The Dark Knight and Man of Steel are called the World’s Finest for a reason. In Future State: Batman/Superman #1 we get a preview of what their newest adventures may look like, and it’s not looking good for one of our heroes.
This first chapter of a two part story doesn’t just give readers a peek into Gotham’s bleak future. It also gives us a glimpse into what the future of the series itself may look like, from Gene Luen Yang, Ben Oliver, Arif Prianto, and Tom Napolitano.
The Magistrate has begun its occupation of Gotham. It is stomping out costumed vigilantes all across the city. However, that doesn’t stop Superman from bringing a case to Batman for his help. However, both heroes underestimate the danger they’re in. Is this the last case of the World’s Finest?!
Yang crafts a fairly simple and straightforward plot. However, that allows him to write some great character interaction between the leads. His Superman is the perfect mixture of optimism and boldness, while Batman is grim and just paranoid enough. Their banter drives the story and plot, keeping the reader engaged throughout.
There are a few places where the issue falls short. The Magistrate plot could be interesting but every Future State issue it has factored into has been too vague and nebulous. It drags down every story as a result. Also, Yang does fall into a longtime trap many Superman writers fall into, giving an ordinary villain Kryptonite out of nowhere.
Oliver and Prianto do some stunning work here. Oliver’s work is a little closer to standard DC house style than his normal one, but it’s still stunning. He gives Superman a quick smile, and a posture that makes you look up to him, while he depicts Batman brooding, but a little broken as his city is crumbling around him. Even better is his depiction of the False Face Society, whose transformations are unsettling but still grounded. Prianto’s colors set a scene of a grimy Gotham that’s falling apart, and evoke the feel that it truly might be the last dance of these two friends.
Even with some minor points against it, this was a fun issue, and a classic World’s Finest adventure. It gets me excited for Yang’s run to come, and I hope Oliver joins him along the way.
Future State: Batman/Superman #1 is available now from DC Comics.
The “last” Batman/Superman team-up is a fun adventure, despite its faults.