Review: The Future Batman’s Second Chapter Concludes With ‘The Next Batman: Second Son’ #12
by Scott Redmond
The Next Batman: Second Son comes to an end as the generally solid series leaves quite a number of plot lines unresolved ahead of its scheduled summertime relaunch. A majorly talented art team who hit the mark every single issue brings the series to a close with another stellar issue, full of emotion and intriguing montage-like moments.
All things come to an end, but sometimes the ending doesn’t entirely sum up or match the journey that has been taken. The story of Jace Fox, the future Batman, and the rest of the Fox family and others has come to an end in The Next Batman: Second Son but will continue with the new series I Am Batman this summer.
Throughout this series, John Ridley has been juggling a lot of balls from the aforementioned Fox family and the issues surrounding Jace’s return to a look at the issues with police through the GCPD and the continued rise of Simon Saint that is happening across the line.
Sometimes it was able to hit the notes of these plots well but other times it left some things lacking or hanging. A major downside of the way this ends is that a lot of the storylines, such as the origin story of Jace/Tim, didn’t get enough room to breathe and for now are being left unanswered.
Whether these things will get a look in the new series is uncertain, especially since it kicks off tied into an overall event across the bat-books. It seems likely Ridley will touch back on this stuff, but it’s just a shame that the book tried to do so much but didn’t end with any satisfying conclusions to any of those stories. While real-life has things that go unanswered or explored all the time, there are times in serialized fiction that a firm conclusion is preferred.
That being said, the art side of the team in the form of Travel Foreman, Norm Rapmund, Rex Lokus, and Deron Bennett have only gotten better with every single issue and continue to do their best work within these final pages. Final for this series only as they are all set to continue their work alongside Ridley still on the new series in August.
This is one of those issues that is all focused on character moments and talking without action, but they have proven through the various issues that they knock those out of the park just as much as action. There are a lot of emotional moments here and they capture all of that perfectly, dropping in a lot of brighter colors this time around while keeping the dialogue tight in a way that frames all the moments.
Calling it a montage issue would be a good way to sort of state what is happening with all the various moments that are shown during Simon Saint’s speech, and they make it work. Clearly, this is setting up a lot of things that will be picked up later, and the direct but also vague nature of these moment images makes them even more interesting in a way.
Overall the series was far more hits than misses, but hopefully, the next one will balance things a bit better so that certain plots actually get the focus and perhaps conclusions they deserve.
The Next Batman: Second Son #12 is now on sale from DC Comics digitally.