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.
I hadn't read this issue yet, probably because -- like you -- I found the first two issues kinda dull and more than a little derivative (of X-Men: Days of Future Past). Maybe I'll move it to the top of the pile, now!
The new issue is worth a look. It really did a lot to bring me on board.
I read issues 1 and 2 this morning. I thought it was pretty cool. I like the McGinnis Batman, so I really dug the first issue, and then Rob's right; the second issue really kicked things into high gear. It was fun to see the bearded Green Arrow (even dead) and Red Arrow again. It's actually just kind of fun to see the DC Universe again.
I liked issue 3, too, and I'm glad they didn't string out the "who is he bearded bartender?" mystery very long. (Not that was a terribly difficult mystery...) I'm glad to see Lois on the trail of something, and I've started to get interested in the Grifter storyline, as well. Hopefully the Firestorm story will come to a head soon; it's going to need some forward momentum.
Interesting that it seems like the girls Ronnie was flirting with are the same one that came to the bar at the end. I don't think that means anything, necessarily, just a nice coincidence for those reading closely.
That bodega in Camden seemed like a supermarket inside. But other than that, I thought Dan Jurgens did a great job with the art.
And here's one way to keep Barry around but still have Wally as the Flash... publish a year of comics set five years in the future! I wonder if we'll see him running around in Futures End now that he's been revealed on the 3-D cover of September's Flash.
Here's a press release from DC with some of the lenticular covers Rob references above:
I still think the the current DCU is too new to end. They could give it some time before they reboot.
Who says they're rebooting?
From the looks of the Future's End covers, I'm guessing that DC is integrating not only Batman Beyond but the Legion of Super-Heroes into the current DCU. I've seen characters that look an awful lot like Dawnstar and Wildfire. Also, it appears that a number of speedsters will be contemporaries.
I thought it was a reboot storyline. I stopped reading Batman Beyond when a new writer took over and jumped the storyline that I had been enjoying. Since then I haven't paid attention, but to me it looked like a reboot.
I just finished Future's End #3, and like you guys above, I'm finding it more interesting than I did originally, when it just looked like a "Days of Future Past" swipe homage.
At first I didn't like the idea that BB landed five years in the future; time-travel stories are conceptually complicated as is, so I felt like the "five years later" bit was an unnecessary further complication. But that has actually worked out, at least for me, because we get that "gee whiz!' factor by seeing unfamiliar variations of familiar characters.
The downside is if they lock in the next five years due to events here. That would suck. But with time travel the Reset Button (tm) is always in evidence, so let's hope they don't, for example, give Oliver Queen a five-year death sentence.
I skipped Free Comic Book Day this year, but they had copies of #0 at the con last weekend, so I read it this morning. Having only been reading the mystical part of the New 52, there were several characters I barely recognized (and which Flash was this? looks distinguished in that beard). Of course the basic setup is reminiscent of the Terminator movies, crossed with the Borg from Star Trek. Since I happen to be reading the conclusion of the Rotworld story, I was also struck by some basic similarities there as well. They're both apocalyptic events that result in the transformation of the entire human population. Only in comics could an event like Rotworld only affect a small group of titles! All of the superheroes got converted into zombie versions of themselves, but not in their own books.
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. There is kind of a sense of urgency as the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor, and Nix Uotan are seen in various levels of action, and Batman is see interacting with Harbinger and the Batman of the Gotham By Gaslight world.
Do you suppose this will link in with Future's End in any way? If not, I can't see how that makes any sense.
Oh, God, I hope not.
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.