The New 52 Futures End – New Suicide Squad #1
DC Comics has us in for another week of one-shot titles, all set five or so years into the future of current continuity. As someone who hasn’t been reading New Suicide Squad, the Futures End tie-in does work as an interesting story. In a plot entitled “The Replacements”, writer Sean Ryan, doesn’t spend much time to introduce us to characters, as more so drop us in on the action. It’s a good way to get the story rolling, but is what ultimately led to this being one of the lesser highlights of the week.
If you’re a devotee to DC Comics, you most likely have followed Futures End. If not, no need to worry because they have devoted this whole month to servicing followers and new comers to the ideas in this weekly title. Following along DC mainstays such as Amanda Waller and Floyd Lawton (Deadshot), we learn that the people behind the Suicide Squad at some point in time decided that “they liked what they had, but thought they could do better.” Because of this, Lawton is missing an arm due to an attempted gun to arm transplant, Black Manta’s brain was fried, and one of the bigger and stronger moments (SPOILER), everyone’s favorite girlfriend of Mister J, Harley Quinn, has (highlight for the spoiler) been “pumped full of the super-steroid venom” and is essentially a large, muscle-bound, Harley Quinn version of one of the more extreme depictions of Bane.(End Spoiler)
Writer, Sean Ryan and artist Andre Coelho do justice to the idea of cloning and the idea of wanting to “enhance the original.” Futures End has promised us a glimpse into some of our favorite characters possible futures. Seeing Amanda Waller as a mercenary-esque, Rambo like, Palmiotti looking military tough seems like a natural enough progression of how she could turn out in five years from the current continuity. However, the idea of super-steroid venom, pumped up (SPIOLER!) Harley Quinn doesn’t seem like something we would see happening to her anytime soon, outside of a one-shot. While she does look interesting enough to change someone from passing over the title to buying it and along with (SPOILER) adolescent clones of The Joker, it feels as if this was their shot at demonstrating “that new car smell” and of how certain reinventions are just a waste of everyone’s time, as opposed to giving fans a new version to get acquainted with.
The New 52 Futures End – Constantine #1
Getting acquainted with new ideas and possibilities does continue into DC Comics other Futures End titles. And potentially to greater triumph, “Constantine”, is the biggest highlight of this week’s titles. Not only just as a one-shot, but a title that sets up a plot that was bound to happen within the DC Universe since back when they brought, demonologist, exorcist, and con man, John Constantine back into the fold with his issue #1 New 52 title.
Juan Ferreyra is an artist who is a real gift and blessing to every book he is a part of. His work on The New 52 Futures End, “Constantine” tie-in is excellent. He is also the featured artist on this week’s Dark Horse book, “Prometheus: Fire and Stone.” I must recommend both books and that you pick up the 3D cover of Constantine while supplies last at your local comic book store. (Royal Collectibles in Forest Hills has them!) Ferreyra’s work is possibly the most stunning and inviting of all current comic book covers in a long while. I could go on about the importance of a good cover, but I’d rather let you discover this gem of a cover for yourself.
Within the world of “Constantine”, set five years from now, Ray Fawkes tells a supernatural tale of fate and of John Constantine literally coming face to face with Fate. A supernatural staple within DC Comics, has always been the helmet of Dr. Fate. It’s shown up many times, been featured prominently on the later seasons of “Smallville” and teased as a part of this fall’s NBC series “Constantine” (based on the comic). DC Comics has reintroduced this object within the pages of the New 52, and it appears promising that it will be an important part of the New 52 books concerning magic and the occult. I’d could go on and on about how much I enjoyed this issue, especially having not read any of the current “Constantine” issues. Ray Fawkes and Juan Ferreyra did an amazing job at crafting an individual story that was not only fun to read, but has now piqued my interest in tracking down all the previous issues.
The New 52 Futures End – Batgirl #1
The New 52 Futures End: “Batgirl” one-shot is another consistent story and highlight of DC Comics this week. Two names: Gail Simone and Bane. Why? Because Gail Simone can write dialogue and characters like no one else. Right from page one, we open to Barbara Gordon’s wedding to a man named Steven and after something very horrific happens, by page 20 we get to Barbara kneeling before Bane saying “I don’t want to beat you. I want to be you.” I won’t give away the specifics, just know that the writers DC Comics have chosen for Bane centric plots have been on point. Gail Simone is a terrific writer and creates consistent, mature, tough, and real women in the comic book medium. She knows what she’s doing and if you see her name on a book, it’s a safe bet that it will be good. What must also be mentioned is Javier Garron’s art. He has given “Batgirl” a unique style; one that should draw people to study each panel. The concept he has developed for Barbara as the Black Beast a.k.a. Bete Noire (the female version of Bane) is stunning and is something I would certainly love to see more of. Javier Garron’s art is not only consistent throughout the book he perfectly nails the look of the five years from now version of Barbara Gordon that Gail Simone has created. I could only express my sincere hope that we see the Black Beast or Bete Noire, however you prefer to call her, again and soon. Gail Simone has fleshed out Barbara Gordon perfectly for The New 52 Futures End one-shot; and hasn’t made her into just a female version of Bane. She “made [her]a goddess!” Gail Simone, I love your dialogue!
The New 52 Futures End – Birds of Prey #1
The thread of super steroid venom, Bane, and the idea of taking everything you have and making it better has been an interesting theme throughout this week’s Futures End titles. Much to my chagrin, Bete Noire (Batgirl) makes another appearance in the Futures End tie-in, “Birds of Prey.” Another fun read, we get a story filled with adventure and vindication, as we learn that the Black Canary has taken over Ra’s Al Ghul’s The League of Assassins. Writer, Christy Marx, has penned a very pro-female story entitled “The Red League.” Her writing is in the tradition of Gail Simone and artist, Robson Rocha, easily fits in with what Javier Garron started in “Batgirl.” This title is a must if you are a fan of Black Canary and if you liked the story and ideas presented in Gail Simone’s Futures End, “Batgirl” one shot.
This week’s Futures End titles were all very satisfying. As someone new to this current series, all of the one shot titles have tied in very well to the world that has already been set up several weeks prior. The stories have remained fresh for anyone looking for good yarns and not wanting to be tied down to having to read prior issues to comprehend the plot. The idea of this week being Bane themed was inspired, as he is a character that has been out of the stories since “Forever Evil” and is a character that has been welcome to join the party since Tom Hardy’s memorable portrayal in “The Dark Knight Rises.” I must also add that I had been aware of Batgirl becoming Bane since her Futures End title was first solicited. I had forgotten about it until today and was satisfied in every way. I strongly recommend “Batgirl” and “Constantine” to be your picks for this week. Branching out and trying other titles is not always an easy thing to do. With ongoing histories and story arcs, it could seem very intimidating to a newcomer wanting to pick up their favorite character. Well, DC Comics have been very welcoming to newcomers since the inception of the New 52. Once again they have proven with the Futures End one-shot titles – that now is a great time to get involved with what they are offering readers.
The New 52 Futures End: Suicide Squad gets 3 out of 5 space monkeys.
The New 52 Futures End: Constantine gets 5 out of 5 space monkeys.
The New 52 Futures End: Batgirl gets 5 out of 5 space monkeys.
The New 52 Futures End: Birds of Prey gets 4 out of 5 space monkeys.