Story & Script: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Consulting Writers: Ray Fawkes, John Layman, & Tim Seeley
Artist: Jason Fabok
Published by DC Comics
The moment is finally upon us! Most people, along with myself, have approached Batman Eternal with a kind of excited skepticism. On one hand I can’t seem to get enough of the New 52 Bat-universe; on the other hand the story better be damned good if I’m going to shell out $2.99 every single week for the book.
We open this issue with scene we’re not used to. We don’t know when it really is, who’s involved, or what’s really happening. It’s simply known as: The End. After just that single page we flash back to our present time where we see a familiar scenario: there’s a new officer transferring into Gotham from Detroit, his name is Jason Bard and just like Jim Gordon in the classic Batman: Year One, he’s arriving into Gotham with the same kind of excited skepticism that I had when I first cracked open this book. Gordon wanted to be there to welcome the new Lieutenant in person, but he and Batman are busy with Professor Pyg who’s in the middle of his latest dastardly deed.
I’m not sure exactly who to credit for this great story, but it was definitely good enough for me to want to stick around for at least a month. The end of this issue finds Gordon on the wrong side of the law (I won’t spoil how though!) and I’m REALLY intrigued with where the story is going to go, especially after just the first page shows us “The End.” It’s going to be one hell of a rollercoaster ride seeing how we get from the showdown with Professor Pyg to having Bruce strapped down with his city burning around him, but I definitely have my suspicions on who’s behind all of this already. I hope I’m right; it’s a classic Batman rogue!
It was a bit odd for me to read a Snyder Batman story and not see Greg Capullo’s gorgeous art on the pages as well. The shock didn’t last more than a panel or two though, Jason Fabok did an absolutely bang-up job showing us what it would look like if the Batman failed and Gotham burned to the ground. There are plenty of personal moments too. Fabok’s facial expressions show us just how deep the corruption in Gotham runs and how the glimmer of optimism in the eyes of Jason may just be Gordon’s salvation when it’s all said and done.
While I’m well aware of just how intimidating of a task it will be to keep up with a WEEKLY book, this is a series that’s worth reading if you enjoy classic stories about Gotham’s underbelly. I’m enjoying Zero Year a lot but it’s also nice to be back with the present day Bats and seeing what everyone is up to around Gotham. I’m really hoping the new Lieutenant Jason Bard is on his way to becoming a prominent character in this universe because I love the “young Gordon” vibe I get from him. I’m not sure how yet, but I know that his, Batman’s, and Gordon’s stories are all on a collision course for each other, but until we know how, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.
4.5 out of 5 nerds