Eternal's greatest strength lies in its ability to focus on three events happening to different sets of characters and finding a way to emerge them into one cohesive arc by the end of an issue. Meanwhile, installment features only one major event and a minor revelation at the end featuring a character (WHO STILL MAKES ME ANGRY). But it worked so well because the build-up picked up page after page until we get a very climactic and engaging action sequence between Batman and the Architect. I happened to buy Gates of Gotham last week and it was brought to my attention by someone that the Architect was actually the main adversary in that graphic novel which was timely enough for me since I've read him first here and I'm now looking forward to encountering him again in said GN next time. Snyder has co-written that story with Kyle Higgins so it's no coincidence that this was his script, seeing as the Architect is his character.
Jorge Lucas illustrated this issue with such energetic panels for the ones with tons of action and movement, while painting the scenes featuring Wayne manor with mute and somber tones that manage to come alive in spite it. I think my enjoyment for this one was helped by the two-week break because now I have a fresh set of eyes while reading this series again and I'd like to believe I have gotten used to the formula, both good and bad, that Eternal operates with. That said, I still recognize that this an excellent issue due to its own merit and not just because my sabbatical has allowed me to cleanse my palette sufficiently. Now I'm not entirely sure how much I can spoil here because the Architect wasn't the only one who made a homecoming appearance for this issue but I suppose I can get away with it as long as I don't mention his connection with another character (WHO STILL MAKES ME ANGRY). Anyway, there's no reason to keep it a secret and to fuss over it.
It's Hush, Bruce's childhood friend turned villain, Thomas Elliot. He was also the one who attacked Alfred at Wayne Manor in the previous issue. Anyway, he's here and he's working with the Architect and they both have it out for Batman. This is actually a formidable pairing I'm convinced can wreak enough havoc--and they did.
As enjoyable as the action was, this is heavily plot-driven and there are no discernible character developments unless you count what happens at the end with a character WHO STILL MAKES ME ANGRY. It's still a great installment, though.
You know what, I think that after this series wraps up, Gothamites should be sold merchandise (mugs, shirts, arm bands) with the words that say "I survived Batman Eternal" because jesus fuck the city is in utter chaos in every corner and any ordinary citizen who hasn't packed their bags and left this hellhole and is able to survive all the random commotion via mob crimes, murderous villains, killer nano-bots and paranormal forces deserves to have a medal to show for it or something.