Futures End month is here. Every book in the DC Universe (with the only exception of fellow weekly Batman Eternal) is jumping five years into the future for a story that shows where that character is, gives hints at what’s coming in their own books in the near future, and gives even more hints at just what the heck this “War of Worlds” or “Earth War” really is (which we expect to be seeing in Earth 2: World’s End, the new weekly launching directly after this month’s event).
To help keep track of all the new information, we combed every issue out today, the first week of the special event for any relevant clues, big surprises, and other spoilerific moments.
So yeah, SPOILERS ON from here on out. You have been warned!
Action Comics: Well, no, it seems that wasn’t Donna Troy. It was just some girl wearing a starry shirt and a choker identical to Troy’s classic look. She, along with two other people, was gifted one of Superman’s powers (well two others we saw; several more were implied) for just a brief period. There was an implication of importance to each of them though, so it’s possible we’ll still see more of the mystery girl. They were gifted by some kind of gold cloud thing - probably some sort of nanotech, which would fit in nicely with a theme seen across this week's issues.
Aquaman: The “War of Worlds” may actually be the two Earths teaming up entirely against Apokolips and its forces. That’s what’s implied here. It’s also all going to happen very soon, as everyone talks about the war that happened “5 years ago.” Atlantis, and indeed the Earth’s oceans are left in ruins after the war. It sure seems like something that is making all of the Earth’s oceans toxic and not allowing fish or plant life to grow in them would have implications for more than just undersea dwellers.
Batwing: Batman, Inc is still around 5 years from now, with a few new members and plenty of old standbys. Is that Misfit we see? Batwing is the field leader of the squad and other than that this story doesn’t seem like it has a ton of influence on the larger Futures End narrative. There is a lot of tech talk, and that could come back to bite them in the behind based on the events in the far future in Futures End #0, though.
Detective Comics: Not much of consequence in this Batman/Riddler team-up (though it does directly follow up on the story from this year’s Annual). The only thing worth noting that may have larger implications is that when Alfred is trying to talk Batman out of teaming up with Riddler, he says “it’s not like Dick or Jason” implying those are two of the most trustworthy people in Bruce’s life. Bruce does also say he has a metal plate in his head “among other things,” though it’s unclear whether he’s talking about armor in his suit or something more direct.
Earth 2: Meet Terry Sloane of Prime Earth, and Terry Sloane of Earth 2. Or, as we found out, that should be Terry Sloane of Earth ?. It seems the Sloane we’ve seen in previous issues of Earth 2 wasn’t from that planet originally at all. In fact, after meeting the New Gods, he determined that since there’s only one of them across the multiverse, he had to go across the multiverse and kill all his doubles, like Jet Li in The One. What Earth Sloane is from, and whether this is the Sloane we’ve seen in the series up until now is still a mystery. We also see a bit of why Michael Holt is acting the way he has been in the Futures End weekly, but there’s still a good amount of story there that’s left to be told. Oh, and there’s a new Deus Ex Machina, the “Boom Spheres,” buried deep within the Earth now. So look for those to show up again right around the end of Futures End, if we had to guess.
Grayson: The “War of Worlds” is identified by that specific name here. It’s an incredibly inventive story that works its way backwards through Dick’s life – the only thing of possible consequence though is that name, and the fact that the war ends with KGBeast as the unquestioned ruler of all of Eurasia.
Green Arrow: A relationship – perhaps romantic – is implied between Oliver Queen and… Lois Lane! So look for that to maybe kind of almost happen sometime in the next five years or so. Oliver “came out” as Green Arrow about a year after the War. Technology is here again – a theme in Earth 2 and Batwing that carries over, and again portents to something more. And in the is he/isn’t he department, we find that Oliver is not dead after all. More on his story at the end of the month, as teased at the end of this one, when he and the Others lead a raid on Cadmus Island (well, more of it today if you're reading a certain weekly).
Green Lantern: Hal Jordan wasn’t on Earth during the War of Worlds, and he regrets it strongly. It appears he also hasn’t been acting as a Green Lantern for quite some time. Relic managed to remove himself from the Source Wall at some point in the last five years. Krona and his Black Lanterns, while important for this story, are inconsequential to anything with the war.
Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger: The new council at the rock of Eternity is… not so nice. Trigon, Mister E, Neron, Eclipso, Sin Eater, Blight, and… Zauriel – as a female, who has been dead for two years (but didn't we just see Zauriel - a man - die in the "five years ago" of this story?). At least at the beginning of the issue. Anyway, this one doesn’t seem to have any clues about anything, but works as a nice final issue of the series.
Swamp Thing: Six Kingdoms: Green (Plant), Red (Animal), Black (Decay), Grey (Fungus), Divided (Bacteria), and Metal (Machines). Alec Holland, the Swamp Thing, has locked the other avatars away in the hearts of their realms, and spent five years (since the War) preparing for something, something he needs all of their help to do. And this is the biggest one yet – in order to end “the war between the gods and the heroes,” the avatars were locked away – as they agreed to be – by the Spectre, “able to see our realms, govern them, but not touch them” as Anton Arcane, lord of the Black divulges. Alec has a secret weapon and a secret plan, though – a White Ring, and the Swamp Thing that wore it. So, we guess that’s the Brightest Day Swamp Thing, but what that means is up for debate – is this a relic from the Pre-52 universe? Is it a different version of Alec Holland? Of just the embodied Green that had no host? Yes, it’s one of those. We think - anyway, it legitimizes some of those stories. With them, he destroys The Rot once and for all – something that could come back to bite, well, everyone, especially as he gives more power to – you guessed it – Metal, giving us our final technology tie-in of the day.