Writers: Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, Keith Giffen
Artists: Ethan Van Sciver, Patrick Zircher, Aaron Lopresti & Art Thibert, Dan Jurgens & Mark Irwin, Jesus Merino & Dan Green
The New 52 launched its newest series with Futures End #0 on Free Comic Book Day. I’ve been away from collecting comic books for quite a few years, so this is my foray back into some fine literature.
The start of this series is explosive. From the beginning, we’re drawn into a very bleak, violent future where major heroes have been turned into cyborg monsters who have a Borg-like mission to assimilate other beings. Unlike the Borg though, they’re fast, swift and brutal. It’s like they relish the activity. We see some familiar faces and some quick deaths that aren’t for the faint-of-heart. I know that there are some people out there who weren’t able to participate in Free Comic Book Day, and that’s a shame. Issue #0 really sets up what’s at stake for our protagonist, Batman Beyond (Terry McGinnis).
Plot Details and Spoilers and Deaths: Oh My!
The issue opens up 35 years in the future with a bearded and grey Flash who speeds into a stronghold. Exhausted, he’s helped in by Captain Cold. Okay, we know something is very wrong when the bad guy is helping the hero. It’s not long before a cyborged-out Wonder Woman with a spider-like robot lower-half bursts through and starts assimilating people. The Flash is able to kill Wonder Woman, but not before she slices off the forearms of Captain Cold. I told you this was brutal. Prepare for more gore.
As more cyborgs surround The Flash, Frankenstein appears. He demands that The Flash join Brother Eye or be destroyed. The Flash refuses. What follows is so awesomely creepy. Frankenstein opens his shirt to reveal that he has sewn the head of Black Canary onto his chest. She’s not alive, but Frankenstein is in full control of her abilities. Her head screams and disintegrates The Flash. We then have scenes around the world of Aquaman, Batgirl and the Amazons all assimilated.
We next go to Metropolis where Green Lantern (John Stewart) and Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) have a plan to distract the cyborgs so Grifter and Amethyst can shut down the Firestorm Battery. They fail. Blue Beetle is quickly assimilated, and Green Lantern is assimilated by a cyborg Superman who has the same spider robot legs as Wonder Woman. Without enough time to get to Firestorm, Grifter and Amethyst are annihilated by Green Lantern.
At Wayne Manor, Batman Beyond (Terry McGinnis) and Batman (Bruce Wayne) have been completing a time machine. Yep, Batman seems to again be the one guy with a guaranteed plan. As Batman diverts power from the security grid to the time machine, the shields lose power and the time machine’s countdown begins. Cyborgs burst through in a giant explosion. Batman gets a good start and smashes one of their heads in. Then, to the horror of Terry, Batman gets his arm sliced off. Knowing he can’t survive, Batman gives Terry his wrist-unit that controls the time machine. Right before Terry travels, Batman gives him a warning: do not contact him or Clark because both of them will not only NOT believe Terry, but also try to stop him. As Terry goes through, we learn that his mission is to kill an individual.
Successfully making his way back in time, Terry requests the coordinates from A.L.F.R.E.D. Terry finds out that he missed the target date and what he’s trying to stop is already in play.
Wrapping It Up
Issue #0 was a really cool hit-the-ground-running read. The art isn’t bad. I’d say it’s functional. Not gorgeous, but also something I wouldn’t go on an angry rant about. The writing was pretty good. I liked the exchanges between Bruce and Terry the best. I’m definitely anxious to see where this leads and what the overall series will bring. So far, this series introduction has welcomed me with a punch.