REVIEW: ‘Future State: Batman/Superman,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Future State Batman/Superman #1 - But Why Tho?

Future State: Batman/Superman #1 is written by Gene Luen Yang, illustrated by Ben Oliver, colored by Arif Prianto, and lettered by Tom Napolitano. It is published by DC Comics. Years before Clark Kent’s imprisonment on Warworld in Future State-Superman: Worlds of War and Bruce Wayne’s disappearance in Future State: Dark Detective, the World’s Finest banded together for a case involving a new version of the False Face Society. However, it turns out the Magistrate has a contingency in place to deal with Superman.

Normally I would be over the moon for a Batman/Superman team-up, especially given Yang’s previous work on Superman Smashes The Klan and Shang-Chi. However, the setup for the main story feels rather flimsy. The False Face Gang is just a group of teenagers. There’s no real reason to bring Superman into Gotham or for Batman to have trouble tracking them down. Similarly, the Magistrate was equipped specifically to deal with Batman and other masked vigilantes. It doesn’t make sense for them to expect Superman to show up or have Kryptonite weapons (rather hilariously, Superman points out the issue of Gotham becoming a police state and nobody noticing).

However, Yang does excel at writing Batman and Superman’s interaction. Batman is perfectly stoic and has humorous reactions to how easily Superman utilizes his powers to take care of enemies. Superman remains the supportive figure, having a frank discussion with a member of the False Face Society and talking with Batman about the state of Gotham. I’ve always preferred Batman and Superman as friends rather than enemies and Yang nails that dynamic.

Another stand out element of the book is Oliver and Prianto’s art. Oliver’s art looks immensely beautiful. Both Superman and Batman look sculpted from marble, with the Dark Knight’s face being etched in a permanent scowl and the Man of Steel’s face looking warm and inviting. Oliver also draws intense fight sequences. Readers will feel every punch that Superman throws. However, Batman doesn’t do much fighting, which is a shame. I’d have loved to see how Oliver would have illustrated his fighting moves. Prianto utilizes a muted color palette to perfectly represent Gotham City, offset by neon lights and the harsh green glow of Kryptonite. Batman’s gray and black suit and Superman’s trademark red and blue suit also stand out.

The World’s Finest aren’t the only characters to get a stunning design under Oliver’s pencils. The Magistrate mechs look utterly terrifying. They’re all sharp edges and gun barrels. The False Face Society has tech that allows their faces to literally change into animals. Oliver draws the flesh warping and shaping into the appropriate animals, making for a disturbing effect.

Future State: Batman/Superman #1 has a rather flimsy plot, but features amazing artwork and perfectly captures the dynamic between the World’s Finest. Fans of the duo’s dynamic or the general track record of DC Future State will probably enjoy it the most, though I wish there was a stronger hook for “the last Batman/Superman team-up.”

Future State: Batman/Superman #1 is available wherever comics are sold and through Comixology using our affiliate link.

Future State: Batman/Superman #1
3.5

TL;DR

Future State: Batman/Superman #1 has a rather flimsy plot, but features amazing artwork and perfectly captures the dynamic between the World’s Finest. Fans of the duo’s dynamic or the general track record of DC Future State will probably enjoy it the most, though I wish there was a stronger hook for “the last Batman/Superman team-up.”