Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Future State: The Next Batman #4 Review and *SPOILERS*

With a Whimper

Written By: John Ridley
Art By: Laura Braga, Arif Prianto
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $7.99
Release Date: February 16, 2021

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

The Future State book for Batman has been pretty good so far. While simple the story has been very entertaining. The only thing holding this book back is the high price. Again, it is hard to recommend books like this when they cost so much. If it was a three or four-dollar book, then it would be an easy recommendation, but at eight dollars and with a bunch of other stories that may not interest the reader, it’s very difficult to give a full push to. Our current book is dealing with a lot of issues that are very interesting and this being the last book in this future state series, I am excited to see them capitalize on all of these ideas that they’ve been setting up for the past three issues. So let’s jump into this final issue and see where the story takes us.

Our issue starts off where we left off with Batman being strangled by the man he was trying to help. As he does so, his wife begs him to stop but to no avail. Eventually, Batman is able to injure the man’s leg and free himself. The man picks up a pipe and intends to attack once again but thanks to some intimidation from Batman and some reasoning from his wife, the man eventually gives up. When they talk again, the man claims he was doing so to protect his wife. He takes the blame for the entire situation with Jershefsky and he begs Batman to tell the police that very thing so that his wife can get a lighter sentence. Batman tells him that he doesn’t really care about the finer details and that he still believes that both of them should be turned into the police. He then agrees to continue helping them but if he is attacked again, he will not be so forgiving. Outside the church, Batman breaks into a nearby van and tells the couple that they are gonna make a break for City Hall. Before doing so, he gives them both a grenade to use if they get separated.

We cut to the middle of the road where Batman is racing down Gotham’s streets in order to get to City Hall. Not long into their trek, they are followed by Peacekeepers and the chase starts anew. The Peacekeepers open fire and Batman pulls off a couple maneuvers in order to dispatch one of them. He then gives the two a few discs and tells them to throw them at the Peacekeepers. The wife does as she is asked and throws the discs with attach to the bikes and disables them. They are soon followed by a pair of military vehicles which are able to damage the van extremely bad. The husband sees an opportunity and says a quick goodbye before rolling out of the van and activating his grenade in order to destroy the vehicles along with himself. Batman suddenly realizes that he is about to collide with a civilian crossing the streets so he moves the car wildly which leads them to a crash.

When he and the wife get out, Batman finds himself face to face with his mother who immediately goes for her weapon. In order to save himself, Batman has to injure his own mother by throwing a Batarang into her shoulder. Just then the leader of the Peacekeepers emerges and the fight between him and the bat gets underway. Batman easily outmatches him though but in a rage, he begins beating the man savagely. The wife that he has been protecting eventually has to tell him that it is enough and they leave the scene. At City Hall, the detective and her partner wait but doubt that Batman is going to show up. However, with perfect timing, he does just that. He speaks with the detectives for a moment and Detective Chubb asks him if his armor is bulletproof. He responds that it is and she proceeds to shoot him, telling him that she had to fire due to her job and that he should avoid calling her in the future. We cut to the hospital where the Fox family has gathered. Jace arrives and asks how his mother is doing and there is a small fight between him and Luke before he goes into the hospital room and meets with his mother, her determination to stop masks being stronger than ever. This is where the issue leaves us.

This book finally comes to a close and I gotta say, it’s a little underwhelming. I assume that the creative team was told to leave the book open at the end so that they can expand upon it in the future at some point but in reality it leaves a book like this feeling unfinished. There are so many storylines that are never resolved and characters that are never addressed. In fact, as far as ending issues go, this one is pretty bad. It’s just one long car chase that turns into a fight scene and then the last two pages are filled with some inconsequential dialogue. The end shows that nothing has really changed at the end of the story and we don’t get any proper resolution to the stories that did end. At least we got some nice art during this book but for a story that has been pretty good up til now, I can’t help but feeling disappointed at this non-ending.

Bits and Pieces

The Future State book for Batman comes to an unsatisfying conclusion as major story points that were focused upon during previous issues fall to the waist side as we focus on a long action scene instead of tying up any loose ends. I assume that the creative team was asked to leave things open so that the company can make an ongoing series if the books are popular enough, but ultimately it does a disservice to this book which has been pretty good up to this point. Unfortunately, this ending is incredibly unsatisfying.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review. Reading The Next Batman doesn't inspire me with confidence that Tim Fox will be a good Batman. Hopefully, DC decides to let him be Batman in his own corner of DC where he can be more fleshed out, instead of replacing Bruce with him in the main books.