What a fun and exciting read! I’m reminded of an old parable about building a house on sand and rocks. In the parable, the house built on the rock stands, whereas the one built on sand falls. Futures End has a foundation that is 25 issues deep and this house appears to be standing. This issue features sword swinging superheroes, Fifty Sue’s nifty suite, Superman’s heat meeting the man in pink, friends on the mend, and one mad scientist. Each section is so short that it makes for an unpleasant reading experience if I put spoiler tags everywhere, so know this: SPOILERS FOLLOW.
- Deep Space — Brainiac’s drones are attacking our deep space crew as they enter Stormwatch’s broken Carrier. The Engineer (Or just Engineer? Because it can be “The Batman” but rarely “The Superman”. Let’s just go with “Engineer”) interfaces with the broken ship and manages to get Han Solo’s hyperdrive working.. I mean, uh, the Bleed Drive. They can hop in and out of other dimensions, hopefully to show us the Multiverse. This, for me, is my second most favorite part of this comic because I am genuinely curious where these guys are going to. Their navigation for the Bleed Drive is broken so they’re not sure either.
- Cadmus Island — Every section with Faraday tends to be wordy. Some of the most confusing and uninteresting moments in this series have involved Faraday. This is the weakest section of this issue, but that doesn’t mean it sucks. We get invited into Fifty Sue’s secret Batcave. Faraday teleports away. Fifty Sue wants the gang to work together to challenge Brother Eye’s control over the island. Deathstroke punches Grifter. It’s pretty exciting. There is one thing that is trying to take the wind out of the sails for me about this. We know that Brother Eye will win eventually unless Terry can change things. As far as we know, he has made no viable impact on anything with Cadmus island, so at this point I have to assume that Fifty Sue and crew will, indeed, lose. On the flip side, since Terry hasn’t done anything directly with Cadmus, you got to think he will, right?
- Africa — You know, the giant country of Africa. The Man of Steel punched the pink guy in the last issue. Here, they start into a three page brawl. And by brawl, I mean Pinkie squeezes light orbs out of Clark, then stops so Clark can heat vision the crap outta Pinkie until Pinkie blows up. Constantine lets us know about Brainiac being a god and reiterates the fact that these other “Brainiacs” were just tiny representations of the real one to come. Also, like our new Stormwatch crew, our Africa crew will be on the move in issues to come to find the “metal angel” as Constantine refers to him.
- New York City — The final scene is more like two scenes combined. One shows us that Ronnie and Madison are still hanging out while the other shows the other break-up of the series: Firestorm. Ronnie hears a story about a tsunami and wants to help, rather, he wants to be needed. He enjoys selfishly being Firestorm so he goes and talks to Jason in Yamazaki’s lab. They, just like Tim and Madison, don’t get back together just yet. They just fight, which we’ve seen several times before. Each time this subject is used, there are other pieces of plot that are being pushed on us, so it rarely feels authentic. It’s like terrible product placement in movies. When I see it, I’m thinking, “How much did that company pay to have their cereal there?” rather than, “That cereal plays an important role in the movie for the movie’s sake.” And that’s how I’ve felt about Firestorm. This time they fight so Dr. Yamazaki’s paranoid fears can be realized: the Justice League is out to thwart his research and his lab partner is one of those doing it.
- The Teasers at the End — This was my favorite part. Batman!
- You enjoy plot thickening action.
- You’re putting these awesome Sook covers together for a cool display.
- You wanna read a comic that makes you want to read more comics.
One of the most solid issues through and through, #25 gets my highest score for this series to date. Zircher’s artwork coupled with the writing and plotting of Azzarello, Giffen, Jurgens, and Lemire makes for a good read. It is completely worth $2.99.