Batman Eternal
Cover of Batman Eternal #1 (April 2014 DC Comics). Art by Jason Fabok.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
FormatLimited series
Publication dateApril 2014 – 2015
No. of issues60
Main character(s)
Creative team
Written byIssues 1–21: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, John Layman, Ray Fawkes, Tim Seeley
  • Issues 1–3, 14, 21: Jason Fabok
  • Issues 4, 15–17: Dustin Nguyen, Derek Fridolfs
  • Issues 5, 18: Andy Clarke
  • Issue 6: Trevor McCarthy
  • Issues 7, 19–20: Emanuel Simeoni
  • Issues 8–10: Guillem March
  • Issue 11: Ian Bertram
  • Issues 12–13: Mikel Janin

Batman Eternal is a year-long weekly limited series published by DC Comics, that began in April 2014. The series features Batman, his allies, and Gotham City, and is written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, Kyle Higgins and Tim Seeley. John Layman was originally scheduled to write for the series as well, before leaving the project in January 2014. His work is still seen in the first 21 issues of the series. The series will work in tandem with Batman, also written by Snyder. According to Snyder, the series will consist of 60 issues.[1] Batman Eternal will run through March 2015, after which, it will take a hiatus.[2]

Publication history

In October 2013, DC Comics announced the series would launch in early 2014, with Scott Snyder heading the story. He will work with James Tynion IV, John Layman, Ray Fawkes, and Tim Seeley, with art at the beginning to be handled by Jason Fabok. Snyder and Tynion will be co-writing the first story arc, which will lay the groundwork for the series. The story lines will move to a bigger story that will include Snyder's Batman title, once it has finished its "Zero Year" story line. The series will be part of the 75th anniversary celebration of Batman.[3]

In November 2013, Snyder released a teaser image by Fabok, titled "Happy Batsgiving". The image was intended to be "full of Easter eggs and teases" for the series.[4] In December 2013, Seeley stated that Snyder and Tynion created the overarching plot threads of the series to keep each writer progressing, but then further broke the whole story down to different genres for each writer to work in.[5] Fawkes also added that each writer will take turns being the "lead" on the issue, while the others will continue to contribute their parts to the issue.[6]

In January 2014, Snyder revealed that each writer is writing arcs to the series, opposed to each writer working together on a single issue. Snyder said, "it might be more difficult or tricky to do a series where each one of us is doing an arc that leads to the next arc, but we liked that idea. We liked that challenge." To aid in this, a large document containing the whole story was created to help map out where large moments needed to occur, and how to aid in connecting each writer's arcs.[7] It was also announced in January that the series would launch in April 2014, and that Layman had left the project.[8] His work on the first 21 issues will still be released as planned. Later in the month, DC confirmed the addition of Kyle Higgins on the writing team, who wrote The New 52 series Nightwing up to its penultimate issue in March 2014.[9]

The series starts with a three-issue arc that features a glimpse at the series' end as well as establishing the incident that drastically reshapes Gotham. Then, issues 4–7 set up smaller plots branching out from the overarching story, before shifting into three-issue arcs by the various creative teams. On the arcs, Snyder said, "Each arc reflects the tastes and the real talent of each writer, and yet at the same time it will feel really seamless and singular — like one bombastic game-changing story that rolls forward through these different neighborhoods of writing in an interesting way."[10]

Batman #28

In December 2013, Snyder announced that Batman #28, originally scheduled to be part of the "Zero Year" story, would instead act as a preview issue to the future story line in Batman and Batman Eternal. The issue was written by Snyder and Tynion, with Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs providing the artwork.[11] Snyder stated that if Batman #28 was an issue of Eternal it would be issue 39.5, which equates to a year's time from the continuity seen at the end of "Forever Evil" and the start of Eternal, and was done as a way to tease where Eternal will lead in 2014.[12][13]

The issue introduces a Gotham where the police are no longer allies to Batman and a curfew is being enforced. Harper Row is able to gain access to The Egyptian, the last remaining nightclub in New Gotham, where she reveals to security that her brother is sick in the Narrows at "ground zero" and was hoping to meet the new "kingpin" of Gotham to get help. When security starts to question her reason for being there, she shuts off the lights, to allow Batman to enter. Learning where to go next from a mysterious girl in the Batcave, Harper begins to help Batman remove the remaining security teams, working under the name Bluebird. Batman and Bluebird learn that the new "kingpin" is Selina Kyle, who has quickly taken control of the underworld. They request to get something from her safe that will help the people dying in Gotham. At the safe, it is revealed Selina has Stephanie Brown / The Spoiler tied up and she is the only one who knows how to stop what is coming next.[13][14][15]

Premise and characters

Each of the writers spoke about the different aspects of Batman and Gotham City they would be exploring in their arcs. With the main plot occurring in Snyder's and Tynion's arcs, each writer was able to incorporate different genres and aspects of the Batman universe into their stories:

