Saturday, September 19, 2015
Futures End #48
• Brian Azzarello
• Jeff Lemire
• Dan Jurgens
• Keith Giffen
• Allan Goldman
• Freddie Williams II
• Andy MacDonald
• Stephen Thompson
• Scott Hanna
• Freddie Williams II
• Stephen Thompson
• Tom Napolitano
• Ryan Sook
• David Piña
• Joey Cavalieri
• Matt Idelson
Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
By special arrangement with the Jerry Siegel family.
The final cover for this series is the most haunting. Brother Eye's red logo glows ominously in the darkness, implying that the most powerful villain of this yearlong story remains triumphant at the end. And as we'll see, that is exactly what happens.
For the first time in this series, I feel like I've missed something significant by skipping a few issues. To recap, this story began approximately in the year 2047 (according to my timeline), with Brother Eye controlling the world and wiping out the last few remaining heroes one by one. Batman sent his latest protégé, Terry McGinnis, back in time to prevent Brother Eye from ever being activated. But Terry only went 30 years back instead of the necessary 35 years. We didn't see much of Terry in our cursory glance through this series, but in issue #44, we did see him team up with Tim Drake, the former Robin. So apparently, Terry and Tim thought they destroyed Brother Eye, and something happened that required Tim to put on Terry's suit and travel to Terry's time of 2047. And that is where our story begins.
Tim finds himself in a beautiful garden, decorated with giant statues of all of Earth's major superheroes, including the Flash. But Tim quickly learns that he's in a hologram created by Mr. Terrific. Somehow, Tim and Terry failed, and Brother Eye still controls the world, which is in ruins. And since Brother Eye considers Mr. Terrific his father, he has not assimilated him, but keeps him imprisoned, constantly looking for his approval. Tim doesn't have long to come to terms with the reality of the situation and his failure in the past before Brother Eye sends some robotic heroes to assimilate him, including the Flash and Captain Cold.
Luckily, Tim and Mr. Terrific are rescued by a group of mystery fighters, led by the Atom. He takes them to some secret underground tunnels to avoid Brother Eye's detection, and Tim learns that one of the fighters is old girlfriend, who's now 30 years older than him. But he still loves her. Atom then gives the worst non-explanation for why the future didn't change: "Drake changed the timeline and altered events around him — but Terrifitech was a constant that survived, protected by the Eye." Tim is shown how Brother Eye has thoroughly and completely won, but he refuses to accept that, and optimistically vows to keep fighting.
Hmm ... well ... I guess I'm glad the robot Flash wasn't a stupid spider-thing. But that really is the only positive I can glean from this disappointment of an issue.
Little to no Flash. This is a Flash blog, and any issue that reduces the Flash to a statue and an evil robot needs to be docked a point.
Non-ending ending. This is the final issue of a weekly series that lasted an entire year. It seemed like everything was building toward a grand conclusion. But instead, it built toward this strange new reality with Tim Drake as Batman in a horrible dystopian future. DC did launch a new Batman Beyond title after this that takes place in this world, but who would that really appeal to? Fans of Batman Beyond would surely want to see Terry McGinnis, right? And which fans of Tim Drake would want to see an older version of himself flung further in the future? I don't get it.
Nothing matters. The whole conceit of this series presented a concept and a string of stories that simply do not matter. Everything takes place in an alternate future to begin with, meaning that nothing that happened in this series can affect what's happening in the current continuity. And this issue further compounded the problem by showing that no matter what anyone did in any of these issues, Brother Eye still won in the end. And that was the whole point of the series. Who cares that Superman saved New York from Brainiac, or that Martian Manhunter kept Captain Atom imprisoned on Mars? Brother Eye still wins and kills everybody. The only element of this series that was mildly intriguing (from a current continuity standpoint) was the constant references and hints to a big war that happened five years ago. But even this element was weakened by the incredibly vague references to the war, and the constant assertions that what was currently happening was worse than anything they saw during the war. So you're not going to tell me anything about this war, except for the fact that Brainiac lifting New York into the sky was worse than that war. Why should I get excited for it?
Final score: 2 out of 10
Next time will be my final review on this blog. I will cover what I consider to be the official sendoff of The New 52, Justice League #40.