Thursday, June 26, 2014

Batman Eternal #12

Batman only appeared in one panel last issue so this time he demanded the cover.

Once upon a time in Gotham City, a thug said, "Isn't that a funny name? Gotham? Like Got Ham! Except with a lisp in the middle!" Another thug said "BAM!" although he needed a gun as an interpreter. The first thug crumpled to the ground dramatically and whispered, "Tell mother I lo...." Then he died. The other thug had no idea what the first thug's last words were because hearing words is different than reading words. So you can read "tell mother I lo" and know exactly what was said. But the thug heard them and it just sounded like a bunch of syllables strung together nonsensically. And since the interpreter had killed the first thug, the second thug couldn't ask, "What was that you said?" Even though the second thug actually did ask, "What was that you said?" I guess I should have said he could ask the question but he wasn't about to get an answer. Although he did get an answer! The answer was "BAM!" because the first thug had his gun in his hand and when rigor mortis set in because he was dead, the first thug's finger whispered something to the trigger of his interpreter which translated to "BAM!" The second thug slumped to the ground and said, "Tell your mother I lo...." Then he died too! Nobody was around to not understand his last words. It was all very romantic.

That story is just one of the many stories in the lives of the people that never get their stories told in Batman Eternal! The stories are always about the leaders of the gangs or the people in costumes with funny names or the employees of the Gotham Police Department that have been given any name at all. Occasionally a thug will get a name and soon become a minor fan favorite of the most nerdiest comic book readers as they try to secretly show their knowledge of comic books by insisting that their favorite character is a recurring character that nobody else has ever heard of or even noticed because they're so insignificant. Like Wedge Antilles and that nerdy guy from Star Trek the Next Generation that always reminded me of the crazy member of the A-Team crossed with Max Headroom. Barkley or something! I can't remember because he's never been my favorite because I'm not one of those people that need to be the biggest nerd in the room. Also I don't own a yo-yo.

The other day as I walked past a bar, three guys were standing outside playing with yo-yos. It was more annoying than if they had been standing around smoking cow pies! Is yo-yoing an impressive skill? Maybe I should learn to yo-yo? Would that bring all the boys to my yard? Except I'd want the boys to be the girl type of boys! I'm pretty sure I want to do it with girls rather than boys. I mean, I know I do because I've done it so many times before and I was so good at it every time the girl said, "Thank you for putting your dipdong in my wheestack."

That Penguin's really a crazy clown!

Falcone's right hand man is named Roadrunner because he wants to be important some day. Starting out with a stupid alias is one of the best ways to suddenly become important in the world of comic books. Sometimes you don't even need a stupid alias! Just a stupid name like Ignatius Ogilvy!

Meanwhile Jason Bard has decided to go the "get famous by having a normal name but joining the Gotham Police Department" route. Sometimes you don't even need to join the police department! Sometimes you can just open up a detective agency and help the Batman as proven by Jason Bard (preboot version!). Although you might need a slight affectation to get the readers attention, like a cane or a Prince Albert.

Jason Bard has been investigating Falcone and The Penguin and has realized they are having a gang war. He has lots of evidence including dead bodies and photographs of the dead bodies on his wall and pieces of string connecting pictures of dead bodies with pictures of nameless thugs. And all the strings eventually connect to Falcone or The Penguin! With that kind of string theory, Jason Bard has an open and shut case against these crime lords! Maggie Sawyer and Harvey Bullock agree that having names is a good thing to have in the Gotham Police Department. They also agree that he has a lot of evidence. But they don't agree that he can convict Falcone or The Penguin because Jack Forbes had such a straight shooting regular person name that he became commissioner! And he's against arresting criminals. He only wants to arrest vigilantes that don't kill although they do cause an excessive amount of property damage.

This guard's sense of justice might be slightly skewed! Is a life really equal to the ability to walk? I don't think those scales would balance. Although the guard might be considering the hundreds of people who died in the accident. And maybe he's thinking about the millions of dollars in damage. And it's quite possible he's wondering why he didn't think of asking the other guard to mention his name on panel so his career could take off.

The other officer gets his name mentioned but he isn't actually on panel since Batman has disguised himself as Officer Smitty! I guess Smitty is duck taped to a chair in his undershirt and boxer shorts down in the boiler room of Blackgate Prison.

Elsewhere, Harper begins hacking Red Robin's systems because Red Robin needs to know that he's not the smartest kid to ever have lived in Gotham. He has been the worst written one though! At least the worst written kid that grew up in Gotham that has yet to die and come back to life because Red Hood has been written nearly as badly. It's as if they were written by editors over the last few years. But now Red Robin is going to get a chance to say things that make sense and do things that make him likable because he's joined in the Batman Eternal story. And Red Hood gets the same chance! He's teaming up with Batgirl while Red Robin teams up with Harper (although not just yet). Damian doesn't get to join because he's dead and Nightwing doesn't get to join because Batman convinced him to pretend to be dead. Looks like Tim Drake is the only Robin that has never died. Batman should probably rethink his policy on sidekicks.

Jason Bard's plan to stop the gang war needs to be run by The Batman before it's set into motion. So Bullock calls Batman's special good time number and Batman arrives to hear the plan. Jason Bard's plan involves arresting Batman which Batman doesn't generally approve of. One of the reasons is because being arrested in Gotham always involves a cavity search. One of the other reasons is that being arrested in Gotham usually means fingerprinting and mug shots and the loss of secret identities. So if Batman is going to agree to this plan, he's probably going to have to pay some two-bit actor to pretend to be him because Batman really dislikes cavity searches.

Maybe Batman can wear his Matches Malone disguise underneath the cowl and then everybody will think Matches Malone is The Jeezly Crow Batman! Or he can always trick Julia Pennyworth into wearing the costume for a night of sexy role play with Bruce Wayne. Although I have a feeling that kind of sexy won't do it for her. Maybe if Bruce can get Kate Kane to trick Julia, it could work.

Later in Blackgate, James Gordon gets a visitor.

Somebody owes Batgirl a big apology!

Batman Eternal #12 Rating: No change. Here's a new quote for the Batman Eternal trade paperback: "I realize it says 'Batman' on the cover and the adjective 'eternal' would make it seem like this story would be a never ending stream of Batman but he's really not in this that much. If you want to read about Batman, this isn't the book for you!"

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