Wednesday, January 20, 2021

On The Shelf: DC takes a look at another alternate future

 This month & next, DC is serving up its latest experiment in creating an alternate future.

Future State is set a few years into the future, so they say, but it's just an excuse for them to try out new characters assuming the roles of familiar heroes.

Take, for example, The Next Batman. DC decided to bring back Timothy Fox, Lucius' eldest son, who hasn't been seen since the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths era of the early 80's. The reason for this might be because Tim's younger brother, Luke, the 2nd man to wear the costume of Batwing, didn't get over with the audience, as they say in wrestling.

I'm waiting on the trade paperback for this one, as the cover price, due to backup features and page count, is exorbitant, in the neighborhood of $6-7.

As we've talked about, the Wonder Woman of this new era is a young lady from South America, Yara Flor, and, already, they're teasing a relationship between her and this era's Superman, Jon Kent (Clark & Lois' son).

Future State: Superman-Wonder Woman offers this glimpse. Both are dedicated to their duties, and it's a matter of time, they'd like you to think, before sparks start flying, if they haven't already. Decent stuff, and cheaper than the individual Superman & Wonder Woman miniseries in this set.

Keep in mind that DC spun this out of the recent Dark Nights: Death Metal event, but some of these stories can stand alone, as this does. And if you're not down with a future love story, you ain't living right.

Rating: A-.

On the other side of the Super-spectrum, there is Kara Zor-El: Superwoman, and it seems that Kara is a little put out by the fact that her cousin's son has taken up the family business without her. She's running things on another world, and has her own issues. The origin story, recapped here, is what was used as a template for the current Supergirl series on CW, which will begin its final season later this year. Anyway, Marguerite Bennett is the writer, and crafts a tale of Kara taking a runaway under her wing, unaware of the issues this newcomer has, and this is a problem. I'm not digging the direction this is going.

Rating: C.

DC is comfortable having multiple people using the name Robin. Damian Wayne is getting a solo series in April (more on that later), but in the future, Tim Drake has reclaimed the mantle in Robin Eternal, which also sees Tim's on-again, off-again girlfriend, Stephanie "Spoiler" Brown, return to action, and yes, the romantic tension between them mirrors original Robin Dick Grayson (now Nightwing) and Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle)'s relationship over the years. With Bruce Wayne seemingly dead, Tim is more driven as a detective than ever. Best work of Eddy Barrows in years.

Rating: A.

And, then, there's Catwoman.

Mourning her lost love, Selina Kyle is now a feline Robin Hood once more, this time hijacking a train carrying a group of kids and some "secret" passengers to get them away from the Magistrate, whatever that is (they're the big bads). And, oh, is she in for a surprise in part 2 next month. We're digging. Makes a great companion piece to Tom King's Batman-Catwoman.

Rating: A.
As had been hinted, when Damian Wayne begins a solo run as Robin in April, writer Joshua Williamson envisions Damian as a fashionista by having him wear different costumes for different occasions.

Marvel did this years ago with the Wasp (Janet Van Dyne), who wore different costumes seemingly every few months. With the anti-social Damian, I can't help but think of Ben Stiller's "Zoolander" as a template, with the attitude added. Luckily, Damian doesn't have anyone to be his Hensel. Yet.


Silverstar said...

Ostensibly, DC Future State was born from the idea that after 50+ years of heroics, DC's premier superheroes (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman et al) would either be retired, very old or gone by now, so the superhero world would be in need of 'new blood' as it were, but methinks that it was really DC trying to compete with the big diversity push that Marvel's been doing for the past few years.

hobbyfan said...

Oh, DC's tried to keep up, what with creating two new African-American Green Lanterns the last two years. Not digging the dystopian theme, though, but that's to cater to the grim-dark obsessed fanboys who don't dig positivity.