DC Future State Week Eight Ends the Event on a High Note - Comic Years
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DC Future State Week Eight Ends the Event on a High Note

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BY March 31, 2021

And here we are. Week eight, the end of all things DC Future State. Well, kind of. We’ll get to that. Over weeks seven and eight, we’ve seen nearly all of the various series come to an end. Sometimes those endings were massive and epic. Other times it left us scratching our heads. With just four issues left to cover, will we get the answers we’ve wanted this entire time? Maybe, but don’t count on it, but that doesn’t mean these stories were bad.

DC Future State Week Eight Begins With the Epic House of El

DC Future State Week Eight, House of El, Superman, Aquaman, Imperious Lex, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Aqualass, Legion of Super-Heroes, Brandon Easton, Brian Michael Bendis, Riley Rossmo, Phillip Kennedy Johnson A burning, black Superman flag? What is this, Zack Snyder’s Justice League? (Image: DC Future State: House of El #1, DC Comics)

Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Scott Goldlewski
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb

After Superman: Worlds of War, we were left with a little bit of a cliffhanger, but it was clear that Superman would break free of Mongul’s chains and free all of the slaves, along with the Black Racer. But instead of a big battle issue showing the fall of Warworld, we skip several generations into the future, and Kal-El…well, he got busy. He now has hundreds of descendants from different planets. However, things aren’t going well for them, and the House of El is about to fall.

Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Scott Goldlewski bring to DC Future State week eight a Tolkien-esque sense of legacy. In fact, this story is pretty epic. We’re on the Moon Sanctuary that Kara Zor-El built for the universe’s refugees. But now it’s a fortress for the House of El. And it’s falling. “The Red King” is decimating them, hellbent on taking out Clark Kent’s line. But who is the Red King?

Superman’s Own Son Is Destroying the House of El…But Not That Son

DC Future State Week Eight, House of El, Superman, Aquaman, Imperious Lex, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Aqualass, Legion of Super-Heroes, Brandon Easton, Brian Michael Bendis, Riley Rossmo, Phillip Kennedy Johnson Dude, I’m all for a pleated skirt, but the skull broach is a bit much. (Image: DC Future State: House of El #1, DC Comics)

Yes, one of Clark’s own children is killing the various lines of El, angered at how “sullied” they’ve become. But like any other xenophobic bigot, he’s a hypocrite. Pyrrhos, the Red King’s real name, is the original Superman’s son, yes, but his mother is the demigod Circe. We last saw Circe in The Immortal Wonder Woman #2, but she seemed neutral then. And while she doesn’t actually appear in DC Future State week eight, Pyrrhos makes us feel her importance. After all, she was one of the apparently many lovers of Superman and gave birth to his most powerful son. But Pyrrhos, for all his grandstanding about his house’s legacy, is not 100% Kryptonian. He’s part Greek demigod, part Kryptonian. There’s a not-so-subtle but excellent political message there.

This DC Future State Week Eight Story Isn’t Superman’s Last.

DC Future State Week Eight House of El, Superman, Aquaman, Imperious Lex, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Aqualass, Legion of Super-Heroes, Brandon Easton, Brian Michael Bendis, Riley Rossmo, Phillip Kennedy Johnson Oh, Pyrrhos, man, you are sooooo grounded. (Image: DC Future State: House of El #1, DC Comics)

Kal-El finally returns after Circe trapped him in a hellish dimension. But how does he stop his son? The only way Clark knows how—with love. Leave it to Superman to be trapped in a nightmare reality and come to love and protect whatever monsters or creatures live there. In fact, he cares so much about that dimension that he wants to return to it. However, this time, he brings his son, telling him that they need their own Superman, and how Pyrrhos can be that person. An entire dimension where he’s the hero? Yeah, Pyrrhos likes it and flies off with his dad. The House of El is left to rebuild after the Red King’s destruction.

Of course, we’ve seen in DC Future State stories before week eight that Kal-El has a part to play all the way to the end of the universe. However, this end felt the most fitting out of all the Superman stories. While so many Future State stories try to end with a bang, House of El ends with a whimper but also a sense of hope.

DC Future State: Superman Vs Imperious Lex Doesn’t Actually End in Week Eight.

DC Future State Week Eight, House of El, Superman, Aquaman, Imperious Lex, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Aqualass, Legion of Super-Heroes, Brandon Easton, Brian Michael Bendis, Riley Rossmo, Phillip Kennedy Johnson Never trust Lex Luther, especially if he has balloons. (Image: DC Future State: Superman Vs Imperious Lex #2, DC Comics)

Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Steve Pugh
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo Jr

So, let’s go back to when Superman’s hair was just starting to gray, and Lois was his only lover. Oh, and Lex Luthor is the dictator over an entire planet named, what else, Lexor. Luther’s entire economy depended on his killer robots pillaging the galaxy. In the last issue, Superman destroyed Luther’s robot factory, cutting off the planet’s revenue. As a result, Luthor applied to join the United Planets. Of course, everyone wants to deny him membership, but who ends up convincing Lois Lane to support their bid? Superman. Yeah, the big boy scout wants to make sure that the citizens of Lexor are okay.

