[WoB/RR: Event] Batman Eternal (Oct.-Dec.)

Week 2: October 4-10

Carmine Falcone fans are lucky this month: you can read Batman Eternal and The Long Halloween along with us! Double the Roman, double the fun!

We’re looking at issues 5-8 this week. In the first of those issues, we get Batman saying that things haven’t been the same since the Joker, Damian, and Dick. What’s he talking about, you ask? Well, the Joker reference is in light of Death of the Family, while the Damian nod refers to recent events in Batman Incorporated, and the Dick allusion connects to the miniseries Forever Evil. (In case you’re curious about Dick’s whereabouts, check out the Grayson series.)

Issue 6 gives us appearances by Luke Fox, aka Batwing (as of Batwing #20), and Duela Dent, aka the Joker’s Daughter. The latter appearance may be confusing for anyone who just read Countdown to Final Crisis with the Renegade Robins Club, but the New 52 revived Duela and retold her story in a Forever Evil tie-in and a one-shot issue. She has recently been causing some problems for Catwoman, and she will soon join the New Suicide Squad.

Nothing really to say about the other two issues. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Real quick on 1-4:

I thought it was a great start – from the crazy cold open of Bruce chained to the signal while the city is on fire, to the inciting action of Gordon being framed for manslaughter. It was also cool to see how they reintroduce Stephanie in this story – it feels true to who she was in the past, but with a strong importance to the plot, and a little added twist.

Jason Fabok absolutely killed it with his first three issues, and while Dustin Nguyen also does a great issue, it also highlights one of thet issues of a weekly title and that’s how inconsistent these books can be in terms of artwork.

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Week 3: October 11-17

We’re on issues 9-12 this week, and if you need even more content related to this series, you can check out this read-along of the spin-off, Gotham by Midnight!

In this set of issues, we get a few callbacks to Grant Morrison’s pre-Flashpoint run, including characters from Batman RIP and his first volume of Batman Incorporated.

We also get a rebooted version of Julia Pennyworth, who was first introduced by Gerry Conway in Detective Comics #501-502 and then played a significant supporting role in Doug Moench’s subsequent run. This new version is quite different.

Speaking of rebooted characters, I’ve neglected to spoil the presence of Stephanie Brown in this story so far, If you’ve never read the initial telling of her origin, be sure to check out Detective Comics #647, 648, & 649. She was dumped after Flashpoint, but now she’s back!

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Week 4: October 18-24

We’ve made it to issues 13-16. Jason Bard is cracking down on Gotham’s corruption!

I really hope you’ve read the aforementioned Black Mirror so that you have some context for this story’s take on James Gordon Junior. He was first introduced in Year One and made subsequent appearances in early years stories such as Night Cries, but Snyder largely reinvented the character during his run on Detective Comics. (James Jr. is not to be confused with the commissioner’s ill-fated pre-Crisis son, Tony.)

Oh, and @Reaganfan78, there’s a good dose of Penguin this week! Plenty of obscure Batman rogues make cameo appearances, too: Magpie, Ten-Eyed Man, Maxie Zeus, Professor Milo…

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5-8:

Getting to see some more of the different plot elements come in, which is nice to see. The stuff with Harper Row and Red Robin starts off with a bang – nanobot swarms are something you don’t see everyday, even in Gotham.

The Spectre teaming up with Batwing is something I NEVER thought I’d see. I like that this book really gives an effort to try to bring in every member of the Bat Family available. What’s cool is that I didn’t realize that Luke was established as a tech-head here, I thought that was something that Tynion made in his Detective run so that Luke can better replace Tim.

9-12:

Love how this part added in a lot of Batman Inc. members, from Batman Japan to El Gaucho.

And it’s good to FINALLY start to see Jason start to play a role in this! It’s cool to see him and Barbara team up, and for him to be the cool and collected one for once.

Personally I find it WILD that they had Ian Bertram do the art for #11. I mean, if any issue here so far fits his style, it’s that one, but it’s just not what I would expect in a “standard” Batman story.

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Week 5: October 25-31

As we move toward Halloween this week, we read issues 17-20 of Batman Eternal! Appropriately enough, we get Deacon Blackfire (familiar to anyone who has read The Cult, which is established here as only semi-canonical in the New 52), Killer Croc, and some other spooky delights.

In these issues, we see a reference to the fairly recent Forever Evil tie-in Arkham War. Oh, and Red Hood gets really ticked off about child enslavement. I suppose that sorta balances out Jason’s removal from the Deacon Blackfire flashback. Kinda.

