Future State: Batman/Superman #2 – Gene Luen Yang, Writer; Scott McDaniel, Breakdowns; Ben Oliver, Penciller; Stephen Segovia, Inker; Arif Prianto, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Gene Luen Yang’s preview of his upcoming run on this title has been an odd one, because it doesn’t really fit into Future State. Set “five minutes into the future” as the Magistrate starts expanding his reach over Gotham, it has Batman and Superman teaming up when a mysterious drug made out of the False Face Serum starts creating mutations. Superman and Batman quickly find themselves overwhelmed by an army of mutants led by Professor Pyg. While Yang is usually a fairly character-driven writer, he does have a love for weird-science and horror-influenced stories, as we saw in his run on The Terrifics. While there is some mood whiplash this issue compared to the more optimistic first chapter, the pace remains fast and engaging throughout and it portrays both characters well—Batman’s cynicism versus Superman’s optimism—without either being shown as right or wrong.
The grotesque monsters provide some entertaining action segments, while there are some intriguing uses of Bat-technology—including a new method for healing that was apparently one of Alfred’s last inventions. The ultimate resolution of this story does show that Superman’s faith in humanity will usually win out, but there’s an additional wrinkle here—while it works in this case, it’s not going to work for Gotham overall. Fascism is rising in the city, and that makes it anything but a good place for Superman. There are some truly twisted science experiments in this issue with disturbing visuals, and the confrontation between the two heroes at the end of the issue doesn’t feel like other forced attempts at creating conflict between them. While this story is very different from what Yang will likely do next month, it sets up a great dynamic between the two leads for a regular run. More evidence that Yang remains one of the best superhero writers at DC.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.