Spoilers under cut:
While I’ve been enjoying most of Tim Seeley’s work so far, I have to admit that Futures End was a letdown.
For starters, it felt very disjointed. I suppose however, that was the point of it, as we supposed to read a bunch of nonlinear scenes out of context. However, jumping between these scenes with no rhyme and reason left quite a few holes that need to be filled with exposition, and the characterization for Dick and Helena in these instances, felt very scant.
Helena in particular, suffered from this, as Seeley seemed to fall into the same traps others have made while writing her, mainly the reduction of her personality into one where sex and violence are her tethering points, and there’s not much for any nuances in-between.
I can only hope that Tim Seeley will further flesh her out (no pun intended) and make her as layered and complex as he promised he would.
in addition to this, the art for the book wasn’t that great, and that only worked in favor against it. As one reviewer noted, “Characters [drawn my Stephen Mooney] have anatomy that is wildly off, including legs that seem to end at the knee and torsos that twist in absolutely inhuman ways.”
Mooney’s art was somewhat of a letdown in contrast to the wonderful, Mikel Janin inspired art we’re accustomed to with Grayson.
However, all is not lost with this book. There were some faint, glimmers of hope through the darkness. One of them was the revelation that Helena’s parents had been murdered. That is something worth celebrating, as it meant that aspect of her origin was kept in tact.
It’s also worth noting that Helena did show some moments of caring and compassion, chiefly when she chose to kill so Dick wouldn’t have to. That scene was a demonstration of one of Helena’s best characteristics, mainly her selflessness. She was willing to have her hands covered with even more blood, so that others wouldn’t be sullied.
Furthermore, there were a lot of Easter Eggs littered throughout the text as well. Prominent among them was when Dick mentioned Cluemaster’s Code, and how silly it was. Could this scene allude to Dick’s ties with Stephanie Brown post-reboot, and could it also hint that Dick and Stephanie and maybe even Helena and Stephanie could interact in the future?
As someone who is a fan of both Stephanie Brown and Helena Bertinelli, I want nothing more than a positive affirmation of this.
Finally — going back to the Easter Eggs littered throughout the issue — it must be noted that (as someone else pointed out) Grayson makes several allusions to past events (the Helena as Batman comparison, etc.) so much so that it might require a reread in order to grasp the full extent of everything that went on with this issue.
While I admire Seeley and Mooney for their ambitiousness, it also felt like they were overreaching.
I’m not really one to do ratings, but if I had to rate the book, I would give it just three out of five stars, due to the art that didn’t really go over to well, and the uneven and stereotypical portrayal of Helena.
With that being said, let’s just hope future issues of Grayson are a lot better than this one was.