Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Futures End One-shot Comic Reviews: Detective Comics and Green Arrow

I really don't like this gimmick.

Setting stories five years in the future is a recipe for disaster. You either have to outright drop the gimmick at some point (making these issues pointless), or you lock creative teams into an editorial path for years after the writers left the book.

The idea is a bad one, but with any luck, the idea can allow for really fun one-shot issues with a nice 'what-if' scenario.

Detective Comics does that well here, as the Riddler is teased as Batman's new sidekick. In the issue, it's explained why and that it is not permanent.

My main gripe with the book is that it makes no sense as to why this had to be set five years in the future at all. This could have been the payoff to an arc that you could have started today. This issue could take place roughly two months after Icarus and nothing would have changed.

Maybe the point is not to limit Batman's team all that much, but even so, this issue is little more than a one-shot that could happen at any point in Batman's history and be equally credible.

Luckily, the plot is good, the Riddler (though made out as more of a joke than in Snyder's Zero Year) is still written fairly well, and the ending twist was done well.

I'd give the issue an 8/10.

On the other hand, there are issues that use this gimmick to cap off stories and create enough intrigue that you WANT the editors to make the storyline happen. And that's the case with Green Arrow.

Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino have reached the end of their glorious run on the title, and used this story as an epilogue to the stories they told. By the end of the issue, I was legitimately angry... that they won't be continuing because this future Green Arrow world seems really awesome.

Once again, Sorrentino kills it on the art and makes the book worth the price of admission for the pictures alone. But it's Lemire's look into what Ollie and Emiko's relationship will be that makes me really excited for future stories.

The Outsiders get excellent treatment. We (kind of) see Green Arrow take on a notable arch foe in the Lemire-Sorrentino world. Heck, there's even a new sidekick named Dart, who fans of this run will know immediately.

There was surprisingly good humor and real character growth. There was emotion and a sense of excitement. The book even managed to tie into the Futures End book this is supposed to be a gimmick for.

It works as a great one-and-done and it works as a tie-in. Most importantly, it works as an epilogue to the trilogy of trades that Lemire and Sorrentino will create.

I highly recommend this issue and give it a 9.75. It's only lower than a 10 because it does require you to read the prior run to appreciate its full weight and sets up plot points that are not guaranteed to pay off.

But yeah, it's a great read, and I not only recommend buying it, I recommend buying the $4 holographic cover version because this team deserve the extra buck for a job well done over the last year or so.

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