Superman: Future’s End #1
In case you haven’t caught on yet, I’m not really enthusiastic about the Future’s End tie-ins, but for better or worse, that’s really what DC’s been up to this month. My problem with this issue, as was the case with Justice League’s last Future’s End tie-in, is that this is a bit of misdirection. It’s really not a Superman book. It’s not just that Superman is absent here. Lots of titles move away from their main characters now and again, but what this issue does is offer a replacement, someone posing as the man of steel. To clarify, I’ll need to give a small something away, so this is a MINOR SPOILER ALERT: Billy Batson/Shazam has taken up the identity of Superman to close the gap caused by Clark Kent’s absence. It’s an interesting look at an older, war-weary Billy, and fans of the Shazam character may enjoy that, but it feels like a cheat for anyone hoping this issue would shed some light on Clark’s status. SPOILER FREE: With all that said, this issue does offer something of a nice, self-contained story, and it does offer a small piece of development for Lois Lane.
Verdict: Not bad
Superman: Doomed #2
Superman: Doomed has been a bit flat for me. Part of that has been because so many of the tie-ins have made the narrative a convoluted one, but it’s also been because this feels too much like the “repeat” section of the wash/rinse process. Doomsday and Brainiac feel like the burger and fries of Superman’s part of the DC Universe, and it seems like there just isn’t much new ground being covered. #2 has made itself a small exception. In this issue, the (rather large) team manages to make these confrontations feel a little fresher than before, and I’m impressed to see such a large creative team able to blend so well. With the mind-jumping that comes with any story that involves Brainiac, Martian Manhunter, and a telepathic Lois Lane, the layout of the art sometimes makes it difficult to follow who is connected to whom, but aesthetically speaking, the art is sound.
Verdict: Worth a look.
Harley Quinn: Future’s End #1
It may sound weird to say it, but of all the Future’s End titles I’ve been reading, I had possibly the highest hopes for this one. That’s partly because unlike so many of the others, Harley Quinn’s tie-in is written by the series regulars, but also the nature of the title itself makes it somewhat immune to the things that impact the other books in DC’s domain. That is to say, Harley’s book can’t really be folded in with the rest of the DC universe. That’s to say that when you read her solo title, you have to go into it expecting that the 4th wall may be broken, she may have a slumber party with Poison Ivy, or that one day, she just may give Darkseid a wedgie. We don’t quite get that here, but this issue involves a romp on a deserted island that doesn’t necessarily have to impact the continuity of anything at all. That’s a bit refreshing, but some of the humor that makes Harley Quinn a fun break from the ordinary DC universe just isn’t working in this issue. It’s not bad. It’s just that it tends to go for the predictable, and while there’s a guest appearance from a significant figure (I won’t spoil it, but you really should be able to figure it out here), there’s not a whole lot about their encounter that makes this book a must-read.
Verdict: Not bad
After the break featuring one of their “lost in the vault” issues, we get back to business with the newly-married Deadpool and his newly-discovered daughter. This is basically a business-as-usual Deadpool book. We get the all-too-easy, Deadpool in his undies panels, and a run-in with an old nemesis whom Deadpool reminds us is actually pretty ridiculous. What really works with this issue is the line between funny and sincere that Wade walks where his daughter is concerned. We also see Deadpool continue trying to find help for Kim and company, though there isn’t a lot of movement in the story. What this issue does offer are some decent quips, and the sort of sight-gag panels we appreciate and expect from the title.
Verdict: Worth a look