DC’s Future’s End has been moving along pretty damn good for a while now. It started off really good, and it has maintained the forward moment, though it has stumbled a couple of times. But right now, with all the different plotlines that are being interwoven and all the fun “new” takes on many of the characters, things are looking especially promising. With the first six issues the series did all the heavy lifting to set up all the different characters, but now we are starting to see some pay-offs, and that what I love about this series. The weekly format really seems to fit.
This week’s installment sees a rather epic battle between Frankenstein and Black Adam in the Phantom Zone, and elsewhere on Earth we see how the various plotlines involving Lois Lane, Grifter and Jason are beginning to head towards a boiling point, especially the latter. With four writers on this issue, thing can seem a bit disorganized at times but given how well the interweaving is, that kind of becomes a moot issue in the end. And we have Aaron Lopresti back on the art duties alongside Hi-Fi and Ryan Sook, so things are especially promising.
The first storyline we see this time is that of Frankenstein, Amethyst and Ray Palmer fighting a crazy and powerful Black Adam in the Phantom Zone. As I expected, we got to see a glimpse of how he came to be here, and the mystery is as tantalising as any of other mysteries in this series. Lots of cool action here and some really nice characterisation of Frankenstein himself, with the hint that perhaps he is going to become quite a major character as the series progresses. After all, we did see him play a critical role in Future’s End #0 when he stopped a couple of heroes from completing their objective by blasting them with Black Canary’s infamous Canary Cry. The fact that her dismembered head was stitched on his body at the time is besides the point!
Then we move on to the story with Lois Lane and see some of the fallout from her confrontation with Tim Drake aka Cal Concordan about why he has gone incognito since the war with Earth 2 and why he lives the life of someone without attachments, without any links to his past or the hero he used to be. Of course, the mystery is deepened now because we also learn that many of the other Titans also died in the war and that makes me really sad. This is one of the more engrossing mysteries of Future’s End and I can’t wait to see how that plays out. All the conversation between Lois and Cal’s apparent girlfriend Madison Payne serve to highlight and also cast a net over Lois’ integrity as a journalist and her intentions.
From there we go to some very brief scenes involving Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond, who have gone their separate ways now. While Jason’s arc looks set to be rather positive, we see that Ronnie is still caught up in the past, and with the death of his mother, presumably during the war with Earth 2. Not much to go on here unfortunately, but this is more an academic insight rather than something more of what we are used to so the impact isn’t all that great.
The fourth sequence involves the introduction of another major DC character to the already stellar line-up and it is really fun run to see both him and Grifter in the same storyline, given their shared history and the fact that they are quite opposite to each other in terms of their politics. Some errors here since Grifter appears far less knowledgeable about said character than he should and that’s a cause for concern. A terrible oversight.
We end the issue with a “sort-of” a chase in the park where Terry McGinnis has been spending his time and from where he’s been keeping an eye Mr. Terrific’s business headquarters. But it is time for a confrontation between the two of them and it doesn’t quite seem to go Terry’s way, which is a bit freaky since all his plans are now dust and ash and he still has to fight yet another for his prize.
As I said, the art is by Aaron Lopresti this time, with Art Thibert, Hi-Fi and Dave Sharpe filling out the rest, in addition to that amazing cover byRyan Sook. No complaints about the artwork this time, mostly that it rocked! Aaron Lopresti after all, so that’s only to be expected. Aaron Lopresti’s characters have a great body language with the expressions-work also being superb. But that’s to be expected when you have someone like him on a book. His work is rather intuitive, but also great.
With all that’s going on, it’d be easy to get lost, but you are holding up rather well I must say.