We’re back at it with Weekly Weeklies, folks. This time around: the final issue that Layman scripted in Batman Eternal #10 and the return of Patrick Zircher’s artwork for Futures End #6. Things are certainly bittersweet in some respects this week, but nevertheless, we keep on going. Let’s venture in and see what we got!
SPOILERS BELOW! Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Batman Eternal #10
Lead Writer: John Layman
Corresponding Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Tim Seeley, and Ray Fawkes
Artist: Riccardo Burchielli
After a flashback of Carmine Falcone’s first encounter with Catwoman, we cut to the present where we see him holding her hostage. He has some dark things planned for her… but Professor Pyg and his Farm Hands have plans of their own for Mr. Falcone as they attack his headquarters.
Julia Pennyworth is now at Bruce Wayne’s manor, resting off her sword wound she got. She’s not very interested in sticking around, especially with Alfred there.
Bruce calls for Jason Todd to come to his home, since he has a job for him. Batgirl went to Brazil to track down a lead about a guy who may have set Gordon up and Bruce is worried about her rage taking over. He wants Todd to head down there and try to bring her home, since he knows a thing or two about rage and overcoming it.
After that assassination attempt on her life, Stephanie Brown isn’t going to take it lying down! Hiding out in the public library and using its computers, she starts writing articles revealing the truth about Cluemaster and his plans.
When Pyg and his goons have Falcone and Catwoman in their grasps, Batman swings in and saves them both. He was luckily given enough time by Lieutenant Bard who stalled the SWAT team from entering and shooting Batman.
When free, Catwoman reveals to Batman that she heard from Falcone himself that he was tipped off that something big was going to happen. So, Falcone may not be the big mastermind behind everything, leaving the two suspicious about who the true enemy is. Meanwhile, someone watches the two from afar in the shadows.
This was the final issue that Layman would be scripting and sadly, this was not the strongest issue to end on. The issue was good, don’t get me wrong and there’s a lot to like about it. However, we didn’t see any more details into the personal history between Falcone and Catwoman that was hinted at and some of the dialogue felt cheesier and off more than usual. It also didn’t help with Riccardo Burchielli’s artwork either. I liked his work on DMZ and was honestly expecting more of that, but his work here looked very stiff, unenergetic, action looked off, boring backgrounds, and some characters didn’t look like who they were supposed to be. I really wish March had done the whole thing liked originally planned.
What was good about the comic was that story is still very intriguing here, especially with the new plot development and twists going on in it. It really gets you excited and intrigued in seeing more from the series like usual, especially that final page. There were some good character moments throughout and the pacing and structure were well done. There are for sure many good things when it comes to this issue, but it was just weaker than usual sadly.
Stephanie Brown: Online Blogger! Spoiling all of the criminals’ fun!
Futures End #6
Writers: Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, and Keith Giffen
Artist: Patrick Zircher
As Coil, Key, and Plastique continue discussing and planning to break into TerrifiTech to steal the uSphere (in broad daylight in the middle of a park), Terry McGinnis aka Batman Beyond watches them closely in his bum disguise. A.L.F.E.R.D. identifies Plastique as the cyborg/robot monster that followed him back into the past. This makes Terry rather nervous…
Mr. Terrific and his buddies manage to identify who Batman Beyond is by matching his physical appearance and movement to Terry when he is disguising himself as a bum. Terrific plans on dealing with him personally.
To get to outer space and ship wreckage quicker, Ray Palmer, Amaya, and Frankenstein plan on using a spacecraft to travel through the Phantom Zone (it’s quicker, because comic book science) and get to their destination. The plan works… for the most part.
The three of them are attacked by Phantom Zone prisoners and have to fight them off, even including a Parademon still hailing Darkseid (though what Amaya says in reply may imply that Darkseid may no longer be alive). The three seem to be doing well… until a surprise prisoner appears that may be too much for them to handle. The prisoner? Black Atom.
Lois Lane finally confronts Cal Corcoran about whether or not he is Red Robin. He throws her out of the bar, but not before letting it slip that he is indeed the person. His girlfriend, Madison, is quite surprised by this and also mentions she has a history with Lane.
As Lois Lane heads home, a mysterious person on a cellphone trails her, who seems to know about the package she got. He is stopped by Superman, who is now wearing a mask for some reason, and warns him to back off. He does, saying to the person on the phone, Lane will eventually come to them sooner or later.
This is a step up from the last issue for sure, finally feeling like things are set in motion. We see some actual follow up on several storylines that were rather interesting when introduced, some new subplots that developed are intriguing, and it felt like the story was actually progressing for once instead of still setting things up. Plus, it also helped that Zircher did artwork for this issue and he has been the best artist on the series so far.
It’s still a bit boring at points, but not as bad as usual. The characters remain interesting, decently developed, and you really want to see more of what is going on with them (though some moments seemed a bit stupid on the characters’ part). The dialogue is decent, the pacing is nice, and it does leave you with a sense of wanting to know more. Easily the best issue of the series since the first.
Frankenstein and Amaya fighting Phantom Zone prisoners. Moments like these make reading the comic all worth it.