Back in 1991, DC comics published a story called Armageddon 2001. It was a cross over events that included every corner of the DC Universe in which a hero, called Monarch, turns villain, kills all the other heroes, and takes over the world; in order to prevent this future from occurring, a character, called Waverider, travels back in time to prevent the birth of Monarch, discovers his identity and stops him before he turns evil.  While the plot of Armageddon 2001 and Futures End are quite different, they both show us a glimpse at characters’ futures.  In Armageddon 2001, Waverider meets with each hero and touches them to see their future and determine if they become Monarch: each of the heroes’ stories could be about whatever the authors wanted, and it made perfect sense as the uniting factor between them was Waverider and his search for Monarch.  Futures End tie-ins remind me of the tie-ins from Zero Year: these tie-ins don’t have much to do with the main story but are instead answering the question: what was your favorite hero up to while this other thing was going on over here?  This is not to say that the stories themselves aren’t worth reading but as a fully realized concept it doesn’t gel together quite as well as it could have.  I also don’t wish to imply that Armageddon 2001 was a masterpiece,  merely that it had an intuitive reason for existing together as a whole.  Now, to the review!

I’m guessing that after that opening paragraph most of you think I am about to tear this story apart.  Well…surprise (or not, you have seen my score…)!  I loved it!  These are all the coolest elements of Batman somehow smashed into one story!! It has your insanely obsessive Bruce willing to fight to the bitter end no matter what.  It has your Batman who plans for every single possible outcome and has contingency plans in place for his contingency plans.  It shows Batman, beating the smartest and toughest opponents the universe has available to pit against him.  It shows our villain going to levels of overkill seldom seen and our hero still beating the odds.  It has gadgets and gizmos a plenty and at no point was I confused about there application.  It has Alfred being Alfred.  I’m not going to say much more than that because I don’t want to spoil this for you but with a write-up like that do I really need to say anything else?

Art by ACO…Accountable Care Organization…Allied Command Operation…Alpha Chi Omega…Animal Control Operations…A Clockwork Orange…American Cornhole Organization…? I got nothing!  Anyway, I’d like to compliment ACO on his or her art but the truth of the matter is I have no idea who or what ACO is.  Despite that, I enjoyed it and thought he/she (they? it?) did a wonderful job here.  There isn’t anything that I can point out specifically that highlighted my experience but the fact that nothing at all detracted from my immersion in the story may be a bigger compliment than anything.  So while it isn’t the best I have ever seen, the story is the true driving force behind this issue and only something truly bad would have ruined the experience anyway.

Small gripes…I usually don’t like seeing Batman use so much tech, but hey, it’s the future, so go crazy and I won’t complain.  Also, it seems to me this should be at least 15 to 20 years in the future, not just 5.  Aside from that, I have no problems with this story.  Good stuff, carry on.

Spoiler

  • I loved the part where Alfred talks about Bruce creating a legacy larger than one they could have ever hoped for while the computer screens illuminating different members of the Bat Family can be seen in the background.
  • I thought it was interesting that he could have cloned a replica with all his memories but chose to only give him the same base and not the rest of his life.  That way they wouldn’t be identical and the clone could become his own person.
  • I know, not a spoiler but, my wife looked at the cover and said how unusual it is to see that kind of shot of Batman.  Meaning, his cape wasn’t in the way.  That’s right, you can see his butt, and in 3-d!  Wink, wink. She was sad that the transition effect just made the cape disappear, and not his butt shake.

Interesting Facts:

  • Batman is AWESOME!
  • Oh…you wanted something more substantial.  Dr. Caulder is the leader of the Doom Patrol, Holt is Mister Terrific, Doc Magnus created the Metal Men, and Ted Kord is the Blue Beetle.  All individuals with a high level of intellect and inventors in the DC Universe.

Recommended if…

  • You like Batman.  Seems kind of a silly qualification, but seriously, this Batman is soooo Batman!
  • You like seeing Batman dominate everything and everyone.

Overall:

Any Batman fan should not hesitate in picking up this book. So many things that make Batman cool are highlighted that it is hard to comprehend the level of awesomeness that this issue has been expected to contain! Just go buy it! Now! What, you’re still here reading? What are you waiting for? Just go!

SCORE: 9/10