As the cover indicates, this week’s FUTURES END finds Ronnie Raymond facing off against the Justice League, with Firestorm’s membership hanging in the balance. While it may not be as exciting as the cover alludes it to be, it is nice to finally see this issue come to a head. This week also brings us the continuation of Frankenstein’s space adventure, the introduction of Voodoo to the series, and another appearance by the currently un-named, murderous, purple robot.
While much of the past remains unknown, writers Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens, and Jeff Lemire give subtle references to the events that have transpired. This technique has been used well, throughout the series since it only reveals little bits of information at a time. It also gives added significance to what the character is saying since it not only references the present, but also the mysteries of the past. With over 30 issues still remaining I’m confident that we’ll see plenty more of these references still to come.
Artist Georges Jeanty makes his debut on the series and does an excellent job. This weekly series has been much more consistent with its art than BATMAN ETERNAL has been. All the artists thus far, including Jeanty, have a similar style that allows each issue to flow seamlessly into the next. While this may go unnoticed to some for now, I’m sure that this will be much more apart when both series are collected as trades.
The Justice League’s intervention for Firestorm is a part of the story that makes an attempt to follow up on the death of Green Arrow. Unfortunately, this scene falls short in a variety of ways. Firstly it appears that no one is concerned about what exactly killed Green Arrow. I understand that Ronnie Raymond is going through a tough period, but one would think the league would be more concerned with how exactly one of their senior members was killed. While I understand that the scope of this story is quite large, I feel as though the writers should have made more of an effort to mention this, even if there are plans to deal with it down the road. Secondly, it feels like while some characters have changed drastically, others appear to have not changed at all. This creates an inconsistency within the book and makes this future seem less plausible. For instance you would think Wonder Woman (the God of War) would be vastly different after a war with another Earth. Also Mister Terrific’s technological advances make it very unlikely that Cyborg wouldn’t have had a visual update either.
In general, this issue felt like it contained a lot of filler. Specifically, the Frankenstein and Firestorm plot lines contained a lot of dialogue but didn’t tell the reader anything new. Furthermore each story line did very little to move the plot forward in any meaningful way. While I don’t expect every issue to be action packed for every character, I felt this issue just went through the motions and didn’t attempt to make any bold steps forward.
This issue contained a lot of fan favourite characters, though many of them did very little. While the story continues to move forward, many of the developments felt predictable and lackluster. While fans of the series will likely enjoy this issue, its lack of significance makes it feel very much like filler.