Batman finally has his Robin but it’s not the one we were expecting. The Dark Knight teams up with a black Robin in Batman and Robin: Futures End #1 by writer Ray Fawkes.
The Futures End series is set 5 years in the future. Bruce Wayne still hasn’t gotten over the loss of his son and former Robin, Damian, whom he is attempting to resurrect in the current timeline. He goes up against Damian’s killer Heretic, who just so happens to be his clone. Heretic was presumed dead as well but Batman doesn’t take any chances with his new Robin, Duke Thomas, who has actually been with Batman from the beginning. Duke helped Batman take on the Riddler in Year Zero, which takes place 6 years in the past.
Batman tells Alfred to keep Robin busy fighting less dangerous opponents. The aging superhero insists that he can handle the behemoth, all evidence to the contrary. Artist Dustin Nguyen shows him getting pummeled over 3 pages of increasing panels. Just when you think it’s all over — Robin tackles Heretic!
Alfred apologizes for not listening to Bruce, who should be used to it by now. Robin reveals he knew all about Heretic despite Batman trying to keep it a secret. He explains that if they’re going to be partners they to talk to each other.
These are only only a one-shot comics so we may ever see this Robin again. The issue ends with a solicitation for the ongoing storyline “Robin Rises,” which follows the return of Damian. Batman takes a DNA sample to confirm the identity of Heretic but it seems to be him. “I am one of many,” says another Heretic clone in Teen Titans: Futures End #1. Just as Batman nurtured the good in Damian, perhaps he was able to reach at least some of Heretic clones.
The Futures End series shows us the “potential futures” of where the characters might end up says Dan DiDio, Co-Publisher of DC Comics.
“Ultimately, what you’re going to see is the potential of where the futures can be going,” DiDio told Newsarama.
There will be a “direct impact” on the Futures End by the current DCU timeline promises DiDio.
“You’ll see a level of connectivity that I think will help really bring into focus where we see the future of the DCU heading,” he explained.