With DC Universe releasing Convergence, there are two great comic book storylines coming to an end and both happen to be Batman. One being Endgame and the other, the massive 52 comic book arc known as Batman Eternal by Scott Snyder. And in issue 52 of Batman Eternal, Snyder nails it!
With the city of Gotham burning in the background, chaos running on the streets, the true mastermind behind it all is revealed. It is not Cluemaster, Arthur Brown as teased in issue 51 and seriously, how much of a letdown would that have been. But instead it is the Owl, Thomas Wayne Jr./Lincoln March. Lincoln who is convinced he is the abandoned child of Thomas and Martha Wayne and therefore the brother to Bruce Wayne. Lincoln who has aligned himself with the Court of Owls and has dedicated himself to the destruction of Bruce Wayne and the Batman. Lincoln who is destroying the city of Gotham by fire while he holds Batman captive atop a skyscraper, while all the citizens and the rest of the Batman family struggle to contain it without Batman to lead them. Lincoln who would destroy the city if it meant destroying Bruce.
What Snyder has done so well, and more than likely why a 52 issue comic book arc was necessary to do it in, is he has brought each of the Batman characters to the forefront of the story. Diving deep into them and their loyalties to the Dark Knight. Perhaps the best example of this is the Red Hood, Jason Todd, who believing he is trapped in a falling building wants his last transmission to be a message to Bruce. As the battle rages on the streets and between a beaten Bruce Wayne and the Owl, it is a different Batman character who creates the singular moment in the story. As the city is flooded with Batsignals; a lone voice cries out:
“…Gotham City! I need you to listen. This is your former Police Commissioner, Jim Gordon, broadcasting to every street corner in Gotham. I know you’re frightened right now. More frightened than you’ve ever been, maybe. Maybe the fear has pushed you to do things you wouldn’t do, or maybe it’s just pushing you to hide away in some dark corner. I don’t blame you. We’ve all felt that fear. We’ve all felt that hopelessness…this city, it can take so much from us…it tests us over and over…but this is Gotham City. This is our city. And when hell is unleashed, we don’t run and hide, we stand up. And there’s a symbol, a symbol we all know stands for what we can do. What we are capable of…Tonight needs more than just one hero. It needs a city. It needs all of us. Tonight we all need to do what he does for us every night. Tonight we all need to be Batman…”
Synder hits it right on its nerve. Gotham is Batman and Batman is Gotham.
While I will always love Hush. I will always love the Long Halloween. Snyder has created something of a Magnus Opus with Batman Eternal and it will take its place in the lore of the Dark Knight for sometime to come.
Well done….very well done!