I don’t get it. I don’t get all of this. I don’t get the need for this, this Future’s End Month, and quite honestly, I don’t get the purpose behind Future’s End in general. I don’t get why we need to have some years’ long “epic” story, crossing dimensions and killing off a host of characters and setting things into motion that will, most likely, be completely tossed out the window within a few years or, at worst, at the end of Future’s End itself. Future’s End for me has reeked of Marvel’s Age of Ultron, where a story with high hopes and almost incessant promotions leads to an almost “it was only a dream” ending, where the whole story we just spent over a year invested in has been annihilated by some time traveling hero who fixes everything before the bad stuff can even happen. But hey, that’s just me.
When I heard there would be a Future’s End Month, I imagined a series of one-shot, self-contained, coherent and entertaining stories, each which showed a possible future that could be down the line for the New 52. What I got instead in this issue felt as if someone from the future had cracked open a box containing every comic from their last ten years and selected one at random and threw it back on the shelf. This might as well have been Insert Comic Here #437. There is nothing connecting this story to Earth 2 other than the characters – who are incredibly marginal at best – and the very essence of what I felt in Earth 2 is missing.
Let’s talk about racism. Have most of you clicked away? Cool. Using the phrase “Dryback” as a racial (dimensional?) slur is a joke, and an insult to intelligent human beings everywhere. It is some of the most asinine language I’ve heard in a comic, especially when coming from an American soldier’s mouth (yay political agenda?), is embarrassing for any self-respecting writing team to throw in there. It was a half-assed attempt at creating conflict, and the perceived biased against Earth 2 characters is dumb. Earth-Prime characters needing papers to prove their home world? Earth 2 characters being discriminated against and treated like second-class citizens? One man creating a ridiculous fear machine that is a thinly-veiled metaphor for racism? It made me cringe.
On an issue like this, I’ll point to the editors and blame them for cutting things out and taking too much time trying to craft a book to fit their desires. This issue does a complete turn-around, and if a single editor took a look at this issue, I would be stunned. There are two pages where the internal monologue boxes repeat themselves, and it’s not like it was done on purpose. It felt like the same page happened twice. There’s some convoluted plot about a “god-killer” which is mentioned as such about three or four times, and apparently there’s an Earth 2 character is a “god,” which was weird. I’ll throw it in the spoilers underneath, but the whole plot line with Terry Sloan made absolutely no sense and forced.
If DC wanted to go ahead and create a story from Future’s End, which according to our own Jesse Kennedy, has been pretty disjointed and meandering in its own right, then picking two characters who have done almost nothing but get mind-controlled TWICE in their own story line was a bad idea. I have zero empathy for Mr. Terrific and Sloan, who are easily in the top five characters in Earth 2 I couldn’t care less about (see rest of top 5 in the Spoilers), and were it not for the semi-parsed together, barely entertaining action, this would get a 1 in my book.
The artwork of Eddie Barrows was inconsistent. Mr. Terrific looks deranged from the very beginning. Terry Sloan looks deranged from the very beginning. Everyone looks evil. The action was good though.
Please read the Spoilers, especially the last one. It sums up how absurd my reading experience was.
- Red Tornado Lois is on the cover. She is featured on one page.
- Jimmy Olsen is apparently a “god”? Ok…
- Mr. Terrific and Sonia Sato are together? “Hey I’m sorry I was brainwashed and tried to blow up your world, want to get coffee?”
- Terry Sloan and his duplicate fighting it out was dumb. So they get the weapon and just go “Hey, we’re both god, let’s fight.” Everyone apparently saw it coming and just accepted it? Ok…
- So Terry Sloan wasn’t from Earth-Prime or Earth 2? That was the only interesting thing I got out of this.
- So, the sole experience we have with people who aren’t Earth 2 characters is a super-racist taxi driver and an even more racist soldier, so out of nowhere, the citizens of Earth (wherever they were) banded together to throw iPhones (because that’s what the u-Sphere’s were) at Terry Sloan? I’m hating this book the more I review it.
- You, I don’t know, like Terry Sloan and Mr. Terrific? The two most useless characters in Earth 2?
- You want to watch duplicates beat each other up.
- You want really heavy-handed racism.
- You want to collect all the Future’s End Month issues, which probably won’t mean squat down the road.
This isn’t the experience I’ve come to expect from an Earth 2 issue, this is a teenage cover band trying to copy Pink Floyd in a garage with bad acoustics and little talent. There are so few redeemable qualities for this book outside of the action (which felt forced anyway), that I am only keeping this to complete my Earth 2 catalogue. I won’t even be counting this as an Earth 2 comic.