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YMMV / Batman Eternal

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  • Arc Fatigue:
    • A lot of the plot points move slowly thanks to so many plotlines being involved in the story, making it feel like some stories don't go anywhere; to compensate, around issue 20, the issues have decided to focus on one or two subplots at a time and develop those, then rotate between which story gets focused on.
    • One of the subplots in particular is Julia Pennyworth's lack of respect for her father's choice of career. Every time it cuts back to her, she's repeating the same complaints about how her father turned back on a career in the secret service to 'babysit a playboy'. It does finally start moving forward, however, but not until issue 21.
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    • The Arkham Asylum subplot has finally resurfaced in Issue #29. It was last seen in Issue #17, where it had ended on a cliffhanger.
    • The reveal of the Big Bad has been prolonged with Batman running in circles to chase red herrings.
  • Badass Decay: Jason Bard seemed to be downgraded from Magnificent Bastard rather quickly after the reveal of Hush.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Harper Row is a fan favorite in some circles and an annoying Mary Sue in others.
  • Broken Base:
    • There's a split between those who think Gordon should be locked up for the train accident and those who, like the Bat Family, see him as not responsible. Mainly, regardless of seeing a gun or not, Gordon still tried to shoot the gun out of the perp's hand, which as well as being a dangerous shot, also breaks police protocol and was just generally a risky move that he shouldn't have done, along with the fact that the charge, "manslaughter", means that people died by accident from his actions, which is precisely what happened. However, it's pointed out that the fusebox being shot shouldn't have caused the accident (backed up by the trains apparently already having trouble before Gordon fired the shot) and that its possible that whatever messed with his mind also made him think making such a shot was a good idea.
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    • For some fans who were initially disappointed with New 52 Bat family stories, this series is a Win Back the Crowd moment. Others, however, have found the art and writing quality to be inconsistent, and do not like how each weekly issues jumps around from character to character while tackling an absurd number of subplots.
    • The reveal that Cluemaster is the Big Bad proved divisive from the comic's day of release. Some find it a fun Deconstruction of the large-scale Batman events and a great Not-So-Harmless Villain / Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass moment, while other thought it was a seriously anticlimatic Ass Pull. This got even worse when the following issue then has Lincoln March aka Owlman show up out of nowhere and kill Cluemaster and take his place.
      • There are also many fans who easily guessed that Cluemaster was yet another red herring before finally revealing Lincoln March as the Big Bad.
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    • By 51, there's some split over the way the story's later issues seem to shove Stephanie aside to prop up Harper, who many feel is a Creator's Pet for Snyder and Tynion, particularly the point where Steph tries to get Harper to run away with her and gets subsequently chewed out over it. On the one hand it looks like this is being used to push Stephanie to gain character development which would be a positive and two will likely become friends afterwords, but on the other hand, many feel this is massively Out-of-Character for Steph and feel the writing is bending over backwards to make Harper look great, and is rather troubling considering how long fans waited to get Steph back, only for her to be so badly treated.
  • Character Rerailment:
    • Some consider the parts with Tim Drake to be this for the character.
    • Some find Tim Seeley's Jason Todd to be more sympathetic and tolerable than in Scott Lobdell's much-disliked Red Hood and the Outlaws. At least until he gets back to Gotham, where Tynion takes over for him (see: The Scrappy).
  • Complete Monster:
    • Returning from the dead, Deacon Joseph Blackfire is responsible for the torture and brainwashing of countless members of Gotham's most desperate homeless population to form a dark religion of Human Sacrifice. Torturing the minds of Arkham's residents, Blackfire possesses Maxie Zeus and attempts to build magic pillars of sacrifice to unleash demons to "cleanse" Gotham and plunge the city to literal hell. Returning later as a ghost, Blackfire tries to have his own young descendant murdered to possess the young boy's body.
