For those who aren't following along with the weekly series, Batman Eternal is a stand-alone Batman title completely different from the other bat-books on the shelves. Batman Eternal features a number of different writers and artists working on the same story, keeping things interesting and (hopefully) on time.
So far, the story in Batman Eternal features a wide cast of characters and we're being given a number of different plot points that are all slowly winding towards each other. Gotham is seemingly being overthrown by ex-mob boss Carmine Falcone, who appears to have the GCPD in the palm of his hand. After orchestrating the imprisonment of Commissioner Gordon and manipulating Professor Pyg, it looks like Falcone is slowly completing his takeover of Gotham.
This issue features The Penguin, Catwoman, and lots of explosions. Of course, in between the turf wars, crooked cops, and maniac villains, Batman remains on the streets investigating the circumstances surrounding Gordon's mysterious imprisonment, and the rise of an ex crime lord.
It's a good read, and gives us a little bit of everything that makes Batman books fun - detective work, villains, team-ups, and action.
Futures End #3
Another weekly series, this one featuring the entire DC roster, as well as Batman Beyond. This title takes place five years into the future of the current DCU. Batman Beyond has been sent back in time to prevent a future believed to be caused by Mr.Terrific's corporation, Terrifitech. It's a future where an AI has taken over the world, assimilating any living beings, including superheroes and villains into cyborg bugs. Unfortunately, Batman Beyond arrives five years too late, and the transformation to his eventual future is already underway.
This weekly series is only three weeks in, and while the cast will eventually grow, it currently features Batman Beyond, Firestorm, and Frankenstein. They'll likely be important characters when the terrifying future is eventually realized, and the writers are keeping things interesting leading up to that moment. Surely though, it's a long ways away.
For DC's September issues, each one will tie into Futures End. They won't be necessary but they should give a good look at how each character fits into the future. It looks like Futures end is going to have lasting implications on the DCU as well, so it's a good title to pick up for DC fans.