Here’s come the next biggest thing from DC Comics, their second weekly title Futures End. Like with Eternal, it has an all-star team writing it: Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens, and Jeff Lemire. Can these guys bring the same excitement and stellar writing that Batman Eternal has been delivering? Is it good?
Futures End #1 (DC Comics)
It’s five years from now in the DC Universe and Batman Beyond missed being able to jump into the right time period to stop Mr. Terrific from creating Brother Eye. Meanwhile, we see other heroes going about their day. A revamped Stormwatch runs into trouble as something hijacks their ship, Grifter is seen hunting down pod people aliens, and Jason Rusch is searching for Ronnie Raymond so they can become Firestorm to help a hero in need.
You and your stupid technicalities!
Let’s get this out of the way first. This is not as strong of a start as Batman Eternal #1 was, and the reason is simple: instead of focusing one particular story (the beginning of Gordon’s downfall), this issue splits its focus between four different stories and different heroes. Because the issue splits things up, none of the stories get as much time to develop and have the same impact Eternal had. Now, this is not too bad of thing, since the first issue is still pretty good and most of the storylines are intriguing in where they’ll go from here. Plus, this is very in line with how 52, DC’s first weekly title, had its story unfold.
The best stories in the issue were with Firestorm and Stormwatch, since they had real character work and intriguing with them. They leave you wanting more with learning about what the alien force that Stormwatch ran into and learning more about the rift between Jason and Ronnie. Grifter’s and Batman Beyond’s stories were the weakest since not much at all happened with them. With Batman Beyond, it’s basically him wondering where the heck to go and what to do after being dropped in the wrong time period. Grifter is basically shown being himself and doing what he was doing his old series. It works as a decent introduction to the character for those not very familiar with him (which should be a lot since barely anyone read his series), but that’s pretty much it.
Oh crap! She had an inner blue screen of death!
The writing all around is pretty good for the most part. Most of the characters seem to be acting like themselves, if it were five years later (except for Ronnie, but there seems to be a reason for that). The dialogue and inner narration are fine, but nothing really jumps out about it. The pacing and story structure are fine, with no abrupt cuts or awkward transitions to pull you out of the story. The biggest thing to address that has people worrying after the zero issue is that this series will be killing people off left and right. Well, characters do indeed die in this issue, one of which death serves as the cliffhanger for the issue. This in particular doesn’t bother me and it adds suspense to the comic since almost anyone can die (plus, it’s not like it is in real continuity; this is just a possible future), but prepare for possibly the worst as time goes on.
Artwork for the first issue is brought to us by Patrick Zircher, who did work with Suicide Squad and will be one of the rotating artists for this series. His work is pretty good here like with previous series and issues he has done. His characters are distinct and each look different from each other, layouts are decent (if a bit bland), the action and violence are depicted well enough, the sceneries and locations are detailed well, and the artwork is good at capturing the right mood and tone at points. The sort of grittiness doesn’t work as well in scenes where it’s brighter out, but that’s its only real fault.
Hot brown-eyed guy? Hmm, I guess its not him. Sorry about the mix up, I’ll just leave now.
Is It Good?
Futures End #1 is a solid opening first issue. It may not be as strong as Batman Eternal‘s opening was, but it still remains interesting and intriguing with where it is going. Some stories are better than others at this point, but this looks like the beginning of a wild ride that you may not want to miss out on. Give it a look and see what you think.