I was fully prepared for the usual Futures End protocol of bombing horribly after a good issue like last week. I’m happy to be wrong in my prejudgment; this issue was actually fairly good. That makes two weeks in a row where the score will be more than the average winner’s score in soccer. This issue shows the return of the real Man of Steel, a peak at some Multiverse stuff, a guest appearance by Walter White, and our heroes reacting to the attacking antics of Brainiac.

  1. New York City — The impressive size and threatening presence of Brainiac is shown from several different angles beginning first in this issue with Lois Lane. She describes how quick and awful the scene in New York is, setting up for the triumphal entry of bearded Superman. Do you remember that campaign for razors when Man of Steel was released asking, “How does Superman shave?” That comes to mind here. Brainiac’s pink power-grid balls attack Superman and he’s put down with extreme ease. How powerful is this Brainiac?
  2. Back Up in Space — Hawkman, Cyborg, and Dr. Palmer are out trying to rescue Angie the Engineer when Hawkman flies into…well, a two page spread with characters spanning all different ages of the DC Universe.

    TwoPage

    We aren’t ever told what this is exactly, but knowing Brainiac comes from outside the Orrery of Worlds (where the 52 universes are located) he must have collected memories of all these people during his travels, so, maybe that’s what’s going on here? Everyone seems to be either in pain or reaching for something. Maybe that’s a clue? Also…Batman ’66? Hawkman doesn’t seem to make it through this one, though, since it isn’t distinctly clear, he may have just morphed through other incarnations of himself and disappeared. This is all very intriguing if you’re into the Multiverse stuff. If not, well, I’m betting you won’t enjoy further issues.

  3. Terrifitech — Brother Eye is talking to Mr. Terrific about all that’s going on in the city. Mr. Terrific is terrified about Brainiac’s attack. There’s some interplay between Tim and Bruce in the lobby below Terrifitech while they make their way to Mr. Terrific. In the chaos of the city, Walter White is shown running away.

    WalterWhite

    If you follow what Brother Eye is saying (I’m assuming it’s him because he’s been the one talking to Terrific and also every “o” has a pupil, like an eyeball), he says he’s “experienced ends over and over– and all over the universes.” This leads me to believe Brother Eye is actually a form of Brainiac, much like the purple monster or the bear from before, only way more…sentient? Communicative? This sparks my interest heavily. Even Mr. Terrific, who is so scared, when he turns around to see Bruce, he’s sort of nervously relieved. It’s all so odd, but in a way that I don’t feel strung along just to tease me to read more, but a genuine curiosity.Tim and Plastique are trying to get power back to part of the building and we’re shown the Plastique Cyborg approaching the two of them in secret. We’re also shown a panel of JokerBats creeping up on Terry as if to say, “Oh hey, don’t forget about this guy.” We didn’t forget.

  4. Shazuperman, Firestorm and Doctor Polaris — Oh my. These guys. They decide their experiment can wait a minute because Manhattan is under attack. They teleport down to Earth and are about to take on Brainiac, who looks like an awesome baddie. He’s imposing and not just because of his size. The character design is pretty cool. Much better than Polaris’s ridiculousness. Shazam tries attacking Brainiac but gets tossed aside. He is caught by Clark who looks ready to get back in the fight.
  5. Space — Cyborg, Palmer and others decide to forgo Angie (and now Hawkman) and attack Brainiac’s giant skull ship. Palmer gets shot by a pink ray, presumably I’m guessing he experienced the same as Hawkman did and disintegrated. This giant ship in space connects with what’s being set up in Manhattan with a massive pink ray, and that’s what we’re left with: lots of mystery and lots of intrigue.

Recommended If:

  • You’re planning on reading Convergence.
  • You put off Futures End until something actually happens. Pick up last issue too.

Overall:

Futures End is starting to deliver on the “This is the End” hype from many moons ago. It doesn’t explain itself, and I’m okay with that. This is actually an interesting read, and at the very least, it’s an issue that makes me glad to be picking next week’s issue up.

SCORE: 7/10