Futures End has been on the up and up here lately, and it continues in issue #23 with more solid story progression. There are some new advertisements out that are pretty epic (if not a bit spoilerific) that’ve got me proud to be reading this title. “Too late,” it reads, “Eye have seen it. You will suffer. You will submit. You will die. Eye am your future.” I saw the first one at the end of Earth 2 World’s End (don’t forget to check out Sean’s review) and here’s what is speculated for the future of this series, just from that ad mind you:

Spoiler

  • Terry will fight Bruce. We knew this was gonna happen, but how cool!
  • Brainiac in all his giant glory will walk the Earth like a giant villain from Power Rangers or Godzilla.
  • Superman’s holding his shirt still looking forlorn and badass.
  • Frankenstein looks to have become human which would explain his bleeding recently. Lady Amethyst looks sad like he might be dead.
  • Shazam and Superman are shown fighting Brainiac together. Superman is wearing the aforementioned shirt.
  • Mr. Terrific is surveying the death in the streets with his Mr. T shirt on.
  • Goodness, Terry isn’t dead. Is he?
  • Tim. If you put that cowl on…Tim. Don’t play with me man. If you’re fixing to be Batman, just. I just don’t know man, just don’t mess with me like that bro.

It’s weird all of that and more is in the ads at the backs of these books. I purposely don’t look at the solicits more than a week in advance for fear it will ruin or dampen the story, but these ads are there right in front of your face. I mean, I suppose the intended effect was to get us excited about what is to come, and it succeeded.

The issue here is pretty dang good. Let’s dive in.

  1. Deep Space. Huron Star System — Black Adam and The Atom show up to rescue Frank and Co. from Brainiac’s moon-sized ship. Dr. Palmer got Black Adam to assist him with the agreement that Palmer would take him back to Earth. I’m not sure how that will work out but Black Adam is a major help in the fight. Brainiac, as cumbersome and massive as he is, looks agile and menacing. Everyone, including the Engineer who is controlled by Brainiac’s hive program thing, escapes while Black Adam fights the drones off. I say “escapes”. They are fleeing the danger as the scene ends.
  2. New York — The writing of this particular issue is advantageous for new readers. Labels are given for several characters who’s motives may be unclear. It isn’t a crazy amount of exposition but if you’re having trouble following along, the writing will help you out. That said, Tim and Madison’s relationship has ended and they are both reliving the break-up. Madison is out for a run when Ronnie Raymond happens to find her. He apologizes and since she’s on the rebound, she takes him up on his offer for coffee.
    Spoiler
    We see Tim stalking watching from behind a tree. I felt terrible for him.
  3. Las Vegas — This has been my least favorite section of Futures End so far. First, there was the terrible Mercy/Courtney and Faraday discussion sequence back several issues ago. We’ve had some Voodoo sections that were not memorable. Last week we saw the introduction of Sausage and Biscuit, I’m sorry, Banger and Mash. Banger, Mash, Voodoo, and Mercy were given a mission to infiltrate a building and take out some targets in order to reach the office of Frank Rock so that they could both prove themselves worthy, talk to Rock, and kill some underling guys who knew too much, or that’s what we’re told. I personally think this is WAY too convoluted and could’ve been handled in a much more interesting way. Even is Banger and Mash have to be here, even if the page count is low, even if you have to show their talent/deadliness/dynamics, there are better ways than this. Regardless, these four women are here and Frank Rock wants them to kill Fifty Sue. That should get some of us happy, right? A word on Frank Rock. According to this issue, he is 92 years old. The character was created back in 1959. He served in Easy company during World War 2 as a hard-ass noncommissioned officer. Which leads me to Band of Brothers. You should go watch Band of Brothers. If you’re in Alabama, I’ll let you borrow my copy. It’s a fantastic HBO mini series.
  4. Thirty-Five Years from Now — Mister Terrific is exercising alone in his high-rise. Brother Eye is talking to him.
    Spoiler
    Brother Eye talks about “Other Father” referring to Bruce. Terrific refers to Bruce with significant respect, which I love. Brother Eye reminds Terrific that it “…mined Other Father’s brain to learn how to travel against time. That’s how he put it.” Terrific responds perfectly, “Of course that’s how he put it.” To me, that line is worth more than the shock of the following page. It is Bruce in his cowl attached to a mech suit. Except more. It has the Joker’s face attached to the back of his head. His head can spin around you know, like Exorcist style and Joker can talk. My God it is so weird. I have no way to reconcile THAT with my brain. It’s, it’s so strange. The shock value is there all right. It’s at this point the issue ends and I’m left with a ton of questions and am brimming with curiosity.

Recommended if:

  • You owned the Power Rangers toys where you could flip their faces down into their chest to reveal a helmet, then again to show their face.
  • You like Harvey Dent. No, he’s not in here, just… you enjoy Two Face.
  • You need a good progression of rescue mission, heartache, confusion, and horror.

Overall:

There are a lot of real story lines moving along in this issue. If this issue were a sandwich, it would be ham and mayonnaise on some crazy bread your wife bought because the package used words like “organic” and “cage-free”. I’m not sure how the bread was “cage-free” just as I’m not sure about the strangeness in some of this comic, but I’m pretty satisfied when I’m done with it. Next time, I hope there’s cheese and maybe some chips.

SCORE: 6/10