    • Arthur Brown, aka Cluemaster, is revealed as the true mastermind behind the plot to destroy Gotham City. Hypnotizing Commissioner Gordon with Mad Hatter technology, Cluemaster influences him to cause a massive train collision that kills 162 people, and follows this up by contacting several of Batman's rogues and inviting them to come to Gotham and run wild, causing major damage to the city. When his daughter Stephanie Brown learns of his plans, Cluemaster doesn't hesitate to try and murder her, even blowing up her friend to draw her out. Outfitting numerous supervillains with Wayne technology, Cluemaster sends them off to cause more mayhem, all of this merely a distraction to occupy the Bat-Family while he and his allies set all of Gotham aflame. Capturing Batman, Cluemaster reveals his intent to force him to watch as his city burns before Cluemaster kills him, while also revealing his motivation was mere bitterness over not being seen as an "A-list" villain.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • While she was previously accused of such when Scott Snyder was using her, many are starting to call Harper out for being this to James Tynion IV (who writes the story parts dealing with Harper, Tim, and Steph) as well. He gushed a lot at the beginning about the character, had her showcase how she was a better computer tech wiz than Tim (despite Tim being a genius and The Smart Guy of the family while she'd previously just been a self-taught electrician), butt heads with Steph and portrayed as the morally righteous one in the conflict (despite it being her who instigates the head-butting in the first place), and beats one of the many possible big-bads when Tim and co couldn't.
    • Interestingly enough, Stephanie Brown manages to avoid this criticism, despite being shown to be more prepared and competent than most of the other Bat family members without any training or means to acquire crimefighting equipment. Part of the reason is that she's a fan favorite character whose arrival has been long awaited.
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • Killer Croc is a pretty creepy looking being, due to his monstrous appearance and habit of eating people. He's also the protector of the Underground, and will stop at nothing to protect the homeless vagrants who live there. His Combat Pragmatist defeat and humiliation of Bane (and the revelation that he's read French literature) several issues later definitely helps.
    • Penguin also proves that there's a very good reason he runs crime in Gotham, despite his unimpressive build and apparent cowardice.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: A major appeal for early doubters.
    • Though she doesn't really show up in full until Issue 3, Stephanie Brown's return to the DCU was hyped up a lot beforehand, including her being the Living MacGuffin for the Flash Forward in Batman #28, and the fact that the preview for issue 3 of the main series (where she debuts) was released by DC before the one for the upcoming Issue 2.
    • The first issue features the return of Jason Bard.
    • Issue 2 reintroduces Carmine "the Roman" Falcone and the Cult's Deacon Blackfire.
    • The more noble and heroic depiction of Killer Croc is also well received; its not a new take (in fact, he was like this before he became a monstrous cannibal), but its a well regarded one that has been welcomed.
    • Now that she's taken over Mission Control with Alfred comatose, Julia Pennyworth is starting to become one of the more popular characters, thanks to her snarkiness and Lampshade Hanging.
    • Lord Death Man's brief appearance is considered by many to be Crazy Awesome.
    • Cullen Row is largely well liked for his Adorkable Nice Guy personality and being far more sympathetic to Stephanie than Harper has been. Though, he was already one before the story started too.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Cluemaster's outfit is as garish as ever, this time even earning a Lampshade Hanging from Spoiler. To his credit it's nowhere near as eye-scarring as his pre-New 52 costume, but special mention must go to his 'CluE' goggles.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The revelation that Jason Bard is manipulating everyone makes all of his heroic moments now cast in very different light. On top of that, his conversation with his mother over the phone in the first issue that seemed to be to acknowledge how young and naive he is, now has considerably different implications now that we know that 'Mother' is actually the codename for The Man Behind the Man.
    • Barbara attacking and nearly killing Jason Bard is amusing, given that prior to Flashpoint, Bard was a love interest to her.
  • Les Yay: Though Steph and Harper clash initially, they do find some common ground. The first thing they can agree on? How good Selina Kyle looked in her Absolute Cleavage business suit.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Cluemaster cheerfully skips across the horizon for his whole appearance here. For one thing, he's way too quickly jumps to "gotta murder my daughter cause she caught me being a bad guy".
    • Jason Bard snapping the USB that can exonerate Gordon.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Harper in the final issue for those who resented her Creator's Pet treatment; she actually shows sympathy towards Steph and lets her live with her and Cullen, and many are expressing interest in the idea of an ongoing book between the two from this set up.
