In the same way that the on-going storyline of Batgirl was subverted for a month to bring us a tie-in to the Gothtopia storyline, this month sees Scott Snyder's Zero Year put on hold to bring us what the cover calls "a secret glimpse into Batman: Eternal". So what is Batman: Eternal? I have no idea, apart from the fact that it depicts a Gotham - possibly an Elseworlds or possibly a not-too-distant future - where Snyder's creation Harper Row is now a vigilante called Bliebird, who fights alongside Batman in a world where one "Kingpin of Crime" (not Wilson Fisk) is ruling the entire Gotham underworld.
I should note that this isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination. Snyder and co-author James Tynion IV do their usual fine jobs on the script. The problem is that I don't want to read the first chapter of Batman: Eternal. I want to read Scott Snyder's Batman - just a regular Batman book that doesn't require me to be reading any other titles besides Batman. Alas, that is becoming increasingly impossible across every DC Comics line, especially in the Bat-family, where everything is a crossover with something else.
And yet, I can forgive everything simply because of how this issue ended. Normally, I'd avoid giving you all a major spoiler. But Snyder has beaten me in revealing the biggest spoiler of them all...
The art team of Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridoles prove able replacements for the book's usual penciler and inker. Nguyen's style is more streamlined than Greg Capullo's, with thinner, more angular characters. This, coupled with Fridoles' light inks gives the book a Mangaesque quality that makes for an interesting change of pace.
In the end, this book is definitely worth checking out. The story is engaging, the art is excellent and the ending will excite a lot of fans. Just don't expect this story to continue on next month.