Review: NEW 52: FUTURES END #1

Written by Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens, Jeff Lemire
Art by Patrick Zircher
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: May 7, 2014

Futures-End-Cv1The Future of the DC Universe is rather bleak as Batman Beyond comes to the DCU to prevent the apocalyptic future shown in the free comic book day issue of Futures End.

The writing team of Azzarello, Giffen, Jurgens and Lemire take readers into a DC Universe that is recognizable, yet dynamic and full of energy. This is not a happy world we are seeing, as major events have definitely rocked the DCU to it’s core and there are some major threats looming. We’ve seen “alternate” universes before, but these writers are pulling off the excitement that can occur in a series like this.

This first issue features some major character deaths to keep readers on their toes, and the feeling that we honestly have no clue what is coming next is present with ever single panel. This first issue plants a lot of seeds for storylines that will be utilized over the next year and I’m sure that 26 and 52 weeks from now readers will be looking back at this issue and seeing subtle notions to major plot beats that will pay off down the line. This gives the issue an immense feeling, like we are at the outset of something huge, and the writing team harnesses that feeling well.

The momentum of the story builds very well, hitting several areas of the DCU to build the character base and slowly let the world unfold. The writers have a very strong grasp of these characters, and add a lot of humour with Terry and A.L.F.R.E.D. The two are like a light in the black, with Terry’s personality leaping from the page. This issue also features the best we’ve seen of Grifter in the New 52, being the badass Punisher-esque character he can pull off, and I look forward to seeing more of the man in the red mask. The pacing is strong, especially considering this book is a weekly, and I’m excited to see where this team is taking this story. There is an immense amount of potential here and with this set of writers, I have faith that there are a lot of good stories headed our way in Futures End.

Strong writing is exceeded by exceptionally strong artwork from Patrick Zircher. Zircher gives this world an immense amount of life, and it is great to see him working on a book with as high a profile as this one. He does an excellent job of capturing the personalities of the characters within these pages, making them easily recognizable in this slightly alternate universe. Terry McGinnis is a dynamic character on the pages of this comic, and Zircher is a great artist to usher him fully into the New 52. He handles the massive cast extremely well, with each character skillfully penciled. This is solid art from start to finish, with Zircher in top form. The colours, by Hi-Fi, are strong, complimenting Zircher’s art well. Futures End #1 is a damn good looking book, and some of Zircher’s strongest work in the New 52.

Futures End #1 is a strong debut issue, setting up what should be an entertaining thrill ride that will drive us into the September event. The writing team, with strong art from Patrick Zircher, kicks off this 52 week adventure with one hell of a bang and I’m ecstatic I only have to wait until next week to devour more.

The Verdict: 8.5/10



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