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Still not to that point yet (I think I’m on #15 right now), but I do think it’s interesting how around this time it seems like they were trying to add more of those classic stories in a way that at least kinda sorta fits in the canon. Around this time they were also doing Zero Year which while I don’t think they said as much, I think was their way of trying to have some version of No Man’s Land.

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Week 6: November 1-7

Welcome back, @WorldOfBatsBookClub and @RenegadeRobinsClub! We’re entering the second month of our three-month Batman Eternal marathon! This week, we’re reading issues 21-24.

Here are some of the characters featured this week:

  1. Hush, who first appeared in, well, Hush.
  2. The Architect from Gates of Gotham (linked above).
  3. Dragos Ibanescu from the Catwoman story Of Cats and Dogs.
  4. Tiger Shark from Black Mirror (linked above).
  5. Signalman, a Silver Age rogue and Secret Society member.
  6. Ratcatcher from 'Tec #585-586, recently seen in Batwing #27-32.
  7. Prankster, a Superman foe retooled for the New 52 in Nightwing #19-24.
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I’m caught up now to issues #24. It was good to see The Architect again.

Something that stood out to me from back in issue #18 was Jason Todd saying about Barbara Gordon…

“None of us Robins were ever as good as Batgirl. We knew it. Drove us all crazy. She’s got the legs of a ballerina and the brains of a librarian… I think it was because she didn’t do what she does for revenge. Not like ol’ dead Nightwing or me. She doesn’t fight for some ghost. She fights for someone alive.”

I’m not sure how much I agree that none of the Robins are as good as Batgirl but it was interesting to read anyway.

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#13-16:

First off, can I just say DAMN those are some amazing covers by Dustin Nguyen? Just hauntingly beautiful work. His art for 15 and 16 inside the book was also really good, really fits the horror vibe of what they were doing with the main crux of those books. The art by Janin and Fabok in the interiors were also really good – this was just a really good bunch of art this segment, love to see it. :slight_smile:

Anyway, I liked how they did some big forward momentum with the gang war, Jason Bard comes off like a true successor to James Gordon, and with how things are going, that might be needed more than ever.

Some nice progression with Tim and Harper’s story, and their unique story with the nanobots. It’s funny seeing Harper’s sort of superhero look, since it basically feels like a blue Grifter mask. :laughing:

The story with Gordon and James Jr was also great, really testing Gordon as a character, and James is a great foil to test Gordon’s trust and faith in the system.

But the really cool sequence I thought was Batwing and Corrigan’s investigation into Arkham Asylum. Maybe it was because I was reading it at the right time of year, but it was really spooky and intriguing to read.

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First off, just want to say I haven’t read any of Eternal yet. I’m new to the DCU app and I didn’t even realize there were book clubs on here!
This is so fun, I’m really glad there’s people on here organizing this stuff. I’ve been re-reading the Snyder/Capullo run so I could get to Eternal, glad I have you all to motivate me! Thanks everyone!

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Welcome to the Community! Glad to have you hear and looking forward to your thoughts. :smiley:

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Week 7: November 8-14

The battle against Hush continues as we reach the halfway point of this event! We’re looking at issues 25-28 this week, which include a cameo by the Outlaws! (Yeah, Jason Todd has already been in these issues, but Kori and Roy pop in for a moment.) We also get an appearance by a Catwoman villain, Louis “Bone” Ferryman, who appeared in the opening three-issue arc of Selina’s New 52 series. (Batman Eternal really loves exploring her conflicts with the mob, doesn’t it?)

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Week 8: November 15-21

Do I spot a Spectre? We’ve reached issues 29-32, and things aren’t looking good at Arkham Asylum. In fact, it gets so bad that DC had to give us a spin-off series, Arkham Manor #1-7! But we do get one wonderful thing out of it: the long-awaited team-up of Alfred and Bane. I wonder how the two of them are getting along nowadays…

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Week 9: November 22-28

This week, we’ve reached issues 33-36. Batman and Julia team up on a mission! Hush tries out a new costume! Wayne Enterprises runs into trouble! Vicki investigates Bard’s past! And the Batmobile loses more than a wheel! Find out how by reading along with us!