    • As noted above in Character Rerailment, some consider this for Tim Drake, whose New 52 counterpart has largely been derided for being a Jerkass In Name Only to his previous, rather popular self. The book put him more in-line with his traditional characterization from before the reboot, making him more likeable for older fans.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: The unnecessary Ship Tease between Jason Todd and Barbara Gordon has been criticized for out-of-character moments tainting what was otherwise interesting non-romantic character development between the two. While the book on the subplot has seemingly been closed for the time being, there are still implications for a potential inter-Batfamily love triangle that fans do not want to see.
    • Amusingly, inverted with Tim Drake and both Stephanie and Harper. The close relationship he developed with Harper is solidified as being just Like Brother and Sister, while his interaction with Stephanie basically amounts to one moment near the end that hinted at future Ship Tease between them. As such, Tim and Harper's dynamic was generally well recieved, while people are wishing Tim and Steph got more time together (largely helped by their past as an Official Couple in the previous DCU).
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Harper Row has some strong similarities to pre-Flashpoint Stephanie Brown, ones that unfortunately become even more clearer and seem less original during part of Eternal's early plots. Both are girls from the wrong side of the street with loser fathers in Blackgate, and both become unwanted partners to Tim Drake before he accepted them. This is kind of justified, as Harper was originally conceived as a replacement for Stephanie and Cassandra Cain back when they were benched.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Jason Todd's role in Eternal seems to alternate between getting beat up, or harboring a one-sided crush on Barbara. The latter appears to be a universally hated "ship", which was actually sunk by the writers in the last issue anyways.
    • Batwing's story arc after the defeat of Deacon Blackfire via the Spectre sharply declined in relevance and interest as seeing Luke Fox deal with ghosts literally did nothing to add to the overall plot. Aside from hinting that the character might join the Spectre's book later, there was little point in continuing that plot thread into the later issues.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Various characters come into play to bring back old elements of the Batman mythos that haven't reappeared in a long time. Key examples are Deacon Blackfire, who was in one story in the '80s and never really came back barring one exception, and Julia Pennyworth, who has not been seen since the '80s either.
    • During the Arkham incident, a doctor Simon Ecks is seen dealing with a spirit resembling him escaping his body. Merely a cameo, but it's one of the first times in decades, outside of cameos, the Dark Detective miniseries and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, that Dr. X and his alternate persona Double-X has been seen in comics.
  • The Un-Twist: It's mentioned repeatedly by characters in the story that the Kingpin of Gotham before Falcone was Rex Calabrese, the Lion. Jim Gordon's cellmate is a large older man everyone calls Leo. Turns out Leo is the Lion.
  • The Woobie:
    • Stephanie Brown. When introduced, she stubles upon her father's role in the villains plot, and with that, discovers what is going on, forcing her father to attempt to kill her. She's forced to go on the run, unable to go home as her mother sells her out, and the only friend she could go to is blown to kingdom come in the same issue they're introduced. During this time, she attempts to get word out by reporting on Cluemaster's activities onto a gossip blog, but noone believes her warnings and just laugh off her father's previous criminal activities. Eventually it seems the other users stop paying attention to her posts entirely when she tries using fake post titles to get attention, making her realize that now, she's completely alone. Its this realization that prompts her to finally don a costume and take down her father herself, but while she's able to take him down, her attempts to expose the full plan backfire, resulting in a million dollar bounty being placed on her head by the Big Bad, forcing her to go on the run once more, this time with no place to hide.As with the pre-New 52 universe, despite these turn of events, she continues to fight on, and is still able to joke and take this all in stride.
    • Commissioner Gordon is a similar case. Framed for mass-manslaughter in the first issue, he's denied bail and charged, and even though he helps stop a riot and takes everything in stride, he's convicted and sentenced to life in prison, with his only way out being destroyed. Counts as an Iron Woobie, since he refuses to give up or betray his principles, and instead encourages Batman to focus on what's going on rather than himself.

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