Doing more than barely creep forward, this issue of Futures End manages to keep my interest most of the way through. The details of past issues and the interweaving of all those dozens of characters finds a place here. You know how each issue is usually divided in five or six sections? For the past ten issues or so those sections have felt like chewing that fruity rainbow gum you got as a kid. It may have had flavor, but it lasted no time at all. You had to spit it out and get a new piece, and in ten minutes you’d have chewed a whole pack of gum and your mouth tasted awful. That’s how Futures End has generally felt. This week is a little different as some of the sections have lasting effects. I’m not completely annoyed at the questions posed in this issue. Let’s take a look.
- Washington D.C. — The future is a hard place to live, especially when you’re trying to exchange stolen goods right smack dab in front of the Washington Monument. That’s really the place where two thieves decide to meet a buyer for some forged I.D. cards, complete with inconspicuous hoodies, hats, and collar-popped overcoats. We learn that Ethan Boyer stole DNA from Earth-2 counterparts and is selling them so people can go about life normally on Earth-1. I’m not sure about this section in relation to the rest of the future story here. A hero SpoilerStormguard
- Cadmus Island — In an obvious teaser page, we see Mister Miracle in full uniform pondering over “The Matrix” movie animation and several screens reading “run scott run” and “see scott run”. More specifically we see this from Faraday’s point of view as he is watching Mister Miracle. The scene abruptly changes to the other side of the island (it was dark, now it’s daylight?) where the owners of word bubbles are confusing and seemingly meaningless. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything, though I haven’t flipped back to check, but Lang, the red headed Earth-2 doctor that Fifty Sue didn’t kill is now making coffee and breakfast with Slade and Fifty sue in someone’s apartment. Is this Ms. Lang the Earth-2 counterpart to Dr. Kirk Langstrom’s wife? I’m not sure. The takeaway I got from this section is that they really want to understand what’s up with the stealth OMACs, and Fifty Sue is very odd in the mix. I still can’t get a grasp on her.
- New York City — Mr. Terrific is talking with HAL again. The discussion foreshadows what is to come later in the issue. They discuss Mr. Terrific’s ant farm as a child, lesser individuals working for the greater good, and the idea of a colony. It’s only two pages, but felt much more weightier than that last section by far.
- Metropolis — Yet another makes-little-sense section. Lois is trying to follow up on a story when she comes to a road block in the city. She is stopped by the police when a man in jeans and red tee-shirt jumps across her car (his face is out of the frame) which distracts the officers. The masked Superman shows up to fight Rampage and I’m sure that’s who the blue jean guy was, but the timing seemed too far off. It just doesn’t make sense. Rampage attacks and Superman fights. I cracked up in a good way at Lois’ reaction to Superman’s appearance and need to give a shout out to Carlos M. Mangual for throwing that classic Superman font in there. I liked it. What I didn’t care for is how weak this Superman seems compared to Rampage. He gets tossed around and punched in a way that Clark wouldn’t be. Who is this guy?
- An Uncharted Planet in the Huron Star System — Frankenstein, Amethyst, and Hawkman are still in their cell. They’ve been there for weeks now, remember, and Frankenstein just woke up from his sad dream. All of the sudden Hawkman wants to bust out and this happens: SpoilerThe new cyborg Engineer walks in their cell telling Hawkman the “Master System” wants an audience with him. She reveals they are headed to Earth because what they are on is no planet, it’s a spacecraft. The Master attacked Stormwatch. “The Master is all. The Master is pure order. The Master is perfection. We are all of him…[page flip, big reveal] we are Brainiac.” The collective consciousness of Brainiac speaks as one from the thousands of silver metallic robots standing all around this giant planet-sized ship. And the issue ends here. So. Brainiac seems to be the one who killed Stormwatch. Brainiac appears to be the one communicating with Mr. Terrific. All those references with Mr. Terrific to a colony really prove meaningful. It’s interesting that The Collector of Worlds (who I believe Brainiac is referred to) has already come to Earth during Morrison’s run on Action Comics. Still not enough information to assume anything, but I’m left intrigued and wanting to find out what will happen.
- You want some actual information from Futures End.
- You’ve been reading this series and have been questioning whether or not to drop it.
- You really love Fifty Sue and she doesn’t irk you.
It’s an issue that actually provides some answers. Some of the sections actually seem like they belong in the same comic together, while others are just forgettable. It’s easy to be a bright candle when the room is really, really dark. This issue shines in the darkness that has been Futures End.