We're three issues into this weekly DC megaseries. It started with chaos and violence in the Free Comic Book Day issue 0. There was a lot of action -- and one gloriously creepy moment -- but with the dystopic 35-year future didn't have a lot of emotional weight. And the OMAC cyborgs of various superheroes were creepy, but the possibility of a reset button was far too apparent in the opening scenes -- in fact, that's what the entire series is about. 

Issue 1, set merely 5 years into our future, wasn't much of an improvement. Setting four plot threads in motion, the book didn't have much cohesion. Grifter kills some Daemonites masquerading as humans; Brother Eye trounces Stormwatch; Batman Beyond fights one last OMAC-borg, and Ron Raymond and Jason Rusch argue about their responsibilities as Firestorm, leading them to be too late to save Green Arrow's life. But remember, this is a possible future, so a shocking death still doesn't have much weight. 

So why, then, did issue 2 suddenly start to click for me? Part of it was the superhero funeral, an event big enough to feel like the issue was about something. We see some heroes inexplicably changed, in the sort of intriguing ways that brought to mind the giant Hawkgirl in 52 (a development that went nowhere, alas). Mr. Terrific is for some reason a Twitter-trending douche. Superman (or Superboy or -girl) is seen in the background in a Wildfire-style containment suit. Animal Man was apparently best friends with Ollie -- he delivers his eulogy. There was an invasion on Earth 2 a while back, and refugees came to Earth 1. Possible futures are at their best when they try to intrigue rather than shock, and that's what's going on here.

Meanwhile, King Farraday is investigating the Grifter killings, Lois Lane gets a mysterious package relating to Oliver Queen, and there's a bartender who seems really disillusioned  with superheroes as a whole. Given his hairstyle and the fact that his bar is named The Wounded Duck, I'm guessing he's Tim Drake.

 I very nearly didn't pick up issue 2, and if it hadn't been such a light week, I wouldn't have. But suddenly, there are puzzles to solve.Suddenly, I'm invested.

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Wandering Sensei said:

I've actually read the first two "issues" (99c digital issues) that have been lumped in with some kind of video game called Infinite Crisis: The Fight for the Multiverse because I'm convinced this is going to lead into the next big Crisis that has already been heavily hinted at.

That is kind of weird, because in-game there isn't much of a storyline to follow at all. The do have background info. The game is like a superhero version of Dota 2.  Which is just a 5-vs-5 video game in which you try to destroy your opponents base. Each game every character starts at level 1 and you slowly level them up. Fun but doesn't seem ripe for a comic book adaptation

Rob said:

I think those video game things are all off in their own little universe. And wasn't Nix Uotan* a product of Countdown? Whatever is wrong with the New 52, at least that particular turd isn't floating in the continuity punchbowl anymore.

*His name always struck me as a bastardization of Uatu, our recently dead Watcher.

If read with a skewed eye it kind of reads as Not Uatu. Then again I have no idea who Nix Uotan is.

So, what does everyone think of issue 2's re-imagining of King Farraday? He's a character that's been in the DCU forever, but I don't think I've ever met anyone who has any sort of emotional stake in him -- in the last 40 years or so, he's been more plot device than character. (Certainly, his name never came up on those "When are we going to see X in the New 52?" lists.) He can be sympathetic or not, a protagonist or an antagonist or an anti-hero. Is he working for the FBI? The CIA? NSA? Argus? Spyral? Who knows! And who knows who he's talking to, either. 

But I'm interested in finding out. It's peripheral characters like Farraday that help give a comics universe its texture, and Futures End seems to be making exploring these characters one of its missions. 

Haha...well, admittedly, my reasons for reading it were retconned by myself--after I two issues in, I found out it was based on a video game. It does seem coincidental. Then again, I thought we had already had an Infinite Crisis before. Should have known something was amiss.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Oh, God, I hope not.

Yeah, I think they co-opted the name because it's pretty much perfect for a video game with a bunch of different versions of the heroes running around.

Issue 4 of Futures End has come out, and it looks like it's the Antagonistic Recruitment issue -- S.H.A.D.E.'s attack on Frankenstein is revealed as a way to get his attention to come back to work for them... and we discover that Grifter is being hunted by King Farraday because he wants him on his team, too. You get the feeling that when these people hire, they use actual headhunters for headhunters.

No sign of Firestorm this issue, but we learn a girl in Jason's study group is dating Tim Drake, who's living under an assumed ID. And Tim's just gotten his first look at Terry, and feels sorry for him, thinking he's the newest recruit for the Bat-Meat-Grinder.

Mmmm... Ground bat-meat....

Meant to mention my favorite in-joke of the book. The Key and Plastique are enlisting a fellow criminal, Coil, for the classic "one last job" -- breaking into Terrifitech. (It turns out supervillains are the only people who know how to hire in a civilized way, who woulda thunk?) Anyway, Coil, who's gone straight, tells the crooks not to use his criminal name, but to call him Eddie.

Obviously, a reference to the classic crime movie, The Friends of Eddie Coyle!

I also had to skip FCBD too. A lot  of the offered fare just did not appeal to me.

That being said, if you know the story behind that Futures End Batwoman cover, where shes *A VAMPIRE??!*, please explain. After that, I'll go back to my quiet loathing of the 'new 52'.

It hasn't come out yet, so no one knows the story. But it probably has to do with Nocturna, who's shown up recently in Batwoman as a vampire.

Nocturna is a vampire now? IIRC, she was originally just a navel-gazing, self-pitying Goth chick who disguised her Narcissism with a lot of flowery Doug Moench dialogue.

I got around to reading Future's End #4 last night, and found it to be essentially a process story. The three main threads moved ahead only marginally, so I have little to say.

Well, I'll wait for an update.

Sorry for the non-post, but it seems like everyone else got more out of it than I did!

Horn'd One said:

Well, I'll wait for an update.

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