May sure went by quite fast, and with it went the first month of DC’s Future’s End weekly series. The title debuted on Free Comic Book Day with a zero issue and regular-numbered issues have followed since. In these first five issues we’ve seen the context of the entire event laid out and have met many of the main characters. In all of this, one thing has been clear however. The New 52 universe continues to be a grim place, although there is still hope, in very, very small quantities. And that’s fine with me, because that is the general state of comics everywhere anyway.
In this week’s Future’s End #5, we touch-base again with Mr. Terrific aka Michael Holt, Cole Cash aka The Grifter, Firestorm, and a most unlikely character, someone I didn’t expect to see here, especially not when considering what he is brought in to consult for. The writing this time is a bit more of a see-saw than in any of the previous issues, and thus wasn’t to the same quality of those issues, but the art remains very consistent, which is good in itself.
The new issue starts off with Mr. Terrific launching the latest piece of patented/trademarked/copyrighted technology, the uSphere. In the four pages that follow, we get treated to Michael Holt the Marketing Specialist as he rolls out the new technology and introduces it to the world at large. The characterisation that has been building up in the last few issues comes to a bloom here and we see just how well he knows how to play the people to his advantage. Not for any nefarious purposes, but to market his tech, to be popular. Also notable is that this 4-page scene finally gives us Batman of this future. He’s been quite absent thus far, especially since he didn’t make it to Green Arrow’s funeral. Wonder what is going on with him.
From there, we are on to seeing what Cole Cash is up to, since he got shot in the spine last issue and is now basically an invalid. The man who shot him has some big plans for him, apparently, and while I appreciated all the mystery in the last issue, nothing has changed this time, and it was just… frustrating, a bit. You are always on the cusp of revelation, but nothing works out and you’re still left unconvinced. Plus, we get an Earth 2 character making an appearance in this scene sequence, and while I’m intrigued as to what she is doing, I think that there is too much focus on bringing more characters in rather than fleshing out the current cast.
After we are done with Grifter, we move on to what’s been happening with Firestorm and it isn’t pretty. Ronnie has basically held Jason captive in the Firestorm matrix for several weeks, and now he finally lets him out. The abrupt change is startling, as startling as Jason’s decisions back in issue #2. But, this all ties into their past and what happened in the war with Earth 2, of which we have seen almost nothing. Where we go from here is certainly going to be very interesting.
The final sequence has to do with John Constantine being called in to consult on some crop circles, which are much more than just simple crop circles and have to do with one of the greatest villains of the DCverse. This entire sequence had some stiff dialogue and some weird characterisation, but it has my curiosity piqued nonetheless. And I wonder if this has anything to do with the larger mystery and the evil that Terry McGinnis has come back in time to stop in order to save his own future, and that of every other hero in the future.
The penciller for this issue is Jesús Meriño, with inks by Dan Green, colours by Hi-Fi and letters by Carlos M. Mangual while Ryan Sook does the cover as is usual. Compared to the previous issues, there aren’t any big moments in this issue this time, no splash pages that are jaw-dropping or just… flamboyant. That’s fine to a degree, but it just means that the issue isn’t quite so spectacular as one might hope. The pencils are consistent, and that’s the best that can be said. The same goes for the inks and colours.
So, not quite the awesome I was expecting this time, but my interest in this series is still high.