After last week’s issue, things are really heating up now after everything has changed in the Bat-World. The question is, where will the comic be going from here? Let’s find out!
Batman Eternal #36 (DC Comics)
Lead Writer: James Tynion IV
Other Writers: Scott Snyder, Kyle Higgins, Ray Fawkes, and Tim Seeley
Artist: Fernando Blanco
At Tim Drake’s hideout, Harper Row is checking in on her brother, still in a coma after the whole nano-virus situation. Tim calls her over to the main console and wants her to get in contact with the rest of the Family. Bard has launched an attack on Batman and Tim needs to get to him and will need the rest of the family as well. Meanwhile, across town, the Batmobile comes crashing down to the ground in a loud explosion after falling out of the skyscraper. Bard declares Batman is dead, but the rest of the cops and others abandon him on the roof, leaving in complete disgust of his actions.
Back in Detroit, Vicki Vale gets the lowdown about Bard’s backstory from an old buddy. Detroit used to have this Batman wannabe who would attack gangs and other criminals, usually getting the snot beat out of him. Also at the time, Jason Bard also had a partner he was crushing on, Jodie (who looks similar to Vicki). At one point, the two of them were performing a raid on a drug den when the Batman wannabe crashed the raid. Jodie got distracted and she (along with the vigilante) was gunned down, leaving only Bard alive.
The situation left Jason destroyed on the inside and with a strong hatred of Batman, similarly costumed characters, and also cops that support his actions (Like Jim Gordon). One day while he was getting drunk at a bar, a doctor (Hush, but the bartender doesn’t know that) came to him with an offer. Not too long after that, he transferred out of the place. Following the news about this, Vicki gets a call from Bard who wants to talk about what he did. She’s tells him what she knows about his past and is disgusted that he has been using her in his vendetta against Batman. She hangs up on him, telling him that they are through and he should never call her again.
Batman then shows up on the roof with Bard, revealing to him that he escaped from the deathtrap. Batman calls him out on every single thing he has done, including the fact that when he pulled several officers from their posts for this little vendetta, several crimes were committed and citizens got hurt or killed. Bard tries to arrest him then and there, but the Bat-Family shows up and stops him from doing so. Batman and his Family tell him to start doing the right thing and protect the city (since they can’t necessarily lock him up) or they’ll talk with him again.
Everyone reconvenes in the Batcave and discusses everything that has been going on. They manage to put an end to several of the criminals tearing up and wrecking Gotham, but they are no closer to the true mastermind behind all of this insanity. The issue then ends with a scene of the Riddler somewhere. He is apparently trying to figure out the mystery himself and has decided that since Batman hasn’t figured things out yet, he will give him a little “push”.
I would say that this issue was better than the last, but with a few minor things around that gave me pause. The biggest thing was Batman’s plan overall. He doesn’t really explain what the purpose of it, but from what I guess, it seems like he wanted to get the rest of the police to not trust Jason Bard all that much anymore for all of his actions. That’s fine, but I don’t see the point of doing something so incredibly reckless to put his own life in danger to that degree (sort of reminds me of Batman RIP, but with Batmobiles instead). It seems a bit too out there for Batman. Bard’s backstory, while not bad is a bit overly familiar and clichéd a bit.
Otherwise, the rest of the comic was very enjoyable. The story and how it wraps up this arc is pretty good, the dialogue and characterization felt much better, there were plenty of good moments, and the ending was really great. Plus the artwork by Blanco was great like in the previous issue and I wish he would be drawing more issues of the series.
Batgirl certainly knows how to chat with people.