Thursday, September 25, 2014

Superman: Futures End #1 Review

Written by: Dan Jurgens
Art by: Lee Weeks
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 25, 2014

And Knowing is Half of Something

For Superman fans, this Futures End thing is a bit of a weird Event.  If you're not reading the main Futures End title, you may not know what I'm getting at, so close your eyes if you don't like spoilers.  Superman is gone.  Yep, the Man of Steel is out of the picture.  So...Shazam has stepped up and taken his place.  The world needs a Superman and it could do a lot worse then good old Billy Batson. In this issue, Dan Jurgens takes the reigns of Superzam (not so catchy, but I'm going with it) and tells a pretty good story of the how and why of it all that actually ties-into and even enhances the main title.  The art is snazzy as well, I just wish that the dialogue and characterizations were a bit more on the mark.

The issue opens up with one of those "we're not in Kansas, anymore" panels.  This one is a couple of douchebags happy they won their death pool because of Green Arrow's death.  Hey DC, we aren't morons.  We get it.  Dan Jurgens actually may top these guys with a pair of Firefighters who are made that Shazam is impersonating Superman...while saving three children from a fire.  Really?  If I was Shazam I'd put them right back in that building.  Actually, that's a horrible thing to even think about.  Shame on all of you.  This all sets up the meat of the story.  Why is Shazam doing it in the first place and where is Superman.

Enter Lois Lane.  She exposed Shazam and pretty much ruined his life so she thinks he wants to talk to her...on the record.  Dan Jurgens really filled his issue with a bunch of a-holes.  Thankfully, Billy Batson is not one and decides to tell his story.  It all started in the Earth 2 War and it is pretty cool.  Wait until you see who Shazam teams up against the forces of Apokolips and when you do, it will be no shock what happens.  I won't spoil it, but let's just say that Superman gets him out of a little jam.  Billy tries to thank him, but Superman has to leave on a mission he is very unhappy to do.  It's yet another hint at trouble that happened between Superman and Batman.  When Superman didn't return, Shazam assumed the role as a special thanks and a bit of hero worship.

Up to this point, I was all in.  The story was pretty cool and it filled in some cracks in the Futures End story.  Unfortunately, from this point on, it turned into a cheesy, be yourself story.  Lois is to blame again.  After hearing Billy's story, Lois tells him to be true to himself which he does to defeat the issue's villain.  If it wasn't bad enough already, it ends with one of the most cliched and cheesy exchanges I've seen in a long time.

One thing that wasn't cliched cheesy was Lee Weeks' art.  While I wish the colors were a bit more vibrant, Weeks brings his A game to the table.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue began as a cool story that fit well into the Futures End event and even filled in some pretty big gaps.  Unfortunately, it devolved into a melodramatic and cliched story of being true to yourself.  Lee Weeks' art is good throughout, but the dialogue is just not up to par.  I love Shazam and seeing his story was good enough for me to recommend it even with it's flaws.


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