Writers: Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, Keith Giffen
Artist: Patrick Zircher
In Futures End #0, we were treated to a jarring opening 35 years in the future where heroes and villains (maybe we should call them heroes now also?) have teamed up to survive against monstrous cyborgs serving Brother Eye. These cyborgs indiscriminately kill or assimilate our heroes and villains. We also see that some big names have already been assimilated — namely Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Batman (Bruce Wayne), though, always has a solution. He has built a time machine to stop this from ever happening. After losing an arm in a fight, a dying Batman sends Batman Beyond (Terry McGinnis) to the past to kill an individual, hopefully preventing these future events. Batman Beyond successfully travels through time, but arrives at a time when things are already in play.
Even though there isn’t as much graphic violence in this issue, there are still some devastating deaths. The issue is broken up into four plots unconnected to each other. Two of them have no mention of Brother Eye or anything related to the future. There’s no question these are setups to future issues.
Plot Details and Spoilers and Deaths: Oh My!
At the end of issue #0, Batman Beyond had pulled a “Marty McFly” and ended up at the wrong time. What time did he arrive at? It turns out that he’s seven years too late to stop Mr. Terrific’s creation of Brother Eye. And how did this happen? The time band that controlled his time travel was calibrated to the body mass of Bruce Wayne. Or, as A.L.F.R.E.D. would state, Terry didn’t quite “measure up.” Suddenly, one of the assumed-to-be-dead cyborgs that followed Batman Beyond through the portal wakes up and attacks him. Batman Beyond is able to kill it while suffering some injuries of his own. However, all of this is recorded by some guy wearing Google Glass at a window in a neighboring building. I kid you not. The guy’s wearing Google Glass. I guess Google’s product does takes off in the near future.
At The Carrier, Stormwatch’s mobile headquarters in the Huron System, The Engineer is taken over by an intelligence that addresses the crew. She tells them that she is the “true storm” they should fear. As fast as The Engineer was taken over, the intelligence leaves her body. The Carrier’s systems start to go haywire and defenses start to shut down. Apollo goes outside to investigate an anomaly and finds that it’s Brother Eye. With a powerful blast from Brother Eye, Apollo is vaporized in front of his horrified friends. Brother Eye goes on to destroy The Carrier by activating the ship’s self-destruct mechanism, and all of Stormwatch dies. What’s interesting to note is that Hawkman and Mermaid are seen on The Carrier as future members of Stormwatch.
Back on Earth, in North Carolina, Grifter is doing what he does best: taking out Daemonites. It seems to be a pretty standard night for Grifter with a nice little twist at the end for the reader. After killing the Daemonite-infested parents with brutal efficiency, Grifter corners the crying daughter. He goads her and she reveals that she’s also a Daemonite, at which time he kills her. Nothing really Brother Eye-ish is revealed in this scene, but it certainly hints at a connection between the Daemonites and Brother Eye — or at least a connection to the impending apocalyptic future.
Finally, we go to New York City where Jason Rusch is desperately trying to get in touch with Ronnie Raymond. Jason finds Ronnie in the storage room of a clothing store about to get it on with a girl. Jason’s emergency? Green Arrow needs them. The two argue about priorities. Jason ends it by forcing their transformation into Firestorm. Flying to Seattle, Firestorm finds the aftermath of some type of explosion. After helping as many victims as he can, Firestorm finds the mangled dead body of Green Arrow. Jason, of course, makes it a point that it’s Ronnie’s fault.
Wrapping It Up
Futures End #1 slows down the pace a bit. We get action in medium spurts throughout the story. It’s definitely not like Futures End #0′s no-rest barrage of Jedi-level limb severing. I think the reason for the separate plots is to show that Brother Eye has many things in play at the same time. This certainly elevates the conflicts and challenges Batman Beyond will have to face. Because of the setups, #1 has wet my appetite for future issues in the hopes of some compelling payoffs.