Futures End #7
The series continues to improve and move forward.
For the second issue in a row, FUTURES END moves forward with most of its plot threads. This is to the book’s benefit, and hopefully it means that the stagnation that set in through the first few issues is a thing of the past. The standout segment of the book remains Cal Corcoran’s slice of the world. These characters’ scenes are also the most successful at using relationships as a vehicle for suspense: these are characters who are hiding their pasts, and the question of what will happen when those secrets come out drives their story.
FUTURES END #7 also marks the first time that I’ve been interested in where Grifter is heading next. Cole is in a new environment (to the character and reader alike) and is in over his head. I’d have liked to see this as his first chapter in the series, bypassing his largely unnecessary appearances so far.
This book introduces a character called Fifty Sue. This is corny and cheesy and will surely irritate some people, but I love that kind of wall-breaking gall.
This issue showcases one consequence of introducing so many characters and storylines to the series already: some characters seem like they may be in the story more as narrative tools than for plot purposes. In particular, the heist team seems more like a framing device around Mr. Terrific than like characters with their own story. That is unnecessary when Mr. Terrific himself is a more major player (and when Batman Beyond is lurking outside his office) than the would-be thieves. Firestorm falls in this camp too. Hopefully these characters soon follow Grifter in moving forward in engaging ways.
Team Frankenstein’s Phantom Zone conflict seemed like more of a speed bump than it should have, given who they encountered; I hope that this has a more significant payoff down the road.
There are still some tone and dialog inconsistencies in this issue. Some lines remain clumsy. The inclusion of a character named Fifty Sue makes me think that some of this awkwardness is a shot at over-the-top humor, but even with that consideration, entire stretches of dialog feel over-written.
With two weeks of consistent improvement under its belt, FUTURES END finally seems to be moving in the right direction. It still has problems: inconsistent dialog works against it, and some characters continue to spin their wheels. Increasingly, however, I find myself caring about the individual threads of the story and excited to see where the next issue goes.