5: Jim Gordon Saves The Day
Let's start off this list with one of the under appreciated people to wear the cowl in recent history: Jim Gordon. While his time as the Batman was short lived, it won't be leaving my memory any time soon. He was a part of the Robin War, helped the Justice League solve a murder, helped Superman get his powers back while fighting a tribe from beneath the Earth's crust, and more importantly SAVED Gotham City from Mr. Bloom. Before any of you Bruce purists say that it was him and Gordon, I want to remind you of the fact that Bruce was getting his crap pushed in by a Kaiju-sized Bloom. Yes, Bruce was the one fighting To give him the chance, but the fact remains that Jim Gordon saved the city and was ready to pay the ultimate price for it. If that isn't one of the things that define Batman, then I don't know what is.
4: Night of the Owls
Remember the days when the New 52 first came out? Superman was fighting H'el, Wonder Woman was going up against Hera for the first time, and Batman was fighting the resurfaced Court of Owls. While Batman was able to escape their clutches in Volume 1, the dial was kicked up to 11 when the court initiated the Night of the Owls. We saw how dangerous a Talon was in the maze Batman was lost in, so to know that dozens were attacking the streets of Gotham to kill the elite is just a terrifying prospect. While all the other members of the Bat-Family were having epic battles against the Talons, Bruce's fight against the Talons in the Bat Cave and his final fight with Lincoln March really are the most impressive and memorable. On one hand we have Batman fighting a mecha talon as said talon is telling him the "truth" about his heritage while on the other hand... Power Armored Batman vs. a dozen Talons. This night was full of memorable fights and quips and I loved every page. Speaking of which...
3: The Final Battle
I may not be a fan of how much of a god Joker has become, especially during the Endgame arc, but the final battle between Batman and Joker under Gotham might be one of the darkest, bloodiest, and damn near perfect battle between these two lifelong enemies. While it isn't as realistic as their battle in The Dark Knight Returns, the fight is still brutal and dark as that one. You can feel each punch, each slice, every single hit. It especially feels worse when you actually see the blood both parties are losing, thanks to the masterful art of Greg Capullo. It actually makes you feel that this is the end. This is how Batman and Joker die. That moment where Batman keeps Joker from the Dionesium, it hit me that neither was going to survive this, which broke my heart when I saw Bruce resign to his fate. Of course, he would come back after Superheavy, but it was still a sad yet epic way for the Bat to die and I can only hope future writers of Batman took notes.
2: Gotham is...
This issue. This whole dang issue. It really makes you realize that Snyder's time in Gotham is coming to a close. There isn't much in the action department but there doesn't need to be. This issue's greatest quality is the narration, which best explains what Gotham is as Batman tries to uncover what causes a rumble that knocks out all the power in Gotham. Spoiler: It's a natural Tremor. Not a conspiracy by the Owls, not an attack by the mob, not a super villain escape, not even the Joker's return after Endgame. It's a night where Batman can relax and see Gotham at it's best. No Crime, people looking out for one another, even the Mob staying out of the city. We visit every major arc in the New 52 Batman series in one way or another as Snyder finishes his run with a statement that perfectly surmises both the character and the series as a whole. Gotham is Batman.
1: We are Batman
My opinion on Batman Eternal is a bit like a roller coaster. I liked some parts, hated others, but the ending is one of those endings that people will remember even after Rebirth. A whole year has passed, and the city has gone topsy-turvy as Cluemaster plays the odds against Batman. By the end, the city is burning all around them, Batman is unmasked and is about to be killed by his "brother", and the rest of the Bat-family is about to die. Is Batman not eternal? That's when all the tv screens in Gotham flash a Batsignal with Gordon calling on everyone to fight back against the evil that has overtaken the city. That's right, Jim Gordon is the hero once again. And not just him! Across the city, people begin helping one another from the destruction as some of the Bat Family's greatest allies come to save the others from their deaths. How can this get more amazing? How about have all the heroes that have come to help Batman stand against March proclaiming that they are Batman? It's at this point the message of the series should be clear. Batman is more than a man. He has become a symbol to stand up against anarchy. To stand up against the cruel. To stand up and fight for what's right. This is how Batman is eternal.