Saturday, September 27, 2014

Justice League Dark: Futures End #1 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: J.M. DeMatteis, Len Wein
Art By: Andres Guinaldo, Walden Wong
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 24, 2014

The Most Exciting Day In Years

It's time we look at the JLD and with it my final review for the Futures End event.  It's been a strange month filled with awful futures for our favorite heroes and I really don't know how I feel about that.  Yeah some bad shit is bound to go down in Five Years and I understand that the DCU has gone through a hellish war that rivaled Darkseid's initial attack that created the Justice League, but damn does everyone have to be down in the dumps and appear be in a living hell?  Just damaged characters that for the most part don't have any right to call themselves heroes anymore and that really makes me sad.  Their Five Years From Now have actually depressed me and that's not what my heroes are supposed to do.  Was that the purpose of this event?  To make all the fans depressed so that when the timeline reverts back, we're all be so grateful that we go out and buy our hero's books in abundance because while it still might be dark; at least it's not Five Years From Now dark.  I guess we'll have to see when October's sales come out; but until then let's take a look at what the JLD are up to Five Years From Now and see if they share their colleagues grim future or if they've found a spell to brighten their days.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

As we open the pages to this book we immediately realize that yes, we are about to dive into another bleak future, but this time it's taken our DC magic users.  We're told that two years earlier the House of Mystery became stuck in a world between worlds and that it's JLD occupants have been trying to find a way out ever since.  It's like a void dimension Castaway without the fun of Tom Hanks peeing on everything.  As you can expect the team is suffering from an extreme case of cabin fever........Not the flesh eating bacteria thing from the Cabin Fever movie, but more of a tense, our world is filled with sorrow thing.  Zatanna has become a shut-in in the House's library, going over every spell the books hold and still not coming up with an answer to their problem and the rest of the team filled with Nightmare Nurse, Etrigan, Cassandra Craft and Black Orchid have been exploring the void to try and find an exit.  Also since they've been alone for so long, we have a bit of coupling going on, because what fills the gap of eternal time more than sex?  Zatanna and Etrigan have become a couple and Black Orchid and Nightmare Nurse have become a couple........  Poor poor Cassandra Craft seems to be alone with her divinations.  If I learned anything from this comic it has to be that if I ever start a team it has to have a even amount of members just in case we're ever stuck somewhere.  But with my luck Etrigan would be holding me at night telling me everything would be alright.  I'm his little spoon.

Back to the story.  Finally the team come across some sign of life in the void that comes in the form of a early 20th century mystic named Eric Augustine that became trapped in here when him and his coven began exploring worlds.  He is the last of his group that perished long ago and to show his thanks to the JLD for saving what's left of his soul and sanity, he offers his knowledge so that the group might find their way home.  Even though the rest of the group don't trust the outsider and Etrigan even becomes jealous of the time Zatanna is spending with him, Zatanna's the leader and she says he's alright.  Eventually the team come across their first lead in the form of a hulking ancient god statue, who's gaping mouth serves as a portal.  

Before Zatanna is willing to have her team and home go through, she takes Augustine and says the two will explore it first.  This is the point where our new member shows his true colors and tries to pull the House of Mystery towards the monster's open mouth.  With a spell, Zatanna sends the House away and we see that the ancient statue is actually Non, the dog master of the Sin Eater from the Phantom Stranger series; who uses the consumption of mystical energy to create a piece of himself on the physical plain.  It looks like curtains for our favorite reverse spell caster, but her team returns and with their combined power they destroy Non.

In the end our team get back to the House of Mystery with the now puppet master-less Augustine who pledges his services to the team for freeing him from Non, but since Non might come back and use his puppet again, Zatanna has Etrigan free Augustine's head from his neck and the team ends the story by going back to finding a way out of the void, striving to put right what once went wrong and hoping that their next leap....... Will be the leap home..  Wait...... Wait...... That's Quantum Leap, but you get the point.  

So that's it all you wizard cloaked fans.  We jumped into this story with great hope for the future of this team and what we were left with was Lost in Space without the creepy Dr. Smith following Will Robinson around.  I don't know if I'm just naive with my optimism every time I've opened a Futures End book, but I seriously expect some light at the end of the tunnel at the end of every book.  But what happens is I'm left depressed after seeing how my favorite character have becomes shells of their former selves and Justice League Dark is no exception.  I'm not really a fan of this team's roster and knowing that they've just been drifting aimlessly throughout a void for the last two years doesn't get me exciting to read about the one day where something actually happened.  Even Andres Guinaldo who pencils this book regularly seems off in this issue and that really disappoints me because he's my favorite artist who's ever done this book, so if he's off the whole issue suffers for it.  Now I'm not saying the art is bad here, it just isn't as good as it usually is and hopefully next month when we get back to normal, so will he.  

Bits and Pieces:

With this being my last review for the Futures End event, I was really hoping that it would blow me away, but like a lot of the other characters Five Years From Now it just left me depressed for the future of my heroes.  It's just a downer story, where nothing is resolved and only shows the events of one day in the last two years that something happened.  The artwork wasn't as thrilling as it normally is and this whole Futures End event has just seemed to make the books suffer in both writing and art across the board.  Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, but sadly this issue wasn't one of them.  I'll just be glad next month when are Dark characters are just a little less Dark than they appear Five Years From Now.


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