Here we are again folks, ready for a new addition of Weekly Weeklies. We got Batman Eternal #21, Futures End #17, and we see the end of Genius with #4 and #5 (which we’ll discuss together). We got quite a haul this week, so let’s check them out!
Batman Eternal #21 (DC Comics)
Lead Writer: James Tynion IV
Corresponding Writers: Scott Snyder, John Layman, Ray Fawkes, and Tim Seeley
Artist: Jason Fabok
Things are really changing now. Jason Bard seems to be getting promoted to Commissioner as a result of all of his actions, while Jim Gordon has sadly been found guilty of all charges and is being sentenced to life. Meanwhile, Batman has a bone to pick with Carmine Falcone, who is being let out of prison because of his lawyers, and he wants to know why he caused all of this madness. However, Falcone reveals to him that someone was already setting everything up and he just came along for the ride.
Batman visits Jason Bard and hands over the evidence Batgirl and the rest acquired back in Brazil. He wants him to free Gordon and even if he doesn’t come back to the police, he’ll still be a useful ally to have.
Julia and Alfred finally sit down and have a talk about everything that has been happening and about his past. Just as Alfred is about to tell her the truth, an alarm goes off, signaling that someone has broken into the mansion. He locks Julia in a panic room and goes to confront the intruder with a gun. However, the intruder (who Alfred seems to recognize) catches him off guard and knocks him down. Who is the intruder you ask? It’s Hush and he injects a dangerous dose of Fear Toxin directly into Alfred’s brain. Julia escapes from the panic room (Alfred locked her in) and goes to him, Hush having escaped. Alfred reveals to her before he passes out to go to the grandfather clock and set the dial for 10:48.
At Blackgate, Jason Bard shows up with a release form from the DA to the surprise of the warden. The person in question? Zachary Gate, the Architect (go read Batman: Gates of Gotham to learn about him. It’s a great book). It turns out that Jason’s associate wants him out to help move and bring forward the next stage of the plan.
Once done, Jason gets a call from his “Mother” who informs him that the stage is set and that Batman doesn’t know a single thing about what’s happening or who he’s facing. The issue ends with him smashing the flash drive Batman gave him with the evidence on it.
Two words: Holy s--t! If you somehow thought that last issue was lacking a punch or any surprises (even though there were), this issue will change that. Just… wow. Everything changes with this issue and nothing will be the same after this. This issue pretty much sets the stage for the next third of book and it does so masterfully. The writing is really strong, the story engaging and really surprising, and the character work fantastic. Helping the book along is the artwork by Jason Fabok, who does a marvelous job after several weeks of mediocre to weak artists. Easily the best issue of the run so far, and I can’t wait to see what happens next more than ever.
Batman’s not a happy camper. This can only end badly.
Futures End #17 (DC Comics)
Writers: Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, and Keith Giffen
Artist: Patrick Zircher
Constantine and his group arrive at a small village around the Horn of Africa, which has been completely slaughtered of all its inhabitants. They don’t know who exactly did it (it was that android we’ve been seeing pop up now and then), but they continue following its trial. Meanwhile, on Cadmus Island, Hawkgirl is brought to Doctor Sook, who wants to extract the implant he put into her since its growing for some reason. However, as he gets ready, the OMAC that’s supposed to be keeping an eye on her kills him.
Slade brings Cash Cole with Fifty Sue and Lana to the Earth 2 prisoners and wants him to identify which one of them is the mysterious invisible OMAC that has been getting out, I guess (hard to say). However, things suddenly turn when Cole apparently is taken over by some unseen force and all of the Earth 2 prisoners escape, also taken over. The cause? It appears to be Fifty Sue for some reason.
Emiko brings Big Barda to John Diggle, friend of the former Green Arrow. Their plan was to originally meet up with Lois Lane in Metropolis, but things had changed since the attack by Deathstroke. Big Barda is confused by what is going on and wants specifics. Emiko reveals the truth that they are planning on attacking Cadmus Island and freeing all of the Earth 2 prisoners there, and they want her help.
Lois Lane is about to get squashed by Rampage, but Masked Superman flies in to fight her off. When Rampage gets the upper hand, Superman reveals his dark secret. He calls out Shazam and brings down a gigantic bolt of lightning on her, frying her good. Lois Lane comes over and finds an all grown-up Billy Batson, who is in need of help.
