Scott Snyder takes a one month break from his rebooted Batman origin saga: Zero Year, and with the help of James Tynion IV, gives us an exciting glimpse into the soon to be launched weekly DC comic, Batman: Eternal!
Set in a near, unrecognisable future, post-some mysterious calamity befallen Gotham City, Batman and his newly costumed sidekick, Harper Row, invade Gotham’s only remaining nightclub in search of the possible key to setting things back to the way they were.
Snyder and Tynion employ a time-jump to an undisclosed point just beyond our present, where bolted-down cameras monitor every street, and Gotham City Police violently enforce curfew with machine guns and batons. We’re prompted to ask, what exactly happened to the city? What series of events took place to get us to this dire point? Purposefully light on exposition, the writers have masterfully crafted this narrative tease of things to come. Characters associated with the Bat-family appear in shocking new contexts that intriguingly jar against their present day selves. What hard or self-serving choices did they make? What circumstances could make them abandon themselves almost completely? Never overt, each page is sprinkled with clues to be sifted through, while lines of dialogue subtlety reference past tragedies that lie within our reading future. And Gotham Eternal’s final page reveal will be sure to satisfy a number of long-time fans and perhaps even quell some of the more vocal opponents to DC’s new 52.
I’ve always loved a good, continuous story, to the point of obsession; spending hours, wondering and debating with likeminded friends about what’s going to happen next? About which characters are safe? And a story that foreshadows future events to an obsessive is like cream in the coffee. I’ll be honest, my level of interest in Batman: Eternal was close to non-existent before I read this story, but now I can’t wait for the first issue to come out.