Batman Eternal has now run more issues than any other comic book in The New 52.
With Jason Bard having lost the respect of all of the honest cops in Gotham and possibly some of the corrupt ones as well, Batman feels he's able to turn his attention to the daily chaos of Gotham City for a bit. Right now, that involves yet another mass escape from Arkham Asylum. This time it was because The Spectre dropped a Vengeance Bomb all over Arkham Grounds and sank the fucking hospital. The inmates who weren't found bleeding out or pinned under debris made a break for it and now they've started a new gang. Those inmates are Bane, The Scarecrow, Clayface, Poison Ivy, The Joker's Daughter, and Mr. Freeze.
Catwoman has been helping Batman to uncover their location because Catwoman really wants Batman to get off her back and stop lecturing her simply because she's trying to save the city in a different way than he is.
Is anybody ever going to talk about what Clayface did to Poison Ivy back in Detective Comics #15?
I first heard the Urban Legend of the Ether Bunny from my friend Bob when he got back from the first war in Iraq. It seems The Ether Bunny Urban Legend was mentioned way back in Richard F. Burton's The Book of The Thousand Nights and a Night! See the link to my Richard F. Burton page for more fun notes by good old Dick! Maybe that should be my New Year's Resolution! To finally finish reading Richard F. Burton's translation of the 1001 Arabian Nights!
Killer Croc takes down Bane by cutting off his supply of Venom and then lacerating him in dozens of places so that Bane begins to bleed out, drugs and all. He wants to make an example of Bane somehow but I don't think the somehow will be revealed this week. But it was this revenge against Bane for throwing Croc out of Wayne Tower which allowed Catwoman to manipulate Croc to help Batman.
Oh. I guess that's the example. Humiliate Bane and prove to everybody that Croc ain't no dummy. He even knows a little French!
Finally, Jason Bard goes to see Jim Gordon in prison and confesses everything to him. Bard explains that he can make it all right but he needs allies and he needs help. Gordon's advice is to do everything legally and by the book from here on out or none of it will count for anything. Also, Jim would very much like to be let out of Blackgate, please.
Batman Eternal #38 Rating: No change. This was a good chapter for the current Catwoman title. It helps to explain how she built up her reputation so fast amongst the Gotham Underworld by removing the crazy, super villain element from the playing board. So Selina really is playing all sides to set herself up as the savior of Gotham. Batman might frown on her method of restoring order to the city but is it really any more illegal than the things Batman does to maintain order? Hell, it's a lot less violent!
In the second episode of the season, you can already see how the Pilot was tweaked to make the show more successful while maintaining its artistic edge. Joey's hair wasn't quite as moppy, and now he seems to be as into food as he is into women. It's played as jokey here but foreshadows the dark, gluttonous life ahead of him as he continues his lonely pursuit of fame. Monica is a clean freak with parental issues, indicating a personality that is going to eventually spiral into loneliness and, quite possibly, madness. Phoebe is still spacey but they decided to give her a more grown-up look. But it's still her childlike naivete that allows the viewer to accept the chilling and macabre experiences from her past. Chandler didn't tell one dream but he loves to tell jokes every chance he gets, if the definition of a joke is mentioning other television shows or old folk songs without much context. At one point Rachel says, "I was in the kitchen," and Chandler finishes, "With Dinah?" The audience goes wild for this joke! Later, while watching Potato's Sonogram, he says, "Star Trek!" or something, and everybody goes crazy. Chandler's obviously the character trying hardest to keep from getting too close to the others. What dark secret lies in his past that has taught him a harsh lesson that every relationship ends in inevitable loss and pain? The producers seem to have decided that the laugh track worked best when calibrated to The Big Bang theory range where the audience titters at nearly everything and guffaws whenever anything is said that probably deserves more than a titter. Ross seems to have been cast perfectly as a literal sack of potatoes because he's still a literal sack of potatoes. But now he's having a baby sack of potatoes with his wife and her lesbian partner. He reacts even more like a sack with even more potatoes in it. Rachel continues to be The Newborn Babe, having gone from spoiled rich brat to a completely blank slate now lost in a new reality where people get jobs and aren't completely shallow. Or, at least, shallow in a totally different way than rich people are shallow. She is the cypher brought in amongst the already close set of friends which will allow all of the others to see themselves through her newborn eyes where they'll learn something about themselves and, just possibly, be saved. Still no sign of the monkey or Gunther.
I forgot to mention my favorite joke of the Pilot Episode! It's when Phoebe said her mother committed suicide. Ha ha! Oh, hilarious. The only time I laughed during this episode was when Ross's ex-wife suggested they name the baby "Helen" if it's a girl and Ross said, "Seriously? Helen Geller?" Ha ha! Maybe you had to hear the way he delivered the line. Kind of like a chicken stuffed in a sack of potatoes, choking on a worm. Anyway, you can't go wrong with a good Helen Keller joke! Although this is probably the best Helen Keller joke: Why can't Helen Keller drive? Because she's a woman. Ha ha! Get it? Women can't operate machines as well as men can! You expect the punchline to be ableist but then it goes all M. Night Shyamalan on you and winds up being sexist!