Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Batman/Superman: Futures End #1 Review

Written by: Greg Pak
Art by: Cliff Richards, Jack Herbert and Vicente Cifuentes
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 17, 2014

A Friend in Need

I am sick and tired of this Futures End Event.  To me, it's been overwhelmingly lackluster almost every step of the way.  Maybe it's the fact that DC never really defined what they were going for in these books or they're just plain bad.  I actually think it's both.  I could use this issue of Batman/Superman as exhibit A to support my argument.  It has very little connection to the Futures End story and I really didn't enjoy reading it.  In fact, no matter what book or books you read, you can skip this issue and be no worse for wear.  If I were you, I'd do just that.

This issue seems to be a prelude to Batman's Futures End title.  I mentioned in that review (here), that five years have been pretty horrible for Bruce Wayne.  Well, this issue happens four years in the future and Bruce's luck wasn't any better then.  He is broken and while everything around is as well, things are getting better.  Regular citizens are inspired to get everything back to normal after the War and even though Bruce can barely function on his own, he wants his old life back too.  It's not going to happen without help.

That help comes in the form of a giant mecha suit made by the Toymaster.  It may be a prototype, but Bruce can't wait.  The World needs a Batman, especially when it's being attacked by Metallo.  The World also needs a Superman, but readers of Futures End know that he is nowhere to be found.

Has Superman abandoned everyone?  Is he dead?  Has he given up hope?  Batman isn't even sure of the answer and that's where Greg Pak elevates a ho-hum issue into a decent one.  Batman is struggling just to walk and still is fighting the good fight.  He doesn't understand why Superman isn't there by his side.  The issue ends with Batman writing off Superman for a more realistic plan...he'll just have to be a better hero himself.

Like I said, this was a decent issue.  Greg Pak does the best he can.  The problem is that instead of joining in on the Futures End story, it is hampered by it.  This isn't the only Futures End book with this problem.  Superman stopped being a hero in the Futures End story and all the Superman related tie-ins have had their hands tied behind their backs because of it.  Just look what the other books did...time travel and alternate versions were easier solutions, but Pak slams the problem head on by having Batman address Superman's disappearance. It isn't an essential story, but I commend Pak for the effort.

I wasn't a big fan of the art this month.  Cliff Richards, Jack Herbert and Vincente Cifuentes share duties and while they're art blends well together, I didn't like it in the first place.  It may be one of those things, but I didn't like it at first sight and never got over that feeling.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman/Superman: Futures End #1 is an unecessary book held back by the Futures End Event it is supposed to be a part of.  Superman is missing and Batman is trying to carry on without him.  It'd be a bit easier if he wasn't torn apart at the seams himself, but when does Batman care about easy?  The score below is indicative of how I felt about the issue, but doesn't express my feelings for writer Greg Pak.  He literally had the odds stacked against him and made something (almost) good out of a bad situation.  It's still not good enough for me to recommend it to any one but a Futures End completest.



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