This week, there are eleven Futures End one-shots. It’s a bigger week than the first two not just in quantity of titles (though it is), but also in some major implications to what we thought we knew. You see, there’s not just one war that everyone five years from now is concerned about. There’s a Worlds War, which was talked about in the first week and implies multiversal battles. There’s now also a war with the Old Gods – where many pantheons fought the heroes of today. There’s a war from about 5 years ago (meaning now) and one that ended only a year and a half ago, from the perspective of Futures End.
So as this continues to play out, it seems more and more like we’re looking at several major conflicts hitting in the next few years of the DC timeline – after all, Johns was just talking about the Darkseid War happening next year, too.
Without further ado, here are your SPOILER-filled summaries for this week’s Futures End one-shots, with all the relevant and teasing info pulled out. Find out why Batman and Superman aren’t talking to each other, and oh yeah, get a major hint as to when Wonder Woman and Superman are breaking up (it’s sooner than you think)!
Batman/Superman: This one, like Batgirl and Birds of Prey actually starts in the interim – it’s 4 years from now, and Bruce Wayne is in a hospital with “14 broken bones, punctured lung,” and other assorted injuries. He says “that means the world survived the war too” so is the war they’ve all been talking about not the war with Earth 2? Or is that actually considerably farther off than we’ve all been thinking, if it’s ending 4 years from now? The book then rewinds to “six months ago” from that 4 years (so 3.5 years from now, keep up!). Batman and Superman are fighting, because Batman “did what [he] had to do. It was the only way to win the war.” There’s a “Venusian containment satellite” implying some new villains from Venus entering the New 52 at some point. After a fight with Metallo, Batman is back in the hospital – his friendship and partnership with Superman is destroyed and the latter is missing. No one trusts Batman in the hero community, it seems. All-in-all an eventful book with tons of hints about the next few years’ storylines, and that one big question: if the war they’ve all been talking about ends 3.5 years from now, then what is the event after the weeklies?
Batwoman: Yes, as teased, Batwoman is a full-on Vampire. She tries to kill Maggie Sawyer (guessing that didn’t work out), and her sister is the hero now, trying to take Batwoman down. Ragman is around, as well as Jason Blood, who tries to bring out Etrigan – before being murdered by Batwoman. A Clayface is there with this group too. Alice has received some help from “Bruce” implying Batman is in on this weird alliance. And that’s it, really, of consequence – Batwoman will eventually train Alice as her sidekick, and form her own weird little team.
Justice League: A continuation of the story from last week's Justice League United, this issue showed Captain Atom battling a few of the five-years-later Justice League, including Cyborg, Equinox, Flash, Stormguard, Volstok, Dawnstar and Wildfire. The battle took place on Mars, where there's a prison housing the most dangerous villains of the DCU. As shown in last week's JLU issue, the prisoners are mind-controlled by Martian Manhunter, who keeps them docile. But Captain Atom has orchestrated a break-out along with Grodd, Mongul, Vertigo, Blockbuster and others. Eventually, the Justice League triumphs (as Manhunter makes Atom think he's human and happy again), but the key things to take away from the issue are probably that Captain Atom "wiped out millions of lives" two years ago (so, three years from now); and Dawnstar and Wildfire are referred to as former members of the Justice League United (which jibes with the upcoming Legion story in JLU).
Green Lantern: New Guardians: Kyle Rayner, the white lantern is apparently traveling the universe and mindwiping people into peace, all the while looking for someone who can resist. Yekop the Guardian who was assimilated by machines (tech alert) is helping him. So what made Kyle so willing to control minds, kill Carol and the Guardians and other dastardly deeds? He took the Life Equation of the New Gods into himself – so this Kyle and his story could be told very soon indeed as the New Gods/Green Lantern crossover starts next month. Eventually there’s a successor chosen as the new white lantern, but it’s doubtful whether we’ll see her again.
Teen Titans: A new young… person named Archimedes Grant has his own version of “Titans Tower” in international waters off the coast of California. A Tempest from Earth-2 is fighting a great white shark at Grant’s party. Klarion of Earth-2 is also there – does this imply the Klarion getting a series in October is from Earth-2 or is it merely his doppelgänger? Something to watch for. A female Kid Flash is around – yup, from Earth-2. There are delivery drones (tech alert!). Heretic (looking just like the one that, you know, murdered Damian Wayne – of whom he was a clone – Clone alert!) shows up next, declaring he’s “one of many” soooo definitely clone alert. A robotic villain known as Algorithm is involved, and she mentions “the other Titans, the dead ones” – possibly the robotic looking female on upcoming months’ covers. Alexia Santos, a girl from Brazil, seems to be connected to the Red as she can access animal powers (from dead, stuffed animals in a trophy room) – there’s another candidate for the new Teen Titans member in a couple months – and she calls herself Animal Girl. So, lots of new teen heroes, more clones, more tech, and a Teen Titans lineup that is probably more interesting than the current one in the comics (dang it) fill out this one shot.
