This week’s edition of Batman Eternal sees a bunch of refugees from Arkham Asylum on the move… and one of them is Bane. Rut roh. Is it good?
Batman Eternal #38 (DC Comics)
Lead Writer: Tim Seeley
Other Writers: Scott Snyder, Kyle Higgins, Ray Fawkes and James Tynion IV
Artist: Andrea Mutti
Thanks to Selina’s tip, Batman heads to the Willowwood Home for Children to take down and capture the escaping Arkham inmates. He doesn’t have his usual array of gadgets due to all of his caches being gone, but he still has some plans and tricks up his sleeve.
Meanwhile, the rest of the inmates are waiting inside while Ivy is setting up a deal with a mysterious partner.
Batman sneaks into the place first and promptly takes down Joker’s Daughter and Mr. Freeze without any difficulty.
Below the orphanage, Posion Ivy and Bane are sneaking off from the rest of the group through a sewer line. Ivy manages to get away from Bane feeding him some food that she grew herself; food with some very “special” chemicals inside. Bane gets so distracted and unable to fight her that she escapes. Just in time for Killer Croc to show up out of nowhere.
Killer Croc and Bane fight it out, Croc getting the upper hand when he rips open Bane’s Venom tubes and slices his arms and legs, causing him to bleed out. The combined effects of Poison Ivy’s food, lack of Venom being fed into his system and rapid blood loss leave Bane defeated. Croc leaves, telling him that this was all about making an example out of him.
Above, Batman takes down Clayface and Scarecrow with ease. Scarecrow tries taunting Batman about the loss of his city and him not knowing what’s really at play here, but Batman just knocks him out with a headbutt for those remarks. When he heads down below, he finds Bane strung up and defeated.
Somewhere across town, Selina is paying Poison Ivy for her part in setting up all of the other Arkham inmates. With the inmates out of the picture, Selina holds a meeting with the other Crime Families and tells them that Gotham is back under the control of the mob.
In Blackgate, Jason Bard confesses everything to Jim Gordon about what he has done and what a mess he has made. He wants to fix everything since Gotham has gone straight to hell after everything and he has no one left to turn to.
Back at Selina’s new nightclub, she decides to get some sleep after a successful day. As she lays down, she confides in Killer Croc, who is now working for her, about how things have turned out.
While the whole Arkham inmate story still feels like padding (since it really didn’t progress much of the main storyline), it does serve a purpose now that I’ve seen how the storyline ends. It develops the character of Selina and how she’s slowly gaining control of Gotham.
It’s not bad stuff on that level, since Selina’s actions and how she’s manipulating people is pretty impressive and an interesting direction for her character. Also, the characterization and development going on here is pretty good as well for the rest of the cast. The artwork isn’t my thing however and not a good fit for the book.