From The Desktop Of Editor in Chief Matt Morrison,
There’s several old sayings about making plans and things going wrong. I’m not going to bother evoking them beyond an explanation. We planned to look at as much of the Future State event as possible, at least reviewing the first issue of each series. Suffice it to say, the plans have changed, and I’m now personally writing some quickie reviews of all the books that didn’t get a full review so far, due to some scheduling conflicts that left everyone too busy to write full reviews this week. But my loss of spare time is your gain.
FUTURE STATE: SUPERMAN OF METROPOLIS #1/ Scripts by SEAN LEWIS & BRANDON EASTON/ Art by JOHN TIMMS, VALENTINE DE LANDRO, CULLY HAMNER & MICHAEL AVON OEMING/ Colors by GABE ELTAEB, MARISSA LOUISE & LAURA MARTIN/ Letters by DAVE SHARPE & ANDWORLD DESIGN/ Cover by JOHN TIMMS & GABE ELTAEB/ Variant Covers by IMHYUK LEE, FRANK CHO & SABINE RICH/ Published by DC COMICS
Superman of Metropolis is a difficult anthology, which somehow manages to drown the reader in exposition yet still feel like it isn’t explaining anything about its setting. The basic set-up is that the new Superman puts Metropolis in a bottle (just like Kandor) in a bid to keep it safe. Needless to say this doesn’t go well, and the heroes inside Metropolis when it was shrunk, Mister Miracle and Guardian, have their hands full keeping order when the populace panics.
The artwork is solid throughout, though Valentine de Landro’s efforts to impersonate Jack Kirby in the Mister Miracle story may fall flat for some readers and the sudden style shift in the Guardian comic is noticeable. The larger issue is Sean Lewis’ scripts for the first and last stories, which are more concerned with dumping factoids on the reader than introducing the characters. Only the boldest Super-Fans need apply.
FUTURE STATE: THE FLASH #1/ Script by BRANDON VIETTI/ Art by DALE EAGLESHAM/ Colors by MIKE ATIYEH/ Letters by STEVE WANDS/ Cover by BRANDON PETERSON/ Variant Covers by KAARE ANDREWS, NICOLA SCOTT & ANNETE KWOK/ Published by DC COMICS
Once Barry Allen was the Fastest Man Alive. Now he may be the world’s only hope, facing an impossible choice when Wally West becomes possessed by a dark force that threatens all humanity. Shut out of the Speed Force by his own protégé and armed with the weapons of his own worst enemies, can Barry kill the sidekick he loves like a son? Or is there another way?
After Heroes in Crisis and Flash Forward, I think the last thing anyone wanted to read in a Flash comic was a story about Wally West going evil and Barry Allen being conflicted. It’s unfair to judge Brandon Vietti’s script by that criteria, but there lies the bitter paradox of this comic. If you’ve been reading the recent Flash comics, it’s impossible for this story not to seem derivative. If you haven’t been reading them, you’ll be lost within minutes as there’s no effort to introduce any of the supporting cast. Even Dale Eaglesham’s artwork can’t save this issue, which is dire, joyless and doesn’t go anywhere. In other words, it’s everything a Flash comic shouldn’t be, though it does look good.
FUTURE STATE: KARA ZOR-EL, SUPERWOMAN #1/ Script by MARGUERITE BENNETT/ Art and Colors by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE/ Letters by WES ABBOTT/ Cover by PAULINA GANUCHEAU/ Variant Cover by ALEX GARNER/ Published by DC COMICS
Kara Zor-El has become the protector of a colony of outcasts on Earth’s moon and finally found peace within herself after years of being angry. This would make her an ideal mentor for Lynari – an alien teenager who inherited some amazing powers she can barely control – if Lynari had any intention of learning anything. Can Kara protect her new home and Lynari, when the troubled teen’s past comes calling for her?
Marguerite Bennett doesn’t pull any punches with this issue, which severs as a fantastic introduction to the modern Kara Zor-El for those who only know the character from the Supergirl series on The CW. The future Superwoman is closer to that classic heroic ideal, but she’s still holding a lot of anger over the death of Krypton and her status as an “also-ran” next to her cousin. The artwork by Marguerite Sauvage is phenomenal, resembling a 1970’s girls’ manga in its coloration and use of space. This book could be a wonderful gateway comic for Supergirl fans of all ages or Shojo enthusiasts.
