The city is in chaos as riots break out everywhere. Batman meets a hologram of one of his least effective enemies, whilst Bard’s plan falls effortlessly into place. Who can stop him? There’s only one thing for it – we’re going to need a Bat-Fam reunion! It’s Batman Eternal #25!

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Writer: James Tynion IV
Consulting Writers: Scott Snyder, Tim Seeley, Kyle Higgins and Ray Fawkes
Artist: R. M. Guera
Colorist: Giulia Brusco
Letterers: Steve Wands

Oh great, we get to start off at the Gotham Gazette this issue. Jason Bard and Vicki Vale are the only two people in the building, and he’s blatantly trying to force through a news story with her that’ll scare people and fit right into Hush’s plan. Vicki offers no particular resistance to him, because she’s a poor journalist, and so the headline goes forth “multiple terror attacks imminent in Gotham”. In fairness, most citizens are going to read that headline, shrug, and go back to eating their sandwich. It’s not like they don’t already know where they live, y’know?

In The Narrows, which every week changes location to be wherever people are suffering most, two jerks are trying to attack a young girl who is carrying a jug of water. One of them is pretty clearly meant to be Gambit from the X-Men, but they’re both fried in no short order by one of Harper Row’s many tasers. She does a bad quip – you need to work on those if this is going anywhere, Harper – which makes Red Robin laugh. He’s watching her, obviously, because he’s a bit of a creep. He wants to help train her, take her under his… wing? She starts to beat him up (whilst flirting with him) until he snaps his fingers and some tape flies into the air and wraps her up. Whatever this is gets interrupted by a call from Jason Todd, which is just such typical Jason behaviour.

In the Bat-Cave, Julia is making fun of the dinosaur. How dare she! Well, it looks like Batman still hasn’t come back home since Alfred was attacked, so you’ll forgive her the occasional dinosaur insult. The article in the paper is working, clearly, because there are thirteen riots currently going on through Gotham. Batman is annoyed that she hasn’t patched any of them through as video feeds to his car, which again is pretty presumptuous considering there likely isn’t a manual lying around for her. In her favour, she’s managed to hack Blackgate’s security cameras though, revealing to Batman that it was our ol’ Jason Bard who let The Architect out of prison. “No” says Batman, as though there was literally anybody other than the police commissioner who could’ve done this.

As Gotham Mercy hospital, they’re overrun by injured rioters. Jason Todd – the good boy – is standing watch over Alfred’s body when Tim breaks in through the window. They update each other on what’s been going on, including the fact that Alfred has to be kept in a coma due to the fear toxin in his brain. Tim thinks this would be a good time for them all to forget “Death of the Family” happened (agreed, Tim) so the Bat-Fam can all reunite. Jason is twitchy about the idea of bringing Barbara in, and detective Drake immediately realises that Jason’s got a crush on her. Defensively, Jason shuts down the conversation and shifts it over to the girl TIM has a crush on, Harper. Such good boys, what wholesome comics content.

Batman, meanwhile, breaks into Jason Bard’s apartment. Isn’t it annoying how there are two characters called Jason in this story? Batman thinks he’s won – but then a hologramatic version of Hush appears, as a hologramatic Hush is wont to do. He taunts Batman a whole bunch.

Barbara Gordon’s apartment is far quieter, as she’s eating soup and calling her dad on the phone. She’s surprised Bard hasn’t sprung Gordon from prison yet, considering all that evidence she gave him an’ all. After a quick check of her mobile she notices she has 14 missed calls from Jason Todd – playing it cool, I see – so she hangs up on dad and calls Red Hood instead. Or so she thinks – Tim picks up, and tells her it’s time to suit up and meet him. They’re going to go talk to Batman.

Batman, for what it’s worth, is still being taunted by Hush, who says he’s going to do something to hurt Batman any day now. Yeah, yeah, we’re all still waiting for it, Hush, you’ve had a few decades so far and nothing. Hush threatens to kill one of the Robins, saying they’re getting too close to “an edge of the puzzle”, but we all know that won’t really work either. Batman even admits it, saying he always finds and stops Hush in the end. Also, we’re not even halfway through the series yet, there’s no way Hush is the grand villain of this thing.

Hush says he doesn’t want to hurt Batman yet before pressing a button marked “BOOM NOW” on his phone – which Batman can SEE, you great idiot – and the apartment blows up. Julia witnesses it and freaks out, because she doesn’t know the rules yet. She gets a message, though – “family en route”. Ah, this is awesome, actually. I’m really enjoying all this.

The Mayor thinks that Bard was killed in the explosion, but is interrupted mid panic by, well, Bard. He says he only just escaped in time – and then LEGGED IT to the city hall, I guess? – and that this confirms it’s time to take the city to marshal law. Mayor Hady, the coward, agrees.

The final page is a crowd-pleaser. Batman crawls out the wreckage of the explosion, only to be offered a helping hand out by Tim, flanked by Barbara and Jason. The family are back!!!

27 issues to go!

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