Constantine’s group continues to follow the trail out into the desert until they nearly pass out from exhaustion. However, as they are getting very tired and dehydrated, a water geyser bursts out of the sand. Who caused it? Kal-El of Krypton.
Hey, I think the plot actually lurched forward for once. We had plot progression for several different storylines (one of which was actually spoiled by a cover reveal, though) and it finally feels like the story is kicking it up a notch. That makes me rather happy. Also good are the other aspects of the comic. Decent dialogue, good characterization, stellar art from Zircher, and more. The only thing bad here was that one storyline twist… isn’t really all that clear. I’m not sure what exactly is happening in the Cadmus storyline, honestly, or why it is even happening.
What you want for your birthday is rather odd.
Genius #4, Genius #5 (Image Comics/Top Cow Productions)
Writers: Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman
Artist: Afua Richardson
Things are only to get worse and more dangerous as Destiny pushes towards her goals. The police are trying to destroy them from the inside with deep undercover police officers dressed as gang members, while the National Guard comes rolling in to crush them. Whatever tricks Destiny has up her sleeve, she’s going to need to pull a lot of them.
The LAPD undercover agents put their plan to take down Destiny into action… but for some reason, they start killing civilians even though their leader planned for them not to. Either way, it’s a bloodbath as Destiny and her gang retaliate. They manage to kill them, but a wild shot goes through a wall and kills Gerald, her tech friend.
Destiny’s next plan of attack is to enter the LAPD, undercover as an Internal Affairs agent. Luckily, since no one checks IDs and just accepts anyone into the place as long as they are dressed well, Destiny gains access and runs into Detective Grey.
Grey has put most of the pieces together and figured out it was Destiny pulling the strings and accidently lets her know about the National Guard coming. As Destiny leaves to warn her gang about the coming attack, Grey figures out it was her. This ends Issue #4.
As Destiny rides her way back to her neighborhood, she encounters some tanks from the National Guard en route. Happily sacrificing poor pedestrians and drivers on the road as roadblocks for the tanks (which for some reason run over cars but don’t crush any of the busses she puts in their way), she makes it back to her home.
She warns her army about the coming National Guard and their tanks, having them get ready for an extremely difficult and no-win fight. When the Guard arrives, they set off traps to blow up their tanks (the National GUard must have some weak ass tanks) and start fighting them. However, it’s a misdirection.
Destiny escapes from the fighting and turns herself over to the police. However, it’s another setup. She has also sent several gang members all over the city to start fighting and has wired herself with a bomb. She plans on blowing herself up and unleashing her gang members all over the city to destroy it unless the police and government give into her demands. Basically, stop firing on them all and not put any of them on a wanted list. The cops are not sure if they want to agree to that, but they don’t have a choice…
…because this random government agent (only popped up for only two panels last issue) from some secretive agency called the Mandrasa Institute agrees to her demands and ends this whole mess. The agent takes her into custody, having special plans for her because of her intelligence and wit.
The comic ends with the video interview that reporter Izzy had with Destiny who makes a big speech about when people can’t take anymore crap from people in higher positions (the clear solution is to obviously start a war/revolution and kill over a hundred people). The last shot of the comic shows her in the present, being trained and taught by someone for something unknown.
Honestly? That was a load of crap. Seriously, these past two issues were bad. Plain and simple. Destiny is an awful protagonist, who despite having a good backstory, became a terrorist and killed/sacrificed so many people to reach some vague end goal (I guess to show people won’t take the abuse from higher authorities). Then she ultimately gets away with it all and is rewarded because of her intelligence and skills? Let’s not forget to mention everyone else was pretty badly written. The only character who is sympathetic in all of this is Detective Grey, who was never really developed in this entire story. Everyone else in the police department is portrayed as incompetent or evil, so it’s weakly justified that Destiny killed so many of them (how did we know they were all bad by the way?).
Then there is everything else. The plot barely moved in the fourth issue and then completely rushed to an anti-climactic ending that only happened because of a lazy plot device that was barely hinted at. The dialogue is boring, not showing much personality. Emotional moments don’t feel genuine and lack impact for numerous reasons. Many moments in the book raise numerous questions and the ending is ultimately unsatisfying. The only good thing I give to the book is the artwork. It looks pretty good with its nice layouts and use of color. However, that’s just not enough to save this mess. Glad it’s over… for now at least. Apparently there will be a sequel.
What the… hey jackass! Watch where you are driving that damn tank!?