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Monday, September 22, 2014

Comic Review - New 52 - Future's End

Title/Storyline
New 52 - Future's End
Publish Date/Year
2014
Creative Team
Story: Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens, and Jeff Lemire
Covers: Ryan Sook.
Art: Ethan Van Sciver, Patrick Zircher, Dan Jurgens, Aaron Lopresti, Jesus Merino, Georges Jeanty, Scot Eaton
Publisher
DC
This is my current favourite title simply because I have always been a sucker for titles with second/third tier characters, and Future’s End delivers in spades. I love seeing less well-known characters like Princess Amethyst, Agent Frankenstein of SHADE, Grifter, etc taking the lime-light for a change.
The premise:
The story starts 35 years into a possible future of the DC Universe (Prime Earth) that we know and are familiar with (similar to the dystopian future of X-Men’s Days of Future Past) Brother Eye (a self-aware Artificial Intelligence) has assimilated the majority of superheroes into horrific mindless cyborgs.
Bruce Wayne (of the future) uses a time machine in an attempt to prevent Brother Eye’s total domination. Before Bruce was (will be?) able to use the time machine, he gets ambushed by the assimilated cyborg heroes, forcing Batman Beyond (Terry McGinnis) to travel through time in his stead.
However, Batman Beyond arrives 5 years too late (ie: 5 years into our future). He now is on a dire mission to prevent the horrible reality of his future from happening but in a period that may already be 5 years too late. It’s a different DC world to the DC world we know today.
Firestorm & Justice League
Jason Rusch, desperately searches for Ronnie Raymond (the 2 of them would merge and become into one being as Firestorm with Ronnie in charge) but find that they were too late to save Green Arrow from death.
After Green Arrow's funeral, Ronnie refuses to let Jason out of the Firestorm Matrix (as they are still merged) for weeks. Upon finally doing so, they decided that they could never work together as Firestorm again, with Jason blaming Ronnie for being too late to save Green Arrow.
Stormwatch, Amethyst, Frankenstein, Hawkman & Ray Palmer (Atom)
Stormwatch team has been killed by a mysterious Universal threat, with Hawkman as the sole survivor from the team. SHADE (Similar to Marvel’s SHIELD) gets wind of this event and sends Amethyst, Frankenstein and Ray Palmer to the Bleed (where Stormwatch operates from, somewhere between time and space, much like Marvel’s Knowhere) investigate. Their investigations soon led them to be attacked by robots led by a Brainiac-controlled Engineer (a founding member of the Stormwatch whom they thought was already dead). They soon find out that it was Brainiac who had killed Stromwatch and is now proceeding onward to our universe.
King Faraday, Grifter, Deathstroke, Fifty Sue, Lana Lang, Cadmus Island, OMACs
Grifter has the ability to see beyond the disguises of shape-shifting aliens (he’s a Wildstorm Character from the WildCATS, a Wildstorm title who was hunting evil aliens named Daemonites), track and kill them. King Faraday captures and coerces Grifter to work with his team comprising of Fifty Sue (a seemingly innocent looking 10-year old girl who is absurdly powerful) and Deathstroke (possibly DC’s deadliest person.) on a secret island called Cadmus, guarded by numerous OMACs.
We also learn that Cadmus Island is also where the Earth 2 (such as Mr Miracle & Power Girl) heroes are held against their will for purposes that have yet to be made clear.
Artwork
The covers by Ryan Sook (who by the way is one of my ALL-TIME favourite artists) are fantastic.
Because it is a weekly title, it makes it impossible for a single art-team to handle all the art chores. So the downside to this series is that you can’t get the same team for all the issues and this change of art teams can be a little disruptive to readers' enjoyment. 
Ethan Van Sciver (of Green Lantern & Flash Rebirth fame) did a great job kicking off the series in Issue 0. I miss his work. Hope he will do another issue soon.
Overall
Yes, it can get and may be a little confusing for some as they may not have seen or be familiar with the characters like GrifterAmethyst, etc. However, it is this very reason why I love series like this. 
My suggestion is to give yourself a chance to know these 2nd & 3rd tier characters. I know you will end up liking or even loving them. This is the ONLY title at the moment that makes me wish the days would just move faster so that I can read the new issue. Great pacing and there's always something new that keeps me coming back for more! Go read it!

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