When DC Comics' "Batman #28" hits stores February 11, get ready for more spoilers than you can shake a bat at. The issue flashes forward in time to show what will happen towards the end of the second act in DC's upcoming weekly series "Batman Eternal;" something that's nearly a year away. And though there's plenty in the issue for the seasoned comic book fan, the comic also has plenty of bits that will make the casual (read: movie) fan of the Dark Knight freak out, too.
Now of course you should pick up the issue and read it for yourself, particularly considering it's written by two guys who are considered among the very best Batman has ever seen, Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV. Additionally Dustin Nguyen, an artist who has gained plenty of critical acclaim on his own, draws the issue. But once you've read the comic, head back here for all the biggest, most jaw dropping moments. Oh, and spoilers on:
The New Robin Is A Bluebird
Harper Row is a newish character first introduced in "Batman #7." She's technically adept, acrobatic and dying to help Batman however she can. When Batman's son Damian — the last person to hold the title of Robin — died, readers all expected Harper to don the mantle of Batman's sidekick next. As revealed in this issue, Harper is Bruce's sidekick, but she's not Robin: she's called Bluebird. And unlike Batman, she doesn't have a problem using guns.
Catwoman: Kingpin of Crime
Something has happened to Gotham City (we'll get to that in a second), but something even bigger has happened to Catwoman. For years now, the character has been depicted as an anti-hero, often working with Batman and others rather than pursuing a life of crime. In this issue we find out that she may still hold the whip, but she's traded her cat suit for a business suit and become Gotham's new Kingpin of Crime... And that the transformation happened some time after Batman left her to die. Big changes for the character, and we imagine "Batman Eternal" will fill in more than a few of those kitty-sized gaps.
Gotham Under Siege
In the issue, Gotham is under an 8 p.m. curfew enforced by an angry, violent police force. There's also some sort of infection that's taken down most of Gotham's citizens. So how'd it happen, and how bad is it? Given that Catwoman tells Batman at one point that, "You've lost so much already... The police... your friends... this city..." we'd guess, pretty bad.
Mid-way through the issue, Batman checks in with the Batcave for information, but instead of his trusty butler we're treated to the sight of a silhouetted female figure who says that she's "new at this." We had a guess who it was, but that got, er, spoiled by the end of the issue. Could this be a new character, or is it someone we've already met? Another secret we'll just have to wait to solve.
Oh, and that big "spoiler" we mentioned? It's the last page reveal that Spoiler, a.k.a. Stephanie Brown is finally back in the DC Universe. We don't have enough space to explain why she's so important, or the long road to getting her back in comics for the uninitiated. But suffice to say her return has been begged for by fans, for years. Unrelentingly. We'll have to wait until April to see her in full-fledged action, but given this killer reintroduction, we can't wait.
"Batman #28" is on sale now from DC Comics. "Batman Eternal" hits stores this April.