Batwoman: Futures End #1 “Blood Sisters”
Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Jason Masters
Before I get into this issue, I want to comment on the solicitation… It’s infuriating. “Now a creature of the night, Batwoman turns against her former lover, Nocturna, in a final, deadly conflict.” This issue is far from that. So far, in fact, that Nocturna is neither seen, nor mentioned… And thank God, because what Andreyko delivered is much better than that. But in that same respect, I feel like less people will pick this issue up because of it’s solicitation.
In the last issue of Batwoman, we left off with Nocturna biting Kate. Naturally, that’s going to result in people thinking that Kate will turn into a vampire. Well guess what… Five years in the future, Kate is a vampire (of sorts). And guess what (again)… I hate the idea of Kate as a vampire. Thank you DC, but we don’t need a token vampire hero, or anti-hero, especially if it’s going to be Batwoman. Let’s keep her human. She’s more interesting that way.
Here’s the kicker with this issue of Batwoman: Kate isn’t the star, or lead, or whatever you want to call it. Instead, it’s her sister, Alice. That’s right, crazy, homicidal, religious-cult-leading Alice – who I think we all assumed would be the Red Alice that was mentioned in October’s solicitations, but at least it’s confirmed now (as much as anything can be confirmed through Futures End). If she had been mentioned in this issues solicitation, I feel like more people would’ve been interested in this tie-in. For me, it kind of brings back a feeling of the old creative team, and presents some excitement for the book. Something about having Alice in the picture feels “right.”
“Blood Sisters” opens with the Lewis Carroll quote, “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” and follows with Alice claiming that she has to kill her sister. I know, I know… I’m sure you’re thinking, “Not much new there,” but I loved this page. Alice’s presence was unexpected, and this simple start served as the perfect introduction to this story. You can clearly see there’s something about Alice that’s different as well. It’s subtle, but there. We then get to see vamp Kate, as she attacks Maggie and Bullock, and attempts to kill Mags… But not before Alice can save her! That’s right, the roles have reversed. Kate is now the troubled sister, and Alice is now the do-good vigilante. I’m in! (With the Alice part. I hate Kate as a vampire/ she-bat creature).
I love that Alice is good now. I’ve always found her character to be interesting, and there’s so much that the creative team can do with her. The potential is endless! Her past, her current struggles, how she got better, her relationship with Kate… There are years-worth of stories to be explored with this one revelation. Unfortunately, the thing that I don’t like, and it remains a constant dislike throughout the issue, is Kate. I hate that she’s evil. I hate that she’s a vampire. And I’m honestly not sure why I’m so bothered by it, considering Andreyko’s biggest miss with this book, is it’s title character, Kate/Batwoman.
Anyway, I don’t want to dwell on the negative because I really did enjoy this issue. There’s not really much I can say without giving away all of the details, because the story is pretty simple: Alice has to rescue Maggie from Kate, then stop Kate if she can. Granted, a little help from some friends never hurts… That’s why she has the Unknowns ready to assist her. And just like that, we get introduced to the team of Unknowns: Ragman, Clayface, and the Demon.
If there’s one thing that Andreyko did right, it’s that he took advantage of this Futures End opportunity. I’m not going to lie, I was getting a little tired of this book until this issue. But now, I can’t wait for the new arc. I can’t wait to see how Batwoman gets involved/ assembles this team. I can’t wait to see more of Alice. And I definitely can’t wait to see more of Kate and Alice together. If we can make everything that would naturally lead up to this issue happen, aside from Kate becoming a vampire, I’d be a very happy camper! This was definitely one of the biggest surprises for me from the Futures End tie-ins!
- You want to see Batwoman as a Vampire.
- You’ve been waiting to see Kate and Alice together again.
- You were always secretly fascinated with Alice.
- You want to have a glimpse at what the next arc will contain.
Alright, be warned, there are spoilers below.
The Art: I loved Jason Master’s art in this issue! He seems like a great fit for this book, and I’d almost rather see him holding the art credits on a regular basis instead of the current team. Everything just fell into place nicely between the pencils, the inks, and the colors. Combine that with a good interpretation of a solid story, and you’re golden.
The Good: Alice. The Unknowns. And a REALISTIC glimpse into the possible future…
I want to see more stories like this from the creative team. The book needs it. The fans deserve it. And Batwoman clearly benefits from the addition of an ensemble. I can’t wait to see the details and layers of the relationships that will be built between these characters. If I can get a regular Batwoman/ Kate, with these characters, it would be awesome!
Also, Alice knows Bruce is Batman! They’re apparently working together to an extent considering he assisted her by providing weapons. And how awesome was Alice staking Kate? Loved the art as Kate turned to ash… soooooooo good! Check it out if you want. It’s the last two pages of the issue.
The Bad: My only complaint is Kate. I hated everything about her in this issue. I’ve been having issues with her characterization since Andreyko took over, but this felt more like a creature of the week that happened to look like Kate. No more Vamp Batwoman!
Overall: Andreyko and team delivers a surprising book that is entertaining from beginning to end. There’s so much to enjoy here, that the negatives are easy to move beyond. Above any other Futures End title, this issue (aside from Kate) feels like a natural future! I recommend you get this issue if you are (or were) a fan of Batwoman.