This issue was trippy. This is the second-to-last issue of Futures End, so one would —and should!— expect a comic that is firing on all cylinders, but this issue is not. It’s rife with awful dialogue, awkward pacing, and abysmal artwork, yet… the entire issue remains interesting throughout. Forget all those “other” story lines going on in the series, this issue if totally focused (pun intended) on Brother Eye.
Brother Eye has taken over every system everywhere. It is the “master” now, guiding the world into order. It’s motivations, which were so clearly denied to us in a previous issue (“I will not tell you my motivations” Brother Eye told Palmer), are made clear here. Brother Eye exists for the supposed betterment of mankind. That reason for existence will soon lead to humanity’s downfall, so Futures End is basically The Matrix or Terminator for comic books.
With Brother Eye in control, our heroes, who’ve stood in Mister Terrific’s office for something like thirty issues in a row, decide to fight back. Of course, Brother Eye is prepared and defends itself with an onslaught of Walking Dead extras. Our heroes are rescued by Tim Drake who has apparently shotgunned two cans of beer while mastering the subtle nuances of flying with the jet-pack shoes on the Batman Beyond suit.
Bruce, the world’s greatest detective, recognizes Tim in the suit immediately. Tim lifts everyone to the rooftop, safe from the Brother Eye zombie hoard. What follows on said rooftop is baffling to me. Artwork, dialogue, the sequence of events, everything is just wrong. First, the art. The facial expressions from Bruce are awful. The full body shots are terrible. It looks like I drew it, and if I can draw it, I don’t need to see it in a comic.
“Oh my indeed.”
Second, the dialogue. The exchange between Tim and Madison and then with Bruce and Tim are awkward to me. Bruce instantly trusting A.L.F.R.E.D. blows my mind. He just watched Brother Eye (which is another A.I. system he created) go berzerk and he’s all cool with this. No Bat-paranoia, nothing. These weirdly specific rules on time-band time travel make me throw my hands up. I feel like I’ve already been roofied into buying this series that, what the hell, let’s just go with it. The time band is finicky and Tim’s going back in time. Got it. What I don’t “got” is the sequence of events here. Tim pulls these guys to the roof away from Zomb-Eyes (yay or nay?) and they just stand around and talk awkwardly. Firestorm (who was told to go to Terrifitech by Shazam) shows up and has a moment with Tim. Literally, on one side of the page there are zombies trying to get at Batman and The Atom and on the other side of the page —on the same rooftop!— Madison and Tim are sitting on the ledge talking like in a scene from your favorite New York-based romantic movie. Instead of climbing the stairs, the zombies pile up and crawl through the hole and force the time jump. Why doesn’t Firestorm fly everyone to another building? How about that and then take their time and do it right? No, they quickly…wait…what is that face, Bruce?
So Tim jumps to the Brother Eye satellite before Earth 2’s refugees come to our Earth (prime?). The long of the short of it is Tim can’t just blow up the satellite to destroy Brother Eye because it has defenses. So Tim convinces Brother Eye to destroy itself to save humanity. Before it does so, it sends Tim to another time and the issue ends.
It’s an interesting issue, but I don’t think it’s great. I was super excited to see Tim hop around time, but I am worried about what’s to come for the last issue.
- The end of Futures End matters to you.
- You’re a Tim Drake fan.
- You found three dollars and don’t want to give it to that homeless guy who could really use it.
I can’t believe this is the second-to-last issue of the series and it’s not one of the best issues I’ve read. This should be amazing. Perhaps the fact that it’s ending I am being harsh, but I think at least some of this is justified. Why is this not crazy action-filled and look amazing? Here’s hoping for a good finish.