Batman Eternal #25 and Futures End #21 are here and as always, your diligent Weekly Weeklies analyst is here to cover them. Let’s get to it:
WARNING: Spoilers Below!
Batman Eternal #25
Lead Writer: James Tynion IV
Corresponding Writers: Scott Snyder, Ray Fawkes, Tim Seeley, and Kyle Higgins
Artist: R.M. Guera
Jason Bard tricks Vicki Vale into publishing a news story about multiple terror attacks that’ll soon strike the city; this naturally freaks out tons of citizens, causing full scale riots across the city and plunging Gotham into further chaos. During this time, Batman and the Bat Family try their best to calm the situation down. Also, Harper Row has returned to Gotham with Red Robin, all trained up now but still lacking a codename.
As Batman patrols the area, Julia Pennyworth (still operating out of the Batcave) sends him the information and video footage about who released the Architect. He discovers it was Jason Bard — who is also in cahoots with Hush.
At Gotham Mercy Hospital, Jason Todd is checking in on Alfred after finding out about the attack. Tim Drake also shows up to see how Alfred is doing as well and the two of them catch up on what has been going on in their lives.
Barbara Gordon is on the phone with Jim Gordon, who is still locked up. She’s confused about why he is still locked up, despite the evidenc against his committing the crime being turned in. She then gets a call from Red Robin to suit up and get ready to meet up with Batman.
In Midtown, Batman breaks into Bard’s apartment to look for him but is confronted by Hush in hologram form. Hush takes his time to gloat. With that and a few more parting words, he blows up the building and buries Batman under a pile of rubble. Batman survives of course and the Bat-Family shows up to rescue him.
Across town, Jason Bard shows up at the mayor’s place, acting like the explosion nearly killed him and tells him enough is enough. The mayor agrees and sends word to governor that it’s time to put Gotham on martial law status.
As with issue #23, this one is about setting the stage for the focus of the second part of Eternal and continuing to push the series towards the glimpse of the future we got back in Batman #28. It seems like we have almost all of the pieces in place and the excitement is only building more and more. While the story didn’t have any twists that we weren’t expecting, it did push a few story plot points forward (Harper Row is back and is all trained up now) and continued forward with some solid characterization and writing through and through.
The only thing that people will probably be mixed on here is the artwork by R.M. Guera, the artist who did Scalped. He’s got a style that does fit the Batman universe, with its gritty and ugly feel (especially when he depicts Gotham and chaos going on in it) and it does relay some good intensity. The way he draws his characters however is strange, considering he’s not the best at depicting superhero costumes and getting the exact look of what some people should look like down to a tee.
Ha! Didn’t expect my party streamer gadget did ya?!
Futures End #21
Writers: Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, and Keith Giffen
Artist: Cully Hammer
Big Barda is shocked by the appearance of Green Arrow and Red Arrow, having assumed they both have died. Red Arrow gives her the details about everything that has happened, summing up the superheroes and civilians of Earth 2’s escape through a wormhole of sorts to where the regular Earth is. As they reached Earth, a fleet of Apokoliptian warships as followed through and a majority of the superheroes stayed to fight them off, sacrificing themselves in the process. While most of the Earth 2 ships made it, so did a lot of the warships… which has caused a full out war on this Earth.
As Red Arrow recaps the war, there are several things shown and mentioned: The death of the Teen Titans and Red Arrow saving Red Robin; Firestorm’s boss watching his workplace die along with his wife; Stormguard rising up with several military members to fight; Atlantis getting into the fray to fight, and even Big Barda wiping out a whole battalion in Toronto (which is how R.A. knew where she was).
Green Arrow then starts filling in the rest of the details. He tells how the influx of Earth 2 citizens started to make the world paranoid. After all they went through (a villain uprising and then a war out of nowhere), the people were naturally panicked. As such, the Global Peace Agency (G.P.A. for short and nothing to have to do with your grade point average) was created and it was supposedly meant to integrate and help Earth 2 citizens, but with the earth cards and curfews, it was mostly a thing to keep an eye on them.
Green Arrow had suspected the G.P.A. was rotten and up to something, which was confirmed when he had met Red Arrow. R.A. told about how the organization was capturing secret heroes from that world and he has been on the run from agents like Deathstroke. Looking for answers about what the G.P.A. was up to, he discovers that Maxwell Payne had compromised codes to Earth’s shield system and that Brother Eye satellite had zapped the heroes aboard before they died, just as a Cadmus ship approached.
With that, Green Arrow figured out Cadmus was behind the G.P.A. and faked his death to get away from them. He also discovered where their secret island is and has plans to storm the island and expose what Cadmus has done to the rest of the world. Barda agrees to help him with his cause.
This is what we call an exposition dump. This entire issue was nothing but exposition with Red and Green Arrow explaining all the backstory. However, it’s all very necessary exposition and does explain a lot of backstory for the events of the past and gives context for some of the things that have been hinted at throughout the series. On that level, it’s rather nice and interesting, but of course, it’s a bit of a grind to get through it all at points.
The artwork is by newcomer Cully Hammer and his artwork fits in with the rest of the series quite well.
Not the most flattering of ID photos ever taken.