Last week’s issue really seemed to breathe new life in the series with the introduction of the fan favourite character Black Adam. This week writers Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens, and Jeff Lemire attempt to make lightning strike twice by introducing Deathstroke, but unfortunately fall short. This issue also provides us with the first confrontation between Mister Terrific and Batman Beyond, though I’m sure it won’t be their last. While some questions are answered, many more questions are raised in week 7 of FUTURES END.
Frankenstein’s story arc remains one of the most interesting. Not only has it introduced a new use for the Phantom Zone, but it also revealed that Black Adam is trapped within. In this issue, we learn who is responsible for his fate and also see the remnants of Stormwatch. This subplot has the fastest pace by far and is full of surprises, making it one of the most entertaining aspects of the book.
Mister Terrific finally confronts Batman Beyond in this issue as well. While the confrontation is short lived, it will be interesting to see how Terry reacts to being outed and also what Mister Terrific plans to go with the futuristic cyborg Terry left behind.
Slade Wilson A.K.A Deathstroke is introduced to the series as an operative of King Faraday. It is also revealed that he is currently training in a facility on Cadmus Island while awaiting his partner, Grifter. Deathstroke’s placement here seems like a natural fit since we already know that security on the island is a primary concern. While very little is known at this point, Cadmus Island remains to be one of the most intriguing and mysterious aspects of the book. Hopefully more will be revealed in next month’s issue which features the island (as well a newly designed character) on the cover.
When Grifter finds out he’ll be working with Deathstroke, he talks as if he’s never met him before and only heard of him. Fans of the New 52 will know that Grifter and Deathstroke worked together long ago on Team 7 and should be very familiar with one another. It’s unfortunate that editorial missed something like this because it seems odd Grifter would question how they would work together…when they’ve already worked together. Hopefully there is some way to fix this error before the trade is released.
Now that we are seven issues into the series, I would expect there to be more of a connection between the subplots. When the series first started readers were made to believe the focus of the story would be Batman Beyond trying to stop Brother Eye. As of now Batman Beyond’s role has been the least significant and somewhat predictable. Fortunately the series still has roughly 40 issues to still be released, so this is likely just a slow build towards the climax of the story. Still, it would be nice to at least begin to see how all of these character’s subplots intersect. Instead it feels like I am reading 4 separate stories that appear to have no effect on each other whatsoever.
Artist Aaron Lopresti once again does a great job on art, though I do have one minor gripe. I couldn’t help but feel that the aerial view of Cadmus Island was rushed. The buildings appear to be rectangles with square windows, and that’s it. The detail in this panel seemed inconsistent with the rest of issue.
Overall this was a good issue, but not a great issue. Frankenstein’s story continues to move forward and leaves us with yet another cliffhanger ending, while Batman Beyond’s story is anticlimactic and leaves the reader wanting more. The art here is once again well done, although one part in particular seemed rushed. While this issue has many pros and cons, the series, as a whole, still seems to suffer from a lack of significance. It’s hard for the reader to determine what is important about one storyline is when it seems to have nothing to do with another storyline. Hopefully the overall premise that connects these stories is revealed soon so that readers can begin to see what this series is building towards.