We’ve got a mind-controlled Batgirl on the loose, and she’s headed straight for Red Hood! Meanwhile, our trip into the sewers continues, and a prison riot breaks out in Blackgate after somebody called “Fishnet Face” gets killed. Tim Seeley, everyone! It’s Batman Eternal #19!

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Writer: Tim Seeley
Consulting Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, John Layman and Ray Fawkes
Artist: Emanuel Simeoni
Colorist: Blond
Letterers: Taylor Esposito

Heads-up everyone: there’s going to be some properly weird inking on this issue.

So Batgirl went and got hypnotised by a guy in a terirble shirt, and now she’s going after Red Hood and Batwoman. They very very quickly realise exactly what’s happening, basically summing up the whole deal whilst Batgirl is in the air taking a very very slow leap at them. She thinks Jason is actually the Joker, and Kate is actually James Jr, arguably her two greatest enemies, and so she launches at them with all the anger of the last 18 issues combined. Batwoman runs off to get the villain whilst Jason distracts Batgirl by getting kicked hard in the face.

Back in the sewers, Bard’s little feet are getting tired, but Batman’s heightened sense of smell tells him that they’re heading in the right direction. That’s worrying, Bruce, you need to stop spending your weekends sniffing stuff. On the flip of a page we get to find out that what he was smelling was reanimated corpses stuffed into a cage by Croc and again, Bruce, why is this a smell you recognise? Croc has been spending the last few days punching about zombies and DC, what if you were to just go ahead and publish THAT comic sometime? I’d be all over that.

The zombies seem to be connected to what’s going on at Arkham, so once this has all calmed down maybe it’s time Batman paid that place a visit. Croc theorises that Gotham is situated on a Hellmouth, which is the wrong franchise, and Batman mansplains to him about the concept of parallel universes, which is apparently where these dudes came from. Sure, Batman, that’s wayyyy more plausible. They decide to go head off to wherever the alternate dimension hell zombie things came from, while Bard looks pretty unhappy with his life choices.

After last issue Falcone’s men murdered one of Penguin’s men – whoops, forgot to mention that – there’s a riot going on in Blackgate. Warden Zorbatos leads her personal snitch and a random guard over to Gordon’s cell to let him out, figuring that neither side are going to be too keen on letting the former Commish live. Apparently they’re currently standing between the escaped prisoners and their primary target – the solitary confinement area where Falcone and Penguin are held. Falcone is wearing cute glasses, which I wasn’t prepared for. Gordon, freed, decides to go save the hostages in the prison, and walks off with… um… a fire extinguisher.

In Japan, Red Robin and Sergei have stopped fighting and settled in to watch and admire Harper Row as she fixes the cyborg monkey’s arms with a soldering iron. They spend a few panels swooning, before Harper interrupts and they realise she hijacked the intercom systems so she could listen in. Tim looks like he’s in love. Sergei, you’ve done it again!

The fight in Brazil continues. Did I say fight? I meant to say one-sided beating. Red Hood pauses for a moment to kneecap someone before continuing to get his arse handed to him by Batgirl. She’s still calling him “Joker”, which he notes is not his favourite thing in the world to hear. Meanwhile we see the villain in the Hawaiian shirt call himself “Dr Falsario”, which is a very Tim Seeley name for a character. Sensing that Batwoman is in the room, he grabs a child and holds a knife to their throat.

As he tries to use his powers on her, though, she simply shrugs them off and calls him derivative. Worse, she sprays him with fear gas that makes him see her in the form of a demon, which freaks him out. He sets the kids on her, but immediately afterwards admits to setting up Gordon way back in the first issue. Hurray! He’s saved! Oh wait the prison riot, I forgot.

Red Hood decides to go for a different tactic with Batgirl, and starts describing the first time he ever met her. He does it in careful detail, playing into the fact she has a photographic memory – and sure enough, the memory is so detailed in her head that she blinks and the Joker’s image goes away, and she hugs Jason as apology. It’s really cute, even if it damages my OTP.

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Batwoman fails to stop the two children that are attacking her, which isn’t her best showing, and allows Dr Falsario to put on a magic glove and explode himself out a window. COMICS!!! Batgirl chases after him.

At Blackgate, the prisoners (led by someone called “Volt”) are deciding which of the guards they should kill next. Inevitably, they look towards the nice guard from last issue who has a child on the way and was friendly to Gordon, because who could resist? In the hallway outside, through, Gordon is coming – he pushes a mop trolley out and then blasts it with the fire extinguisher to create a fog, and then he smashes everybody up with the metal end of the thing. He calls it “the windy city special”, which I don’t think is going to catch on.

We finish the issue at the bottom of the world, and find that the Ten-Eyed Man is the person responsible for kidnapping Jade. He has her tied up over what can only be described as a hellmouth (mea culpa, Croc) and says that he sees a “fuzzed, blurred shape of a doom” coming for Gotham, which is hardly the most definitive picture of evil I’ve ever heard. Correctly, she spits at him, which prompts Batman and Croc to jump down into hell to go save the day.

And once again Jason Bard regrets his choices today. Should’ve stayed in bed!

33 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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