The last two issues basically involved us going in a circle and really learning nothing new in the story. It was rather dull and unfortunate, but hopefully things turn around with this issue. I mean, look at that cover! Ra’s getting involved always means big things, right? Let’s take a look.
Batman Eternal #46 (DC Comics)
Lead Writer: Tim Seeley
Other Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, and Kyle Higgins
Artists: Alessandro Vitti, Christian Duce, Ronan Cliquet
After a brief opening with Poison Ivy, we cut to Batman in Pakistan as he breaks into one of the League of Assassins’ bases to find Ra’s al Ghul, believing him to be responsible for everything. Ra’s has Dr. Darrk prepare something to distract Batman so that he doesn’t get to him as the Detective smashes through the base and his minions. Something involving a bit of time travel.
At Blackgate Penitentiary, Selina visits her father, Leo, and asks him if he knows who is sneaking in items through the docks without her permission. He doesn’t know, but promises to look into it and make sure no one is trying to undermine her.
Back in the League of Assassins’ base, Batman enters a room as gas starts pouring into it. There, Batman sees visions of the future with various successors to his mantle and where Batman’s role will be going as Ra’s narrates about what could happen.
Batman ignores the images and finds Ra’s himself, who is confined to a bed and is badly injured, revealing he is too out of it and nowhere near fit enough to have caused this madness. He states he got a similar invitation a while go like the rest of the people, but destroyed it and assured Batman that he would destroy him only when he was at his peak condition (whether it be now or with one of his future successors). With that Batman, yet again, has hit a dead end… possibly.
The issue ends with Leo getting some information from one of his informants about what is being shipped into the city; turns out it’s a collection of strange objects like hundreds of dolls, mirrors, crates of craft feathers, and military drones. He realizes someone is shipping all the psychopaths and villains of Gotham specialized items and that can only lead to something bad.
Yet again, we are nowhere closer to figuring out who is the person behind everything and at this stage of the game, and with so few issues left, it’s starting to become inexcusable. We keep going around in circles and dodging the answer, when it feels like we should already be told who it is (there are only a few suspects left at this point, like Dr. Hurt or crazy Owlman from Court of Owls). The story is just feeling padded out now, which is a shame since the rest of the writing is great and characterization is very strong here. I also would have preferred there not being three artists on it (it lead to some awkward changes between art styles), since any of the artist would have been fine.