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I figure today is a good day to bring this bit of art made for the series and to say Happy Thanksgiving! :smiley:

Anyway, since it seems like I’m eternally behind, my thoughts on a big chunk of issues:

17-20:

The truncated version of The Cult was nice to see – like Knox said, would have been nice if they showed it was around Jason’s era, at least, but hey, I like that they were at least trying to find ways to put some of those classic stories in this truncated timeline.

The stuff in Brazil with Batgirl, Red Hood & Batwoman was also cool – an interesting combo you wouldn’t have seen that often (hell, I don’t think Jason interacts with Kate at all after this until Rebirth). Though the thing with Babs telling Jason that he’ll “never be Dick Grayson?” Kind of a d-bag move. Though I guess you can say that’s just her being upset that her kinda-sorta-maybe boyfriend/bat-school sweetheart is probably off with some form of the Titans boinking Starfire at this point.

The story with Batman, Bard and Killer Croc was cool because it helps further Croc’s arc to being less of a big dumb evil guy for Batman to smack around and more into a morally grey, sometimes-good-sometimes-bad protector of the Gotham Underground.

Also, the break-in to Blackgate was a neat story beat, giving Jim something to do while also formally introducing the Celebrese family into things. I thought it was funny that Harper Row’s dad was in here, like literally, the only reason why he would be around and now cowering in a corner wetting himself is because of her daughter playing a bigger role in the story.

Finally: Alfred, I know at times it seems like you just were born a Gentleman’s Gentleman ready to serve your charge, but come on. You were young once. You should know that is NOT what Julia meant when she said she was going for “high tea.”

21-24:

Speaking of, this is the part where Julia FINALLY gets into the Cave, starts working with the family under “Penny-Two.” With this, I have to say that this is probably my favorite take on the character, and I kind of wish she was still around. I mean, with Alfred currently deceased, this would be the perfect time to bring her back, DC, just sayin’…

And speaking of truncating and adding classic stories, now we get the addition of Hush in here, which is…okay. At this stage, he kind of feels like an empty shell that could have been anyone. Maybe it’s because I don’t think he and Batman haven’t fully met yet? Or maybe it’s because I know he’s not the real villain of the piece. I dunno, either way, it’s certainly not in the pantheon of best Hush stories.

Another big thing in this story is Selina being revealed to be the daughter of Leo Calabrese and being charged to lead the crime family to save Gotham. I rather liked this moment – it sets the seeds for a VERY GOOD run of Catwoman later. However…I do find it a little odd that they don’t just bite the bullet and make her a Falcone. I guess the writers thought that it would be a surprise (which to their credit it is), but having her be the daughter of a new crime family never mentioned before this story and likely never really mentioned again kind of gives the reveal less teeth.

Finally, the other big thing is Stephanie Brown’s first real venture as The Spoiler going after and beating her father. It was a cool action scene, with a nice bit of symbolism to her past with her falling as a child. I dunno, it was just really good to see Stephanie back. :smiley:

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Dipping my toe in the new 52, for the first time; and catching up on these, over the long weekend. There have been a couple of :thinking: moments; but I’m just going with it.
Thanks for notes and status updates, @AlexanderKnox- I was wondering where Master Dick was.
It’s going to be a wild ride, I’m sure

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Cool, glad to see you’re enjoying it! May I ask what the :thinking: moments were?

Also:

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It looks like everyone ( well, Bruce and Commissioner Gordon) is relatively young; and that makes some sense if they have only been defending Gotham together for five years. However, at the same time Jason and Tim are fairly developed and years into their evolution. Which begged the question, ‘where is Dick?’ Thankfully @AlexanderKnox gave directions to unraveling that knot. ( is their a limit to how many reading lists we can create :joy:)
Batwing- who? Thank you, internet, for your incalculable knowledge.
Oracle is gone :disappointed:. She was the character that really solidified my love for all things DC. I can’t be mad at Barbara; and I’m ecstatic she’s getting some major playing time in this series.
I don’t know what I’m suppose forget and what memories are real. It’s a weird self induced amnesia; and I’m trying not question it. It’s all going to be fine… it’s all going to be fine… it’s all going to be fine.

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Yeah, the way ages/time worked with the Bat-Family during New 52 was weird. I mean, it never worked, really, but they were REALLY stretching it there.

Yeah, Batwing is kind of a lesser known character, but that may change fairly soon, between him being on the Batwoman show and him being the star of The Next Batman for Future State.

I kind of get what you mean with Oracle, but for me I will always associate Barbara more with Batgirl than with Oracle. I agree that so far she’s had a great spotlight role in this series.

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