Artist: Patrick Zircher
35 years into the future! Mr. Terrific’s and Batman’s creation, Brother Eye, leads to a hellish apocalypse that brings the down fall of the Justice League and most of Earth’s heroes. Five years into the future of the present DC Universe, Terry McGinnis a.k.a Batman Beyond, travels back in time to stop the creation of Brother Eye and to ensure the apocalypse never happen. But what Terry doesn’t know is that Mr. Terrific is not the only problem he needs to worry about, as a looming threat from space is slowly approaching. Also in this issue Grifter has begun a one man killing rampage against humanity! What kind of situation has the Batman Beyond gotten himself into?!
The Ups: Major changes are coming for the DC universe and if ‘Forever Evil’ didn’t bring enough change, I have a big feeling that ‘Futures End’ will drastically shake it up. We follow four different paths in this issue with Batman Beyond, Stormwatch, Grifter, and Firestorm as all of their stories brought together make up the overall plot. Batman Beyond travels back in time to stop the creation of Brother Eye that caused the hell of a future he is from, Stormwatch runs into a threat looming from space, Grifter has taken a deadly approach to stopping a threat only he seems to know about, and Firstorm seem to be at odds as Raymond now feels being part of Firestorm is behind him while Jason still believes the world needs them. This all-star writing team is on point as they made me truly believe that a lot has changed in the universe in those five years. I believe the most drastic change was between Raymond and Jason. They never got alone but something has caused Raymond to want to put his super hero days behind him. A war was mentioned that seemed to put some fear in Raymond, originally I thought it was the battle with the Crime Syndicate but something tells me it was something even worse. What truly caught my attention is that the writing team seems to have no fear in changing these characters previously established personalities, especially with Grifter and Firestorm. The issue shows me that DC might truly keep their word about these big changes. It takes a skilled artist to keep up with the constant shifts in atmosphere and mood within a story, and Zircher delivers. Each character was in a completely different location and their own vibe which Zircher portrayed wonderfully. From the middle of Times Square to the far reaches of outer space, each scene was depicted in great detail helping bring the developing chaos to life. As always, Hi-Fi brings the vibrant colors to each page, I particular enjoyed the coloring work done on Firestorm as he looked as if he was really glowing and not just a plain orange color that we have seen in the past.
The Downs: While the mood was done perfectly, the plot set up is very confusing. With four stories going on at once, you can’t really tell exactly what going on. What might make it more difficult for some readers is if you did not read the #0 issue from Free Comic Book Day, you will not understand how Batman Beyond got to that point in time, what was the cyborg like thing that attacked him and what Brother Eye and the apocalypse is really about. This is disappointing because the writing team could of given a small recap of the previous issue and on top of that Batman Beyond’s part in the issue was so short there was really nothing to make me excited about his story. I think the biggest disappointment for me with these two issues is how small Batman Beyond’s role in the overall story so far. To my understanding, he is supposed to be one of the heroes in this story but Firestorm had much more of a focus, which is not a bad thing by any means. I am just patiently waiting for Terry McGinnis’s moment to shine.
Overall: A bit of a confusing start to this weekly series. The change in mood has been put into play and have faith in this all-star team to deliver an amazing story. My only hope is that the rest of the series is not as crammed as this issue was. I feel that for a weekly story, they could easily focus on one character’s part at a time to help make the story clearer and a lot more exciting. I can’t wait for my favorite version of Batman, Batman Beyond, to get more get air time.
Grade 3 of 5