This issue of Futures End excites me for the most part. We get more than one panel of Terry, Tim shaves his burly beard, and there is a decent amount of tension being built up with several characters. With nineteen issues of backstory I don’t see a reason this should be cause for celebration; but, as we know, this is Futures End and we’ll take what we can get.
- Terrifitech — Terry, Coil, Key and Plastique are finally for the love of God breaking into Terrifitech. They all make it inside so Terry, or rather Alfred, can hack into Terrifitech’s computer system. I’m glad they quit with the A.L.F.R.E.D. spelling, “Alfred” looks much better. Alfred hacks into their system to find where Brother Eye’s satellite is orbiting. Conveniently, Alfred can hack into NORAD and presumably will/does blow the Brother Eye satellite up. For such a build up to this magnificent break-in, I’m a little let down that Terry is shown to essentially just walk into a computer lab and stick his USB finger into a computer. The action potential was high but it just fizzled in that department. I may feel let down by this because I read Batman: Futures End #1 today where Bruce breaks into Lexcorp. That comic had some neat action and utilized Bruce’s brain. Here: not so much. Terry does leave Coil and Key high and dry to be caught which was something I didn’t see coming. At first I thought, “Geez Terry, that was a jerk move.” Then I realized these guys were criminals and needed to be caught. I forgot what team I was rooting for. Plastique is more concerned with her future cyborg self to focus on the mission which lends Terry to have sympathy for her and tries to help her escape (I’m assuming because the scene ends as he says, “We should get out of here.”) and I guess he forgot what team he’s rooting for too.
- Metropolis — Lois is being pressured to release her story about the real Man of Steel but she’s waiting to hear from Shazam first. He tries to convince her that the world doesn’t need to be without a Superman and if she releases the story the world wouldn’t feel safe. We know Superman did something A) terrible and he feels guilty about it, and B) amazing and the world feels safe about it. So what role will this potential unveiling of Superman’s identity play in the future? Will Lois listen to Stormguard or Shazam? See, there’s some interesting tension here.
- The Huron System — Remember how Hawkman, Frankenstein and Amethyst were trapped in that cell on the giant planet-sized space ship for weeks? Yeah, well Dr. Palmer has also been sitting in the remnants of Stormwatch’s ship for that same amount of time. We find him screaming into a 1970’s style microphone and braced against a computer console, “Can you hear me? Please respond,” as if this was the first time he’d made these emergency calls. The guy’s been doing this for weeks and he appears just as adrenaline fueled as the moment he realized his friends might not return. Okay, so weeks, right? Well this is apparently just the right time for one of the SpoilerStorm Lords, a group of four entities who have overseen Stormwatch in all its incarnations for over a thousand years. Their representative shows up next to Dr. Palmer and tells the doc that he’s going to be the new leader of Stormwatch. He tells us, I mean Dr. Palmer, that the Brainiac they had encountered on Earth was not the real Brainiac. I frowned at that. I frowned even more so when this Storm Lord says, “You must lead Stormwatch. There is little time. You must hurry.” This is minor, I know, but dude shoulda showed up “weeks” ago if it’s that urgent.
- Cadmus Island — E2’s Power Girl is attacking Deathstroke and Lana Lang when our favorite weirdly named preteen super person appears. Power Girl is being controlled by Brother Eye along with all the other E2’s and because of a deal Fifty Sue made with Brother Eye, Power Girl stands down. As arrogant and annoying as Fifty Sue can be, she does have a few funny lines over the course of the series and we are treated to a good one this time as well. Also, Fifty Sue’s powers are crazy strong. I kinda can’t wait to see her in real action.
- The Wounded Duck Bar — Tim’s beard is gone. He read’s his iPad. Oh, and SpoilerLois releases an article that could have been titled “Superman’s Sham: He’s Shazam!” But really, she reveals that Superman is not, in fact, Superman.
The issue moved along fairly well. The preview at the end of the book is really nice, e.g. teasers of Bruce and the Joker. I was talking about Futures End with a friend today who made an interesting point. The whole event is five years in the future. In Batman & Robin Bruce is off to get Damian back. Where is Damian now? I suppose he could have died (again) in the war if he was ever brought back to life to begin with. It’s not conclusive either way, and for B&R’s sake it’s probably a good thing.
- You’ve been waiting for this Terrifitech break-in to happen since you were seven years old.
- You think Ray Palmer is an underrated character.
- You’re $56 deep into Futures End, so why not? It’s pretty decent.
If more issues of Futures End were like this, I’d be a much happier person. There is nothing life-changing here: it’s just a forward moving issue all around. Several story lines will hinge on this issue in the future I’m sure. I’m really excited for upcoming issues and that’s really what this series needs: excitement.