Batman Eternal #22 Review

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Gotham's pickin' up bad vibrations, buildings are getting excitations, Julia has a shocked sensation, and Hush is feeling such elation in this twenty-second installment of DC's weekly Batman yarn. The crazed suited terror, The Architect is back to his old "Got to destroy Gotham landmarks for my dishonored family's honor!" using what is essentially the Patlabor: The Movie scheme. Julia is shocked and dismayed that Bruce Wayne is, in fact, the vigilante called The Bat-Man, and Hush does another "stepping out of the shadows" thing that makes me think he's just desperate to ape Batman's style at this point. What's next, the Hush Signal?

 

"I was just looking for a vending machine."
 

The deal with the Architect is this: The Gates family, specifically the Gates brothers, Nicholas and Bradley, were architects that helped modernize Gotham City back in the 1880s. In the construction of Gotham's new skyline, Bradley died in an accident and the Nicholas became paranoid and erratic because the special construction suit was built wrong and cause decompression sickness that led to insanity. In the present, the descendant of the Gates, Zachary Gate finds Nicholas' journal and believes his ancestor's insane ramblings about a conspiracy involving the Wayne family, the Cobblepots, the Elliots, and the Kanes, builds the suit, and begins blowing up things with those families' names on them. Batman, then Dick Grayson, stops him, but he seems unconvinced that his ancestor was just crazy, because at this point he too has been driven mad. All of this happened in the excellent Gates of Gotham miniseries by Scott Snyder, Kyle Higgins, and Trevor McCarthy.

 

Also, it had Cassandra Cain, the best no-longer-existent Batman character.

Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
There was something in everything about you
...

 

Obviously, Zachary Gates, The Architect, still has a hate boner for Gotham's buildings, and planned to use one as a giant tuning fork that would cause other buildings to collapse. A pretty clever plan, and enough to distract Batman so that Hush can continue his plans, which apparently involve killing some random architect named Andrew. Even though I'm not big on Jorge Lucas' art in this issue, the Architect suit does look really awesome. He's kind of a crazy steampunkish supervillain. While I do like the character, I just hope he doesn't get overused, because I think he's kind of a one or two note guy that isn't intended to be a full on recurring character. You know, after a while, he's just kind of made his statement, and there you go.

 

"Any architect in particular?" "THE Architect! Nobody ever asks THE Joker which kind of joker he is. I assume it's anti-humor."

 

I guess Hush is like that, too. Maybe that's the point of Eternal, though. All these "also ran" villains are coming together to screw over Batman. He doesn't have to worry about Joker, Two-Face, and The Riddler here, but guys like Cluemaster, Deacon Blackfire, and Hush, the guys that never really could get a foothold in popularity, the ones we all thought had made their statement and were done for.

 

I do have a question, though, why was Gates imprisoned at Blackgate, and not Arkham? He's clearly crazy as a loon.

 

There is this weird moment at the end of the issue where Hush shoots that Andrew guy, then we get this reveal of him, as if we didn't already know it was Hush from the previous issue. It's almost as though they originally planned this to be the issue where we find out it was Hush, but they changed it at the last minute. I mean, sure, this is the issue Batman finally figures it out, but leaving Hush in the shadows like that as if we weren't supposed to know who it was is an odd artistic choice. Was it a flourish Lucas and Smith made or something Higgins actually wrote into the script? Either way it's a little head-scratching.

 

"Sssshhh... no tears. Only dreams now."

 

I know she's concerned about her father, so I'll let it slide, but Julia's being a bit more difficult than necessary here. She'd been previously whining that her father was just some domestic butler for a spoiled douchebag, but now that she knows he's Batman's butler, she's angry about him being in harm's way. Well, come on, Julia, at least be impressed that he helps out friggin' BATMAN! Also, way to go, Al, letting her in on the secret at the drop of a hat. But I guess he will need help.

 

 
  "Kind of a mix of calling, hobby, and fetish."

 

Next Issue: Cat's Got Your Tongue!

- Penguin Truth
(2014)

Story: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Script: Kyle Higgins
Consulting Writers: Ray Fawkes & Tim Seeley
Art By: Jorge Lucas
Colors By: Brett Smith
Lettering By: Dezi Sienty
Cover By: Brad Anderson
Editor: Chris Conroy
Asst. Editor: Matt Humphreys & Dave Wielgosz
Group Editor: Mark Doyle
Batman Created By Bob K--AHAHAHAHA, NO. Batman Created By Bill Finger