as 52.

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It’s a scene from the arcs Court of Owls/Night of the Owls, Snyder’s first story in the Batman title during the New 52. We covered those books for the World of Bats earlier this year, if you want to take a look and perhaps share your thoughts after. :slight_smile:

Agreed, the Family aspect of the book I think is what makes this book overall shine.

I mean…I don’t hate it, but for me it’s one of those things where I’d be wary about who would be the one who does it, y’know?

That said, I’m going to be curious about your thoughts on The Three Jokers if/when we get the book on DCUI…

Yeah…not that you mention it, rude! It does make me wonder if maybe one of the creators had something in mind for Bard going forward but it never really came to being until Rebirth.

Agreed – I think there were some artists that you can kind of tell were put in because they were able to make a deadline and it shows, but I think that’s kind of the cost of having a weekly book. We still got a lot of cool art, from the big guys like Jason Fabok and Dustin Nguyen, to some surprising guys like R.M. Guera and Ian Bertram.

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