The latest issue of DC’s Futures End event is a complete mess with almost no forward momentum for any of the characters featured.
FUTURES END #13
Writers: Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, Keith Giffen
Artist: Patrick Zurcher
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
NOTHING IMPORTANT HAPPENS
Let me start with the very best thing about DC’s Future’s End #13 – Tim Drake is on the cover! Every time Tim appears in an issue of the New 52 I get excited that he will finally get the good storyline he has been due since 2011 and repeatedly, consistently, I am disappointed. Future’s End #13 is no different, though in its defense, nothing or importance happens in any of the storylines.
The first time we see Tim in Future’s End #13 his bar is being robbed and Tim must decide between risking revealing his identity to Madison (his girlfriend whom he presumably loves), and letting her get assaulted and possibly murdered by a strange man with a gun. Tim does have a cool moment in his second appearance in Future’s End #13, but by that point in the issue it really is too little too late. Overall, it’s a disappointing peek at the character I love above all others.
Despite that, Tim’s storyline is the best thing to happen for the duration of Future’s End #13 and readers are no closer to unraveling the catastrophic event that has brought us this far.
Future’s End #13 continues with a visit to Mr. Terrific – who not only has the potential to be a cool character, but bring some much-lacked diversity to the DCU if he did anything other than mope around and behave like a jerk in spite of questionably good intentions.
The third story skips with Cadmus Island with Grifter and Fifty Sue and features a lot of her pushing him down air vent shafts. I suppose smarter readers than I will have gotten something from this storyline, but both characters come across so unlikeable that it is difficult to care about who may wind up killing the other or what exactly it is that they witness inside Cadmus. Future’s End #13 desperately needed a moment of revelation – throw the readers a bone! – and it feels like this story was supposed to be it, though in the end readers are left with a snarky girl and an annoying man staring down a grate.
Terry McGinnis makes a brief and uncompelling appearance with his cronies who really, really want to be Harley and the Joker and someone gets hit in the face.
Future’s End #13 closes with Emiko and Barda meeting up, wandering through the streets in order to deliver some ineffectual exposition and reveal a big bad that loyal DC readers are certain to recognize. Barda is wasted as a compelling female character, the chance to reveal details about the aforementioned cataclysmic event – which is, arguably, the catalyst for this entire series – and make readers care about the Future’s End issues once more.
AT LEAST THE ART IS GOOD
Patrick Zurcher’s work is easily the highlight of Future’s End #13 paired seamlessly with HiFi’s bright, pop art colours. Tim Drake’s second appearance, most notably, is kinetic and charged with Batman-like rage. It reads quickly because the action palpably continues through the panels and represents the high octane level of physical action that fans of superheroes have come to love from their greatest heroes.
Emiko and Big Barda contrast each other in a visually interesting way – even if they are just walking down the street – and following the curvy forms of these two females makes for a strong visual impact when the reveal of the DC big bad happens on Future’s End #13’s final page. The costume on that particular character is nothing short of amazing and Zurcher’s art work on that character may be one of the only things to look forward to in coming issues.
TOO MANY COOKS IN THE COMIC
The New 52: Futures End #13 is not a good comic book issue. It’s messy, nothing important happens, readers are treated with respect by still being kept in the dark 13 issues later. It is backed by a team of incredibly talented writers, which leads me to believe that the amount of editorial oversight and plot points they are beholden to are directly responsible for the mediocre quality of Futures End #13. There is really nothing that I can recommend to you about it – even if you’re just looking for some more Tim Drake.
I almost think Writing should be worth twice as much in the average. There needs to be a corporate version of the Night of Long Knives at DC and maybe we can get people who actually believe in the characters and the stories instead of the shock and awe that we have been getting lately.