The New 52: Futures End #0 (2014)

The New 52: Futures End #0 FCBD Special Edition (June, 2014)
Writers – Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens & Keith Giffen
Pencillers – Ethan Van Sciver, Patrick Zircher, Aaron Lopresti, Jurgens & Jesus Merino
Inkers – Art Thibert, Mark Irwin & Dan Green
Art Consultant – Keith Giffen
Colors – Hi-Fi
Letters – Carlos Mangual
Assistant Editor – Kyle Andrukiewicz
Editor – Joey Cavalieri
Group Editor – Matt Idelson
Cover Price: FREE

As I rapidly approach one solid year of daily blogging, I figured I may as well discuss one of the books that brought me back into the “Greater DC Universe” fold.  When this book was announced, it was rumored that it would ultimately lead to a return to the old (er, real) DCU.  I was down to my last few titles and was planning on dropping DC altogether, but I’ll go into further depth after the usual spoilery synopsis.

We open in Central City, 35 years from whenever you read this.  An aged Flash is working alongside some of his Rogues… and he enters their compound with his quickness.  It is revealed that he is running from… Wonder Woman… at least it’s something that resembles Wonder Woman.  It is made (relatively) clear that she has been assimilated by Brother Eye… and is looking to “spread the love”.  She chops off Captain Cold’s hands, and the Flash proceeds to pound her into the ground.

After regaining his bearings, the Flash finds himself stood before… Frankenstein.  He gives Flash the choice of joining Brother Eye, or… ya know, dying.  Flash tells Frank to eff-off, which leads to the big guy opening his vest… revealing Black Canary’s head grafted to his chest.  Her sonic scream turns Barry (I think it’s Barry) to dust.

We next get a look at many DC Universe locales in this sorta-kinda far-flung future… Brother-Eyed folks have, for most intents and purposes, taken over the Earth.  In Metropolis, we join Green Lantern John Stewart and Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes running through the sewers.  Outside we see several assimilated heroes, including Booster Gold.  Jaime is the first to fall.

John looks like he might be able to hold his own… but then, Superman shows up.  It’s pretty much academic from there.

Next up, we join the oddball team of Grifter and Amethyst.  They have been tasked by Bruce Wayne to infiltrate the Brother Eye… Compound (?) and disconnect Firestorm, which would sever its link to the assimilated heroes via satellite uplink… or something.  They run afoul of Superman and the newly cybery-John Stewart… and get atomized pretty quick.

We shift to the man who gave them the task… Bruce Wayne, at Wayne Manor.  He is alongside Terry McGinnis, ya know… that other Batman… from the cartoon.  Anyhoo, Bruce is planning on going back in time to stop this dark future from happening.

Before he can, however, the Assimilated Batmen of All Nations infiltrate the Manor… and before we know it, it’s a pretty bad time.  The Knight slices off Bruce’s right arm before he can hop into the time-travel portal device.

Terry is able to better the Batmechs, and heads over to tend to Bruce.  He is given the time-travel watch thingie, and instructed to stop this Brother Eye present, by heading to the past… and so he does.  Next thing we know, Batman Beyond is standing in Times Square, five years from now!

Well… this was, interesting… right?  I remember really not knowing what to make of it… but felt as though it wasn’t so ingrained in “New 52ness” that I could still get something out of it.  Like I mentioned in the preamble, in early 2014 I was down to about 4-5 DC books a month… and I was only really enjoying Justice League.  Batman was kind of hit or miss for me… though, definitely more hit than miss… but I still could’ve dropped it without losing much sleep over it.

With Futures End, there was that rumor… as slight as it might’ve been, that the weekly series was going to end with either the return of the Multiverse… or simply a return to the pre-Flashpoint DCU.  Well, that was enough for me.  Suddenly I was sorta-kinda back with DC… even picking up other titles I didn’t normally read if I felt there was the slightest possibility that there’d be some “old” DC hinted at… which kinda paid off during that Superman: Doomed storyline…

Overall, this issue wasn’t half bad.  Like I said… there wasn’t that “New 52” feeling to it, title notwithstanding… it could have easily taken place in ANY DC Universe… hell, the “Brother-Eyed” Superman is cut off at the waist… for all I know, he could’ve been wearing the red trunks before he got assimilated… right?  I guess he’s still got that horrendous collar though… ehh…

The art here is almost scarily consistent… I actually had to take a second look at the list of creators at the end… I thought there might have been two pencillers… but didn’t expect for this to have been a jam-issue at all.  

We get ourselves a great opening mystery… in both the sorta-far flung and the near futures… with ramifications promising to change the outcome of one to affect the other… all told, not too shabby.  Perhaps a bit too dismembery for my tastes… but, whattayagonna do.  For a Free Comic Book Day issue, this was a great one.  Sure beats the hell out of the outdated reprints we’re accustomed to from DC…

Of course, hindsight… that horrible thing… tells us how all of this works out… but, let’s not worry about that for now.  I was hoping to be able to direct folks to grab the digital version of this issue… and I was sure DC would have it available seeing as though it was a FCBD book… but, damned if I can find it on readdcentertainment.com!  Not sure I can recommend actually paying for this issue… though the Futures End series, ending and (lack of?) fallout notwithstanding is some pretty decent comics.

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