BATMAN: FUTURES END #1
Author: John Bierly (Follow @JOHNBIERLY)
September 10, 2014

SYNOPSIS: Itís five years later and Bruce Wayne is using dangerous science to help him continue his war on crime. What is it, and what forced Bruce to resort to such extremes?

If events and tie-ins generally make you wary and weary, you've nothing to fear from the BATMAN: FUTURES END #1 one-shot that takes the place of this month's issue of BATMAN. Definitely don't miss this bad-ass, Bat-s*** crazy read!

The Frankenstein vibe begins on page 1 as a "five years from now" Bruce Wayne (sporting a brace to support yet another broken back) and Alfred (sporting snazzy yellow glasses and a beard to balance his bald head) toil among a maze of monitors and machines. You'll immediately recognize Bruce's scheme from Scott Snyder's chapter of the recent DETECTIVE COMICS #27 anniversary anthology, and you'll also recognize Alfred's trademark hesitance (but ultimate assistance) in feeding his friend's vision of a Batman that's truly eternal.

But something's missing from the recipe, and it lies inside the lethal laboratories...of Lex Luthor.

Held together by the most advanced Bat-Suit yet, Batman infiltrates LexCorp with a daring mix of cosmic technology and old-school trickery. But the clock is ticking, and Lex throws every trick in the book at our hero...including a hologram of Lex himself, which asks Batman a question that I'm pretty sure is my new favorite thing Lex Luthor has ever said in a comic book (in the bottom left panel of the digital edition's eighth page).

The resulting escalation is fun and fantastic as Holo-Lex tosses everything he can at Batman, who continues to prove as always that all he needs is himself and a suit. (Though, as previously noted, this is one hell of a suit, even by Bruce Wayne's standards.)


BATMAN: FUTURES END #1 Cover

Scott Snyder shares story credit with Ray Fawkes, and it's often obvious when someone else writes the actual words. But Fawkes really rocks the script here; it's lean and mean with the right amounts of heart and humor to make it even more engaging. Because this is more than just a heist. The immortality of Bruce's legacy is on the line, and we all know that Batman has no limits ... even when he needs an extra technological push to bring his body online with his mind.

FCO Plascencia livens the proceedings with appropriately muted mechanics (and monstrosities) and bright blasts of color where necessary. (I love how Holo-Lex is the color of the blazing sun.) The depth of his palette continues to be one of this book's most under-sung strengths and perfectly complements the imaginative lines of guest artist...ACO. (Yes, that's correct. I initially did a double-take, too.) From the Batman costume of tomorrow to the radical lean of LexCorp tower to the details on faces and futuristic hardware, FCO and ACO have created pages you'll be looking at for a long time.

This is a cool, crazy issue, and now I'm itching to read many more stories that take place in this captivating corner of Batman's possible future.

A highest possible recommendation! - John Bierly

GRADE: A

John Bierly still can't believe he
gets to write for BOF.
Check out JOHNBIERLY.COM to read about the other things he writes about.


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