Welcome back to another review of Batman Eternal, the third issue had me a little frustrated to honest. To expand why lets start with the cover of the book. The Bat-Mobile races down a street with an explosion in the background. This is a good piece artwork but we see it a hundred times and has been on a cover many times before. As the story starts we are introduced to a fan favorite character, Stephanie Brown, as she walks to her dad’s house. Like Vicki Vale from the last issue, Stephanie Brown is drawn plain and like any other blond girl. As she walks into her dad’s house she finds out that he and his friends are villains, then she is immediately knocked out. Why would a parent let their friends hurt their child? Don’t know. Stephanie Brown’s father, called Clue Master, is drawn a lot better than Stephanie Brown.
As we cut to the GCPD, Harvey Bullock is talking to another cop about who will replace Jim Gordon as Commissioner. A jerk of a cop named Major Forbes walks in and starts a fight by bad mouthing Jim Gordon, but is quickly silenced by Captain Maggie Sawyer. I am so glad that some people who worked with Jim Gordon still stand up for him, even if he is accused of mass manslaughter. This shows that how most of the GCPD still respect him. In the jail James Brad visits Jim Gordon telling him how hard it was to arrest him. This scene is great for talking about the conflict between personal opinions and obligation to society.
Turning the page we enter the Iceberg Casino where the Penguin is forcing a girl to have dinner with him. The Penguin is drawn great and for him best I ever saw. I never really liked him before the new 52. Batman breaks up the party only to learn that the Penguin and Carmine Falcone hate each other and are not working together. We get to see a bunch of great drawings of the Penguin in two page spread.
In City Hall we learn that Major Forbes is working with the Mayor and Carmine Falcone, this is predictable but needed for later. The reason I never mentioned Major Forbes before, in the last two reviews, is the fact that he has been saying lines that anyone could of said. In the Bat-cave we get a good look at the layout as Batman and Alfred are trying to solve the mystery of why Carmine Falcone is back. While the Bat-cave looks great, it’s something we have seen a hundred times before. The scene ends with Batman racing off at a red alarm.
Back at Clue Master’s, someone in the shadows is talking about getting rid of Stephanie Brown. Who is the person in the shadows? Clue Master goes to kill his daughter but Stephanie Brown wakes up, fights off her father and runs away. This displays her as a strong woman and I have one thing to say about this, you go girl! We return to Batman arriving at the scene of the red alarm to beat up some thugs. This scene looked like filler because we have seen this before and it adds nothing to the story in my opinion.
Next we see the Penguin having a meeting with his men planning to destroy Carmine Falcone, but the Penguin soon learns Carmine has made the first moves. With this knowledge we see great artwork of the Penguin angry. Back at the GCPD, Captain Maggie Sawyer tells everyone about the events of the gang war. The cops are unrealistically calm about it, did they run out of coffee or something?
Returning to Batman as he races down the street, Alfred tells him over the computer that all hell is breaking lose around the city. Batman has no idea what’s going on, I love when this happens. It reinforces Batman as just another human.
At the GCPD, we learn that Major Forbes is the new Interim Commissioner appointed by the Mayor. His first order to the police is to ignore the gang war, instead he wants the GCPD to go to war against Batman. That’s a very bad idea since a lot of the officers have worked with Batman I foresee a revolt within the GCPC. We end with Stephanie Brown calling her Mom. The last two panels that she’s in we see better drawings of her. This issue was a little weak for me but it had a great story though some of the art work looked recycled.