By Tom King, Stephen Mooney & Jeremy Cox
It’s September again, which means that DC is pulling out their yearly gimmick to boost sales. This year we are given a look five years into the future in the Futures End event. Things look grim for many of Earth’s heroes and the pages of Futures End: Grayson depict that as good as anywhere.
The first page of this issue is essentially the last page. Tom King gets creative and tells his story backwards, which is a pretty tricky thing to do plot-wise. The story is written well, but you may need multiple reads to grasp everything that is going on. If you are not a fan of this type of storytelling, then it will be nothing but an inconvenience to you and you will most likely hate this book. King paints some pretty interesting parallels here too, as rope is a huge deal in this issue. Both the first and last page deal with it, but the outcome is different from a young Dick Grayson to the one seen five years into the future. There is some questionable dialogue this issue, mostly dealing with the scene between Barbara and Dick. King definitely crafts an interesting tale that readers will either love or hate, but hopefully he’ll make you think a little too.
The art is covered by Stephen Mooney with colors by Jeremy Cox. Mooney does a quality job, but there were definitely some off panels. Dick looks odd in a few panels and his face seems to have too much shading sometimes. Mooney does his best work when he has some nice background scenery. As Helena and Dick are climbing a ladder from a helicopter, they share a kiss with a gorgeous full moon in the background. This is where Mooney shines (no pun intended). While there were more good panels than bad, there were enough questionable panels to take the reader’s mind off of the complex story.
Futures End: Grayson was a pretty solid standalone issue. Tom King uses his smarts to deliver a cool script that will warrant multiple readings. Stephen Mooney had a few misses in the issue, but if you can get past those panels you’ll love this book. If Tom King isn’t on your radar after this issue, you’re doing something wrong.