For forty-seven issues Futures End has been a roller coaster, with ups and downs (mostly downs) dealing with stopping the horrible future our DC heroes have in store. There have been numerous storylines and many have concluded but there is one issue left. How does it all end? Read the Major Spoilers review to find out!
Writer: Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, Keith Giffen
Artist: Allan Goldman, Freddie Williams II, Andy MacDonald, Stephen Thompson
Inker: Scott Hanna, Freddie Williams II, Andy Mac Donald, Stephen Thompson
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
Previously in Futures End: After the death of Terry McGinnis, Tim Drake dons the Batman (Beyond) costume to take down Brother Eye. After traveling to the right point in the future, he blows up the satellite housing the Brother Eye A.I. With the future changed he makes it back to his normal timeline. Things have changed…or have they?
EYE AM NOT PLEASED
Working in a comic shop has certain advantages. For instance, I can read titles that I would otherwise not read or spend money on while keeping up on current events. DC’s weekly series are a perfect example and while I have read every issue, this final one is the only one I’ve bought. Futures End has been shaky at best and is certainly not the best weekly book DC has done and has been plagued by many problems story wise. I stuck with it (reading it for free helped) and I was honestly intrigued in how it would all end. Well how was it? If the heading to this section didn’t clue you in, the answer is not well.
What seemed like a victory at the end of the previous issue turns out to be fake. Tim Drake, the new future Batman or Batman Beyond if you will, sees a beautiful world with statues honoring all the heroes from the series and meets the love he had to leave, Madison. Of course this is all an elaborate illusion by Brother Eye and Tim is really in the Terrifictech tower with Mr. Terrific. There is a discussion of what is considered real that makes no sense and a fight ensues as Brother Eye tries to assimilate Tim. At the last minute, the Atom and his team come in guns blazing and rescue Batman. How did he fail? Even though events around him were altered, Terrifitech was the one constant and Brother Eye protected it to realize its vision. It’s a weak explanation at best and is so quickly glossed over it’s as if the writers were grasping for an answer. Of course the real Madison is part of the team, only aged and the two share a nice moment as Tim shows he still loves her despite her age.
But to the important part: the ending. Well, I should say the lack thereof. The final page is a shot of Madison and Batman looking at a devastated cityscape as the moon, now marked with the Brother Eye symbol, looks down from the red skies. Madison claims “Brother Eye won” to which Tim replies: “The Hell he has. Not yet.” That’s it. That’s your ending folks. After forty eight issues of stretching out an already thin story, we are left with no conclusion other than to be right where we started. This problem has infuriated me with Marvel events and it seems like DC is taking a cue from their playbook. I’ve got to hand it to DC though, they’ve certainly stuck with a future for their characters that isn’t a bright one and I certainly thought would be erased. Stories are meant to have endings and while they’re not guaranteed to please all readers there should be a sense of conclusion. This is only a set up to what I assume will be the Batman Beyond title coming out in June. Once again readers are shortchanged a good story for a setup of the next big thing. Futures End has been disappointing almost in its entirety, barely concluding with a whimper and readers deserve much better than this.
THE ONLY CONSTANT IS CHANGE
What I’ve found even more disappointing than the story in Futures End is the art. Its been inconsistent from the beginning, with multiple pencillers and inkers on an issue at a time. I believe at one point there were six individual artists on an issue, not including inks and colors. All styles have been relatively poor and look as though the weekly deadline played a huge factor into the quality of work some artists could put out. This issue is no different, with the opening being the strongest. Line work is smooth and objects are bright but as the issue moves on the style gets scratchy, less detailed and downright ugly. The action scene is laid out well but at a point proportions are so off that characters look like dwarfs and faces have eyes at different levels. I was shocked to see Freddie Williams II did work on this book. I love his art but I can honestly not tell which pages are his, that’s how rushed this book seems. Much like the story, Futures End has suffered from little planning and a need to have a weekly title for the sake of having another weekly book.
THE BOTTOM LINE: WHAT WAS THE POINT?
From the start I believed that Futures End would have been a good comic if it hadn’t been a weekly. There was clearly not enough story to fit into a forty eight issue long title and was stretched way too thin with plot lines needlessly drawn out. The artwork was only consistent in its ability to be inconsistent and many times looked poor. To make matters worse, there is no conclusion to the story and it basically ends right where it began. So if there was no change, what’s the point and why did I read it? I’m pretty angry with this title right now and I can only imagine how I would feel had I spent $143.52 on the series. If you’ve been reading and buying since the start, there is little I can write that will stop you from buying this issue but I strongly advise against it. DC should be ashamed to have fans pay for a comic of this caliber weekly with a conclusion like this.
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