Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Batman: Eternal Volume 3 [2014-2015]

The final act of Batman Eternal begins as Bruce Wayne lost Wayne Enterprises to the Federal Government. Now Lucius Fox and Commissioner Jason Bard want to trap Batman. Meanwhile Vicki Vale is searching for the secret life of Jason Bard in Detroit. Batman Eternal #37 begins with the Batmobile destroyed and Commissioner Bard believing Batman was killed. However Batman survives and warns Bard to protect the city instead of going after him. Batman tries to put the pieces together of who is pulling the strings behind James Gordon, the train crash, the nanovirus, and converting Wayne Manor into Arkham Manor. However the Riddler has already figured things out and decides to give Batman a push in the right direction. Batman Eternal #37 the inmates of Arkham Asylum gather to discuss what to do next as Batman searches and Catwoman spies on them. Catwoman offers the inmates to Batman as a gift as she is the new crime boss. 

Batman Eternal #38 sees Batman going after the Arkham inmates from the information Selina Kyle gave him last issue. Batman takes all of Akham inmates down except for Poison Ivy and Killer Croc who were working with Selina Kyle. She wants the inmates out of the picture so the crime families can return to take over GothamThe last issue of Batman Eternal for 2014 hit stands as Batman tracks down the Riddler only to be buried in an avalanche. The Arkham Asylum villains escape with the help of Catwoman who offers them a chance to join her to rule the entire Eastern Coast. However a mysterious voice offers them a chance to use Batman Incorporated weapons to destroy Gotham. Batman Eternal #40 starts with Batman digging his way out of an avalanche with the Riddler who gets away. Meanwhile Firefly betrays Catwoman who wants the Arkham inmates to join her. She survives the attack and waits in the shadows for the chaos to begin as the Arkham inmates destroy Gotham with Batman Incorporated weaponry.

Batman Eternal #41 follows Red Robin, Batgirl, and the Red Hood on the trail of the villain responsible for the nanotechnology affecting the children of Gotham. They quickly discover the Mad Hatter was behind it and set a trap for them. Now Red Robin, Batgirl, and Red Hood are under his control however Harper Row decides to finally put on a costume and become Bluebird. Meanwhile the Spoiler is captured and taken to Catwoman. Batman Eternal #42 sees Harper Row in action as Bluebird taking down the Mad Hatter and rescuing Red Robin, Batgirl, and Red Hood. Batman arrives and discovers Mad Hatter was also invited to take part in the devastation of Gotham. Meanwhile Spoiler is kidnapped by her mother last issue to be saved and now Catwoman arrives to take her away again. The issue is slowing sowing a thread leading to events of last year’s Batman #28. Batman Eternal #43 begins six hours ahead as we flashback to Spoiler being in Catwoman’s custody. Red Robin asks Bluebird to break into Catwoman’s underground casino so they infiltrated it. Batman arrives and the events in Batman #28 unfolds. Batman takes Spoiler to safety where she reveals the person speaking to her father the Cluemaster about planning the destruction of Gotham is Bruce Wayne. 

Batman Eternal #44 begins with Batman pursuing Professor Milo who used to work at Arkham Asylum. Batman neutralizes him however something unknown happens. Usually it would be great if the cliffhanger indicated the level of threat Batman will be dealing with next issue however this particular issue falls flat.  The sum is greater than its part when you are reading Batman Eternal. Batman Eternal #45 begins where last issue left off trying to explain Mister Bygone causing nightmares. Milo lies dying and Batman is trying to save him and takes him to Jim Corrigan. Milo reveals there is a book causing all these troubles downloaded from dreams allowing Deacon Blackfire to open a gateway to Hell. Later Batman discovers his companies are being snatched by by Ra’s Al Ghul and heads over to confront him believing he is responsible for the ills of Gotham City. Batman Eternal #46 Batman tracks down Ra’s Al Ghul who has plans to show him the future including generations of Batman ahead of him including the Kingdom Come Batman, Batman Beyond, and Damian as Batman. He asks the question is Batman Eternal? The dream sequence was orchestrated by Dr. Darrk and Lord Death Man. Batman finally confronts and discovers Ra’s Al Ghul who was not behind the events of Gotham City as the worst events are soon to arrive as the series approaches its conclusion.

Batman Eternal #47 begins as Julia Pennyworth tells Batman the villains are leveling up. Batman asks his family to protect Gotham including Batwing, Red Robin, Blue Bird, Batgirl, and Red Hood. Meanwhile someone enters the Batcave and shoots Julia out into Gotham River as Batman arrives while Gotham is burning. Batman Eternal #48 someone contacts the Penguin to target James Gordon at Blackgate Prison. I riot breaks out at Blackgate giving Penguin a chance to get to Gordon. Meanwhile after crashing landing Batman steals a jet and heads towards Gotham as the Bat Family deal with souped-up villains. The big reveal of the villain behind Batman Eternal is expected to be in the upcoming fiftieth issue. 

Batman Eternal #49 begins with James Gordon surrounded by Penguin and his henchmen. He quickly overpowers the Penguin and locks them both in a cell as the Bat Family deal with the villains. Hush is creating havoc using the Bat Computer as Julia Pennyworth heads to Red Robin’s hideout to overtake Hush. Alfred frees himself and takes down Hush while also establishing contact with the Batman Family. Batman finally arrives in Gotham using a jet he stole from last issue. The excitement has built up to the final three issues where a year’s worth of Batman Eternal stories become a justified read or falls flat.

Batman Eternal #50 begins with a crashed jet on top of Bane as Batman helps his family take down the other villains including Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, and Clayface as Firefly burns Gotham City. Batman receives an invitation from the mastermind who leads him to the Beacon Tower. Batman arrives only to discover it’s a trap set by the Cluemaster who may or not be the mastermind the plot from the very beginning. The ending of this issue makes you want to go back and reread the very first issue. Batman Eternal #51 begins where the very first issue kicked off with Batman tied up with his chest craved with his Bat symbol. Cluemaster unmasks Batman as he reveals how everything started with him from the very beginning. Bruce manages to escape and fight against him however Cluemaster gets the upper hand. However his neck is cut from behind revealing Lincoln March as Owlman standing over his brother Bruce. The twist ending gives as sense of closure concerning who is the real mastermind in Batman Eternal.

The final issue of Batman Eternal hits the stands as both Bruce Wayne and Lincoln March face off over Gotham City. James Gordon unites the people of Gotham to help Batman as his family arrives against Owlman. Lincoln March escapes only to be captured later by the Court of Owls. James Gordon no longer Commissioner as Maggie Sawyer becomes the new one. Batman Eternal seems to be a send-off to Scott Synder’s Owlman while Batman Endgame closes the door on his version of the Joker. Overall it was an above average series with a great kick-off and ending.