Snyder stated after the release of Batman #28, that Harper Row "is all over this book"[13] and later said that one of the "spines" of the series is the relationship between Batman and Jim Gordon, putting "them in situations you've never ever seen before where the conflicts and challenges they're up against are different than anything they've experienced on the page." On the characters that will appear in the series, Tynion said, "Gotham is the best toy box in the comics industry, and we're getting to play with all of the toys, even the ones that are sort of in the bottom of the bin that have been forgotten about."[10] Tynion later added that Dick Grayson would not appear in his series, due to the Bat Family believing he is dead from the events of Forever Evil and the character appearing in his new role as a superspy in the series Grayson. However, the effect of the Bat Family thinking Nightwing is dead and not knowing where he is will be explored.[19] At the 2014 Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, Tynion revealed that the creative team almost included Renee Montoya, who has yet to appear in The New 52, but they decided against it, saying, "We cut her out because we didn't want her to just be in the background of the GCPD. We want to bring her back for her own big story."[20]

Additional characters that saw their New 52 debut in the series, or played a significant role overall or within an individual writer's arc, include: Jason Bard,[21][22] Deacon Blackfire,[23][19] Carmine Falcone,[23][19] Jack Forbes[21][22] and Spectre.[23][19]


In the near future, Batman is seen tied to the Bat-signal while Gotham City burns around him. In the present, Commissioner Gordon is taking on Professor Pyg before being joined by Batman. The two give chase to Pyg, with Gordon following one of his henchmen through the subway. Gordon corners the henchmen and order him to lower his weapon, though the henchmen states he does not have one. Gordon fires, but the bullet passes through the henchman and hits a transformer, which causes a massive explosion and two trains to collide. In the aftermath, Gordon states he was only trying to disarm the henchman, but Batman tells him that the security footage shows he was not holding a gun. The Gotham City Police Department and Jason Bard, who had just arrived in Gotham, arrive at the scene and Bard arrests Gordon.[21] The GCPD continue to clean up the scene, while Vicki Vale breaks the story on Commissioner Gordon at the Gotham Gazette. Batman meets with Gordon, determined to figure out what actually happened, while the Bat Family begin to learn about the accident. Jim Corrigan goes to the scene of the accident, while at Arkham Asylum, Doctor Phosphorus is attacked by Deacon Blackfire. Batman goes through the footage of the accident trying to identify the henchmen when he is joined by Catwoman. Batman gets a hit on the facial recognition, learning that the henchmen Gordon was chasing, worked for Carmine Falcone, who has been talking to Mayor Sebastian Hady about returning Gotham to the time before the rise of Batman.[23] Batman goes to the Iceberg Lounge to see if Penguin knows Falcone's whereabouts, only to find that Penguin does not know he has returned. Later at the Batcave, Batman attempts to piece together the evidence gathered so far, when he learns of attacks on Penguin's weapons caches by Falcone's men. Learning of the attacks as well, Penguin prepares to go to war with Falcone. Mayor Hady, under the guise of Falcone, promotes Major Jack Forbes to interim commissioner of the GCPD, who shifts the department's priority to stopping Batman. Elsewhere, Stephanie Brown returns home to see her father meeting with other villains. She narrowly escapes when her dad attempts to kill her for being a possible deterrent to his boss and his associates rising to power in Gotham.[24] Stephanie calls her mother to tell her what she has learned, only for her mother to reach out to her father after hanging up with her. Gordon is denied bail for his crimes and assigned to Blackgate Prison until his trial. Batman meets with Falcone in his apartment, warning him that he is keeping an eye on him. Batgirl uses the Batcomputer to recreate the train station surveillance, where she notices a man who spent three hours on the tracks, leaving only just before the trains collided.[25]

Red Robin investigates the infected children who were present during Pyg's fight with Gordon, and learns the infection originated from a single building in the Narrows. Red Robin goes to the Narrows and discovers the infection was caused by nanobots, and accidentally activates them in a child. Elsewhere, Vicki Vale follows a lead on potential gang wars in the Narrows, and, upon confronting them, is saved by Harper Row. The gang members follow Harper and Vicki back to Harper's apartment, which is below Red Robin, who falls through the floor fighting the nanobots. The nanobots attacks the gang members before Red Robin is able to stop them. However, Harper's brother Cullen, who was also infected, has the nanobots enter his body. In Tokyo, one of Bruce's teachers comments that the nanobots were activated too early, and that Bruce would not be happy.[26] Batman sends Batwing to assist Jim Corrigan at Arkham, while Joker's Daughter is preparing a summoning ritual below Arkham, using its inmates that have the "dark dream".[27] As Batman deals with an explosion at Pyg's lab caused by Doctor Phosphorus, Catwoman visits Penguin at the Iceberg Lounge to learn about disappearances in the Gotham Underground, before Falcone, Tiger Shark and Roadrunner begin an attack on the casino. Catwoman is able to save Penguin and patrons of the casino before it sinks to the bottom of the ocean, while Pyg destroys Roadrunner's car dealership, believing he was connected to destroying his lab.[28]


