Is the Future (State) Finally Looking Brighter?

A slight improvement!

It was a very bleak first week for DC Comics’ two-month Future State initiative. Everything about this nebulous future for the publisher was depressing, establishing yet another far-off dystopia that DC Comics seems to really like exploring.

The first BATCH of books I reviewed from the second week – focusing mostly on Gotham City’s cast of characters – wasn’t really all that much better. I didn’t really have all that much faith in what DC Comics was offering with FUTURE STATE going into this little break in continuity, and nothing that I had read was really changing my opinion.

Thankfully, this second batch of WEEK 2 comics were a noticeable improvement on the previous offerings, giving us some positive momentum going into today’s week 3 offerings.

Justice League

One of my biggest complaints about the Future State books is how bleak the future is always portrayed, but the world of the Justice League of the future seems to be a lot better than what we’ve seen so far. A new generation of heroes – led by Jon Kent as Superman, the new (as-yet-unnamed) Batman and Yara Flor as Wonder Woman – seems to have had a positive effect on the world. Sure, the heroes are discouraged from fraternizing with each other, because an old Justice League member betrayed his teammates somewhere in the past. But the heroes not being friends is a minor malady in the larger scheme of things.

In this issue, the heroes are brought together to try and solve a locked-door mystery: how did a group of villains get murdered in the old (and unused) Hall of Justice? The heroes spend most of the issue trying to solve this question before the big reveal at the end: it was the Hyperclan!

Give me a well-placed Grant Morrison creation in any comic and it will immediately raise my opinion of the book. The HYPERCLAN was the first group of villains Morrison’s “Big Seven” JLA faced in the mid-1990s. A group of White Martians disguised as heroes, the Hyperclan tried to undermine the world’s confidence in the League before Batman figured out their scheme and used a match to take them all out. No, really…

Here, the White Martians have decided to up their game: just replace the Justice League entirely! It’s brilliant. And, it’s a wholly satisfying first issue for the future League.

Sure, the future Flash seems to be completely atomized at some point, but I feel like we all just need to get used to Flashes dying after all this time…

Superman / Wonder Woman

Speaking of well-placed Grant Morrison creations, we have ANOTHER one in this issue, which features a team-up between Jon Kent and Yara Flor, the Brazilian woman who takes on the role of Wonder Woman.

Solaris – the sentient sun who plotted to destroy Superman in the 1998 JLA event DC 1,000,000 and ALL-STAR SUPERMAN is back here, once again trying to destroy the Earth’s sun and use it to kill Metropolis’ hero. But this time, Solaris also has to deal with the anthropomorphic representations of the sun and the moon, gods given power by the elevation of Yara Flor to Wonder Woman.

The concept would have fit right in with Morrison’s All-Star Superman, and writer Dan Watters does such a great job taking some absurd concepts and making them work. It’s a much better representation of the son of Superman than last week’s Superman of Metropolis.

Kara Zor-El, Superwoman

Probably the weakest of the three books I’m reviewing here, which is disappointing because Kara has so much potential as a character that’s seemingly never realized by DC Comics. After years of a successful TV show on the CW as part of the ARROWVERSE, you’d think the publisher would see that, but of course, most of that time, Kara hasn’t even had her own book.

Future Kara is living on the moon, protecting a colony of refugees and working through her anger at her cousin and his son, and the death of Krypto. When a new alien crash lands, Superwoman is forced to look within herself to try and help. And then the alien’s own kind come looking for it. There should be a battle next issue, maybe that one will do a better job of holding my interest.

Two out of three ain’t bad for this grouping. I wonder how Week 3 will do.