Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Futures End, Week 1: Grayson & Detective Comics

As noted last week, I'm not doing full write ups of these issues, because I'm not huge on the whole Futures End idea to begin with, and I'm especially not big on dedicating the same amount of time to it. So instead, I'm just doing short write ups of each issue and I'll throw in a few thoughts about them. First up, Grayson and Detective Comics.


This was an interesting issue, as it's told completely in reverse, page by page, ending (starting) with Dick's hanging at the hands of Helena after he killed KGBeast in public, starting (ending) all the way back the night of the Flying Grayson's accident. When the issue is read in reverse, we see Dick's rise as Robin, his introduction to Spyral, his shaky and tense relationship with Helena turning to love, why Spyral worked with Russia during the Earth 2 war, and why(ish) Dick kills KGBeast. While the end result of these events is certainly shocking, you've go to remember, these are Spyral agents, so where the issue ends, leaves a few things up to the reader's imagination as to what's really going down in the first page. 

I enjoyed the story for the most part, once I finally got used to the structure and had read it all the way through. As I made my way through the issue, things and events from previous pages are explained, and while the narrative structure is weird, it also becomes pretty fulfilling by the final page. One of the highlights for me was the relationship between Dick and Helena growing, as the moment she was announced to be involved with this series, I (and probably everyone) knew that sexual tension was going to be right up there... The only bad part about this is depending on how fast things move, it seems like they could be at odds with each other for awhile in the regular book.... That said, I did find it weird that on Barbara's page she kind of implied Dick is going to fall in love with female Batman. Odd. 

The one thing I wasn't big on was Dick's rashness in dealing with KGBeast. Yeah, it's established that Beast doesn't make any public appearances, and is a shitty person, but to just up and snap his neck like that seems pretty dumb, especially when there's a call back to Helena killing someone to save Dick, as Helena wasn't in any trouble this time around. You think with Spyral and all, they could have just poisoned him or something. I don't know, regardless, that's the only part of the story that sort of irked me.

SO YEAH, interesting issue, Tom King took some risks with the narrative structure and it paid off. I think some of his dialogue could use a second pass, as it sounds stiff from time to time, but I'm sure with practice, that'll get better. So, ultimately, if you're reading Grayson normally, I'd recommend picking up this one.

Detective Comics

This issue is a followup of two different stories, the first being Calendar Man's introduction in the recent Detective Comics Annual #3, and the second being Zero Year. Basic premise is five years later, Calendar Man is hold up in Arkham Island, with hostages, threatening to recreate the Gotham blackout if the man who destroyed his family isn't delivered to him. Of course, we're to expect Batman is that man, given that it was Julian Day's abused son that caused Batman to chase him down. So what's the problem? Well it seems that somewhere in those five years, Riddler was "reformed" and brought in to design Arkham Island, and he did a good job... Too good a job, and the police can get anywhere near Arkham without alerting Calendar Man. Thus, Batman needs Riddler's help, and plays to his ego in order to get it, as it's hinted that Batman somehow helped put in motion Riddler's "reform" striking a deal that he's untouchable from that point on, so forcing Riddler to do anything is out of the question. Ultimately, the story ends up with a little twist, Calendar Man doesn't blame Batman for the destruction of his family, he knew he was a terrible father, but that's only because his wife died in the Gotham blackout 11 years prior, so it's Riddler that he blames for his family's demise. Riddler is all "WHAT?" and since Riddler came on his own volition, Batman is all "TROLLOLOLOLOL" and leaves him with Calendar Man and the Arkham inmates.

I'll admit, I'm all for Batman pulling a dick move like he did with the Riddler, that's just entertaining, so by the end of the issue I had a smile on my face, but that was about the only high point for me, as I had some issues. First off, I just don't like the new Calendar Man, he's boring. Once a psychological character with a Hannibal Lecter feel, he's now just some big muscular shirtless brute of a guy holding up hostages at Arkham. There's no nuance to this new version of Julian Day, and thus I just find him boring. 

Then there was the art switch. I like Scott Hepburn's art, but he only drew around half of the pages, there was one random single page Fabrizio Fiorentino, and the rest was by Cliff Richrads. Now, you could probably pass Fiorentino off matched up against Cliff Richards, but he just drew a single page. Hepburn and Richards? Well their styles totally clash, which makes a jarring switch even more jarring. This shit just annoys me on multiple levels. Due to the production that goes into making these 3D covers, how long has this been on DC's schedule? Either there just wasn't enough time to get this done, which means DC should probably have a better production schedule, or perhaps pages had to be redrawn because the story changed, in which case, stop that. Who knows, all I know is that jarring art changes suck and they annoy the shit out of me.

So, SHOULD YOU GET THIS ISSUE?! Well, if you liked the Annual we got last month, then sure, go ahead. If not? Then nah, you're not really missing anything, unless you just like the Riddler. 


  1. First page was Helena using the cluemaster code to tell dick to meet at their "extraction" point, "THE ROOF." Also, her hand touching the rope mimics Zucco's hand movement on the last page. Dick is alive! Wahooooooo!

  2. Thanks for doing these Future's End reviews. They're especially valuable for me since I'm so ambivalent about the whole event. I may pick up the Grayson issue, as it sounds interesting and I've enjoyed the first couple issues.