Genius is done with its mini-series run, so this week we swing the focus back to Batman Eternal and Futures End. Let’s take a look:
WARNING: Spoilers Below
Batman Eternal #22
Lead Writer: Kyle Higgins
Corresponding Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, and Tim Seeley
Artist: Jorge Lucas
As Julia Pennyworth is about to leave the manor to visit her father in hospital (who really hasn’t been doing well), she remembers Alfred’s final words before he lost consciousness. She approaches the grandfather clock in Wayne Manor and turns the hands until they read 10:48, causing the secret passageway to open up.
Meanwhile at Beacon Tower, a bunch of businessmen surveying the place for Bruce Wayne and a couple of workers are attacked by the Architect and his goons.
As Julia enters and explores the Batcave, Batman gets a signal of her intrusion and confronts her via car-cam. Julia calls him out on not realizing Alfred has been attacked (things have been only getting worse in Gotham) and while Batman wants to be there at the hospital, he’s forced to go confront the Architect before he blows up the tower.
The Architect is holding the lead businessman, Andrew, hostage and threatens to blown him up personally for some insane reason. Batman arrives on the scene to put a stop to everything, with Julia now stepping in to fill the spot for Alfred as Penny-Two, and starts taking down the Architect’s goons.
While Batman manages to get most everyone to safety, the Architect starts setting off his device which causes the building to start shaking itself to pieces. Batman holds the Architect down, allowing Andrew to escape to another rooftop; however, there Andrew is confronted and shot dead by Hush. Batman then figures out it’s Hush as well from some of the Architect’s ramblings and realizes how dangerous things have become.
Last issue was one of those big “Holy Crap” issues where everything changed. This issue? Not so much, outside of a few storylines being pushed forward. I mean, I’m starting to see the series line up with Batman #28, the preview for Batman Eternal we got a few months ago, and that’s pretty neat. However, the issue is not as exciting and grand as the previous issues, with most things happening here being expected.
Kyle Higgins has joined the crew of writers (John Layman has left as of last issue) and his debut issue isn’t bad writing wise. The character work is perfectly fine, along with the dialogue and pacing. The only weird part was an odd inconsistency where Penny-Two is referred to as Penny-One; I’m not sure if that’s just the character misspeaking because he’s so used to saying Penny-One or that’s an actual error in the script.
The artwork is by Jorge Lucas, who certainly does grittier and uglier styled art much better than previous issues have done, but it’s nothing particularly amazing looking. All in all, it’s an average issue that’s by no means bad, just a bit disappointing after last issue’s bombshell.
Julia’s thoughts: What the f**k?
Futures End #18
Writers: Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, and Keith Giffen
Artist: George Jeanty
In the Horn of Africa, John Constantine and his team have finally found the real, classic Superman. John wants Superman’s help in defeating the evil that has been recently unleashed, though Superman isn’t all that interested. He’s still trying to make amends for whatever he did during the war, however, he may change his mind when he hears this new monster may have come about thanks to Brainiac.
Back in Metropolis, Lois Lane has discovered that Billy Batson is now the new Superman after powering down in order to stop Rampage; that didn’t go so well as she is still coming at him hard, knocking him out. All seems loss until Stormguard steps in and takes her down himself, due to Billy having weakened her. Stormguard takes Billy back to the Justice League satellite to let him rest and recover, while Lois comes along for the ride, wanting answers about what is going on.
Emiko, John Diggle, and Big Barda reach their destination, a mysterious island out in the Pacific. Barda is wondering what’s going on and why everybody’s been brought there, when Emiko explains the story behind the place; the island is where Oliver Queen became Green Arrow and he has been using it as a place to train heroes for a future war that has been building. Then it’s revealed that Oliver Queen himself is alive, and with Red Arrow/Arsenal, ready to recruit her for his army.
Cadmus Island is utterly wrecked after the Earth 2 prisoners have broken free and begun tearing the place up. The Earth 2 prisoners have been infected with something that has gotten into the implants that Cadmus installed in them. Deathstroke, Cash Cole, and Lana are all hiding out in a remote cave, waiting for it to blow over, while Fifty Sue has mysteriously disappeared somewhere. However, their hiding spot is not too secret since Power Girl has discovered her.
Somewhere on the island, Fifty Sue (who is revealed to be an Earth 2 refugee herself here) is confronting the person who has turned the whole place haywire. The one who got into everyone’s brain implants? Brother Eye. She’s unimpressed with the machine and has a list of demands, otherwise everything gets wrecked.
Below Terrifitech, Batman Beyond and the other three criminals are starting their break-in. However, Plastique seems very distracted by something…
Finally — it feels like we’re getting somewhere in this comic. The storylines are starting to hit their peaks and it’s all about to explode (it’s already exploding in some plotlines). It took quite a bit, and by that I mean a bit too long, but we are there; things are happening in this comic. Let’s rejoice and get excited folks!
As for the rest of the comic, it’s fine. The characterization is still good, the dialogue is decent, quite a few interesting surprises crop up and there are a couple of pretty good cliffhangers as well. The real weakness of this issue is the artwork, which is just bland. It’s not bad at all, but there’s nothing too exciting either. It’s just standard superhero art. I wouldn’t mind seeing them try out some new artists to spice things up.
This is probably one of the best shots of the books, but it’s ruined with that bored expression on her face.