Welcome back to Weekly Weeklies. This time around: Batman Eternal #23 and Futures End #19. Let’s get straight into it.
WARNING: Spoilers Below.
Batman Eternal #23
Lead Writer: Tim Seeley
Corresponding Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, and Kyle Higgins
Artist: Dustin Nguyen
Catwoman has shown up at an animal fighting ring run by the Ibanescu Family in order to both rob the place and rescue a snow leopard from being killed.
As she’s about to spring into action, Tiger Shark and his goons rush into the place and start shooting it up, killing the leopard in the process. Catwoman feels distraught about not being able to save it, but she may not have time to mourn. A young girl by the name of Jade has shown up, saying someone at Blackgate wants to meet with her.
Still at Beacon Tower, Batman is beating the hell out of the Architect, wanting to know what Hush’s plan is and why he needed him. Julia comes on the radio and warns Batman about the increase in seismic activity from the Architect’s machine; the seismic waves aren’t able to destroy the tower, but instead bounce off and start wrecking the entire city.
In a quick scene, we find out Killer Croc is still alive and fighting off the approaching demons from Arkham Asylum in the Gotham Underground.
Jade brings Catwoman to Rex Calabrese, who wants to talk to her. Catwoman is naturally pissed at him, especially since he used a kid to bring her him. She clocks him, saying that he was a terrible father, having given her away when she was young. Jade tries to attack her, but Rex tells her not to and reveals that Jade works with Killer Croc and moves items around for him.
Catwoman is about to leave, but Rex Calabrese tells her that there is chaos out there in Gotham with all the crime families fighting for control of city and territory. There needs to be someone out there that can unify them and bring an end to the violence — and he wants Catwoman to be that someone. Rex wants her to use her family name, since it comes with power and legacy. Catwoman ends up be very dismissive towards the notion and leaves.
The issue ends with Jason Bard meeting with the mayor to discuss an important matter. With the big crime war, the ghost activity at Arkham, the weird infection happening in the Barrows, and attack on Beacon Tower that left Gotham in ruins, Bard insists that this was an attack on the city. Thus, the mayor must declare a state of martial law.
If you remember Batman #28, we saw a lot of interesting sneak peeks at future storylines that Batman Eternal was going to tackle. After all the buildup of the previous issue, this issue finally puts us on the path to featuring #28’s future. As such, there are a lot of things here that feel not all that surprising since we got spoiled on them earlier. Admittedly, I do like how this issue explains how these events got started and it’ll definitely be interesting to see how these characters and stories eventually reach their destination.
Otherwise, I enjoyed the issue quite a bit. After being gone for a while, it was great to see Catwoman again, who is being portrayed very well along with the rest of the cast. The pacing is solid, the ending is great, and the dialogue is decent outside of a clunky line or two. There were a few minor hiccups with the artwork by Dustin Nguyen (some weird perspectives and character faces), but I still enjoyed the issue regardless and very much look forward to where the story is going.
Gotta love that expression. Just the pure anger and frustration.
Futures End #19
Writers: Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, and Keith Giffen
Artist: Scot Eaton
Terry McGinnis AKA Batman Beyond, Coil, Plastique, and Key finally break into TerrificTech and begin their heist.
While Key and Coil work on getting the T-sphere thing, Terry collects data from the computer to find information about the Brother Eye satellite. After he collects the information he springs a trap on Key and Coil, getting them busted by security and picked up by Plastique, who has found her robot/cyborg duplicate and is suffering from a breakdown.
At the offices of the Fast Lane, Masked Superman/Shazam meets with Lois Lane who wants to know why exactly he has taken over Superman’s identity and where the real one is. Shazam reiterates that there needs to be a Superman and implies he has no idea where the real one is. He warns that if she exposes him, that all hell may break loose and he flies off. Once again, Lois gets on the phone with one of her staffers and tells him their game plan.
Somewhere in deep space, Dr. Palmer is still waiting to hear back from his team after they took off. While waiting, he is visited by one of the Storm Lords, a representative from the Stormwatch Shadow Cabinet. Palmer has been chosen to be the new leader of Stormwatch and must now put a new group together to combat the slowly approaching Brainiac force.
On Cadmus Island, Deathstroke and Lana are finally caught by a Brother Eye controlled Power Girl. Before she can destroy them, Fifty Sue comes in and tells B.E. to stand down since she still needs the two.
At the Wound Duck, Tim Drake returns back from a trip and takes a look at the news. The main story? It’s that Shazam is now Superman.
Yep, last issue wasn’t a fluke: Futures End has finally taken off, people! The story is getting more interesting, with plenty of good twists and turns as well as some payoff on a few storylines. That really makes me happy. The writing is still pretty solid as well, with some good dialogue, characterization, and pacing. The art is fine, but nothing particularly special. Frankly, I wish the comic would pick up some more exciting and visually stunning artists like Batman Eternal has at times. Really could boost the book even more.
Umm… was this supposed to imply Batman was being evil here or something?