Future’s End #21 (Comics Review)

The recent round of Future’s End issues have done much to deepen various mysteries, as well as tying together several stand-alone plot-strands that didn’t seem all that important until recently. One of the biggest mysteries however was how Green Arrow died back in Future’s End #1/Future’s End #2, or even what killed him. In this month’s Green Arrow: Future’s End #1, we learned that Oliver faked his own death, in quite a devious and masterful manner, to throw his enemies off his scent and here we are now, knowing full well that the hero-for-the-masses has several tricks up his sleeves, and one of them involves going up against Cadmus itself.

All the Future’s End issues till now, except for the FCBD issue, contained multiple storylines. With four writers working on the series, lots of characters were introduced to this vision of the future and lots of different events happened at the same time. It has all culminated to this issue, Future’s End #21, where we learn some details (finally!) about the war with Earth 2 that several characters have referenced before, and the part that some heroes played in it and what it ultimately means for Earth 1, or Earth Prime rather, and even why Green Arrow had to fake his own death. This was a stellar issue, one of the best in the series, and the art by Cully Hamner was simply astounding.

For anyone who has been invested in Future’s End up until now, this issue is an absolute must-read. It goes into detail regarding how and why the heroes of Earth 2 made their way over to Earth 1 along with countless refugees, and what kind of a war with Earth 2 happened, that saw the world devastated and several heroes dead. This is something I’ve been waiting for ever since the first issue of the series and the answers are finally here. Like I’ve said, each issue usually contains between four and six storylines, each following different characters, and the stories are alternated every issue or two to pace them all out to create the requisite larger tapestry. But this issue is one long arc that provides some of the most sought answers in the series, and that is most welcome. After five months of Future’s End, we finally know!

Darkseid. It all comes down to bloody Darkseid. He was a major figure in James Robinson’s Earth 2, albeit at a distance since most of the antagonists were his generals and servants rather than the big bad himself. I’ve read the series up until Earth 2 #16, after which we saw Tom Taylor come on board, and it was a really great series as far as I’m concerned. Even in the opening arc of Geoff Johns’ Justice League, we saw Darkseid as a big villain. And it seems that he finally launched an unremitting all-out assault on Earth 2 in the future, which is what caused dozens of heroes and thousands of ordinary folks to leave the planet and head for a beacon that Earth 2 Mister Terrific theorized was from Earth 1. Darkseid followed.

The rest is history.

This is a pretty big moment actually, considering how big of a role Darkseid’s various lieutenants have played in Earth 2 to date, and everything that we’ve seen in Future’s End itself. Many of the heroes had to do things they weren’t proud of, and none have come out of it without scars and trauma. For the readers, this issue is kind of a healing balm that gives answers and finally puts some matters to rest. We saw in a previous issue that Red Robin admitted to Lois Lane why he gave up being a hero after the war and his theories on what the mysterious objects sent to her could mean. We’ve already seen some inclinations of it, but this issue answers some of those questions, and I suppose that it really couldn’t have come at a better time, given everything else that is happening on the title.

Cully Hamner is the artist here, with Hi-Fi on colours and Ryan Sook on cover as usual while it is Taylor Esposito’s turn this time on the letters. I don’t think Cully has done an issue of the series before (I could be wrong) but I have to say that his art totally fits the bill here. His aged Green Arrow is fantastic. His Big Barda is fantastic. His Red Arrow is amazing. And so on. He even gets the chance to draw a lot of the prominent heroes from Earth 2, giving me an even bigger kick of nostalgia than I’d thought I’d get! So many characters, and his style fits them all. The same can be said of Hi-Fi as well, but by now that man has already done twenty issues of the series and is an old pro at this by now, so no complaints there.

Mind-blowing issue and an absolute must-read!

Rating: 10/10

More Future’s End#0-1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13-16, #17-20.

P.S. If there’s any moment of doubt about this issue, it is that I don’t get how Power Girl fits into things since she has been on Earth 1 for years by now, and World’s Finest: Future’s End #1 didn’t at all touch on how she might have gone back to Earth 2. Problematic continuity there! Not really a negative, given the cast size involved, but something to think about!

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Posted on September 28, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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