The month of September is Futures End month for DC. All titles will be getting one-shots set five years from now, showing the changes the characters have gone through. What has Batman been up to in Detective Comics? Find out in the review! More importantly, 3-D covers!
DETECTIVE COMICS: FUTURES END #1
Writer: Brian Buccellato
Artist: Scott Hepburn, Cliff Richards, Fabrizio Fiorentino
Letterer: Dezi Sienty
Colorist: Brian Buccellato, Lee Loughridge
Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99/$3.99
Previously in Futures End: After the great Earth 2 war, the DC universe has become a different place. This month DC releases line wide one-shots to take a look at what is happening with their characters five years from now.
THIS TIES INTO FUTURES END HOW?
I’ll start by saying this: If you were expecting a great story that ties in to Futures End in a strong way you’ll be severely disappointed. Apart from taking place five years from now, the same time period Futures End is occurring, Detective Comics: Futures End #1 could be a Batman story told anywhere. That aside, it’s not too bad.
Calendar Man has taken control of Arkham Island, threatening to create another blackout unless the man responsible for destroying his family is delivered to him. In order to get past Arkham’s defenses Batman must enlist the aid of the Riddler, the villain who helped create said defenses. It’s an interesting concept and I liked seeing how it played out. Batman persuades Riddler to help him by appeasing his ego. Calendar Man is threatening to do the exact thing Riddler did during Zero Year and Batman knows that Nygma doesn’t want to be forgotten as the Riddler or share the stage. It was clever and something I thought was a cool character moment. The rest plays out in typical fashion; the two break into Arkham, have witty banter, get into some brawls and reach Calendar Man. There’s a neat twist at the end that I honestly didn’t see coming but probably should have.
The huge problem with the issue is its lack of ties to Futures End. This is a story that could take place in the present and, aside from some minor changes, there’s little new here. A lot of the changes and ideas are ones that I wanted to learn more about. Why was Riddler pardoned and is sitting in his own office building with a giant question mark on top? What’s happening with Batman and his cool new suit? Maybe it will be addressed in the main Futures End book, but for the giant to do about this whole month it was a bit of a slap in the face. I would have preferred to read this in the regular Detective Comics and gotten a story expanding on the already vague Futures End setting.
RIDDLE ME THIS: WHY THREE ARTISTS?
The fact that three artists and two colorists handle the art chores (with Fabrizio Fiorentino only doing one page!) leads me to believe that this issue was cobbled together at the last minute. The difference in styles is a huge detriment to the book. The beginning sections are the strongest, with Brian Buccellato supplying colors. Scott Hepburn’s work looks very similar to Francis Manapul’s. With Buccellato’s coloring it looks very much like the two’s work on the Flash. It’s energetic and I would have loved for the issue to be drawn entirely by Hepburn. Cliff Richard’s on the other hand is very stiff and slightly photorealistic. Considering his pages have the majority of action, it’s a poor match. Characters look like they’re posing and Batman’s costume is barely detailed. Lee Loughridge’s coloring is dark and clashes with Buccellato’s. A piece of Batman’s armor glows red in the opening, but Loughridge leaves it black. I wish I could comment more on Fiorentino’s work but since he only supplies one page I can only say I liked what little I saw. The whole book lacks a consistency and seems as though it was rushed.
BOTTOM LINE: READ IT, IF NOTHING ELSE
While Detective Comics: Futures End #1 has an entertaining story, it’s one that could be told anywhere and ties to the event loosely at best. The mass amount of artists hurts the issue the most, making it appear thrown together at the last minute. It’s a decent read but I wouldn’t suggest spending money on it (certainly not $3.99 for 3-D covers). If you’ve got nothing else to read and have a chance to check this one out for free, do so. Otherwise, it’s a skip.