Things have escalated somewhat inside the Moffat Building, with Catwoman, Croc, Ibanescu, Flamingo, Batman and Bone (not that one) all converging for a bloody shootout. Sound tense? Luckily we’ve got some comedic respite in the form of Batgirl repeatedly threatening to murder Jason Bard! Wait a second, what?! It’s Batman Eternal #28!

Writer: Tim Seeley
Consulting Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Kyle Higgins and Ray Fawkes
Artists: Megan Hetrick
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo Jr
Letterers: Dezi Sienty

Over in Noonan’s bar, Red Hood is joyously getting into a bar fight with some randos, which I suppose we’re all going to accept is his favourite form of therapy. Oh, actually, I just turned the page and the comic literally states that. It’s less fun when you predict what I’m going to say, Seeley! After the fight is over, Jason gets on the phone with his pals, who encourage him to go finally say everything he’s been wanting to say to Batgirl. Starfire, who gives him the final push, is knowingly exasperated, having dealt with Robin-Batgirl tension before.

Also tense: the rope tied to Jason Bard’s leg as Batgirl drops him off the roof. She pulls the rope tight, probably snapping his ankle, as she continues to try and get some kind of answer from him about why he left her dad in jail.

Right, with that dealt with it’s time to deal with some prime Tim Seeley real estate. Catwoman has been handcuffed to a strip pole by a man called Louis Ferryman, who has a cross-gimmick as he calls himself “Bone”. Jeff Smith’s going to sue somebody! He’s apparently part of Catwoman’s recurring rogues gallery, and almost died at her hands last time they met. Watching the stage as such luminaries as Dragos Ibanescu and Tiger Shark, who has appeared quite a lot in this series considering he has yet to do anything of note. Ibanescu has Jade with him, and is forcing her to watch the scene – which he brought popcorn for.

As a reminder, Jade’s best friend is a very angry giant crocodile. Remember that: it’ll come up later.

Last issue Batman beat up Flamingo, and this week we find out why. After taking the unconscious cannibal to a graveyard, Batman waits for him to wake up and go about his usual business. After waiting a few seconds he then follows on his own motorcycle, figuring that he’ll get led to somewhere interesting. It’s been quite a while since following the adventures of Flamingo has been anything more than a boring disappointment, but let’s hold faith this time it’ll go better – Flamingo is also heading off to the stripclub where Catwoman is about to be publicly executed.

Bone is taking his time with this, though, stalling to try and make sure he sells all the tickets before he kills Catwoman. He goes on some lengthy monologue about French history which I didn’t read, and that gives just enough time for Killer Croc to burst through the wall, looking for Jade. Meghan Hetrick’s approach to Croc, by the way, is to make him hot. I know there’s several people reading this who needed to know. Croc starts beating up guys left and right, with Tiger Shark the only one of the villains happy to see him – he’s collects rare hides, of course, so this is an opportunity for him.

In all the distraction, Catwoman twists round and breaks Bone’s ankle with just her leg, citing this as part of the pole dancing classes she’s been taking. In Gotham, I assume most classes involve some form of self-defence element.

Also, basically immediately, Tiger Shark gets stabbed and basically gives up on having a role for the rest of the issue. Never change, Tiger Shark! Jade jumps onstage and starts trying to help Catwoman untie her handcuffs, in a race against time as Bone tries to warn Ibanescu of the danger. He forces Ibanescu to shoot Catwoman, saying that his broken ankle renders him unable to shoot anyone himself. Doesn’t… sound like science. Ibanescu resists at first, but then aims and fires just as Jade frees Selina.

In an interlude, Red Hood sneaks into Batgirl’s flat at night – no security, Babs? – but finds that she’s not there, presumably because she’s attacking Jason Bard in some way. He promptly leaves again before Babs’ roommate finds him there.

Flamingo’s trail leads to the Moffat building, and Batman knocks him out between panels. Flamingo is such a useful villain nowadays. Walking into the middle of the gunfight upstairs, Batman bumps into Bone almost immediately and takes him out. That’s your last moment of humour for a while though, because the next page reveals that Ibanescu’s shot hit Jade and killed her. In revenge, Croc has left everyone else in the room a bloody corpse – including Ibanescu himself.

Red Hood catches up with Batgirl mid-session with Bard, who at this point is getting pretty bored of being thrown off roofs endlessly and is brazenly daring her to just actually drop him for real this time. Red Hood grabs the rope off her and tells her to stop doing this – it’s not the sort of thing she should be doing… it’s the sort of thing he should be doing instead. And HE drops Bard! This is some pretty good Jason Todd content, right here, folks. He’s basically giving every reason for why Bard should die, taking all the blame on his own shoulds, and in turn taking the guilt from Batgirl, but also giving her every opportunity to save the man’s life, which she ultimately does.

His takeaway? He just proved that she’s a better person than he is.

Back at the Moffat, Batman steps into the room and tries to assume blame on Croc. Catwoman blocks him so that Waylon can continue mourning, and she realises she’s the reason this whole thing happened. If she’d acted differently, it could’ve been prevented. Batman thinks that means she’s going to be heroic about the whole thing, but typical Catwoman has a different approach in mind, and she leaves by herself.

After everything this whole evening, Jason and Barbara sit on a bridge and watch the sunrise. Batgirl suggests that maybe they could try something out, but he pretty quickly dismisses the whole thing out of hand, saying “I’ll never be Dick Grayson” before peacing out on this whole storyline. Bit abrupt, to be honest.

Anyway, the issue ends with Catwoman climbing back into Blackgate to talk to her dear ol’ da. She wants his contacts, his references, and his allies…. because she’s going to become the new leader of the mob in Gotham.

24 issues to go!

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