Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The New 52: Futures End, Volume 1 Review (Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire)

Once upon a time Batman and Mister Terrific created a sentient AI called Brother Eye. 35 years later Brother Eye enslaved all of humanity! Dawww, they grow up so fast, don’t they? 

So, taking a page from Marvel’s playbook of clichĂ©s, Batman Beyond/Terry McGinnis travels back in time to avert this disaster and stop Brother Eye’s creation. Except he misses the mark, arriving five years too late. These Batmen, eh? Utter fuck-ups!

It’s down to Terry and a ragtag collection of DC’s least popular and most obscure characters to somehow salvage a win from this absolute mess. Welcome to Futures End – I highly recommend not bothering with it!

One of the rules of DC Comics is that if Hawkman’s in the book – and, surprise, surprise, like a golden-winged Jonah, here he is! - that book is going to be shit. I’m gonna have to add another character to that rule: Batman Beyond. I want to love Terry but he’s never – NEVER – appeared in an even halfway decent comic! And Futures End is definitely shit.

The story is a sprawling and unfocused disaster, the characters are badly written, and the plotting is nonsensical. So the main story appears to be Batman Beyond preventing the apocalyptic future from coming to pass but Terry spends most of the time putzing about with a cyborg’s corpse in a shopping trolley – and that’s all he does here!

Other storylines are unconnected, pointless and boring. Frankenstein, Amethyst and Hawkman (shudder) investigate Stormwatch’s disappearance and Grifter, Deathstroke and Fifty-Sue (see what I mean about least popular and most obscure characters?) are doing… something… on a mysterious island full of OMACs. And what about the mystery of why Superman’s wearing a motorcycle helmet? Yeah, what about it? How is that even a storyline!? This first volume is way too long at 400 pages and its length is especially felt given that almost nothing happens and none of what does is remotely interesting! 

Green Arrow is killed off for shock value that just made me roll my eyes (am I meant to care? That’s not a spoiler either as it has nothing to do with anything and doesn’t count anyway as this is an alternate timeline – Ollie’s up and about in Rebirth) and apparently Red Robin/Tim Drake died too but he faked it or something and Tim, under an alias, spends the book working as a bartender – seriously, that’s his entire storyline! Meanwhile, nobody’s favourite superheroes, Firestorm and Mister Terrific, are written out of character to behave like complete dicks for no reason. And everyone’s referencing a war with Earth-2 – what the hell is that and when the fuck did that happen!?

I’d hoped Futures End might be halfway readable given two competent writers – Brian Azzarello and Jeff Lemire – were involved but it reads like the other, vastly more horrendous writers, Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen, wrote most of this garbage.

And so I end reading any more of Futures End with the overly tedious, convoluted and rubbish Volume 1 having learned the lesson to steer clear of any comics with Batman Beyond on the cover!

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