There are two reasons I’m checking out this particular comic. One, Earth 2 characters are playing a big role in Futures End and this may add extra background and information to their side of the story. The second is because the writer, Daniel H. Wilson, is going to be one of the writers for the next weekly series, Earth 2: World’s End, and I want to get a glimpse of the quality of his writing. Let’s see what we got here. Is it good?
Earth 2: Futures End #1 (DC Comics)
Michael Holt aka Mr. Terrific and Sonia Sato head off to an United States training base to demonstrate the power of the T-Sphere for military applications. However, he is accosted by Terry Sloan (the evil Mr. Terrific from Earth 2), who calls his work awful and tries to discredit him by making these goggles he sells that identifies people from different Earths and makes it seem like he is an enemy. Or something like that. There’s a lot of crap going on in this story.
Take notes people, there will be a quiz on everything you read here.
I’m kinda not even joking when I say take notes or that there’s a lot of stuff happening, because there is. This is an incredibly dense read in the sense that every single line and scene serves a purpose… sort of. Everything you see in the issue builds and builds on top of each other into making a fully realized and complete story. So much so that you almost don’t have to read Futures End or even Earth 2 to understand this, since almost everything is explained in the pages.
That being said, this was a painful and unengaging read. Due to the comic trying to do everything within a very limited number of pages, the pacing, story flow, and narrative are horrendous. Everything feels rushed, the story never lets a moment happen for long before rushing to the next plot point, and it honestly gets hard to follow at points. Probably most problematic is that there is a scene in the middle that makes absolutely no sense and comes straight out of nowhere unless the reader is familiar with Final Crisis of all things (I didn’t even know that until I looked up a summary to figure out what happened). Worst of all, unlike everything else in the comic, this is not explained at all and given no real context so this comes off more as a deus ex machina if anything.
Hello, blatant plot device!
The rest of the writing leaves a bit to be desired as well. The characterization isn’t completely bad, especially for Michael Holt. I mean, the villain has no real depth outside of wanting to gain power for the sake of it, but it does feel like there is some depth to Holt and Sonia. Problem is though that the Michael Holt of this comic does not feel like the Michael Holt currently in Futures End, which can be rather bad (especially when this come feels like its taking place during the event and not before it). The dialogue is okay, but there’s nothing that’ll grab you or anything. It’s just kind of there. The small twist at the end could be interesting, depending on whether or not it’s followed up on. Lastly, I would like to claim false advertising for this issue. See that cover with Red Tornado/Lois Lane of Earth 2? She only appears one page and in one tiny panel later. Her scene is so pointless that if it was taken out, nothing would be lost. So yeah, the writing is pretty underwhelming.
The artwork by Eddy Barrows isn’t too bad here. Sure, there are a couple of creepy looking faces (some are intentional, at least) and the poor pacing and structure of the comic does not help give it the best or even easy to follow layouts. However, the comic is at least able to deliver on some interesting visuals, some nice background and scenery detail, and a bit of action. The script just isn’t able to make the most of the artist’s skills ultimately however, which is disappointing.
If you ever see people smile like that, automatically assume they are evil and run away.
Is It Good?
Earth 2: Futures End #1 is a mess sadly, especially for this writer’s first outing writing a DC Comic. The plot structure, writing mechanics, and more are an absolute mess and make this one of the more unenjoyable experiences I had with a DC Comics this side of Catwoman. I give the writer credit for trying to make a complete and fully realized story in a limited amount of space, but sometimes less is more and you need to know what to cut in order to make a good experience for the audience. Give this a pass and check out a better Futures End tie-in this week.