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Action Comics: Futures End #1 - Crossroads Review

4

What would you do if you had some of Superman's powers? Three people are about to find out.

The Good

ACTION COMICS: FUTURES END #1 isn't about showing what makes FUTURES END a story you should consider reading and it doesn't even put Superman front and center. Instead, writer Sholly Fisch focuses on why Kal-El's special. No, it isn't because of his strength, speed, durability, or any of his other impressive powers -- it's because of his morals and how he acts.

With this chapter, Fisch shows that the powers don't make the person and reveals how others would act if they had just a small sample of the Man of Steel's abilities. Not including Clark Kent's time in Africa, this issue revolves around three characters (one of them could possibly be Donna Troy) and the narrative shows how superhuman abilities can help them discover hope, bravery, and even new levels of greed. It's a little heavy-handed at times but it still effectively shows how power can be a wonderful and uplifting thing and not just used to... well, smash stuff. This one isn't about the bigger narrative in this event or hitting us with questions that'll leave you wanting to explore the rest of the FUTURES END material. Instead, it almost feels like a love letter to Superman and exists to illustrate why he's admired by so many. While some may view him as merely an overpowered boyscout, it seems like this aims to show that how he acts is commendable and should be inspirational, not mocked.

Artists Pascal Alixe and Vicente Cifuentes have noticeably different styles, so the transition between the two is jarring, but both of them -- along with colorist Pete Pantazis -- thrive in specific moments. The grittier style works well a the darker tone and more emotionally driven panels; it enhances the atmosphere quite well. Obviously, I have no idea how realistic the damage done to a hand is, but it's certainly cringeworthy and effectively shows just how punishing selfishness and greed can be. Meanwhile, the smoother style being used when someone finds hope again and for the final scene feels appropriate. Those moments aren't nearly as tense or heated, so the more polished approach compliments it well.

The Bad

While the grainier and grittier style works well for the more intense moments, I wasn't the biggest fan when it was utilized in some of the calmer and more static scenes. It left me feeling like the characters were slightly out of focus

This story isn't new reader friendly -- like, at all. A big part of the story is why Superman has fled to Africa, but the reasoning behind that is only loosely addressed and it'll likely leave new fans wanting more details. I understand someone should know the basics about FUTURES END going into this, but seeing as this is a #1 issue and there's no intro page, a little more exposition would have been beneficial for everyone.

Minor question: what was Nick doing to Carl's face? It looked like he was peeling off his damaged skin or even digging into the guy's face. Was he closing his eyes? If so, that's a little odd since he said the guy was in "bad shape" and not dead.

The Verdict

Is this a mandatory read for FUTURES END? No, it doesn't appear to be, but it's still an engrossing experience which focuses on what Superman stands for without actually having the Kryptonian in a majority of the pages. It can be a little too blunt with its message at times, but it's still a good message overall and well worth reading if you're one of the people who wonders why Superman has fans. People not following FUTURES END will feel a little left in the dark, but overall, it doesn't take too much from the narrative and still feels like a satisfying and mostly stand alone read. However, whether it'll inspire you to continue reading FUTURES END is a whole different story.

15 Comments
Posted by The Stegman

Woah, woah..did you say Donna Troy ?!?!?!!?!

Now, I shall pick this up.

Posted by Fallschirmjager

DAT BEARD

Posted by Saren

I don't think that was Donna? It just seemed like a random girl.

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Posted by shusho

Oh Gregg I hardly think that's Donna. If anything I think it was a wink, with the star shirt and necklace, but it was never specified that was her, like... at all. Don't give hope to the fans, man :P

Posted by k4tzm4n

@saren said:

I don't think that was Donna? It just seemed like a random girl.

Woah, woah..did you say Donna Troy ?!?!?!!?!

Now, I shall pick this up.

Edited the review to play it safe, but the outfit drew parallels and, before writing the review, I also noticed she's listed under characters that appear in our page for the issue. I know that's fan edited and all, but the necklace and outfit makes me wonder. Still, edited just to be safe.

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Posted by justice teen

Woah, woah..did you say Donna Troy ?!?!?!!?!

Now, I shall pick this up.

Agreed. I have been waiting for her to show, even if it's not her the name alone makes me want it.

Posted by justice teen

Just read it. I hope that is not Donna because that is not a good way to introduce her. Also this was kind of confusing.

Posted by Saint_Wildcard

Dammit! I like waiting a few weeks before picking up my comics. Now I need to go get this ~-~

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Edited by MarcosVergara14

4 out of 5 of the founding Titans, the only one missing is Garth!

PS: If that wasn't Donna that girl really looked like her, she had the collar and a T-hirt with stars

Posted by COBRAMORPH

does everyone get his power-set, a third of his power set, or each one getting one or two of each power?

Cause I sure hope we dont get some dude getting the x-ray vision JUST to use it looking through girl's clothing. Hell, give it to DT , make her a lesbian ,& have HER xray though a bunch of hot girl's clothing.

Posted by Jphu8414

Was getting some Kingdom Come vibes from Superman in this story. Overall was pretty interesting, I'm looking forward to learning more about what happened and how he got to where he was in the story.

Posted by TDK_1997

I didn't expect such a good issue from Fisch. There were some minor gripes here and there but overall it was an entertaining story with some lacking artwork.

Posted by BlueBeetle1

What do you mean 4 out of the 5 founding members and that garth is missing??? Garths been around for over 3 years. Since the very start.

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Posted by AllStarSuperman

What do you mean 4 out of the 5 founding members and that garth is missing??? Garths been around for over 3 years. Since the very start.

He probably means Garth as Aqualad, not Garth as in Beastboy

Posted by UltronMk7

Didn't enjoy this at all. Not part of the futures end story at all. Very disappointed. Boring story where nothing of significance happens. Really, really lousy IMO. Hoping the other Futures End tie ins are much better.