This issue of Futures End is unlike any other. Usually, each issue contains five or six micro sections, each with a tiny tease of information. This issue is one giant story, or rather, one giant exposition. It is a more than welcome exposition though.

For weeks we’ve all wondered about this war between worlds. Each issue has alluded to the war in a way a friend jokes about a secret that YOU don’t know and they won’t tell you. They’ve tantalized us for quite some time, but here we are given some actual information. It opens up with Big Barda and Emiko’s arrival on Green Arrow’s island. Barda wants to know why and how Red Arrow and Green Arrow are alive. Thankfully, for our sake, Red Arrow tells the story of how Earth 2 heroes (and civilians) came to this Earth and why there is animosity toward all the E2s.

I will say this: I highly suggest that you purchase this issue if you are at all invested in Futures End… at all. I will cover some of the main topics here, however, this issue reads as a source of reference in future issues. This review will be an incomplete source of information if you need every detail found here. Buy the issue. But, for the curious/lazy/broke, here are the main points of interest of this comic.

***SPOILERS FOLLOW***

Everything here is a spoiler, I guess.

The armies of Apokolips attacked Earth 2. We know this happened from the pages of Earth 2. (If you haven’t read Earth 2 #1, you should. It’s amazing.) Red Arrow recounts how he, Mister Miracle, Red Tornado, Dr. Fate, Fury and Aquawoman and other heroes escaped the Apokoliptic (?) attack along with a fleet of other ships housing many civilians as well. Mister Terrific (E2) led them to our Earth. When they arrive into space around Earth Prime, we see the Brother Eye satellite in orbit around the Earth.

As they arrive to a new Earth, they realize a whole fleet of Apokoliptian ships are near this Earth as well. Mister Miracle, piloting a lead ship, decides there is only one way to protect the other Earth 2 ships -suicide. If they detonate their ship, it might hold off the Apokoliptian fleet so the rest of the Earth 2 ships can make it to safety. They decide to do it and in the process, save many civilian ships.

We’re shown many images of Earth Prime and Earth 2 fighters battling parademons. The timing of E2s and Apokolips’ armies are questionable for most Earth Prime citizens, and thus mistrust ensues. Earth cards are mandatory. There is pressure on Earth 2’s to conform and many are victimized due to their status. It’s at this point Red Arrow gives up the conversation to Green Arrow. He describes his scrutiny of the Global Peace Agency, a government bureau that observes and controls Earth 2 beings. He tells the story of how he helped E2 refugees, and how he soon found out that Cadmus was behind much of the Earth 2 problems, as he and others were tracked by Deathstroke.

He explains how in the last seconds before Mister Miracle’s suicide protection blast, that the Brother Eye satellite teleported the heroes inside itself. The heroes felt trapped/captured and attacked the satellite as Deathstroke and others docked the satellite. We know from past issues that Miracle and others were in Cadmus’ holding cells, so that’s how they got there. It’s important to note that Big Barda is Mister Miracle’s wife. She wants to find him, and Green Arrow has an answer for her: they are going to attack Cadmus island and free the Earth 2 prisoners.

This issue has a two-fold purpose. 1) it tells the story of how Earth 2’s made it to our Earth, and 2) It sets up the battle between the islands: Green Arrow’s and Cadmus. It is perhaps the most exposition-heavy issue I’ve ever read, but it is a more than welcome change. Artist Cully Hamner delivers consistently throughout this issue, drawing a wide variety of characters with consistency. My favorite artist for this series has been Patrick Zircher, but Hamner does a damn good job with this issue. Ryan Sook also gives us one of my favorite covers thus far (maybe top five).

Recommended if:

  • You care at all about Earth 2.
  • You’ve followed Futures End so far. That’s it. If you’ve followed it so far, you HAVE to buy this issue.
  • Joshua, jump back in. $#!% is about to get real.

Overall:

This is a different issue then we’ve seen before. It’s one huge exposition that reads less like a boring explanation and more like a tale that your grandfather might relay about his experience in the past. If you have any concern about what’s been going on with Earth 2 and Futures End, then pick this issue up. It’s satisfying. And I’m pumped about the battle(s) to come.

SCORE: 7/10