Mister Terrific has a plan that will change both earths forever, but has one complication: Terry Sloane.  Make that TWO complications…  Your Major Spoilers review of Earth 2: Futures End #1 awaits!

Earth2CoverjEARTH 2: FUTURES END #1
Writer: Daniel H. Wilson
Penciler: Eddy Barrows
Inker: Eber Ferreira
Colorist: Pete Pantazis
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Editor: Mike Cotton
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Earth 2: Futures End:  Michael Holt is Mister Terrific, often called the smartest man on Earth.  Technically two Earths, as he was the first to unlock transit to the alternate world called Earth 2 (at least, from our side.)  Five years from now, Holt is preparing to release the newest personal device, guaranteed to revolutionize the industry: The uSphere.  Of course, most people don’t know that it’s reverse-engineered from deadly technology leftover from Apokalips…


In the future world that’s coming, Mister Terrific is preparing to go public with his uSphere technology, while his lady friend Sonia (herself a refugee from Earth 2) worried that the world isn’t ready.  Sonia’s paranoia seems quite justified, as we see people refusing to serve her because of her “dupe” status, and she and Mr. T are quickly in over their heads when Terry Sloan arrives, demanding access to the boom spheres from which Michael’s invention was reverse-engineered.  Sloane has no use for Holt’s inventions, preferring his own device, a pair of goggles that allow him to identify the world of origin of any person (which he apparently created by ripping out the eyes of the Earth 2 Red Tornado, a needless gruesome detail).  Their sparring quickly turns to all-out war when Sloane’s goggles frame Holt as extra-dimensional and sends him on the run from his own government.  Locked out of home and office, he turns to someone who can provide the guidance he needs: Mother Box, in the hands of a catatonic Jimmy Olsen.  Mister Terrrific returns to confront Terry Sloane, only to find that he’s facing TWO Sloanes, one from his own world and another from…

…somewhere else.


The biggest problem with Futures End (so long as you ignore the brutality of the world and the terrible ends met by many of our favorite characters for no reason at all) is that there are no real stakes to be had.  I can’t recall seeing future Jimmy before, but when the creators gave me “catatonic Jimmy Olsen with a Mother Box”, it felt like we were playing DC Comics MadLibs, and the answer might have been “obese Plastic Man with Jor-El’s headband” with little change to the story.  Like the rest of Futures End, there are interesting concepts in this issue, but they’re awash in a world where everything you know is wrong, even though you’ve only known it since 2011 in the first place.  Artistically, I found this better than the main Futures End series, where Michael Holt is drawn as a smirky, musclebound douche with a silly haircut, but I think I’d have liked this issue better if he weren’t such a passive character.  Yes, he makes the final move to end the Boom Spheres, but only after being told what to do by the Deus Ex Machina Box, and worse still, the issue leaves us with a big cliffhanger about Terry Sloane’s existence, making me wonder what the endgame could possibly be.


This issue does a few things just right: Humanizing Mister Terrific, helping to show us more of his crapsack future world, and delivering an interesting character dynamic between him and Sonia, but there’s a lot of confusing or contrived-to-shock bits here (a critique applicable to ALL the Futures End stories) that just don’t click.  Red Tornado is the cover image, but her internal appearance is a single page, after being apparently dissected, while the bits where Mr. T is on the run, ala Minority Report, feel rushed and crampy, without any room to breathe.  Earth 2: Futures End #1 promises that it will be continued in two other upcoming books on the final page, but doesn’t really give it’s concepts room to intrigue or interest, leaving us a blowhard of an issue that is only okay, despite some nicely done art, earning 2.5 out of 5 stars overall.  If it seemed like they were REALLY giving us a valid future, it might be worth reading, but as it stands, this issue will probably be forgotten in only a few weeks…



Some interesting ideas, but needs more real estate to flesh them out...

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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