This week starts DC Comics big event month of 41 one-shot titles, all spinning out of the best-selling weekly series, “Futures End.” A perpetual on my pull list, “Action Comics”, I was greatly looking forward to reading this title as I had previously not been reading the weekly series in which this one-shot yarn is being spun out of.
“Action Comics: Futures End” opens five years from now. We find Clark Kent in Ethiopia, at a crossroads of sorts in his life, planting seeds in a barren landscape being starved of rainfall. While he is trying to address the hunger issue and help the local people farm, we learn that even though he still believes in never giving up hope, he is possibly not living up to his potential. How so? Clark Kent has seemingly turned his back on the world and given up on being Superman. We quickly come to see that while the world is devoid of being graced by Superman’s abilities of flight and invulnerability, rather ordinary people are learning that they have somehow inherited them.
Through an interesting set-up, one that is as mystical as a story regarding Mxyzptlk or that of The Phantom Stranger, Clark is finally challenged to reexamine his current status within the Futures End of the New 52 DC Universe and learn that perhaps his greatest strength is the ability to reach others and help them realize their own potential to make a change. Sholly Fisch, no stranger to writing the New 52 Superman, has seemingly realized his own potential as a Superman writer and has gone ahead and written one of the best stories to come out of The New 52 yet. While this is a one-shot, the ideas tackled in this story are what makes Superman, well, Superman. He is as iconic as ever in the beliefs he stands by, and yet more relatable than most incarnations of the Man of Steel lately. The idea of Clark Kent walking away from the hero Metropolis and the world needs has been done before. Yet has never been as poignant until now.
Another truly inspiring accomplishment of Sholly Fisch’s writing is that he has finally sold me on DC Comics “The New 52: Futures End.” This one-shot is the book responsible for me starting that which I thought I’d never do. Read a weekly title. I have always had an aversion to massive story arcs, spanning over numerous titles, and books that required me to read normally that which I wouldn’t, if only to fully comprehend the reach of a story. Well, I picked up “The New 52: Futures End” issues #17 and this current week’s issue #18. I am glad I joined the party, as was perfect timing for me, since Clark Kent has apparently just joined in on the apocalyptic fun.
“The New 52: Futures End” issue #18 picks up immediately where #17 left off. Constantine, John Constantine has come face to face with a man no one has seen in a very long time. That person is the Man of Steel. And he looks very much like Henry Cavill, thanks to penciller Georges Jeanty. As someone who hasn’t read the previous 16 issues, using Clark Kent’s reemergence as an entry point into the weekly series could not have worked better. In many ways we are learning about Clark Kent and what he’s been up to post his last conflict with Brainiac (as seen in the current story arc “Doomed”) and we also, in some respect, are seeing the world of Futures End through his eyes.
I’ll leave the discussion of this title up to you, as I am just entering the world of “Futures End” and would love to hear your thoughts on this current DC Comics series and whether or not you enjoy weekly books. You think you could sell me on “Batman Eternal”?