Each week, MTV News is breaking down the big moments in DC Comics' "Batman Eternal," the weekly series that is redefining Gotham City as we know it.
This week, we talked to writer James Tynion IV about how the Bat-family has finally come back together... But maybe too late to save Gotham City:
MTV News: Let’s start with Harper… Red Robin calls it out a bit, but what’s her role in the bat-family right now?
James Tynion IV: Right now, she's still trying to figure it out... She's fallen into a kind of subsidiary role under Tim while he's been training her, but that's not ultimately all that satisfying. She can't make him do the things she cares about. To an extent, she's a part of the Bat-Family, but she's not right in the thick of it, not yet. You can see it from the way Tim shuts her down right at the start. We know she's close to the end of her path to becoming Bluebird, but she's definitely not there just yet.
MTV: Penny-two uses “Blue Rose” to save Batman from the wreck of the batmobile… Is this a reference to something we should be getting? Because I am feeling dumb for not getting it?
Tynion: The idea is more that Alfred always has a back way out. He has contingencies for everything, and the phrase "Blue Rose" is a deep continuity dive to something that's always been associated with Alfred and the Pennyworths... The Pennyworth Blue Rose... But the phrase itself was more the indicator that Alfred still has a few tricks up his sleeve.
MTV: The cops don’t seem to support Bard’s killing of Batman… Is that across the board? And how difficult is that going to make his job going forward?
Tynion: I think the cops are starting to get wary of how hard Bard is pushing them. Even the ones who aren't crazy about Batman aren't going to like the force being used applied against Gotham City. Martial Law is still in FULL effect, and the life is being squeezed out of the city as it becomes a kind of dystopian police state. And now he's using the cops to set up massive, city-wide traps in order to capture or eliminate Batman. Bard still believes himself to be in the right, but that's not what the police force believes anymore. And try running a whole organization that doesn't like or respect you. It's not going to work out too well.
MTV: There’s significant chunks left out of the flashback to the night Bard watched his partner die… Have we seen the whole story?
Tynion: I think we've seen the important pieces of that story for right now, but it's still all very much a part of Bard's heart and mind. The key part of that story was to show that even in the present, Bard believes himself to be in the right. He might have crossed a few lines, but he's still acting as a man with a moral code who believes he can make Gotham a better, safer city. It's that core to him that could sew the seeds for his redemption... But I think that punch from Batman was a long time coming.
MTV: Let’s talk about the scene on the rooftop with Bard and the Batfamily… What was it like tackling this scene? It’s pretty badass.
Tynion: This is one of my favorite scenes in the series, to be honest. A full on intimidation attack. The whole Bat-Family just standing there, Bard knowing exactly what they're capable of if he doesn't try to back down. They don't need to do anything. When the Bat-Family is together in force we know that they're functionally unstoppable.
MTV: Villains inside the hero’s headquarters in a glass cage is kind of a trope asking for them to break out at this point… So…
Tynion: Batman's in a bit of a bind... There's not anywhere else he really COULD put him. I think Bruce absolutely knows that it's a dangerous decision, but hell, it's the only decision he could make. PLUS, who doesn't love having the Bad Guy right there in the room, mocking the hero?
MTV: And Batman goes off on Hush, putting everyone in danger. Can he just not see clearly when it comes to him?
Tynion: I think we all have those people in our lives... The ones who can hit each and every one of your triggers because they've known you so long. Typically, they aren't psychopathic killers with guaze wrapped around their heads, but we've all got them.
MTV: Given Batman looks at a screen with his villains and says it could be any of them… We can probably assume the mastermind isn’t someone we see there, right?
Tynion: I don't think you can assume anything anymore. Anything could be misdirection, or we could be pointing you RIGHT at the answer.
MTV: And The Riddler gets into the game. He’s not the mastermind, is he? He just wants to “help” Bruce get towards the answer?
Tynion: Readers will just have to wait and see!