Batman and Robin: This issue shows a five-years-from-now future where Robin is Duke Thomas (the helpful kid from Batman: Zero Year, now grown up). In this story, Batman is battling a character dressed as Heretic, the evil clone who killed Damian Wayne; this may or may not be the same one seen in Teen Titans, who, after all, said he was “one of many.” As Batman struggles to get a DNA sample from Heretic (obsessed with whether he's truly a Damian clone - Clone Alert!), he demands that Alfred keep sending Duke on petty crime errands, to protect him and keep him away from the Heretic fight. By the end, with Batman nearly dead (yet still unable to verify this new Heretic's identity), Duke figures out where Batman is and saves his life. Two big things to take away from this issue. 1) Even five years from now, Batman is still greatly disturbed by Damian's death, and it affects his relationship with the future Robin. And 2) Duke Thomas is possibly going to grow up to be a Robin. (Note: Ray Fawkes told Newsarama this issue does tie into the real plans for Batman. So maybe Duke will be Robin, or maybe the issue ties into Batman plans another way, or maybe Duke will become some other Bat-character, like maybe the already teased character Lark?)
Wonder Woman: This entire issue takes place in a hallucination of Diana’s, and aside from introducing Nemesis as a possibly world-conquering enemy, offers up nothing else about the past, present, or future.
Superman/Wonder Woman: Of course, Wondy’s solo book does lead directly into this one. Since Clark is hanging out on a farm in Africa and refusing to help anyone anymore, Wonder Woman’s generals cast a spell to bring a Superman of one year from now into the five years from now to break her out of her Nemesis-induced hallucination (and out of Tartarus). The big moment is a new hint about another war – probably the war 3.5 years from now? When Superman and Wonder Woman go to Olympus, Superman sees Apollo, who acknowledges him as “Sun God.” Superman replies, “Sun God. You look… well.” Apollo answers, and this is the biggie, “Is that a Joke? If so, it is in incredibly poor taste, Superman. You won the war - do not gloat.” After, Wonder Woman explains to 1-year-from-now-Superman. “After your time, but before now, a great war was fought between the heroes of Earth and the gods of many pantheons. The avatars were involved as well.” She also says, and this will be of particular interest to certain fans who long for the Lois/Clark relationship, that in just one year from right now “Things are strained, wounds were still fresh,” implying that their relationship ends, well, within the next year. In the end, Wonder Woman becomes the God of Peace, but that’s far from the most consequential thing in this book, as you’ve read.
Pandora: Ray Fawkes may have been forced to end his monthly Pandora series, but in this issue, the writer reveals Pandora's true mythology – and just how incredibly powerful she is. It turns out that the seven deadly sins are much more connected to her than she knew, and they have battled over control of the universe countless times, with one always emerging victorious. In this issue, it's revealed that Pandora has the power to destroy the entire universe (Yowza!), and to be clear, we mean bigger than the universe-altering stuff she did in Flashpoint. However, in the current DCU timeline, Pandora is different — she has become more than just the "mother of sin;" she is the "Agent of Light." So instead of battling the sins for the universe's destruction, in five years she is (potentially) going to save the universe using the power of light and hope. It’s a shift we saw a bit of during the Forever Evil tie-ins, and it also links quite nicely to Wonder Woman’s shift at the end of FE: Superman/WW and Kyle Rayner’s passing of the torch at the end of FE: New Guardians.
Supergirl: Well, this issue teases a story that we wish was coming in Supergirl, but with writer Tony Bedard leaving the title, it's unfortunate we'll probably never see that happen. The issue incorporates The Wanderers, introduced to the New 52 in Action Comics #18 by Grant Morrison — and it makes Captain Comet into Supergirl's love interest. Ah… if only. The issue reveals that Kara has been transformed (unwillingly, but now brainwashed) into Cyborg Supergirl (tech alert!), traveling for the last five years with Cyborg Superman (although she still doesn't know his previous identity was her father, Zor-El). The two are on a mission to rebuild Krypton with "perfect" cyborg beings, and they end up on Earth. But Adam Blake, Captain Comet, stops them and forces Supergirl to remember who he is — her lover. As the two of them are joined by the Wanderers (and Supergirl snaps out of it and removes her cybernetic parts), Cyborg Superman is stopped and Kara Zor-El is reunited with Adam to live happily ever after.
Red Hood and the Outlaws: OK, just up front… in the five-years-later future, Jason and Kori are divorced. So yeah, that means they've been married (Koriand’r loves her some Robins – in the Pre-52 universe she was almost married to Dick!). Interesting. In the issue, Jason is working solo these days, and he's no-holds-barred violent on criminals. Kori has assumed the throne on Tamaran, and Roy has "traded up" to become part of the Justice League (taking Green Arrow's place, since he's believed dead in the main Futures End title). Roy doesn't like Jason's violent tactics, but can't stop him. Jason's got a pretty cool calling card these days: As a warning, he puts a red shroud over the face of the criminals he's going to kill (while they're sleeping), and they have 12 hours to either repent or die at the hands of the Red Hood. In this future, Jason has lots of toys (leftover from the war and Roy's tinkering, as well as Tamaranian tech he won in the divorce).
That's all for this week, folks! See you next week for the big finale!