Batman Eternal #23 Review

What's new, pussy cat? Woah, woah, wh--oh, you're dead.


Selina's feeling shitty, failed to save a kitty, born to rule the city, and things aren't looking pretty, all in this twenty second entry in DC's weekly Bat-epic, which sees The Architect's inadvertent (?) victory, Jason Bard making his next move, and Selina crawling through a quarter mile of poo-smelling foulness I can't even imagine. (Maybe I just don't want to.) Nguyen is full-on Nguyen with his uniquely stylized art and it's almost like I'm reading Heart of Hush again. Well, actually I have been rereading that recently, coincidentally.


"Punk is nothing but death and crime and the rage of a beast!"


The bulk of this issue is spent on Selina Kyle's triumphs and tragedies. Well, mostly just her having one pain in the ass after another. First, she attempts to save a snow leopard cub, to no avail, as it is shot to death by Tiger Shark. Then her house is broken into by some homeless waif who leads her through a tunnel of crap into Blackgate where her father, Rex Calabrese, tries to convince her to take over Gotham's organized crime (isn't the problem with Gotham all the unorganized crime? But I guess that might be the point now.). Then she has to save that kid from falling into a crack when an earthquake starts from the Beacon Tower fiasco. Busy busy busy.


Selina Kyle, Animal MD, coming soon to The New 52!


Seeley is obviously working overtime to show that Catwoman is different from the other criminal elements. She might be a thief, but a lot of her actions come from a caring, kind place. Why else would the Justice League of America have brought her on board (actually, I think it turned out to be a ruse to distract Batman, but was a huge failure)? We know she does eventually become a crime kingpin, as seen in Snyder's Batman #28, but we can see that she at least might be heading that way from a place of well-meaning intentions.


The Reverse Shawshank.


Oh, Tommy. Your greatest motivation has always been envy. Not jealousy, but envy. For you see, as Aristotle said, "Jealousy is both reasonable and belongs to reasonable men, while envy is base and belongs to the base, for the one makes himself get good things by jealousy, while the other does not allow his neighbor to have them through envy." What greater good do you aspire to when you strike at Batman through Gotham? What do you allow others to achieve via your plans? Nothing but baleful chaos, sir. Your actions are for your own sake. "I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self." Put that in your pipe and smoke it and Hush up, you lesser man's Black Mask. "No one loves the man whom he fears."


"I totally intended this! Totally!"


It's good that this issue at least acknowledges the other things going on in this series. Other than Batman's struggle against The Architect and Hush, we see Croc taking out demons underground, Julia getting used to being "Penny-Two", weird supernatural light emanating from Arkham, and the glowy-eyed nanomachine-infected children of the Narrows. Even if he weren't working on the side of the baddies, Bard might have a point about martial law. But of course the intent is clearly to make it easier for his side's plans to go off.


Croc gets shit done, son.


Next Issue: You're A Bad Man, Arthur Brown


- Penguin Truth


Story: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Script: Tim Seeley
Consulting Writers: Ray Fawkes & Kyle Higgins
Pencils: Dustin Nguyen
Inks: Derek Fridolfs
Colors: John Kalisz
Lettering By: Steve Wands
Cover By: Jason Fabok & Brad Anderson
Editor: Chris Conroy
Asst. Editor: Dave Wielgosz
Group Editor: Mark Doyle
Batman Created By Bob K--AHAHAHAHA, NO. Batman Created By Bill Finger

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