King Kong attacks! Not really. Allow me to paint the picture for what exactly this issue is.
Imagine a movie scene. It is three minutes to midnight. The living room of a house is sparsely lit by the light of a pine-infused Scentsy brand wax warmer. You hear the muted and shaking voice of a woman in her late thirties coming from a coat closet near the living room. The camera focuses on the closet door.
“I, I don’t know, Mark. I called you because…No, I’ll look like an idiot if I call the cops and it just turns out to be the wind. I’m just…I don’t know what to do,” her voice trails off.
The camera slowly pulls back. The dull light from the warmers cast shadows on the gray carpet. The sound of dried leaves can be heard rustling outside. The camera zooms out now so that the closet door and the shadows blur, bringing only the knob of the front door in focus. All becomes quiet.
“Mark? I’m scared,” the woman whispers. The shining knob twists, and the door flies open. The screen goes black.
This is, essentially, where this issue of Futures End leaves us. The door to danger is about to open. It is that point on which my hope for this series clings. Now, on to the sections.
- Justice League Defense Station Omega — Firestorm, Shazuperman, and Doctor Polaris are all on board. (Where’s Stormguard?) Doctor Polaris is in industrial strength handcuffs which I find absurd. If he is some kind of magnetic field manipulator being, how is that supposed to do anything to hinder him? He even says, “I have the power to rip this place apart in the blink of an eye.” So the handcuffs are ridiculous. How are they supposed to beat this guy should he ever do that? Firestorm counters with, “I could use my power to push you through the wall and into space…” How is that going to affect an non-organic material being? They bicker about the ethics of allowing Polaris to learn how to use the teleporter, but they allow it. But not without Shazuperman uttering a completely empty threat to the evil Doctor should he act up, “One false, errant, weird, out-of-the-norm move and I’ll take you down.” Bologna…or baloney? Either way, it’s a load of crap. Philistine.
- Las Vegas, Nevada — Banger, Mash and Grifter’s pal Justin are out buying liquor. Justin looks like he’s gained fifty pounds since his last appearance. Let’s chalk that up to the artist’s interpretation though. Other than the weight gain, I like what Stephen Thompson has done in this issue. Sure, there are a few little oddities here and there, but if Thompson would have drawn this entire series, I’d be more than happy. He can tell the story and not run off and leave the reader. He has a nice “director’s eye”. Aside from the art, this section offers up two things: 1) Voodoo should be scared that Fifty Sue might kill her. 2) Fifty Sue teleported Justin to be with her, Lana and Cole.
- Smallville — Miniature corn monsters attack Clark and Constantine. That’s a sentence you’ll want to read twice. Clark beats them off. One of them throws a corn stalk javelin through Midge’s midsection. As she is dying, she says, “The Master’s going to take Manhattan.” Clark flies away, presumably to combat the Master in Manhattan. The section ends with a characteristic Constantine comment. Midge is dying and says she’s cold. “I know luv. We all are.”
- Castle Frankenstein — Dr. Frankenstein offers to save Frank. If he does save him, the doctor is going to alter Frank’s composition to make him loyal to the doctor. But Frankenstein saw the future, remember? He knows what evil he will become. So he decides he will die and not become that future evil creature. Which is weird. Why go through all this trouble to survive only to decide to die so he can prevent the evil he will become? Ahh, nevertheless, we get to see Amethyst chop Dr. Frankenstein’s head off. Now Frank wants some paper -and lots of it- so he can tell his story.
- The Opening Door — The last page of this issue is when the knob twists on the door. Shazuperman notices one of the League’s space defense probes goes down. Then all other probes and defense sensors go offline. When Firestorm asks what’s wrong, Shazuperman replies, “Something or someone is coming. And it’s gonna be bad.” This is the door flying open and the screen turning black.
So there it is! Something bad is coming. It looks like Brainiac with his trademark trio of green lights blurry in the last panel. Here’s hoping for good, fun trouble!
- You hate Dr. Frankenstein.
- The words “Miniature Corn Monsters” pique your interest.
It’s not the most exciting read, but the promise of looming danger makes it not feel like a total waste. There are far too many problems with plot, motivations, and pacing in this series. To really enjoy it, I believe your best bet is to not think about it too hard.