In this edition of Weekly Weeklies we have the Spoiler’s first real outing in Batman Eternal #24 and something gross looking in Futures End #20.
Let’s get to it:
WARNING: Spoilers Below!
Batman Eternal #24
Lead Writer: Ray Fawkes
Corresponding Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Tim Seeley, and Kyle Higgins
Artist: Andy Clarke
Stephanie Brown, AKA The Spoiler, has tracked down her father’s location to an abandoned looking building. Her father, The Cluemaster, is talking with a shadowy figure (Hush?) about him failing to do his job of killing Stephanie. Cluemaster tries making up for it, by explaining their current plan for destroying the city, slowly and efficiently, is going smoothly. The man seems pleased by what he hears, but he still wants Stephanie dead… or else.
Across town, Batman is dealing with an orange demon in an art gallery that is killing and/or sucking the life energy out of people. Batman manages to destroy it with nth metal, but then someone falls over dead or unconscious in response. He checks the victim’s ID, noticing he’s a doctor from Arkham Asylum. He tries contacting Batwing, but he gets no response.
After a few hours of scouting for info, Stephanie leaves her hiding spot; onn her way out Cluemaster appears, revealing it was all a setup to capture her. She manages to escape, stealing a motorcycle and leading him on a wild chase through Gotham.
Outside the city, Stephanie calls the cops and crashes her motorbike, taking out Cluemaster’s ride as well. She runs for cover as the police show up to arrest Cluemaster. He tells him he has friends in the Gotham PD that’ll get him out, but the cops reveal they are outside the city limits and now he’s in state custody. Stephanie celebrates her victory, but still realizes she has a long way to go.
This issue didn’t really advance the story as much as previous issues did, but it still delivered in terms of enjoyment.
The main thing of course: Spoiler is back and being awesome, delivering on an incredible plan that’s pretty genius and impressive. Fans of Stephanie Brown will love this issue. We also get to finally see what Cluemaster and his buddies’ plans are and I gotta say, it’s intelligently designed as well and you easily see how it would slowly chip away at the people of the city. The only downside to this entire issue is the lack of plot progression and Andy Clarke’s artwork, the latter still delivering on some creepy and odd looking people (his worldbuilding and environments are great though) and a lot of empty white space.
Hmm… I see a bunny, how about you people?
Futures End #20
Writers: Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, and Keith Giffen
Artist: Aaron Lopresti
Cal Corcoran, AKA Tim Drake, breaks into the Fast Lane’s offices to try to steal any records that Lois Lane may have any dirt about him being who he really is after she publicly outted Superman.
Lane is waiting for him and confronts him about why he is hiding and why he changed his identity. He reveals that the war really messed him up and he wanted to completely start over. Lane asks him if he recognizes any of the other objects that she was given a long time ago, telling him that’s how she found out who he is. He recognizes the red arrow tip being from Red Arrow and tells her the coordinates she received must be something important, despite finding nothing there originally.
35 years into the hectic future Brother Eye visits Mr. Terrific, who is still normal. He tells him Terrific how they’ve captured Bruce and that Batman Beyond was sent back into the past (Mr. Terrific seems happy since Terry might be able to stop this mess from happening). He lets him know he is extracting the information from Bruce’s head so he can go back and stop Terry.
On Cadmus Island, everyone not infected or controlled by Brother Eye meets with Faraday, who is also trapped there. They need to figure out a way to stop Brother Eye and then get off this crazy island. Trouble is, how will they do it? Fifty Sue has a suggestion…
Mr. Terrific visits Key and Coil, who are stuck in a personalized cell after being caught trying to steal the upSphere (Batman Beyond and Plastique got away). Mr. Terrific offers them the chance to not be arrested and instead work for him for good money, as long as they give up who hired them. They agree to his deal and reveal it was Bruce Wayne.
When Madison comes to visit Cal, he decides to finally fess up. He reveals to her that he is really Tim Drake and she leaves, upset that he would lie about who he is, just like her father did.
Not a bad issue, but after the last few that we got, this feels like a step backwards. It’s like this issue was a chance to let the audience take a moment to breathe and recover. Frankly, I would like it more if Futures End kept up the excitement and surprises since we’ve been dealing with a very slow moving story for the majority of the series’ run. I will grant the comic one thing though on this matter — it at least kept some storylines moving so the issue didn’t feel uneventful.
Otherwise it’s an alright issue. The characterization is still pretty solid, there were some nice twists and developments that I enjoyed, and pacing and story flow are done well. The artwork by Aaron Lopresti is also alright, but I would still like something a little more visually different and unique. While most of the artwork manages to retain the same feel and tone, I still think the series overall would benefit from a good to mix-it up with different kinds of artists taking over from time to time like Batman Eternal does.
Just walk it off a little, should be fine.