Batman and Robin Futures End #1 introduces a new Robin and a Batman that is reminiscent of The Dark Knight Returns. This one shot deals with the relationship between Batman and his new adult Robin. When the creature that killed Damian returns, Batman vows not to get another Robin involved. Will his decision be his downfall?
The 3D cover looks cool as a shadowy silhouette of Batman, very reminiscent of the Animated Series batman. Tilt the cover and that Batman turns into a vicious, grasping picture of The Heretic. Both images are surrounded by bright coloured flames. This makes for a really attention grabbing cover with great detail.
This one shot opens with action, five years into the future. Batman is looking beaten, rugged and tired and the return of one of Al Ghul’s demons. The Heretic is doing him no favours at all. Batman is struggling to make sense of the situation that he finds himself in, all whilst taking a vicious beating. He cannot help but wonder if he is fighting the monster that took his son from him, another clone or… Damian Wayne himself. Duke, who debuted in Batman: Zero Year, is grown up and has become the new Robin. He is tech savvy and has a great set of fighting skills. He also has a great connection with Bruce. He knows when Batman is in trouble and needs help… even if he did not ask for it. Duke senses that something is wrong and is aware that Alfred is making light of a very dangerous situation.
The art is great – a little too great as it stole most of the story. Instead of leading on to any possibilities with regards to Damian, most of the comic is an extended, almost silent, fight scene. The heroes have a Mecha look to show just how much technology has become integrated into their everyday life. Both of their costumes look great and the colours work perfectly, my only gripe is that the proportions on Batman seem too inconsistent. At first he looks Frank Miller inspired, and then Batman looks thinner again as if he is losing kilos during the fight. The panelling and level of detail in both the heroes and The Heretic looks great. The backgrounds are dark setting the tone of the issue and making the villain seem like a large, looming threat.
So what you get for most of this book is a highly detailed but almost mute fight scene, no links to Damian’s fate, no direct consequence to the Futures End arc. All this One Shot succeeds in doing is providing some great imagery and proving that an adult Robin can also be bad ass! This issue is an enjoyable read but one that has no impact on the current and future events brought on by the events of Futures End.