SUPERBOY Future’s End #1 written by Frank J. Barbiere, art by Ben Caldwell and colors by Mike Atiyeh.
Despite the previous issue’s claim to be the final episode in this volume this issue is the wrap up of the storyline…just five years down the road. Of course it can easily be blamed on the alternate future of the Future’s End event. In that sense the issue functions in some manner like Alan Moore’s “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” However, the similarities end pretty quickly. One also gets a sense that there is a nod to the ‘other’ Supermen from Grant Morrison’s “All-Star Superman,” albeit after they have passed through the Twilight Zone.
The issue opens with Superboy, the Guardian, Rose Wilson and Roxy fighting the robots of the Future’s End event. We discover that Kon is still concerned about the ‘other’ Superboys who were supposedly dealt with in issue #34. There are a few character moments between the friends as Kon tries to play the ‘I’ll do it myself’ card and the others try to convince him that they will take on trouble together as friends do for friends.
As one might guess it isn’t long before three ‘other’ Superboys’ show up to make trouble in Manhattan for Kon and Co. Not to spoil it, but the situation is resolved and Kon learns his lesson to go ahead and accept the help.
If you are a fan of this character this is a nice goodbye to the run and a slight nod to the aforementioned Moore and Morrison stories. Kon learns a lesson that should server him well in his next adventure and there is at least some hope found here for the characters in their bonding and camaraderie despite the starkness of the Future’s End landscape. Ben Caldwell also has some nice page layouts if stylistically his approach doesn’t fit with the standard superhero comic.
Most of the issue is clichéd battle filler. First robots then the Superboy goon squad. It really reads like an excuse to do one more issue of this title. Perhaps at the time it wasn’t clear that this would be the last issue of the book after last issue’s last issue.
Only a must read for the fans of this Superboy run. I don’t even think the die hard Future’s End fan would find this book relevant. It’s a very tenuous tie-in as it takes place five years in the future and references the events of Future’s End, but seems to have little to do with the plot. It’s really just a goodbye to Kon’s first run in the New 52.