If Futures End  is a crystal ball meant to show us what will come, then the swirling clouds in the center are starting to take shape.  We’ve still got (as my grandmother would say) a “ways to go” but things are becoming more and more interesting. With so many different story lines it can get confusing. Thankfully subtle and not-so-subtle reminders of what has happened are sprinkled throughout so you shouldn’t feel too lost.

The issue picks up with Frankenstein and Lady Amethyst battling it out in the Phantom Zone with Black Adam. This was a shocker for me in the last issue. It seems like there isn’t going to be much competition as Black Adam is one powerful dude. I’m not sure if it’s just the odd physics of the Phantom Zone that allow such an equal competition here but the fight between Frank and Adam is pretty cool. I wanted to cheer as I watched the two swap blows.

Spoiler
After being struck by Black Adam’s SHAZAM attack Frankenstein says, “Lightning? I was born from lightning, Evil One. You’ve only made me more alive.” It reminded me of Bane in Rises where Bruce kills the lights and Bate almost happily utters the words, “You think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark. I was born in it; molded by it.” Regardless I loved the fight. It was drawn well, giving a good twist on the action, and it made me like Frankenstein even more. His little speech as he’s leaving the Phantom Zone solidified my FrankenLove.  
The fight soon ends and its on to the next segment: Lois Lane.

Here we get to peer into Lois’ shrewd tactics. We also get exposed to more, I don’t know, stuff to try and figure out or at least remember, for when we see it again in two or three issues. These seeds of mystery sprinkled throughout so many different story lines can be daunting to keep track of. I say “can be daunting” because for some readers they have to note every detail and every “clue” that might exist to further a story. Other readers will just continue reading and unless that little odd detail is thrown back in their face later, they won’t care. It’s the difference between those who have to snag every last coin in Mario versus those who rush to finish the level as fast as possible: they both enjoy the game if only for different reasons. In one panel we hear Lois’ internal monologue say, “I need to find out what all this means.” And so do we.

More characters are introduced later in the issue.

Spoiler
Grifter is back walking. The little girl’s name is Fifty Sue (surely this isn’t a weird reference to the New 52?). Deathstroke seems to be working for Faraday and with Fifty Sue.
The artwork  brings the tension towards the end as Mr. Terrific approaches who he thinks is the new Batman. This is a big confrontation in that it brings three different stories to a head. The issue ends on a note of classic question: What will happen next?

Recommended if:

  • You’ve been following Futures End
  • You’d like to see Terry play a bigger role in the New 52
  • You’re starting to like Frankenstein

Overall:

The story is progressing with only a few lulls. The whole issue isn’t firing on all cylinders but there are a couple cool moments you’ll want to check out. The mystery nuggets are numerous (What is that? Who is she? Where are they?) and the series continues to plow forward.

SCORE: 6.5/10