cover image The New 52: Futures End Vol. 1

The New 52: Futures End Vol. 1

Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire and various. . DC, $39.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4012-5244-1

Years from now, the heroic DC Universe is on the verge of becoming a nightmare dystopia. Green Arrow is dead, Superman hides behind a faceless helmet, and heroes and villains alike are being transformed into killer cyborg insectoids. Bruce Wayne sends Terry McGinnis, his prot%C3%A9g%C3%A9 and successor (from the TV series Batman Beyond) back in time to prevent the disaster, but Terry lands in the DC Universe five years from now, when the sinister events are already underway. This wild, freewheeling joyride on a heroic world under attack by growing technology requires extensive knowledge of the current DC Universe and characters%E2%80%94large roles are played by B-list characters Firestorm, O.M.A.C., and Grifter. The theme is dire, but the inherent high stakes are levied with some light humor and a strong, page-flipping fast action pace. Despite twelve different artists contributing to the various chapters, the visuals are consistent, clean, and suitably heroic. With its abrupt revelatory ending, Volume 1 is by no means a complete story, but as the beginning of a significantly ambitious saga exploring the dark side of comic book heroes, it does the trick of ensnaring attention and freeing the reader of the usual surety that good will prevail. (Dec.)