As happy as I’ve been about Sook’s covers, this one’s the worst I’ve seen. Well, either this one or the one with Lois jumping out of a plane. I understand the cover, but I “unobjectively” didn’t care for it. This issue features a truck-turned-teddy-bear, a ripped and raging Ray Palmer, a set-up for a search and seizure mission, three different Batmen, and a partridge in a pear tree. It’s a standard Futures End issue with only a slight pique of interest due to my concern over Bat-related characters.

  1. Columbia University — The new Firestorm comes face to face with mad scientist Dr. Yamazake turned evil villain Doctor Polaris. He announces his magnetic powers, punches Firestorm with giant metallic fist, and throws a cement truck at her. She turns the cement truck into a giant teddy bear because she can’t figure out her powers yet.
  2. S.H.A.D.E. and Stormwatch on the Ant Farm — According to last issue, Ray Palmer is the first person in nearly three hundred years to see Father Time’s true face. According to this issue, however, he’s the first person “to ever see [his] true face”. A page later Father Time says, “I found refuge here on Earth two centuries ago…the last of my kind.” So, what is it? Did someone else know Father Time three hundred years ago? Is that when his species were wiped out and he lolly-gagged for a hundred years before finding Earth? Why do I even care? I don’t. But it goes to show that the editorial staff must not care that much either. The long of the short of this section is: Palmer pulls Father Time out into the open for everyone to see. Frankenstein gets shot in the back and, because he’s been turning mortal, he begins to die.
  3. Las Vegas, Nevada — Banger, Mash, Mercy and Voodoo are approached by Justin (Grifter’s pal) and tells them how Fifty Sue accosted him. He was sent by her to bring them back to Faraday’s office where Cole, Lana, Ethan Boyer, Faraday, Rock and Fifty Sue are having a giant chit-chat. Well, I’ll tell you how exciting it was. This was a set up for a mission that will require a team to go find a super secret DNA bunker that sunk into the ocean when Cadmus Island was blown up. Oh my. Did you read the list of characters in this section? And few of them have not mattered at all to this story.
  4. New York City — Terry is alone on a rooftop scanning the city for Brother Eye with the help of ALFRED. Now, this is kind of interesting. ALFRED gets hacked and shuts down. But before he does, he locates Brother Eye’s existence in the Terrifitech building. We see a panel with Bruce Wayne as if he’s listening in to Terry and ALFRED’s conversation. I actually was intrigued.
  5. Thirty-Five Years From Now— Brother Eye has our Bruce-Joker-Simbiotic-Two-Face-Cyborg prepared to go back in time. Bruce seems semi-cognizant, as does the Joker, but Brother Eye still holds some sort of control. I don’t even know why Brother Eye would want to include Bruce in this project because certainly he or even the Joker is the foil. It’s weird and I’m not a fan, but this is sort of like those train-wreck TV shows like “Honey Boo-Boo” where it’s awful but if you ever stop for six seconds before flipping the channel, you’re curious as to what will happen.

The artwork here is exceptional again. Patrick Zircher shares artist duties with Scott Kolins, whose work I’m unfamiliar with. They do a fantastic job at telling such a wide-spanning story. Hi-Fi’s colors are solid and should be commended as she/he consistently turns in excellent work week by week.

Recommended if:

  • You’re curious about Batman in Futures End.
  • You want to see each storyline move 45 seconds into the future.

Overall:

I put together a “build it yourself” Arkham City Batman with my eight-year-old nephew last night. In the middle of finding all the tiny pieces and doing all these mundane steps he exclaimed, “I just want it to be finished so I can play with it!” In the middle of all the tiring story lines and with the excruciatingly slow speed this series is moving, I feel the same as he did. Let’s move on with it.

SCORE: 5/10