In February 2014, Batman Eternal, along with DC's second weekly title launching in 2014, The New 52: Futures End, were featured on IGN's "Most Anticipated Comics of 2014".[29] The first issue received positive reviews. Comic Book Resources' Jim Johnson gave the issue 4.5 stars out of 5, saying the issue "is a tremendous start, not just for a weekly series, but for any comic series."[30] Michael Moccio of Newsarama added, "From beginning to end of this issue, you won’t want to stop turning the pages and, at the final page, you’ll be on the edge of your seat anticipating the next issue", giving it an 8 out of 10.[31] Despite some "clunky dialogue" at the start of Batman Eternal #1, Mike Logsdon of IGN gave the issue an 8.6 out of 10, due to its "cinematically-scaled layouts, strong themes, an interesting use of a new characters, and an intriguing new mystery."[32]

John Layman's first issue in the series, Batman Eternal #4, was met with generally positive reviews. Logsdon gave the issue a 9.0 out of 10, saying, beyond a few art distractions, it was "the strongest issue of this series so far."[33] Newsarama's Pierce Lydon added that, despite "another solid installation in this weekly series... the plot is starting to spin its wheels. We are less than 10% through this series, but we’re not seeing enough effective payoff yet. The World’s Greatest Detective is really taking his time doing any detecting", giving the issue a 6 out of 10.[34] Jennifer Cheng of Comic Book Resources said the issue felt "like a well put-together TV show, and not just in its faster week-to-week pacing. There are many interlocking parts to the plot, and each part holds its own," awarding the issue 3.5 stars out of 5.[35]

Issue 5, James Tynion IV's first issue, continued the generally positive trend, receiving 4 stars out of 5 from Comic Book Resources's Greg McElhatton. He said, "A weekly series needs to have three to four times as much plot as a monthly book, in order to keep from feeling padded. With this issue, we're starting to enter the outskirts of "epic" levels of plot, and that's a relief. Tynion takes on the scripting for this issue and it flows well, introducing the new elements without feeling like we've been left hanging for what's come before."[36] Logsdon game the issue a 7.8 out of 10, saying "It seems that this weekly series might be presenting us with a series of one-shots that tie into the larger story. If this really is the start of a trend, so far it has been quite successful. James Tynion IV takes on scripting duties and he does a good job of capturing Tim Drake's new personality."[37] Lydon, however, said, "I’m always partial stories that take into account more than just the police and capes side of a story and Tynion taps Vicki Vale for a starring role as well. But we’re still just moving pawns in this game of chess, and the strategy has been yet to be fully realized," giving the issue a 5 out of 10.[38]

Batman Eternal #6, the first for Ray Fawkes, had more mixed reviews. IGN's Jeff Lake said the series "is starting to feel a bit like Game of Thrones. Each week offers a snapshot view of a few characters, only to switch to a different set the following week. Issue #6 is a Batwing issue, and while it's fun to see him working alongside Jim Corrigan (and facing the always awesome Gentleman Ghost), it's hard to see how it fits into the main story," awarding the issue a 7.8 out of 10.[39] Lydon expressed similar sentiments, giving the issue a 6 out of 10 and adding, "We’re still firmly in building mode but we’re starting to lose sight of the inciting incident. Gordon’s mishap and the return of the Roman feel like they happened so long ago because we’ve seen an attempt to weave so many other storylines in."[40]

Logsdon gave issue 7, Tim Seeley's first, an 8.0 out of 10, feeling Seeley gave each of the characters he dealt with the proper spotlight.[41] Marykate Jasper of Comic Book Resources gave the issue 4 stars out of 5, saying the issue was "an explosion-packed, game-changing issue that keeps up the pace of its predecessors and continues to expand the scope of the story."[42] Lydon also spoke positively, giving the issue an 8 out of 10, and saying, "The chains are really starting to move in Eternal... [and the series] is changing the landscape of Gotham quite literally, and it’s exciting to watch."[43]

Batman #28

Comic Book Resources' Doug Zawisza gave Batman #28 4.5 stars out of 5, saying he was "onboard and locked in to see how Snyder and crew weave the not-so-distant past with the near future... [and the] issue is a nice break from "Zero Year," a change of pace, a switch in visual impact, a breath of fresh air and a sign of hope for the Gotham of tomorrow as Snyder continues to construct and deepen the legend of Gotham City and its role in the mythology of Batman."[44] David Pepose of Newsarama gave the issue an 8 out 10. He said, "With this preview to the upcoming Bat-event Batman Eternal, the creative team adds just enough to Gotham's mythology to hold your interest."[45] IGN's Melissa Grey gave the issue an 8 out of 10 as well, calling it "a fun issue," but one that "doesn't comfortably ground the reader in its timeline."[46]


For April 2014, Diamond Comic Distributors announced that Batman Eternal issues 1–4 were the fourth, sixth, ninth and tenth best selling titles of the month, respectively.[47]


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