"Batman Eternal": Following the train crash that was apparently caused by Commissioner Gordon, Mayor Hady is annoyed that he has to speak on the subject. As far as he is concerned, Jim shouldn't have been in the field in the first p
- There are greater evils afoot elsewhere in Gotham City tonight. Far greater evils.
Synopsis for "Batman Eternal"
Following the train crash that was apparently caused by Commissioner Gordon, Mayor Hady is annoyed that he has to speak on the subject. As far as he is concerned, Jim shouldn't have been in the field in the first place. While his people pen remarks for him, the Mayor takes a drink, wondering what the city has come to. He is interrupted by a man who warns that the city is going through exactly what he said it would, five years ago.
Meanwhile, the staff of the Gotham Gazette debates over whether they should even run the story pinning blame for the crash on Jim Gordon. If they're wrong about it, they could destroy his life. Warren Spacey, the Editor-in-Chief reminds that so long as they have the sources, their butts are covered. As Gotham's leading paper, they have a responsibility to be the first to get the news out. Uncomfortably, Vicki Vale complies with his orders, and publishes the story online.
In Cherry Hill, Batgirl receives word of the incident from Batman, who has the uncomfortable duty of informing her that the one deemed responsible for the crash is her father. Soon, the news spreads around the world, from The Narrows to Hong Kong. Around the world, Batman's allies begin filtering downtown to help respond to the situation.
Batman, meanwhile, visits Jim at Gotham Central Booking, where his friend has been locked behind bars. He promises that they'll get Jim out of there, somehow. Ignoring him, Jim begs to know how many people died in the crash, and Batman's silence tells him that it was more than he wants on his conscience. Instead, Batman asks exactly what Jim thought he saw. The Commissioner explains that he was certain he saw a gun in Derek Grady's hand. He had seen the footage since, though, and whatever he thought he saw, the truth of the matter was that he shot at an unarmed man, and killed a great many innocents in the process. Batman reminds that something must have got into Jim's system to make him see what he saw. He demands a blood sample to test for chemical influences. As far as he is concerned, this is a setup. Jim responds that he isn't so sure. He is only a man - an aging man who has only slept five hours in the last three days. Batman assures him that something bigger is going on.
On the roof of City Hall, the Mayor admits that when he looks out over the city today, what he sees on nights like this is all that his guest did to it years ago. His guest responds that he sees Gotham as it always has been; a paradise waiting for its fruit to be plucked. He believes that Jim Gordon is a snake, deserving of his fate, for having turned down all that the city has to offer. Every Police Commissioner before him had taken their fill, and lived like a king. The events of this night are merely the city's reaction to having its gifts thrown back in its face.
Meanwhile, down in the destroyed subway station, Officer Nancy Strode catches a man wandering past the police cordon, and questions him. To her surprise, he knows her name, and he explains that, in just seconds, she won't even remember he was there. Looking her in the eyes with a stare that sees the sin in her soul, he reminds that there are greater evils elsewhere in Gotham City tonight, and she'd best attend to those.
At Arkham Asylum, Mahreen Zaheer and Eric Border are troubled by Doctor Phosphorus' screams. Apparently, the scientific processes required to confine the flames within his body are more painful even than the burning that had plagued him beforehand. Now, though, he screams of voices he hears, coming from below. They're calling a name over and over, but unfortunately Mahreen and Eric can't hear the voices. The voices are real, though, and its owner appears before Sartorius, commanding him to speak aloud the name he had been hearing. As the skeletal finger presses into his forehead, Sartorius screams the name "Blackfire" and the flames inside him explode outward.
Batman breaks into the Gotham Metro Transit Authority building, and is interrupted in his investigation by Catwoman. She notes that Batman seems to have plenty of time to waste on Jim Gordon - and not her. Ignoring her come-ons, he explains that he is trying to get a clear picture of the man Jim had chased down the night before. He connects the MTA's computers to his own facial recognition servers, and tries to identify the man who deliberately led Jim down into the subways, for a purpose. When he gets a result, Batman is surprised and worried.
Grimly, the Mayor's guest explains that the city ought to belong to men, not freaks. The time has come to take it back from lunatics like Gordon, the Batman, Catwoman, and The Penguin. Disturbed, Hady realizes that his guest is responsible for what happened to Gordon. Through a half-smile, his guest responds that this is only the beginning.
Batman makes his exit, calling Alfred to check out whereabouts of all former associates of the man he'd seen. He is interrupted again by Catwoman, who refuses to let him simply leave her out of the loop after he seemed so shaken by what he saw. Relenting, Batman responds that the man in the subway had been Derek Grady, a smalltown crook who left town five years ago when he and Gordon ran his boss out of town. That man had been one of the most dangerous men to ever set foot in Gotham, and he came back 24 hours ago. The Roman is back, and he didn't come back alone.
Appearing in "Batman Eternal"
- Vicki Vale
- Harper Row
- Cullen Row
- Red Hood
- Lucius Fox
- Red Robin
- Maggie Sawyer (On a TV or computer screen)
- Harvey Bullock (On a TV or computer screen)
- Jason Bard (On a TV or computer screen)
- Major Forbes (On a TV or computer screen)
- Mahreen Zaheer
- Eric Border
- Nancy Strode
- Warren Spacey
- Derek Grady (On a TV or computer screen)
- Penguin (Mentioned only)
- United States of America
- This issue is reprinted in Batman Eternal Vol. 1.