"Batman Eternal": Stephanie Brown's mother is not pleased with the thought of her daughter out in the suburbs of Gotham City after dark, but Stephanie assures her that she is merely going to her father's house for a few minutes to collect her forgotten Q-Pad
- What the hell is going on?
- — Batman
Synopsis for "Batman Eternal"
Stephanie Brown's mother is not pleased with the thought of her daughter out in the suburbs of Gotham City after dark, but Stephanie assures her that she is merely going to her father's house for a few minutes to collect her forgotten Q-Pad. Her father had returned her to her mother a day early, though, and Stephanie's mother insists that he likely had plans he didn't want disturbed. Unfortunately, her father's door is locked, and so she slips in through the basement window. When she makes her way upstairs, she find she's interrupted some kind of meeting, and her father's friends appear to be costumed super-villains. Before she can get any answers to the multitude of questions this discovery gives her, she is knocked unconscious by someone from behind.
Later, at GCPD Headquarters, Officer Nancy Strode worries that the train accident that the Commissioner is supposed to have caused is just the start of something worse. Lieutenant Harvey Bullock agrees, but Major Forbes jibes that with the commissioner locked up, he'll actually be able to get some work done in Gotham. This raises Harvey's ire, but fortunately, a very grumpy Captain Maggie Sawyer warns Forbes that he ought to show some respect - and he is needed to take a call from the Mayor's office. Aside to Strode, Harvey points out that Maggie is next in line for the commissioner's job, which is good news to him, if Jim Gordon can't do it.
Jim, meanwhile, receives a visit in his holding cell from Jason Bard. The lieutenant is anxious, because his fellow officers are blaming him for Jim's arrest, just because he took the collar. He assumes that Batman is already working to get Jim out of jail, but Jim reminds that all the evidence still points directly at him - and he isn't convinced that he isn't responsible for the train crash. Jason, though, won't concede that just yet.
Elsewhere, at the Iceberg Casino, The Penguin taunts one of his croupiers, whom he caught letting her brother win nearly $400,000 in the last week alone. Tearfully, she begs him to let her brother go, and with a grin, the Penguin responds that he fed the man to an elephant seal three hours prior. Fortunately, the Penguin's torture is interrupted by the sound of Batman kicking his door in. As the woman runs for her life, Batman grabs the Penguin up by his collar and demands to know the whereabouts of Carmine Falcone. Cobblepot responds that Falcone has been gone for years, and Batman can see that he thinks he's telling the truth, giving him the opportunity to report that Carmine Falcone has returned to Gotham.
Meanwhile, at Gotham City Hall, Jack Forbes takes a meeting with Mayor Hady and the Roman, commenting that he is glad to see Carmine Falcone back. As far as he is concerned, the Roman can bring Gotham back to the way it's supposed to be - where cops can live like kings, and lunatics in costumes get shot dead. Willingly, he promises that he will ensure the police look the other way while Falcone takes his empire back.
In the Batcave, Batman obsesses over Derek Grady, the thug and former Falcone associate who led Jim Gordon down onto the subway tracks. He had been a practical ghost for years until he came back to Gotham just the day before, and used his real name at the airport. He had obviously only been working with Professor Pyg for a matter of hours - which begs the question of why Pyg trusted him, and what he might have had to do with all this. Alfred worries that despite all the evidence pointing to the Roman, it could all just be another red herring, deflecting his attention from someone else. Bruce responds that whatever the case, this is only the beginning of something bigger.
At Arthur Brown's house, Stephanie lies on the floor as her father's costumed friends and a mysterious man hiding in the shadows discuss what's to be done with her. Naturally, the thing that must be done is to see her killed, and the man in the shadows suggests that it is time for Arthur to prove his willingness to sacrifice for their cause. Arthur doesn't consider it much of a sacrifice, as he never cared much for his daughter. Realizing that he intends to follow through with it, Stephanie reaches up and pulls the pin on one of his gas-grenades, making a run for it.
Later, Batman beats up a gang of thugs encroaching on the Penguin's territory, but finds himself held at gunpoint by their leader. Deftly snapping the gunman's arm, he pins him to the ground. Uncaring, his victim warns that he has a message from the Roman: he is the law now. Soon, Alfred warns of another fire breaking out across town, confirming their suspicion that the Roman is making his play for the city tonight.
The Penguin, meanwhile, gathers his lieutenants, planning his retaliation, but he learns soon that the Roman has already begun coordinated strikes. There is no more time to plan. He is going to war with the Falcone family.
At GCPD Headquarters, word comes of the inevitable gang war, and Captain Sawyer orders everyone to suit-up. Her orders are overruled, though, by Jack Forbes.
As Batman speeds toward one of the depots under fire, he learns of five more emergencies, and realizes he will have to prioritize, leaving many of the other messes to the Gotham City Police Department. Unfortunately, though, the GCPD seems to have cancelled all of its emergency calls.
As Maggie challenges Forbes' order, she is interrupted by a visit from the Mayor, who announces that Jack Forbes is to be the new Interim Commissioner, despite the fact that the job should have been hers. From now on, though, her job is to do whatever Forbes says to do. First order of business is to let the gang war solve itself. Their priority will be to declare war on the Batman.
Elsewhere, Stephanie desperately calls her mother to warn that she knows about something nobody else does - something worse than the train crash - and her father intends to kill her for it.
Appearing in "Batman Eternal"
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Gotham City Police Department
- Carmine "The Roman" Falcone
- Cluemaster (Arthur Brown) (First appearance)
- Imperceptible Man
- Interim Commissioner Forbes
- Lock-Up (First appearance)
- Mayor Hady
- Mister Combustible
- Mister Mosaic
- Unnamed (Appears in shadows only)
- Crystal Brown (First appearance) (Phone call only)
- Derek Grady (On a TV or computer screen)
- Professor Pyg (On a TV or computer screen)
- References on the GCPD's whiteboard:
- Charise Carnes and the Three Towers complex, and crimes in Cherry Hill.
- The Joker and the Court of Owls's whereabouts are listed as cold cases.
- Rise of drug numbers in association with the substance called Icarus.
- Jim Gordon and the crash at the Aviation Museum Subway Station.
- Suspicions against Elena Aguila.
- The news that Dick Grayson and Nightwing are one and the same - and deceased.
- The Wolf Spider art thefts.
- This issue is reprinted in Batman Eternal Vol. 1.