Coming off a series reboot, Teen Titans is forced to take a break with Futures End Month. Like waves in the ocean, these Futures End Month titles ebb and flow with good quality stories. Unfortunately for a series that’s trying to gain traction, it ebbs kinda bad.
SPOILERS THROUGHOUT ENTIRE ARTICLE
Like most every other Futures End title, the story begins “five years from now”. Rich boy Archimedes Grant is throwing a party for his own sixteenth birthday off the coast of California in man made island/tower in the middle of the ocean. We are told how exclusive the party is and led to believe in the vast influence this Archimedes has on others. The opening panel shows ten aircraft and six yachts within 500 yards and converging on Archimedes’ exclusive tower poking out of the ocean. Where are all those helicopters gonna land? The tower is maybe 60′ x 60′ and a dozen stories tall with two landing pads. If you don’t look at the word bubbles you’d swear this was a picture of an attack or something.
Anyway…exclusive party for a rich genius kid. A senator, Peter Strutz, arrives and is shocked to see Earth-2 superhero Tempest swimming in a giant tank with a shark. Tempest and the shark are battling for their lives for the enjoyment of the party, we’re told by Archimedes. So he hates Earth-2 beings and will use them for his advantage or disposal. And Futures End titles have a LOT to do with Earth-2. And Archimedes is a teenager. And this is Teen Titans. And where is Red Robin? Oh, he’s “dead”. And I’m struggling to be connected with the material to put it mildly.
With quick introductions from Tempest (an E2 Atlantean), Klarion (E2 definitely NOT Witch Boy), and Kid Flash (E2’s of course) the gang assembles in a park. Because this is the future, a drone delivers pizza to them in the park. The gang wants to take down Archimedes because he is so evil toward Earth 2 beings. This is just the opportunity for the good Heretic to make his appearance. I guess he’s just been chilling in the tree above the picnic table waiting for the right moment to talk to the other super-teens. I wish he would’ve asked for a slice of pizza.
Within six panels we go from Heretic plopping down on the table to discussing why Heretic also hates Archimedes (he’s rich and doesn’t do good with his money) to agreeing on teaming up as a group of teen superheroes. I know it’s a one-shot, but boy this felt incredibly rushed. They devise another plan and attack another one of Archimedes’ parties. Can Tempest fly? Apparently he can fly or is dropped out of the sky into a pool at the party. Chaos ensues with fighting and running and oh… the introduction of Animal Girl! She’s apparently at the party too! Her intent is to kill Archimedes for his involvement in her family, friends and animal’s deaths. No worries though, she just punches him through a wall and the the teenage E2 super heroes leave the party before law enforcement arrives.
We find out that the crew unleashed Archimedes’ financial records online (which is a bad thing I’m assuming, you gotta think this guy has some dirty money) and he’s since had a nervous breakdown after the altercation at the party. We learn this as the five new friends are waiting for underhanded senator Peter Strutz to arrive in his office where they introduce themselves as the Teen Titans.
So this is what we have to look forward to in five years of DC time. I want to think it’s interesting, but for me it wasn’t. It isn’t written terribly, nor is the art ugly. What takes the wind out of the sails for me is that much of this is presented as a fast-forward set-up for what might be an ongoing series rather than a good one-shot that tells something concise and solid. There doesn’t have to be a complete proper introduction or shock or twist; the story just has to have something to say within its pages and not in the hope of what’s to come. We are done with this tie-in next month, so why worry about building a potential never-to-exist team? Why not deal with the death of the Teen Titans in the eyes of two or three normal teenagers? Why not show devotion of a child that looked up to Red Robin as a role model and tries himself to be a hero? Why not give relevance to the current Teen Titans by showing how they are still important in the future? This is just the nature of the Futures End Month beast. I suppose there are story lines the writers can’t release due to upcoming events, maybe, but that doesn’t mean this issue has to be unimportant.
- You want to see another Teen Titans form.
- You are keen on your Earth 2 superheroes.
- You don’t care if anything in these pages play a role in the future.
These stories that won’t continue or mostly likely won’t matter in the future are a by-product of Futures End Month. This particular story, while not poorly written or drawn, only satisfies if it’s going to continue. In my opinion, though this issue is a complete “thought”, it is not a true one-shot. It depends on future issues to be cared about. It stinks that a decent reboot had to take this type of non-meaningful and un-hyping stop into a fruitless tie-in. I don’t, however, blame it on Futures End completely as I still think there could have been something of substance here despite this foray into the future.