Of late, the action in Future’s End has really been ramping up to something epic. With all the different plotlines going on, it was inevitable that many of them would intersect with each other in quite interesting ways, and that is exactly what has been happening. Thing is, despite the apparent lack of general popularity in the title as far as the blogosphere is concerned, the title still appears to be going strong and week after week I can see why. It has some of DC’s top writing and top art at the moment and that has value, even if a lot of it is just the house style..
The epic went into overdrive in this week’s Future’s End #12. First we had this big fight scene with Amethyst, Frankenstein and Hawkman, with a decidedly major cliffhanger. Then the King Faraday and Voodoo plotlines intersected something fierce and I’m left wondering if the character of “Courtney” is who I think it is. Then the plotline with a villain named Ethan got super-interesting, considering how he was broken out of prison recently and after that we got the most magnificent cliffhanger ending ever in comics, as we got taken back to the future that Terry McGinnis is trying to prevent in the past.
You look at that cover from Ryan Sook and you wonder if the interiors and the story are going to hold up to that. That is Katar Hol (Hol?) aka Hawkman fighting off a bunch of evil robots alongside the ever-awesome Amethyst and Frankenstein as a certain hero-villain looks on. Ryan Sook’s latest is no exception to the fine work he has done on this series since its launch, and I really, really want him to do some interiors at some point. He’s good for it, I think, since his covers are always very dynamic and alive.
As I said, the first story deals with the Stormwatch-SHADE trio as we see what happens after they crash-landed on the planet in the previous issue. They are attacked by robots, though Frankenstein tries to be conciliatory, and then the shit hits the fan as the badass trio of Amethyst, Frankenstein and Hawkman lay into the robots with all they’ve got. It is all pure action that happens to have some great characterisation by consequence.
Then we move on to King Faraday strong-arming another character, a woman named Courtney this time, and asking her about yet another character, Voodoo, who got introduced last issue in relation to Grifter and his friend Justin. The intersection of these two stories has me really curious since Voodoo and King Faraday aren’t characters that I’ve run into before, far as I can tell, and they are proving to be very interesting for sure. And I wonder if “Courtney” could be Courtney as in Stargirl? I’ll have to re-check Future’s End #2 since it had a whole host of DC’s superheroes and I think I might have seen Stargirl there. Can’t really say.
Then there is the brief interaction between the geneticist/villain Ethan and Kitty Faulkner (?), the latter having suffered some kind of serious accident and requiring Ethan’s particular skills. I am not yet sure how this particular arc is going to play out, but I like the fact that the incident from a couple issues back is addressed here and that for now the arc has a conclusive mid-point.
Finally, there’s a spectacular ending to this issue, which I consider to be one of the best ever from DC in the New 52. Instead of the “present” of 5 years from the present time-line, we are taken to another 30 years in the future, from where Terry McGinnis began his journey back in time. And we see finally what happened in that future after the events of Future’s End #1, just before Terry made the time-jump. The villain introduced is one of my favourites and he faces up to his nemesis, one of DC’s greats, and the final page is just too horrible to imagine. But awesome!
The pencils in this issue are by Jesus Merino, with inks by Dan Green, colours by Hi-Fi and letters by Carlos M. Mangual. I loved the artwork in this issue. It takes me back to the awesomeness of Future’s End #2, which is the best issue of the series (by a small margin actually). But should I be surprised? Jesús Merino did the artwork for that issue as well! Every page here was pretty damn awesome, and I loved Merino’s characterwork for Voodoo, the Stormwatch-SHADE trio and for the final arc in this issue, the future arc. And not only that, but I think that the inks and colours were also best. The issue flows together very well in terms of the visuals and every page has something great to offer.
Man, I can’t wait for next week now.