Time travel. Dimensional War. Death. Betrayal. Aliens. Superheropocalypse. DC’s Future’s End weekly comic has done it all in its two and a half months so far. What started off as a really dark title with superheroes dying left and right has matured into something a little light-hearted, something that has become a superhero mystery and an action-packed tale of “two minutes to midnight” rather than superhero horror. It started off really good, and thought it has wobbled a bit in the middle, it is still one of the best books that DC is putting out right now.
This week’s Future’s End #11 sees the continuation of several plots and the introduction of yet new players as the world moves towards an inevitability. No Grifter and Fifty Sue this time, but we get to see a fair bit of the Justice League of the future, as well as get some bonding time between Amethyst and Frankenstein, along with a really startling development from Mr. Terrific. In spite of all the changes that have happened in this series of late, it looks like there are many more yet to come and I loved that this issue acted as a launch-point for yet more stories, though I’m slightly concerned by how convoluted it is all getting.
Let’s just take a moment though to see just how good that cover is. It portrays the Justice League of the future, and it is enough to see that Batman is still an unknown quantity five years from the present DC timeline, for he is not represented here and he doesn’t make it in to the story either. The cover shows the League looking on as Roy Harper aka Red Arrow confronts Ronnie Raymond aka one half of the superhero Firestorm. Done by the stalwart Ryan Sook, it is yet another awesome cover.
The issue starts off with a look at Grifter’s supporting cast, specifically his sidekick Justin who is holding some kind of alien hostage, and a friend about whom I know next to nothing. It is an interesting arc in the issue and I’m not yet sure how I feel about it since it starts off a completely new story pretty much, but I’m waiting to see how this plays out on the larger scale and whether it is going to tie in to Grifter’s own arc on Cadmus Island.
We shift gears after that to focus on Hawkman, Amethyst and Frankenstein as they follow a Stormwatch distress beacon to its location, with the possible certainty that it could all just be a trap to lure them out further, given that the Stormwatch team is already space dust. This sequence has some nice bonding moments between Amethyst and Frankenstein, which I loved because it allows the two characters to be developed more, even though Hawkman remains a jerk of the highest order. The ending of that arc in this issue really gave me a pause though and I think it is one of the best cliffhangers in the series to date.
After that we are back to Michael Holt aka Mr. Terrific, and this time we see him do his “civic duty” as he exposes a secret to the world on global news. Another startling development to be sure and the fallout is going to be most interesting. Whichever writer is doing the whole Terrific/Batman Beyond arc in the series, he has got a really devious mind here. The contradictions in Mr. Terrific are really keeping me interested in the series.
Then we are off on a slight detour as we focus on the (robotic?) monster we saw unveiled a few issues ago as it continues to rampage across the Earth, and I’m less certain that it is Parasite, for it likes to get up close and personal and really bloody rather than suck out someone’s life-force.
Finally, we are in one of the Justice League’s watch-stations as we see Ronnie get grilled by his friends about the death of Green Arrow and Firestorm’s highly erratic behaviour after the dead hero’s funeral. I loved this sequence because it had Ronnie mature and accept his mistakes, but more than that, it was interesting to see how conciliatory the League is and Superman’s dialogue. Lot of fantastic interplay here and Ronnie finally getting some positive development, which is exactly what I wanted out of it! But it all ends on a tragic note, and I’m really saddened by that.
The pencils for this issue are by Georges Jeanty with inks by Cam Smith, colours by Hi-Fi and letters by Taylor Esposito. I’m not sure if Georges and Cam have worked on the series before, but I definitely liked their work. It is in the DC house style admittedly, but I liked it well enough. The only moments that gave me a pause were when some of the characters’ faces go indistinct when the camera is far enough way and getting a wide angle at a scene, and the newly-introduced female character in Grifter’s plotline since her expressions never match up to what she is doing in her scenes. Other than though, good solid work all around with Hi-Fi once again making this a visually gorgeous issue.
Good stuff, and I’m looking forward to next week’s issue.