The gang warfare through Gotham escalates even further as the day of Jim Gordon’s trial arrives. Meanwhile, Tim Drake starts cracking the case, Alfred’s daughter sasses everyone, and Barbara continues to lose control. It’s Batman Eternal #12!

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Writers: James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder
Consulting Writers: Tim Seeley, John Layman and Ray Fawkes
Artist: Mikel Janin
Colorist: Jeromy Cox
Letterer: Taylor Esposito

Falcone and Penguin are still going on with their gunning and ganging as the issue starts, lots of shooting and murders, none of which is being officially acknowledged by the Gotham Police Force. Luckily Jason Bard has been living in a studio apartment specially designed for photos to be pinned into a wall and tied together with lots of multicoloured strings, which impresses Maggie Sawyer and Harvey Bullock. It’s always good to see the police keeping traditional skills alive. Jason apparently has evidence on all the gangsters in Gotham – presumably the literal hundreds of bodies lying around each street might be useful proof of intent.

At Blackgate, Gordon is being transferred to the courtroom, and gets thrown in the back of the transit van by a cop who hates him. The other cop is sat there quietly, face hidden apart from the chin – of course, it’s Batman, as noted chin invigilator James Gordon immediately works out. Bats has basically sneaked onto the van in order to offer some reassurance to his old friend, which is nice to see. They both express relative belief that the system will hold true and look after Gordon, which we know wouldn’t be the case if, like, Lucius Fox were on trial here.

Harper is happily hacking into Red Robin’s GPS as he nips across for some light interrogation of the apparently incarcerated Professor Pyg. Just as Robin is about to start asking some questions, he notices that he has someone… piggybacking…. his line, and so he shuts her out. He then flies off from the jail without asking Pyg any questions? No wonder the Prof is so confused all the time.

Brazil sees Red Hood catching up with Batgirl, which takes the time honoured form of a half-hearted fight between two heroes. She’s annoyed that Batman is still trying to babysit her when she sees herself as the veteran of his graduates – and that’s pretty fair, especially when she points out that she was the first Bat-Vigilante to set herself up without Batman’s oversight or approval. Red Hood mostly spends the fight getting beaten up. Eventually she gets bored of punching him, they form a truce, and go off to watch TV.

What’s on? The trial, of course!

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And Gordon is getting lectured by the prosecution. They say that who he is doesn’t matter – what he did was the big issue. And what he did was…. shoot a box that mysteriously exploded, right? And for some reason blew up some trains subsequently? But yes, let’s keep following this story instead. A nice touch here is that Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are both sat watching the trial progress – no lines of dialogue, but it adds a sense of importance to this.

Apparently the speech from the prosecution was damning, though. I always prefer when a story just openly tells me how a fictionalised court case is going, to be honest, because I can never tell just based on the speeches and that. I can never predict which way a court case will go because in honesty it’s hard to know what is a good or bad speech. This one was a good one, we have now been Told, phew.

At Wayne Manor, Alfred and daughter have a cup of tea whilst she continues to snipe at him about having given up his glamorous life of murder in order to be a butler. How dare he! There’s nary an amputation in the butlering world, let alone a wanton decapitation, what a waste of time the whole endeavour is. Tim bursts in to complain about Harper, immediately works out that Julia is military, and takes Alfred off to complain more privately in the Batcave. Because it’s way more secure there, Tim!

Over at the Beacon Tower, Jason has persuaded Harvey Bullock to introduce him to Batman. Apparently they have a phone number for him, which seems like a more practical but boring alternative to the bat-signal that seems to be perfectly fine for like sixty years. But sure! Okay! Batman takes whatsapp messages now, whatever. He shows up, and Jason reveals his plan to save the city: Batman has to get captured.

Having returned to Blackgate, Gordon is woken up in the middle of the night and dragged off to a random cell. Picking himself up off the floor, he finds himself face to face with his murderous son, James Jr! That’s a really good twist! Good work, everyone!

40 more issues to go!

Want to read along with Shelfdust? You can pick up Batman Eternal Vol 1 from Amazon here – and buying it from our link helps us out too!

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