A lot of fighting goes on this issue. You get double your Fifty Sue (A Hundred Susie?), a lot of female lead characters, a Batman Beyond lying well within reach, and a lost-in-thought Lois Lane. Aside from some stiff dialogue and odd artistic choices, I rather liked this issue compared to others in the series. Here’s your money-saving, info-grazing, Cliff-notes review of this issue of Futures End.
- Montreal — Last issue ended with Deathstroke and Fifty Sue trapping Barda and Emiko in an alleyway. The striking contrast between Patrick Zircher’s art last issue and Aaron Lopresti’s pencils this issue is made (probably unfairly) apparent in this first section. Zircher was given a whole page devoted to the cool Deathstroke scene and here we flip to something smaller and less menacing. Lopresti’s art isn’t bad overall, but there are several decisions made that I can’t comprehend. The first page, for example, the very first thing I noticed before I read any of the crowded word bubbles or tried to figure out the invisible punch by Barda, was notice those big white margins. It looked like, at least to me, quite a bit of wasted space. The other art and angles and margins all look good in this section though, so it’s just a one-page hiccup for me. But yes, the story. A fight ensues (as you would imagine) and guess what? SpoilerBarda and Emiko escape! That’s pretty cool. Emiko takes Deathstroke down fairly easy, which is unfortunate because I felt he would be more formidable. Nonetheless, the way she takes him out of the fight by stabbing his neck was pretty cool. Aside from her punch on the front page, Barda seems useless. Once again, Emiko is a badass and takes down Fifty Sue. Or her double. Or her second consciousness. You know, she can do that too. Our two presumable heroes escape with Deathstroke bleeding out his neck and Fifty Sue on fire.
- New York City — So Terry is unconscious on the floor of Key’s workshop. Key doesn’t want to work with him. Coil doesn’t want to work with him. So they decide to kill Terry with a gun. Too easy. Let Coil do his magnetic death technique. Give A.L.F.R.E.D. some time to talk unintelligibly about essentially waking Terry up. This is A.L.F.R.E.D.’s actual dialogue while Terry is slowing waking, “–Concussed. Otic Function .14. Initializing adrenal boost in five…four…three…Cognitive refelxes .10. .30. .50.” I know it makes more sense while looking at the panels, but the sad part is that it doesn’t make that much sense regardless. I love reading A.L.F.R.E.D.’s bubbles. He’s hilarious. Not this time. It’s no spoiler, but Terry doesn’t die. In fact, for some reason (even Key makes note of this) Plastique was the one who knocked Terry out but she is now the one who wants the four of them to work together. It’s cool seeing her out of the background and doing something important. I bet she’s worried about that being from the future she saw that looked just like her.
- Columbia University — All you need to know here is that Cal (Tim Drake) has, in one panel, a ridiculous beard that looks like it was drawn with this:
He gives the stolen necklace back to Madison. Boy is she happy. Boy is this section short.
- Cadmas Island — Okay, you remember how Fifty Sue is/was with Deathstroke? Her other half is still creeping with Grifter on the E2 research block. Basically, Grifter falls through the air vent. OMACs attack and Fifty Sue kills them. She does other over-the-top things too. I can’t get my head around this character. Who and why is she? Who could stop her with all her power? Regardless, Grifter and Fifty Sue interrogate/just talk to one of the scientists there who says there are such things as Stealth OMACs. This is a big concern for Sue so it is for me as well. But that’s just in time for the scene change.
- Metropolis — Lois is chilling out in her office just thinkin’. Thinkin’ and drinkin’ coffee. Or tea I suppose. She’s contemplating the four items that were given to her just after Green Arrow’s death. Some coordinates, a green pyramid, The Wounded Duck matches, and a red arrow all make up the items she has. On thinking of their significance, while holding the green pyramid, something happens. SpoilerIt emits lights and images of OMACs and heroes and…herself as Red Tornado! She asks questions but as soon as it appears it disappears and she’s left not knowing what it was.
- You want to see some strong female lead characters.
- You’ve been waiting to see someone inflict pain on Fifty Sue.
- You want to catch the Multiversity ad in the back.
This issue has a decent amount of action. Some of the stories move further along than others, but they all mostly move forward. It wasn’t a bore to read but it wasn’t like I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy either. It’s above the standard for Futures End thus far, and it’s a decent chapter overall. I’m content with this issue.