Batman #28
Gotham Eternal
Batman #28
Publisher: DC Comics
Writers: Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Penciler: Dustin Nguyen

Scott Snyder takes a break from his year long epic look back at Batman's origins to deliver a hint of what's to come when his title returns to the present day narrative and is joined by the weekly Batman: Eternal. And while I have no desire for the immensely enjoyable Zero Year storyline to end anytime soon, this primer has me very, very excited for what the next phase of Snyder's story.

Flashing forward to the not too distant future, Gotham City has become a police state, and fan favorite new character Harper Row is out looking for trouble. Using her savvy and grit, Harper infiltrates Gotham's last remaining night club and the current headquarters of Gotham's new kingpin who hold both the underworld and the police under their sway. It quickly becomes apparent that Harper is on an errand for Batman, and the two must fight their way through a whole casino of armed guards in order to obtain the key to Gotham's salvation.

Glimpse of the future stories can easily go off the rails. Reveal too much, and you've given major beats of the story away and become tied to a narrative that may need to change and grow as it's written, keep things too close to the vest, and you leave the reader/viewer with a frustratingly vague story that alienates more than entices. Snyder and Tynion strike a perfect balance of hinting at plot developments to come and outright reveals of juicy morsels like the identity of who now controls the Gotham underworld. Tynion is very adept at matching Snyder's voice and tone, allowing for a seamless read, and the hope that the entire Batman: Eternal team can work together this cohesively.

It's great to see Dustin Nguyen on a monthly Batman comic again (he'll also soon be making the transition over to Eternal). His sketchy line work is perfectly suited to the gritty world of Gotham. Nguyen's pencils equally sell the looming creepiness of Batman and the kinetic action sequences. While a bit sparse on backgrounds at times, Nguyen compensates with the care and detail he puts into his figure work.

Snyder, Tynion, and Nguyen approached Batman #28 as a reward for the fans who had so enthusiastically supported the year long digression into Zero Year, and that it definitely how this issue reads. The energy in these pages is tangible to a point that it is hard to tell who is going to be more excited about what's next for Batman and Batman: Eternal: The readers, or Snyder and his collaborators.

Grade: B+

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