Gotham City is in for yet another major shake-up when Batman Eternal, the new weekly Bat-series, launches next month. Batman Eternal won’t just be supplementary reading, it’s where the next epic chapter of Batman’s illustrious career is going to be told. Some of what’s in store for Batman Eternal was hinted at in Batman #28, and frankly a lot of it has me a bit worried.
Don’t get me wrong, the last few years of Batman comics, with Grant Morrison ending his run in grand fashion and Scott Snyder taking the reigns and knocking it out of park, have been excellent, but I see some warning signs on the horizon. Here’s a few of the things that have me worried about Batman Eternal…
Batman Has A New Sidekick
A new, emotionally damaged, female sidekick no less. Uh oh, you know where this goes. I like Harper Row a lot, and I think Bluebird is a rather lovely name for a superhero, but everything about her screams “I’m going to end up dying in a horrible manner in order to lend Batman Eternal some gravitas.” I really hope I’m wrong. I hope this is Scott Snyder intentionally faking us out. If this was one of Snyder’s creator-owned titles, I’d assume that was the case, but this is a major new weekly title that DC editorial has to have had their fingers all over, and they love introducing interesting new characters only to quickly kill them off.
Stephanie Brown Is Back
Hey, speaking of emotionally damaged dead female sidekicks!
Listen, I’m glad Stephanie Brown/Spoiler exists again. DC’s treatment of her has been rather appalling, and she deserves another chance, but then again, most Stephanie Brown stories have been pretty terrible. The one time she worked was when she got to do her own thing in her own book and that’s how she should have returned. A Spoiler mini-series or something — not being thrown into the mix of a big event storyline right away. Also, the fact that she’s re-introduced tied to a chair doesn’t instill a lot of confidence (although, again, hopefully this is just Scott Snyder hanging a lampshade on things).
Catwoman’s New Role
So, as revealed in Batman #28, Catwoman is the new kingpin of crime in Gotham, and she’s awfully mad at Batman for not calling after their rooftop hump sessions. Didn’t we just go through this with Talia al Ghul? In her new business suit Selina even looks like Talia (albeit with a sassy bob). I liked Batman Incorporated, but do we really need to be jumping straight into another “Batman being a jerk towards women gets him in trouble” tale? Particularly with a character that doesn’t really fit the storyline? Catwoman is all about the thrill of the caper — organized crime isn’t her style at all.
Another Apocalypse For Gotham
Batman #28 drops a lot of hints about the state of Gotham in Batman Eternal, and things don’t sound good. The city is now “New Gotham”, the police are gone and something is killing waves of citizens. In other words, it’s yet another apocalypse for Gotham. At what point do the citizens of Gotham just pack it in and move to Metropolis? This is getting ridiculous. There are ways to tell a “big” Batman story without raining misery down on poor Gotham again.
What Happens To Batman?
And here’s the thing that has me most concerned — what happens to Synder and Capullo’s Batman? Their current run on Batman is probably my favorite Bat-comic ever, and I’d hate to see anything diminish it, but from the sounds of it, most of the big Bat-events of the next year are going to be happening over in Batman Eternal. What’s left for Batman? Also, will co-writing and coordinating a massive 60-issue project going to wear on Snyder and negatively impact his writing on Batman? I have more faith in Snyder than any other comic book writer working today, but the amount of work he’s taken on for the next year would break 60s Stan Lee’s back.
Could Batman Eternal be good? Absolutely. I hope it is, and I think there’s a good chance it will be, but for the first time in a while, I’m cautious about the future of Batman. What about you folks? What are your feelings on Batman’s wallet-busting new series?