Batman Eternal #13 Review

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Jim's tempted by a son who's demented, Bard's plan is attempted, Steph's friend is lamented, and a comic preview's presented. Issue 13 of DC's Batman weekly book shows us that there's at least one cop as competent as, maybe even moreso than, Jim Gordon, with his plan to trick Forbes into whittling down Falcone's forces. We get plenty of Vicki Vale, just a little of Harper Row, and a minority character introduced and then blown up in the same page. Oh, DC.

 

The only people who'd be surprised by James Gordon, Jr.'s being alive either don't read Suicide Squad, or just didn't know he had a son. It's easy to miss. He was introduced in Batman: Year One in 1986, barely appeared after that, resurfaced in Snyder's Black Mirror storyline from a few years ago as a psychotic looking to poison babies and kill his crippled sister. But hey, Babs got the last laugh, because not only did she hold him off in the old continuity, but after the New 52 came around, she sent a Batarang into his eye! Take that, obscure character suddenly made into one of Batgirl's few villains!

 

Apparently Junior has it arranged so that dear old Dad can escape during the wee hours of the morn. His theory is that, as stalwart as the ex-Comissioner likes to present himself, the two of them are both broken people inside, and Jimbo will take the out provided to him. Obviously he's tempting him to become a true criminal like he is, mocking him, trying to make his situation worse. Maybe not even for a particular reason. He just wants his father to suffer, for whatever reason. Honestly I haven't really kept up with James Junior's deal. I think he's just a maniac. The ex-Commish looks a little bit rattled by the encounter, and not just because he thought his son was dead, but because after everything he's gone through since the train crash, he's probably starting to wonder if Jr. is right.

 

"This is because I didn't get you the N64, isn't it? You already had a PlayStation!"

 

You have to admire Bard's plan to chip away "The Roman"'s organization by taking advantage of what a weasel glory hound Commissioner Forbes is. Raiding Falcone gang hideouts while claiming to arrest associates of Batman, then rounding them up in front of the press and charging them with the illegal contraband they possess. Forbes doesn't want to look incompetent to the public, so he has no choice but to let the criminals be held by the police and Bard is prepared to target Forbes next. Fortunately the rank-and-file police officers seem pretty down with Bard's plan, or there could have been some big problems. Maybe Falcone should have thought a little more thoroughly about corrupting the police department.

 

"No, seriously. It looks like a bat to me. These glasses are terrible."

 

I have this theory about Cluemaster and his third stringer associates (who we haven't really seen since #2, I think). Really, it's because they're a bunch of nobodies, losers that nobody takes seriously, that their plan is going to proceed. Vicki Vale dismisses the Cluemaster blog posts outright, because he's just this douchebag Batman beats down easily every time he pops up. And Batman is too busy, his attention divided in several directions, with the gang war and Gordon on his mind, to consider what's happening with these guys. Even Batman's other allies, Red Robin, Red Hood, Batgirl, and Batwing all have their attention on other things. Who's going to expect Cluemaster and his ilk are going to be able to cook up any kind of competent plan? Maybe it's the puppetmaster of this whole shebang that's working directly with them for that reason itself. They're ignored, not treated seriously, dismissed outright by the major players.
 

And even the minor ones.

 

This is what makes me think that perhaps Lincoln March is involved in this. Now, excuse me for making wild assumptions, but think about it. Who else knows Batman is Bruce Wayne? What Snyder-written Batman villain hasn't appeared since his debut? And who would have the mindset of the ignored, the abandoned? The so-called Thomas Wayne Jr that took up the Owl mantle at the end of City of Owls, that disappeared in his battle with Batman. Who else would be so embittered against Bruce as to want to burn down the entire city and strike through his C-list rogues? The only other person I can think of is Hush.

 

I'm still shopping around Lately My Little Brother Is A Vengful Half-Dead Owl Man. I think KyoAni might buy the idea.

 

Ah, poor Beth. We hardly know ye. In a few panels, and then BOOM! Sploded all over the place by Cluemaster's bomb. I wonder what the horse is a clue to. A Trojan Horse reference, perhaps. Or is the clue the orange and blue colors of the horse and the wrapping? Am I having actual difficulty deciphering a Cluemaster clue?

 

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire! Also, everything else.

 

Maybe Batman or Red Robin should have some sort of tip line or something for things like this.

 

Another thing I want to talk about is, it's kind of annoying how pages are being eaten by things like the new Suicide Squad book preview, Channel 52, and DC All Access. At least give us some kind of letters column or something there instead of all this nonsense we can easily see on DC's own website. These are pages that can be taken up by actual comic.

 

Otherwise, it was a good issue, and I'm looking forward to seeing where Bard's plan goes next.

 

Next Issue: Penguin's Final Stand?

 

- Penguin Truth
(2014)

 

Story: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Script: James Tynion IV
Consulting Writers: Ray Fawkes, John Layman, & Tim Seeley
Art By: Mikel Janin & Guillermo Ortega
Colors By: Jeromy Cox
Lettering By: Steve Wands
Cover By: Guillem March & Tomeu Morey
Editor: Katie Kubert
Asst. Editor: Matt Humphreys
Group Editor: Mark Doyle
Batman Created By Bob K--AHAHAHAHA, NO. Batman Created By Bill Finger