The New 52: Futures End #48 Review – The Finale


Writers: Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens, Jeff Lemire

Artists: Allan Goldman, Andy MacDonald, Stephen Thompson, Freddie E. Williams II, Patrick Zircher, Scott Hanna, Hi-Fi, Ryan Sook

Futures End #47 Recap

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At Terrifitech, Batman, the Atom, and Mr. Terrific are unable to shutdown Brother Eye.  As the three are blocked from escaping, they’re saved by Batman Beyond — who turns out to be Tim Drake.  Against Batman’s wishes, Tim plans to finish Terry’s mission by traveling back to the right point in time.  When Firestorm arrives to recharge the time band’s battery, Tim discovers that she’s Madison Payne.  The two reunite and work out their differences, with Tim finally realizing that he can’t escape his calling as a hero.  As Brother Eye’s army gains ground on them, Tim makes the time jump before his time band is fully charged.

Tim arrives inside the Brother Eye satellite orbiting Earth, and five years in the past — right before Earth 2’s refugees are detected.  Brother Eye defends itself when it detects Tim’s attempting to destroy it.  A.L.F.R.E.D. makes a suggestion that Brother Eye’s own logic can be used against itself.  Since the satellite was created to protect Earth, if it discovers that it has a hand in the apocalypse, it will destroy itself.

Tim reveals to Brother Eye that if the refugees are guided to Earth, Darkseid’s parademons would follow and lay waste to Earth.  Brother Eye comprehends its own involvement and initiates a self-destruct sequence.  It then promises to also save Tim and proceeds to fully charge his time band.  As Brother Eye self-destructs, Tim is sent hurtling through time.  He arrives in the middle of the forest where he sees something surprising.

Spoiler-Free Reaction

Futures End #48 ends the series with some big action.  However, the entire conclusion is a bit of a letdown.  With mostly empty twists and turns, DC seems to have just wanted to haphazardly finish this series and move on to Convergence.

Plot Details and Spoilers and Deaths: Oh My!

We finally find out what Tim Drake is so surprised about when the scene pans back to reveal gleaming statues of every Justice League member.  A solitary place with clear skies and a beautiful garden, it’s a seeming utopia.  Venturing further in, Tim finds someone taking care of the garden — it’s Madison Payne.  The two reunite and kiss, but Madison acts strangely and starts to speak in Brother Eye’s speech syntax.

Mr. Terrific reveals himself and the whole scene melts away — the utopia was a holographic construct.  Brother Eye’s self-interest was too strong, so the apocalyptic future still came to fruition.  Brother Eye’s cyborg minions quickly enter to assimilate Tim into the collective.  Assisted by A.L.F.R.E.D., Tim attempts to fight them off.  Just when Tim is about to be overpowered, a mysterious hooded figure saves him.  As more cyborgs move in, the hooded figure calls for his team and reveals his identity — an aged Atom.   They save Tim while also taking Mr. Terrific to see if he can come up with a solution to defeat Brother Eye.

Tim, the Atom, Mr. Terrific, and the rest of the team take a modified rail car and speed out of the city knowing what Brother Eye will do next.  As they escape, Brother Eye launches missiles and incinerates an entire block.  Reaching a safe location, one of the team members reveals herself to Tim — it’s Madison Payne.  Regardless of her aged appearance, Tim is happy to see her and they kiss.

Mr. Terrific is confused as to how Tim was able to change the past, but the apocalyptic future was still left intact.  The Atom explains that Tim changed the events around him.  One constant throughout time was the existence of Terrifitech which was protected by Brother Eye.  Tim is ready to make another attempt at destroying Brother Eye, but Madison shows him that it may not be that easy.  Looking up into the night sky, Tim sees the moon also controlled by Brother Eye.

Wrapping It Up

This was the final issue in the Futures End series.  How did it do?  Well, for a year-long series, Futures End #48 certainly fizzled out hard.  There were lots of loose ends that were not tied up at all: Amethyst’s journey back to Gemworld; Oliver Queen and his team; Superman’s return.  I can go on and on.  This was a very sloppy storyline.  Though this issue had some big action, most of it was empty.  There was very little dramatic heft.  It relied a bit too much on mystery guests to get the reader to turn the page.  And when they did reveal who these mystery figures were, it was not all that compelling.

This issue also had a large number of artists working on it which did it no favors.  The best word I can use is “schizophrenic.”  It seemed like the artists didn’t perform much collaboration and just turned in their pages to DC for printing.

A rather disappointing finale, Futures End #48 didn’t even read like a conclusion.  Let me put it to you this way: the final page felt like a piece of Christopher Walken dialogue — not that Walken is a bad actor — where the end of a sentence sounds like the thought isn’t finished.  Audiences will find this issue worth reading if they’re a bit obsessive compulsive like me — that is you just want to complete it for the sake of completing it.

Next: Miss the last issue? Catch up with a review of Futures End #47

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