I’ve read some other bloggers’ reviews of the Future’s End one-shots; I’m sort of amused. I’ve bought and read two, and neither one seems to tie in to any sort of overarching story or plot at all. The main story has Earth 2, B-tier heroes, and Big Barda (!), but those elements are nowhere to be found here.
Ray Fawkes and Scott Snyder tell an interesting story. It is even more impressive considering how few voices are actually present in this issue. This comic features Batman, Alfred, and an artificial intelligence version of Lex Luthor. Oddly enough, my favorite voice in the comic is robo-Lex. His air of superiority and voice ring true with his dead-on deductions about anyone foolish enough to invade his sanctum. He even figures out who it is that could have made it this far. “Are you Batman?”
The core plot is very slight, with Batman trying to obtain some information to enable him to create clones. Batman wants to put his brain in a cloned body since his war-torn body has worn down over the years. Science fiction has trained me to believe that everyone should have an expiration date, so I think Batman might need to hand off his Gotham-guarding duties to one of his many protégés. The whole “must stay alive to protect my city” comes off as just a tad selfish. Honestly, this is as simple a plot as possible, the cloning tech is a macguffin and Bats spends every page in pursuit of it.
I’m unfamiliar with the artist, Aco, but his work is pretty solid. The heavy lines remind me of Tommy Lee Edwards, although Edwards has a better sense of “direction” and his figure work is stronger. Aco’s work looks “digital;” it has that layered look that digital art often displays. I think Batman is the right choice for the artist, I think his gritty style would be interesting to see on Green Arrow or Black Panther too.
This is a FAIR comic, a nice little done-in-one Bat-story that I can read on its own without sweating the greater DCU.