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'Batman Eternal #50': The Big Bad... Revealed

Writer James Tynion IV post-games "Batman Eternal #50."

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 finally find out who is behind the big attack in Gotham... And it's a clue nobody could have picked up on:

MTV News: Poor Bane. Not only does Batman kick his butt, he does it off-screen. Did anything more complicated than “Bane got hit by de plane” happen, or is it up to our imagination?

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James Tynion IV: A fighter jet slamming into anything full-speed is PROBABLY a good way to take that thing down, but if readers want to imagine a few rounds of punching and bad-ass Bat-Action, they should feel free to!

MTV: You’ve got Gordon teaming up with Bard and The Lion… Is this a case of a deal with the devil, or do Bard and Calabrese really have the city’s best interests at heart?

Tynion: Calabrese has already mostly played his part as the morally grey ex-crime boss, so it’s really Bard who you should pay attention to here. He’s the character we launched "Batman Eternal" with, and the one who I think you can see has grown the most. He did some terrible things in order to accomplish the good that he wanted, and now here he is, and it’s a moment Gotham City is in need, and he’s going to have to step up. He already did the first and most important thing he needed to do to redeem himself… Get Jim Gordon exonerated and out of prison. But he has a city on fire, and now it’s time for him to be the Commissioner he always thought he could be.

MTV: I just want to talk about that shot of Batman riding on Scarecrow's drones, because it made me laugh out loud with glee… How did that scene come together?

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Tynion: This issue was a LOT of fun. Basically, Batman is up against some of his BIGGEST villains, but he doesn’t have time to play their games, he just needs to shut them down FAST. It’s him overexerting himself to the fullest extent of his physical capabilities… And coming up with little vignettes of him taking EACH villain down that actually fun to read. The Scarecrow beat is probably my favorite… It’s definitely the most over the top, and I might have done some cackling while I wrote it. (Also important to note, this strain of Fear Toxin is the predecessor to the Cassandra Toxin that Bruce is recovering from in "Endgame.")

MTV: Another great scene, Gordon’s line about, "What do we do when we come face-to-face with hell on Earth? We get to work,” was bad-ass… But what can the GCPD do in the face of the city in flames?

Tynion: With Martial Law, and everything the city’s gone through that’s deteriorated their trust in the GCPD, it’s going to take a lot in order to save Gotham City… But this is the team you’d want to do it, and they’re going to do their damnedest.

MTV: Okay, let’s talk about the big reveal with Cluemaster… You guys did say the word “clues” a lot, didn’t you? Should we have been picking up on that hint?

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Tynion: Well, I think clues are pretty unavoidable in any mystery, regardless of the name of the supervillain in question. We definitely wanted this to be a surprising twist, and there’s still a lot more to show as to why this happened, and what exactly Cluemaster has done over the last year. Batman’s been trying to find a way to tie all of these little mysteries together… But nothing would tie them all up in the neat bow that was expected, and he never thought that a man like Arthur Brown even could be behind something like this. Batman’s expectations and how he solves a mystery go hand and hand, and that’s something Arthur has always understood.

MTV: And is Cluemaster the ultimate big bad? For real?

Tynion: There are only two issues left. I think we’re only going to be able to throw six dozen more twists and turns in there, don’t you think?

MTV: We’ve mostly hooked up with the beginning of the series, but there’s one big moment that hasn’t been revealed yet, and that’s who cut the Bat-symbol into Bruce’s chest… And knows who Bruce Wayne is. Cluemaster still calls him Batman, so it seems like there’s at least one more twist to come…

Tynion: I WILL say the lines spoken on the first page of "Batman Eternal #1" happen in the first five pages of "Batman Eternal #51." So don’t be too sure. But also the story is DEFINITELY not over yet.

MTV: Now that we have almost come back around, is there a way Batman can turn back the tide? Or is it too late for Gotham?

Tynion: I wouldn’t give up hope on our favorite fictional city just yet… But it’s going to take a LOT to turn back the tide, that’s absolutely for sure.

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"Batman Eternal #50" is in stores now. Check out our previous post-games here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 46, 47, 48, 49