After what proved to be a pretty damn good first week, the second and third weeks of Future’s End have proven to be less than spectacular. A lot of the issues have either been dead-ends or just plain boring. DC’s penchant for making September the big event month shows once again that such things are rarely a good idea, especially since a lot of the stories have zilch to do with the actual Future’s End event, and they are more of just one-shots. A lot of the recent issues have been plagued by this sadly, and few have come out on top despite that kind of handicap.
This week’s Future’s End one-shots for Supergirl and Teen Titans have been a mixed bag for sure. The former has seemingly very little to do with the event, which kind of kills me since I wanted very much to know what Kara has been doing in the years since the war with Earth 2 and the disappearance of Superman from Earth 1. With the latter, we see how a new Teen Titans team has stepped into the shows of the old one, and this one is from Earth 2 no less! Right mix of stories here, and I found that I, surprisingly enough, loved both of them, despite having dropped off both titles sometime last year. Now I’m excited again!
Supergirl: Future’s End #1 is written by Tony Bedard, who is the current Supergirl writer and he tells a story where Kara has been turned into Cyborg-Supergirl by Cyborg-Superman. We know now that the New 52 version of the villain is actually her father Zor-El, who was taken from Krypton by Brainiac and turned into his herald, in a very Galactus-Silver Surfer kind of way. This particular story unfolded last year in the pages of Supergirl when Michael Alan Nelson was on the title and these issues were my favourites of the series, a huge step above. And that too largely because after the terrible H’el on Earth crossover some great self-contained stories were being told on the title.
Tony Bedard here reminds me of just what kind of a character and title both Supergirl and Supergirl can be. His pacing is perfect. His dialogue is spot-on. His story is superb. Sure, the future has definitely not been kind to Kara at all, more so in the context that even in current time in her own series she has had an extremely rough time, being very aggressive and troubled and betrayed and what not. But still, in the midst of it all, he shows just how amazing a character she is, whether that has to do with her physicality or her mental strength or her moral compass.
It all makes me really want to get back to reading Supergirl just so I can see how he has carried on after Michael Alan Nelson’s rather short tenure on the title. This is an issue that I can certainly recommend, and for more than just Supergirl since her supporting cast is quite admirable in this bleak look at the future five years from now.
Emanuela Luppachino is the artist here, with Ray McCarthy on inks, Hi-Fi on colours and Rob Leigh on the letters. Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith and Dan Brown are the cover artists. I loved the cover art here. Whether it is Borgified-Supergirl or Cyborg-Superman or any of the other characters in the issue, the characterwork is top-notch and so is the visual storytelling. The body language and facial expressions, more than anything else, really sell it, and the colours too are pretty much perfect.
Highly recommended, this issue!
Teen Titans: Future’s End #1 deals with a bunch of young Earth 2 superheroes who are still out and about on Earth 1 and haven’t been caught up in the whole incarceration and experimentation thing going on at Cadmus Island. We have the Atlantean superhero Tempest, alongisde the magician Klarion, and a female Kid Flash who seems to be carrying on the legacy of Earth 2 Flash aka Jay Garrick. And then here’s Heretic who is kind of the odd-one out among them since he is an Earth 1 resident but intent on stopping the same villain as the young teens from the parallel Earth: Archimedes Grant.
In the future, the ridiculously wealthy Archimedes Grant parties every day of the week and as entertainment he pits captures Earth 2 wonders against animals in simulated natural habitats. When we first meet Tempest, he is in a water tank with a Great White Shark, duking it out with everything that he’s got. Archimedes is also a man who is against Earth 2 residents in all their forms and wants nothing more than to throw them in prison and experiment on them or something, aside from getting some violent showcase action from them, which isn’t too far from what Cadmus is already doing in the main Future’s End series.
All of this sets up some easy straight-forward conflict in the story and Will Pfeifer’s story is a pretty fun one here. He launches right into the meat of things and goes on from there, which is an approach that I can doubly appreciate, and his characterization of the different heroes is also spot-on, insofar as who they are meant to be. I haven’t come across these characters before, but it kind of felt like I already knew them so well, given how easily Pfeifer writes the camaraderie between them, especially once the big twist of the second half, with the new player on scene, hits.
Great stuff there, though the ending leaves a bit to be desired.
Andy Smith is on pencils here with Keith Champagne on inks, Matt Yackey on colours and Rob Leigh on letters with Karl Kerschl on the cover. The artists do a good job with the characters and the designs are certainly nice, but for me there was some energy lacking from it. Not bad art per se, and I really did like it, but often it seemed as if the artists weren’t quite able to hit the mark properly. Still, when all is said and done, I’d rather have this art team on a Teen Titans book rather than the current one, and even with this roster too!
Worth a read at least, lots of promise and potential.
More Supergirl: #21-23.