Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Art: Ben Oliver
Colors: Arif Prianto
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Future State: Batman/Superman #1 finally takes the readers of the future state back to the earliest days of Future State. Set in the very near future, when the Magistrates are still in their early occupation of Gotham, when citizens and masked vigilantes were still actively working against the totalitarian publicly subsidized police force. The issue is also significant as the main protagonists are the two iconic heroes, Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent, as their children and understudies have yet to assume these legendary mantles. Future State: Batman/ Superman #1 is also the first glimpse of new series writer Gene Luen Yang.
In the near future (obviously) the DC Universe feels like an unsafe place to be. Metropolis is being overrun by the False Face Serum, a drug that allows the user to change their face. While originally billed as a short-term effect is proving to have long term consequences as people’s facial features continue to change even after the drug was to wear off. Superman traces the root of the drug to Gotham City and quickly he is embroiled in not only the new drug de jour but also the growing threat of the Magistrates, who even Batman is fearful of. While Superman doesn’t understand Batman’s concern it quickly becomes apparent that anyone acting outside the law in Gotham will feel the wrath of the Magistrates, including Superman. Soon the World’s Finest are on the trail of the False Face Serum creator while doing their best to stay under the radar, but when they come face to false face with the root of the problem staying under the radar will be nearly impossible. Fast paced and fun, if this last adventure of the World’s Finest then it is a finely told adventure at that.
Future State: Batman/Superman #1 is one of the better entries into the DC Future State. Gene Luen Yang has a wonderful grasp of these iconic DC heroes and his love of Superman is ever apparent. I really enjoyed this issue and am looking forward to Yang’s hopefully long run on the title going forward. It didn’t hurt that Ben Oliver was chosen as the artist for Future State: Batman/Superman since, in my opinion, there just isn’t enough Ben Oliver art in the world. With its painted feel and classic realism Oliver’s artwork only amplifies the already great story and I for one am looking forward to how this tale is wrapped up.
Verdict: Buy! Future State: Batman/Superman #1 is one of the best first issues of DC’s Future State publishing line. With a wonderful Gene Luen Yang story and beautiful Ben Oliver art you can’t go wrong.