Posted February 18, 2014 by Yuri Mangahas in Comics


Writers: Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Artist: Dustin Nguyen

Remember that Thanksgiving Batman teaser from DC which highlights some of the events which will occur in the Bat-verse vaguely (still trying to decode it as of writing)? Well, Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV both attempt to shed light on that teaser, by giving us a glimpse of Gotham’s future in Batman #28.

Not a part of Zero Year, #28 deviates from the main Bats storyline for the time being and jumps far to a post- Forever Evil Gotham, showing us the things that we should expect for the upcoming weekly serial Batman: Eternal (both penned by Snyder and Tynion). This issue is monumental in part to the New 52 debut of two new characters: Harper Row’s new superhero identity, Bluebird – which happens to be a nod to Nightwing – and the much awaited return of SPOILER. Yep, Stephanie Brown, in full garb as Spoiler.

We are now spoiled.

Unlike previous Snyder-penned solicits, I’ve actually had problems w/ this one. Let me point them one by one (minor SPOILERS ahead!).

1. Batman doesn’t feel like Batman at all. He is not portrayed here as the usual tough-as-nails guy that he is. In fact, it was Harper who did most of his job here. She created an opening for their preemptive assault, and she saved his ass from Selina Kyle, who happens to be Gotham’s newest Kingpin(in a similar, but compassionate role as with his Marvel counterpart). This was further demonstrated by a particular panel in which he uses his hands to avoid inhaling the smoke emitted by one of his grenades. Not so Batsy, eh?

2. The exposition tells us that an infection has spread across Gotham and most of Batman’s allies had abandoned him during the course of the timeskip. I did not feel any of that happening at all. Nguyen wasn’t able to give us a sense of dread through his panels, thus, making this Gotham City seemingly the same as it was in the past. Perhaps it was intended for the purpose of not spoiling Batman: Eternal in its entirety.

3. More questions were being raised regarding the future of three individuals: Alfred Pennyworth(who is apparently being succeeded by an unknown figure as Bats’ cave operator – most likely Harper’s sibling), Jim Gordon(Selina implied to Batman that everyone has left him, including his allies in the police.), and Dick Grayson/Nightwing(I mentioned Bluebird, right?). Not really a problem at all, but this might confuse new readers. Guess we have to wait for 2014’s post-Forever Evil Batman run to find out.

Let us discuss Nguyen’s art further. Despite what I pointed out above, his work for this issue gives Capulo’s run a sense of continuity. Everything’s streamlined, and I liked what he did with the design of Bluebird and Selina Kyle’s kingpin garb. Their new looks are quite pleasing to the eyes, and matches their personality per se. The action sequences were superb, especially Harp’s. Dustin did absolute justice to all her scenes, making her shine in this issue all throughout. The colors were also vibrant, which is good in a way, but does not really help if Snyder’s aim were to depict a chaotic Gotham in the reins of Forever Evil’s aftermath. Either way, I’m glad he’s back pencilling for a main Batman issue.

The future might be bleak for the already broken Gotham City, but one thing remains certain: The Dark Knight will always be around. A new era unfolds as the Batman Mythology continues anew.


We would like to thank Comic Odyssey The Fort for this copy. They are located at the fourth floor of Fully Booked near Bonifacio High Street, BGC.

Yuri Mangahas

Yuri is magnanimously juggling between two managerial jobs: A technical manager position for an advertising/copy-writing company, and an associate editorial position for a fashion and lifestyle magazine. Nevertheless, he still finds time taking photos and seeking for geek nirvana.