I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving went well. We had four different dinners this past weekend so coming back to work was relaxing. This review’s quite late so I’m just gonna cut to the chase.  I didn’t like it. The art, the writing, the plot… it was “meh” at best. What stinks so bad is that this is one of those issues that focuses on just one story so the whole thing was bad, at least in my opinion. I didn’t think at this point a Futures End issue focused solely on one plot could fail, but boy was I wrong.

***Spoilers, spoilers galore.***

What Happens:

Green Arrow et al. make their landing on the beaches of Cadmus by nightfall. They are immediately attacked by Brother Eye-controlled Earth-2 heroes and OMACs. The OMACs collectively form one giant OMAC to combat the threat of Arrow’s Army. The Arrow Army splits up leaving one group fighting the OMACs and another off to venture deeper into the island.

At the same time we see our friends Deathstroke, Grifter, and Lana off in the jungle. Slade eyeballs Green Arrow and is about to shoot him when Grifter stops him. Deathstroke pulls a gun on Grifter and WHACK! Lana hits Deathstroke on his blind side with a rock.

Grifter and Lana leave Deathstroke passed out on the ground and run to help Green Arrow when Lana gets shot in the head by a blunt arrow that only knocks her out. Deathstroke appears and confronts Green Arrow. This time, instead of a rock hitting him in the head, Deathstroke gets his head ripped off by Fury. Yes, you read that right. Slade’s head (inside his helmet) gets ripped off his body and hurled through the air by Fury.

Green Arrow and gang make their way to what they believe is the control center of Brother Eye, intent on blowing up the island. Upon arrival they find a Power Girl. The shock for us is that Brother Eye is not simply using Power Girl as a drone; she is the host. She is Brother Eye.

Barda fights her, putting her down. Green Arrow initiates the island blowing up. Lois is found and the good guys escape with the exception of Barda. As they are escaping, we are shown a panel of a cell phone from 2002 clipped on Oliver Queen’s belt with the red glowing eye of Brother Eye.

What Works:

We find out Cadmus Island is blown up and Brother Eye isn’t really dead. Some of the banter between the characters is decent to read. That’s all I’m feeling about this issue. Oh, the cover is nice.

What Doesn’t Work:

The art isn’t terrible, but it doesn’t tell the story very well. So many panels feel shoved together, bouncing around leaving the reader to fill in the gaps in a non-clever way. Moments of shock value (the rock to Deathstroke’s head, the arrow to Lana’s head, whatever it was that hit Red Arrow in the mouth) left me saying, “oh, okay”. To be fair, quite a bit of effort had to be given to fit all that happened in these few pages. I understand artist Tom Raney had to balance the space he gave to lesser moments with the bigger moments, but as a reader I was not impressed.

While much of the banter between Green Arrow’s crew was detailed and had the essence of wit and humor, the awkwardness of the delivery stripped the conversations of enjoyability. The writing of the plot seemed structured to fit certain scenes rather than scenes organically flowing to tell the story. Sure, I’m down for Green Arrow’s Army to blow up Cadmus. If you want to rip Deathstroke’s head off, by all means do it. Just have it flow with the story instead of forcing events in it. I personally hate the treatment of Deathstroke in Futures End. That character, though he had a lot of panel time, wasn’t used to his potential.

Recommended if:

  • You want to find out what happens with Cadmus.
  • You care about Deathstroke.
  • You gotta own that Sook cover.

Overall:

While not the worst issue of Futures End I’ve read, at this point I expect much, much more from issues focusing solely on one story line. Some rather large plot points are made in this issue which makes it at least meaningful, but I didn’t enjoy it very much. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving: I’m thankful the issue is not a waste.

SCORE: 4.5/10