One of the things that I certainly did not expect from Future’s End when I picked up the zero issue two weeks back for Free Comic Book Day was all the deaths. If I remember correctly, at least five heroes died then, and another hero died in the first issue, which was released last Wednesday. When DC was talking about the end of the future of the DC-verse, they certainly weren’t kidding since it seems that as part of this storyline, hope is leeching away from the future, five years from the present timeline of the DC comics-verse, on the road to recovery from the recently-concluded Forever Evil event.
Thankfully, there are no deaths in Future’s End #2, because that would have been a bit too much I’m afraid. However, the mood is still incredibly sombre and muted, for we come to mourn the death of one of DC’s stalwarts: Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow. The hero died a tragic death last issue, and now the entire superhero community turns up for his funeral, only for things to go sideways when some really harsh words are had between two of the heroes. The writers of this issue do a nice job of balancing everything, even as the artists do their best to turn out a really good looking issue.
Last week, we saw that one half of the superhero known as Firestorm, Ronnie, had delayed joining up with the other half of the equation, Jason, and thus the two were late on the scene from where Green Arrow had sent a call for help and assistance. It is debatable of course whether Oliver would have died if Firestorm had been on time, but that’s by the by, because died he died, and Ronnie has to live with that guilt, and with the accusations thrown in his face during the funeral. All of which creates a really interesting case of superhero drama. The troubles between Firestorm and other superheroes are mentioned often, and there are several references to the events of Forever Evil as well, from what I presume is the turn of events in Justice League of America, which has now ended. I really must catch-up, I must say.
Most striking is the number of clues we have here as to how the DC comics-verse has changed in the five years between the end of Forever Evil and the beginning of things here in Future’s End. Batman is not present at Green Arrow’s funeral. There is a masked Superman. Green Lantern is nowhere. Michael Holt aka Mr. Terrific has turned into some kind of a narcissistic and self-aggrandizing entrepreneur. And the Justice League United team seems to have had a long and fruitful career. And so on. There are ample things here for the reader to pick over and mull on, to try and make sense of what is going on this world of the future, where relations between many of the heroes are so strained.
And in the middle of all of that we have Terry McGinnis aka Batman of the future, who has traveled back in time to prevent the rise of Brother Eye, a machine intelligence that was birthed in Mr. Terrific’s company or some such and which will be the eventual cause of the world’s destruction thirty years later. Some good scenes over there, although I wish that we’d seen more because I’m really curious about all that after having read last week’s issue.
When this issue ends, we get a big mystery, delivered at the front-door of DC’s most successful mystery-solver, Lois Lane, and this proves to be a really intriguing twist because of how it is set up and how it is all climaxed in that final scene.
As with last week’s issue, this week’s issue is surprisingly empty of creative credits, although a quick check on Comic Vine tells me that Jesús Meriño is the penciller, with Hi-Fi providing the colours, Dan Green providing the inks and Ryan Sook providing the cover. Once again, I really enjoyed the artwork in this issue and on that front this series has definitely been a surprise. All the characters are well-realised, and even when we get the scenes with multiple superheroes, everyone stands out quite nicely. There’s a certain vibrancy to the artwork that I really like and I hope that all the future issues continue like this. Fingers crossed.
Overall, quite a good issue, certainly better than last week’s!
More Future’s End: #0-1.