Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Batman: Futures End #1 Review

Written by: Ray Fawkes and Scott Snyder
Art by: Aco
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 10, 2014

I Think We're a Clone Now

Boy, five years have been pretty rough on Bruce Wayne.  I'm talking held together by wires and machines kind of rough.  However, everyone knows there must always be a Batman and this issue shows the steps that Bruce will take to ensure it.  Ray Fawkes picks up the ball from Scott Snyder's awesome story in Detective Comics #27 and gives us the birth of the end of Batman.

Like I said in the intro, Bruce Wayne is worse for wear.  Fawkes leaves it open for question, but my guess is Bane broke his back, Clayface ripped out his insides, Manbat dropped him from 100 feet and Killer Croc chewed on him a bit.  It's pretty bad.  The way he looks, I don't think I'm too far off.  However, Bruce is anything but a quitter and the issue opens with him suiting up much to the dismay of Alfred.

It seems that Batman has 40 minutes to kill and heads off to Lexcorp.  Lex has some interesting research that Batman is dying to get his hands on and thus begins an awesome game of bat-and-mouse.  As Batman makes his way through the Lexcorp security, a hologram Lex congratulates him until he gets far enough that even holo Lex knows it's Bruce.  It's such a great moment of respect and gamesmanship and Fawkes really nails Lex , even if he's just a hologram.

Then Batman finds what he's looking for and also what he didn't expect...Bizarro.  Awesome.  The poor guy might be backwards, but can someone give him a break?  He crashes out of his containment tube well before he's done cooking...once again.  Now it's Bizarro versus Batman in a battle I wish could have gone on forever.  Unfortunately, it does end and Batman barely makes it back to the Batcave alive.

We then travel a little more into the future to see what was worth the risk and while this is a one-shot, I pray we get more stories out of it.  The results of this are what Snyder called "Batman 200", so there is plenty of time to play with.

I enjoyed this issue for a bunch of reasons.  The dialogue between Bruce and Alfred is stellar and I love the big upgrade (and name of it) to the Batsuit.  I also love stories where Batman feels more vulnerable than usual and that certainly fits here.  Also, it was really cool to see the beginnings of that Snyder story that I loved in Detective #27.  Is this an essential story to Futures End?  Not really, but it is essential to Batman and the current Snyder run.

I know I'm going to get roasted alive on this, but I hated Aco's art.  I know things can happen in five years, but I barely recognized Alfred.  It's a style thing, but I just didn't like his backgrounds which appear unfinished and muddied.  If you like Aco, I'm sure you will like it, however.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman: Futures End #1 is a special issue that fans of the current Batman need to read.  Ray Fawkes ties so much together and leaves so many stories to be told.  While it's not essential to the Futures End story and I was not a fan of Aco's art, I still loved every minute reading this comic.  At the end, Bruce says, "Gotham must always have a Batman" and you know what?  He's right.


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