In the wake of a hero’s death, Futures End deals much with the theme of responsibility and those who choose to run from it. While last week’s installment focused primarily on the funeral for (and I’m going to spoil it here so if you don’t want to know then I suggest… you… leave… now…) Green Arrow, this episode presents multiple storylines to follow and even introduces a few new characters to its epic tale.

  1. Frankenstein — I consider this Frankenstein’s first real appearance in the series. We saw him briefly in issue #0 and it was probably the coolest moment from that episode, but with it taking place in the apocalyptic flash-forward where he had assimilated with Brother Eye, it doesn’t really count as the true Frankenstein. Like Firestorm, Grifter, and Mister Terrific, Frankenstein is a character I don’t know much about. I know about the Mary Shelley one (it’s actually “the monster” and Frankenstein was the doctor but whatever), but the DC Comics one? I’ll have to do some Wikipedia reading to know for sure. Nevertheless I like what I see so far. Here we see him living a secluded lifestyle in the Nanavut mountains, far from his previous life as a hero and a member of S.H.A.D.E. but after coming under attack he won’t be able to act as a recluse much longer. I was hoping for the comic to show Frankenstein again on its final pages as a book end to this particular story, but unfortunately Frankenstein is only present for the comic’s opener
  2. Mister Terrific — Although there has been a lot of build up around Terry McGinnis breaking into Terrific’s offices we never actually see it happen, which is a huge letdown. It’s skipped and we only see security camera footage as Mister Terrific learns of Batman Beyond’s botched attempt. It’s not the most riveting portion of the book, but if there’s one thing I think Futures End is doing well, it’s presenting us with personalities we don’t typically see in other major DC events and whether or not you find Terrific to be unlikeable you have to admit that he’s at least standing out from the crowd and makes a nice addition to this cast of deeply flawed good-guys
  3. Firestorm — Firestorm doesn’t do so much in this issue other than continue being an aggravatingly irresponsible jerk. We see more of Ronnie bickering with his other half as he maintains the Firestorm form in an effort to distance himself from the guilt of leaving Green Arrow to his fate
  4. Lois Lane — Lois is actually tracking down a story, one about a hero who may not actually be dead, but has turned their back on their former life as a crimefighter
  5. Grifter — He deals somewhat with the ramifications of Green Arrow’s death, but mostly his scenes are more about getting to know the character. Expect exposition regarding what this superhero’s gimmick is, who his supporting characters are, etc. etc. His scenes get kind of bogged down with it all, plus his dialogue felt censored. I mean, we saw the guy shoot up a family a couple issues ago but now he says “Itches like a witch”? Since when is that a phrase? At least we do get a really hilarious line about Bruce Wayne thrown in!
  6. Earth 2 — While not a storyline itself, there are references made to a war with Earth 2, which I find to be interesting

There’s quite a bit going on and it balances out to make a fairly satisfying read with plenty for fans to discuss. The final pages alone will start quite a bit of buzz, I just hope it can be heard over the roar of fans talking about the likes of Justice League and Forever Evil today. The artwork features layouts by Dan Jurgens and finishes by Mark Irwin. Much like the previous issue, it’s a book that’s technically okay, but lacks any scenes that possess that special wow-factor. The sequential storytelling is great and it flows well, but it’s nice to have at least one page in a comic that you’d want to hold up to a friend and say “look at that!” I would also say that the bartender from last issue actually reminded me more of Terry McGinnis than the panel we see the real Terry in here. The comic also features a wrongly assigned speech bubble during a New York bar scene, but I can forgive that since we see a newspaper on the final page with real text instead of the lazy lorem ipsum from the newspaper in today’s Justice League #30.

Recommended If…

  • Firestorm’s behavior aggravates you, but in a good way
  • You’ve been waiting to see more from Grifter and Mr. Terrific
  • Lois Lane following a lead is always enjoyable to see
  • Watching lesser known DC heroes take part in a big adventure sounds refreshing

Overall

While Futures End has yet to really floor me, it’s consistently good and worth keeping your eye on. This issue is most definitely of interest to Batman fans.

SCORE: 7/10