Futures End #0

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It’s a free comic, just how much convincing do you honestly need?

If you still don’t know what it is then you are in for one crazy freaking ride! However, if you’ve been following the release of Futures End closely you get about what you expected, which is still pretty damn awesome.

Futures End #0 is DC Comics most talked about Free Comic Book Day release. It’s the prelude to an all new weekly series that takes place five years in the future of the DC Universe, but you don’t need to worry about that yet because issue #0 takes place several decades into the even more distant future where things are at their worst. It’s a time travel book with an apocalypse that must be prevented at all costs. One that introduces Terry McGinnis of Batman Beyond fame into the main DC continuity for the first time before sending him back into the past to stop the horrifying events we see unfold in this very issue. How much this Terry has in common with the character we saw in the Batman Beyond animated series is yet to be understood. There are certainly a number of similarities and differences between the show and the comic already and it definitely has nothing to do with the ongoing Batman Beyond 2.0 comic by Kyle Higgins and Thony Silas.

What happens in Futures End #0 then? It’s a Free Comic book day title so it’s obviously meant to have a tremendous WOW factor and broad appeal that makes everyone want to see more so I can guarantee you a lot of shock value. A whole lot of it. This prelude is basically cameo, shocking death, cameo, shocking death, cameo, shocking Death and so on and so forth. The world has been taken over by Brother Eye whose minions infect one living creature after another. He claims to be anti-flesh but the transformation of his army always leaves the upper body mostly intact. Basically this is just done so that readers can identify the fallen heroes, but it certainly stood out to me since it’s a visual that goes against Brother Eye’s repeated goals. So prepare yourself to see countless DC characters with half robot bodies speaking in ones and zeroes. My favourite of the converted is Frankenstein, but I have sworn not to spoil what he does. It’s my favourite moment by far from the book that actually made me go “holy ****!”

But it’s not just Batman Beyond against the world, oh no. The comic features a resistance movement, but they are all terribly inept by the creative team in order to make the robots and the threat of Brother Eye look all the more terrifying. I mean, Flash should be able to dodge this stuff and Blue Beetle’s scarab armour must put up a little more of a fight, right? A lot of the cameos therefore can appear just a little inconsistent. John Stewart looks only middle aged yet Flash and Bruce are almost prehistoric. Many of the half-robot-heroes don’t look like they’ve aged in decades. Batman Beyond himself looks just like you’d expect only it’s not the stylised Bruce Timm/Darwyn Cooke version, but instead a slightly more realistic take of what you’ve seen in video games like Arkham City. Basically, it’s a suit that looks so unbelievably awesome right up until he opens his mouth. Actually seeing teeth and a tongue within the Batman Beyond uniform is inexplicably weird and disconcerting. Bruce, on the other hand, doesn’t appear quite as decrepit as we’ve seen in the cartoon and it looks as though he’s wearing the armour from Superman Unchained!

Other than a few minor inconsistencies in the ages of many of the DC heroes making a cameo, the artwork by a team of interchanging artists is exceptional. You’d think that the frequent change in style would disrupt the flow of the book, but the events at hand are so hectic that the frequent shift in the imagery actually added to the sense of unease and chaos. Yes, I did find some pages that out performed others but overall I think it’s a visually engaging comic.

As a final note, this issue will build hype for sure and should successfully hook readers into coming back to see what happens next to Terry McGinnis. It doesn’t feature a whole lot of surprises if you already knew what the premise of the weekly series is, but it’s a quality comic book that holds a lot of promise for the weeks to come. If you missed Free Comic Book Day, don’t stress out too much. It’s a #0 issue so I’m sure everything of importance will be covered again in full in the #1 issue. 
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