FUTURE’S END promises to show us a glimpse of a future that could be. Where some reviews structure FUTURE’S END as truth I tend to look more at it like
the Nostradamus version of comics. A chart to show us where these stories could line up if all the publication stars align. Hinging on any of these stories coming true in “five years” time is like grasping at straws. It’s more like FUTURE’S END is predicated on where the stories that DC’s working on telling NOW would be in five years if nothing else happens.
WORLDS’ FINEST – FUTURE’S END #1 takes us to a vision of that possible future. One where The OMAC’s and I’m assuming Brother Eye seem to run the world or at least a part of it, embroiled in a bitter war with the denizens of Earth-2 and Darkseid himself. In that future Helena Wayne is a prisoner of war, and it’s up to Karen Starr aka Power Girl to bust her out of lock down so the people of Earth might have a fighting chance.
FUTURE’S END as a group of titles, so if you want the whole story about what’ll be going on in five years it’s a bit necessary to read all of the books DC’s putting out this month that share the title. In that way FUTURE’S END seems a bit like a trick to boost sales and is easily the least exciting event that The New 52 has done so far. Purely because if you really want to get any enjoyment out of the story being told here following every title this month is almost necessary.
WORLDS’ FINEST – FUTURE’S END #1 has the advantage from a storytelling point of view taken alone of not giving us the whole picture. It’s an example of building atmosphere and tension by not telling us the whole story. Without giving us all of the details on what’s going on in these characters lives, this issue has at least a small modicum of compelling storytelling going for it. FUTURE’S END is probably going to go down as a middle-of-the-road marketing experiment more than anything else, so it’ll be interesting to see where books like WORLDS’ FINEST fall when this is all said and done with.
There’s some interesting composition stuff in the fight between Power Girl and Fifty-Sue, with Fifty-Sue’s fire (explosion?) powers taking up much of every panel she occupies, overwhelming the cool colored panels with hot flashes of red and orange seemingly digitally overlaid drawings. What I’m saying is it looks cool. When Robbie Reyes showed up earlier on in the New 52 I can’t help but feel if his powers had looked the same maybe he would’ve caught on with fans a bit more.
There’s a point in this book where another character who’s not mentioned at any point previously nor can she be seen in any of the other panels suddenly appears. From where? Why too does she exclaim that she’s seen the OMAC’s do any number of awful things to people – but despite being comparable to Power Girl in power level she’s decided to do nothing about it until this specific minute in a crowded facility where the two heroes are no doubt outnumbered and outclassed? There are other ways this story could have been realized I think without questions that can’t really be explained in a meaningful way turning up.
That’s sort of been the experience all across the FUTURE’S END line altogether too. Even a stellar new book like GRAYSON wasn’t immune, with this month’s edition of it being tailored to FUTURE’S END and being the worst in the series so far and leaving an otherwise black mark on a series that was trucking along just fine without it. Really, I hope FUTURE’S END contributes to people’s exhaust with comic book company events more than anything. For every interesting hook an event like FUTURE’S END might contribute to canon with, there are five series that have to interrupt good stories so editorial can try to decide what people will want to read in a few years.
WORLDS’ FINEST – FUTURE’S END #1 is Deathstroke swinging his sword at Power Girl and slicing nothing but air in comic book form, repeated forever. Afterwards, he will always say “I’ve caught bigger prey” in a nod to the fact that this series is usually a lot better than it is when it has “FUTURE’S END” as the tagline. Hey at least we get a Superman who wears a motorcycle helmet out of it.