FUTURE STATE: ROBIN ETERNAL #1/ Script by MEGHAN FITZMARTIN/ Pencils by EDDY BARROWS/ Inks by EBER FERREIRA/ Colors by ADRIANO LUCAS/ Letters by PAT BROSSEAU/ Cover by IRVIN RODRIGUEZ & EMANUELA LUPACCHINO/ Variant Cover by DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON & MIKE SPICER/ Published by DC COMICS
The Magistrate’s forces are already all but invincible, but a new super drug called Lazarus Resin could make them immortal. The only thing standing in their way is Tim Drake; the last Robin in Gotham City. But while Tim may be the last Robin, he may not be alone…
Robin Eternal is virtually flawless in every respect. The script by Meghan Fitzmartin is action-packed and a great example of how to introduce your characters using “show, don’t tell” techniques. You don’t have to be a fan of Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown to appreciate this book, but if you are you’ll likely love how they’re portrayed here. The artwork captures the same cyberpunk aesthetic as earlier Future State titles set in Gotham and has a number of pages that look like something from Blade Runner. Highly recommended.
FUTURE STATE: GREEN LANTERN #1/ Scripts by GEOFFREY THORNE, RYAN CADY & ERNIE ALTBACKER / Art by TOM RANEY, SAMI BASRI & CLAYTON HENRY/ Colors by MIKE ATIYEH, HI-FI & MARCELO MAIOLO/ Letters by ANDWORLD DESIGN, DAVE SHARPE & STEVE WANDS/ Cover by CLAYTON HENRY & MARCELO MAIOLO/ Variant Cover by JAMAL CAMPBELL/ Published by DC COMICS
Once, the Green Lantern Corps were the foremost peace-keeping organization in the universe. That was before the Central Power Battery on Oa went dead and every Green Lantern suddenly found themselves powerless. Now, as John Stewart and his fellow Lanterns wage war on one side of the universe, Jessica Cruz finds herself facing her worst fears repelling an invasion of Sinestero Corps members, while Guy Gardner keeps the peace as best he can after accidentally becoming the new prophet of an alien religion.
Another uneven anthology, though this one is more good than bad. In fact, if it weren’t for the lackluster story and terrible artwork of the opening chapter (which I’m pretty sure was ripped off of a Warhammer 40,000 novel), I could gleefully give this one a perfect 5/5 rating. As it stands, the middle chapter is a great character study of Jessica Cruz and a solid base-under-siege story. The high point of this issue, however, is the final story in which Guy Gardner basically reenacts Monty Python’s Life of Brian only with more beer and less sex. I recommend this issue if only for the final page and the promise of more hilarity to come. Just skip the first story and you’ll be fine.
FUTURE STATE: JUSTICE LEAGUE #1/ Scripts by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON & RAM V/ Pencils by ROBSON ROCHA & MARCIO TAKARA/ Inks by DANIEL HENRIQUES & MARCIO TAKARA/ Colors by ROMULO FAJARDO JR & MARCELO MAIOLO/ Letters by ROB LEIGH/ Cover by DAN MORA/ Variant Cover by KAEL NGU/ Published by DC COMICS
Future State: Justice League is another anthology, but this one is notable in that its two stories seem to be set in completely different alternate futures. The first one focuses on the new Justice League, as they investigate the deaths of the new Legion of Doom. The second one is a Justice League Dark story set in a future where Merlin has come back and is killing off all the other magic users.
Both stories are good ones, but suffer in that they feel like we’re coming into Act 2 of a larger storyline than introductions to new series. The artwork is uniformly solid, however, and the visual flow of the action is good. More could have been done to introduce the casts, but regular readers of Justice League Dark and Justice League should enjoy it.
FUTURE STATE: TEEN TITANS #1/ Script by TIM SHERIDAN/ Pencils by RAFA SANDOVAL/ Inks by JORDI TARRAGONA/ Colors by ALEJANDRO SANCHEZ/ Letters by ROB LEIGH/ Cover by RAFA SANDOVAL & ALEJANDRO SANCHEZ/ Variant Cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN/ Published by DC COMICS
In the future, the first wave of Teen Titans sponsored a school to train the next generation of young heroes. Now, with most of their students dead and the original Titans Tower a massive graveyard, they must join together to face the evil that destroyed their team.
I’ve noted that reading many of the Future State comics to date has felt like coming in halfway through a movie. That’s literally true in the case of Future State: Teen Titans, which has an editorial box at one point noting we should read Future State: The Flash #2 to understand the disaster our heroes are talking about. Said comic has not come out yet.
I can’t fault Tim Sheridan for that, but I can hold him responsible for the fact that there’s no attempt to introduce any of the sizable cast of characters in this issue. The artwork, at least, is good, but the story is such a mess it’s really not worth enduring this book for the sake of it, even if you’re a fan of the artists involved. This book is fit only for the most die-hard of Titans enthusiasts and definitely not for newcomers.