As if Gotham hadn’t punished Barbara Gordon enough, the next five years apparently takes her down a tumultuous path of pain and suffering. The Future’s End tie-ins are really doing a great job of reiterating just how bad things can get in such a short period of time. A lot happens to Barbara in the next five years, but one of the most notable things about this period of her life, is that she pretty much goes it alone. There is no Bat-Family. And there really hasn’t been a Bat-Family in any of the Bat books. While she does mention Dick, implying his fake death is revealed to her, he’s not at her wedding, and he’s not around after her husband dies. Because of this, the League of Batgirls is that much more important, with regards to Barbara. In terms of pure comic book goodness, the League of Batgirls is so far one of the coolest things to come out of Future’s End. Stephanie and Cassie fighting alongside one another again? Fantastic. But for the original Batgirl, the League is not just great because they defend Gotham, which they do, but they also represent a family for Barbara, which is something that has always kept her going. 5/5
The League of Infinite Batmans begins here. The years of fighting have left Bruce a broken man, but that doesn’t mean he has stopped trying to protect Gotham. With a little bit of borrowed technology, Bruce launches Operation Clone Batman forever into the future. We’ve seen bits of this future before during Scott Snyder’s run on Batman, where Bruce has cloned himself and continues to clone himself so long as Gotham requires a Batman. It’s just the right amount of crazy that makes it perfectly believable for Bruce’s character, not to mention it’s a brilliant plan. The whole issue plays out beautifully as Bruce takes on and outsmarts Luthor at every turn. Luthor has always felt like a better fit going up against Bruce. Going up against Superman, it has always felt like a brains vs. brawn match-up, and for whatever reason, against everything we’re taught as children, brawn almost always tends to win. Up against Bruce, it’s more of a Brains and Brains match-up. As good as this issue was, however, it felt like a story that should be taking place 20 years into the future, not five. The extensive physical damage, the way Bruce and Alfred were talking like it was the end of days, it all seemed too dramatic to be taking place a mere five years into the future. 4/5
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