Each week, DC Comics is releasing a new issue of the epic "Batman Eternal" comic, and each week we're talking down the biggest moments. This week, Scott Snyder may not be writing, but he is showrunning the book — the fourth issue was written by John Layman — and breaks down shocking twists with Stephanie Brown, Commissioner Gordon and Gordon's mysterious cell-mate:
MTV News: This issue we find out that even Stephanie Brown's mom is working against her… At this point, is there anyone she can trust?
Scott Snyder: That's part of the big conflict with her. She has to find somewhere she can go, and someone she can trust. As you saw in "Batman #28" where we flash-forward and she's in the clutches of the newly crowned kingpin of crime, Selina Kyle, it's not going to be easy for her.
It's going to be a very long road for her in ways that I think will be exciting for people. And also, the people that she meets along the way, or ends up pairing with — whether it's young characters like Harper and Cullen, or other ones that are new ones you haven't met before — it will hopefully be as exciting for you to read as it has been for us to write them.
MTV: Later in the issue, Batman breaks in on Carmine Falcone, who he knows has been manipulating everything in Gotham. Why doesn't Bruce just take him down? What's stopping him?
Snyder: The problem with that is that he understands Carmine is probably part of a much larger story. What becomes apparent to Bruce as the story goes forward is that it's bigger than any of these people he's used to dealing with as the main antagonist of any story. In that it becomes scarier to him, and the Bat-family starts to think that he's probably just being paranoid.
He's tempering his actions because he knows he might need Carmine later, too.
MTV: At the end of the issue Commissioner Gordon is in Blackgate Prison, prisoners calling out for his blood and he's seemingly bunked up with the one nice guy in the entire jail. Is there any chance he's going to get out of this?
Snyder: [Laughs] Not for a long time, if ever. That was one of the big selling points for the series for me, personally, that idea to put him in Blackgate. How he could possibly fail in that environment where people will want to kill him, the alliances he'll have to form.
You'll see a lot of fun villains in there, that sense of paranoia, that sense of claustrophobia. Not to give away too many spoilers, but Batman says at a certain point, "I'll get you out. Maybe you need to get out of there and hide."
Jim closes the door on that eventually. He says, "I'm not going to break the law. If I'm supposed to be in here, I'll be in here." He really begins to question if he's guilty or not, too.
MTV: His cellmate Leo, is that someone we should be searching through back issues to figure out? Or is he just a random guy?
Snyder: Well he's definitely not just some random guy. He has a very large role to play in the series. And there are secrets about him people will find exciting, and an importance to him that goes beyond his initial presentation of himself.
It's not a continuity character where it's like, "Wait a minute, it's Leo the something!" He's a character with ties to a story that's coming up.
MTV: So he's not "The Leo-ker."
Snyder: [Laughs] No, no, he's not.
"Batman Eternal #4" is in stores now from DC Comics.