But for all of Luther’s exploration of the galaxy, there was one planet he overlooked – his own. When the United Planets’ survey team shows up, they discover an abundance of crystals with near-limitless energy. When they tell Lois and Lex, he immediately wants out of the United Planets, but Lois denies his request. They were to assume Lexor’s debt, and in exchange, any resources Lexor would share their resources with all of the United Planets. Luther doesn’t want to do that, so he kills the survey team and attempts to kill Superman and Lois. They escape and boot Lexor out of the United Planets, as he wanted.

Superman Does Something That Would Impress Even Amanda Waller and Batman

However, just because Superman is a big boy scout in a leotard, that doesn’t mean he can’t scheme with the best of them. Luther plans to sell the crystals, but for some reason, nobody wants them. The reason? Because Superman does something kind of gangster. He steals some of the crystals, takes them to Fortress of Solitude, and synthesizes them. But then the boy scout meets the gangster, and he gives the energy crystals out to every planet for free.

Now, this would make a great ending on its own, but then this happens:

DC Future State Week Eight, House of El, Superman, Aquaman, Imperious Lex, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Aqualass, Legion of Super-Heroes, Brandon Easton, Brian Michael Bendis, Riley Rossmo, Phillip Kennedy Johnson Um, isn’t this event supposed to be over? (Image: DC Future State: Superman Vs Imperious Lex #2, DC Comics)

Yep, it turns out that one DC Future State title’s ending wiggled out of week eight. There’s one more issue of Superman Vs Imperious Lex, but what can they do after this ending? However, there is one lingering problem. Didn’t Superman just impoverish an entire planet? We’ll take a look at the third issue along with our epilogues.

DC Future State: Aquaman #2 Has The Best Ending in Week Eight

DC Future State Week Eight House of El, Superman, Aquaman, Imperious Lex, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Aqualass, Legion of Super-Heroes, Brandon Easton, Brian Michael Bendis, Riley Rossmo, Phillip Kennedy Johnson Damn. The scrawny kid in You Brought Me the Ocean went beast mode somewhere along the way. (Image: DC Future State: Aquaman #2, DC Comics)

Writer: Brandon Thomas
Artist: Daniel Sempere
Colorist: Adriano Lucas

The first issue of DC Future State: Aquaman was one of the event’s biggest surprises, but week eight proved that Easton and Sempere should take over this franchise. This time around, we follow Aqualass as she becomes Auquawoman. But, of course, it’s not an easy journey either. First, she loses her leg but then uses her powers over the ocean to take a “glimmerfish” and forms it into a new one. That just pisses off the rest of the fish, and they pretty much annoy her until she flees the island she was lost on.

Easton cuts back and forth between Andy training with Jackson (the Aquaman of that time) and her journey to find her mentor. By the time she finds Jackson, she’s six years older, and Jackson has been in a Neptune prison the entire time. However, though the reunion is spectacular, the heart of the story lies in these little segments. We get to see Jackson as a teacher who cares for his student, and, likewise, Andy as a student who wants to become something greater. (So, maybe that hit a soft spot for me since I am a teacher, but those moments were lovely.)

Week Eight Bridges the Gap Between DC Future State: Aquaman and DC Future State: Justice League

DC Future State Week Eight, House of El, Superman, Aquaman, Imperious Lex, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Aqualass, Legion of Super-Heroes, Brandon Easton, Brian Michael Bendis, Riley Rossmo, Phillip Kennedy Johnson Aqualass? More like Aqua Kick-Ass! (Image: DC Future State: Aquaman #2, DC Comics)

Okay, so their reunion? Epic. Aquawoman commands an army of sea creatures, big and small, from all over the Confluence. She doesn’t just defeat the Neptunian prison guards; she crushes them. In fact, the only thing that keeps her from killing them all is Aquaman reminding her that this was not their way. When she finally lets go of the anger she built up for six years, she isn’t just ready to be Aquawoman; as Jackson tells her, she’s ready to be on the Justice League. Which, as we know, is exactly what she does next.

Legion of Superheroes #2 Ends With a Warm Fuzzy Feeling

DC Future State Week Eight, House of El, Superman, Aquaman, Imperious Lex, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Aqualass, Legion of Super-Heroes, Brandon Easton, Brian Michael Bendis, Riley Rossmo, Phillip Kennedy Johnson Is the Bouncing Boy available for hugs? (Image: DC Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #2, DC Comics)

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Colorist: Ivan Plascencia

Despite his abundance of dialogue, Bendis is a great storyteller. And I just lost half our readers. Sorry, Josh! But for those who are still there, you know what I mean. His stories always have a strong emotional core, which makes the dialogue-driven scenes work. In this case, the story’s core is the guilt Irma and Element Lad feels despite knowing that nothing was their fault. In reality (well, for them), the Titanians manipulated all of the attacks that Trom (Element Lad’s planet) carried out. But they did this by using one of their own, Saturn Girl (Irma), without her even knowing it.

Also, for all of its dialogue, this was the most straightforward story in DC Future State week eight. Overall, what matters most in this story isn’t legacies or vengeance or manipulation. It’s emphatically about coming together as friends to help each other become better. It’s what makes the Legion so special. No matter what’s thrown at them (usually by their own parents), they’re basically a group of teenage friends. So, the future looks hopeful for them.

But it isn’t—in the Black Adam story from Future State: Suicide Squad #1, the Unkindness wipes them out. But for now, we’ll just pretend they’re going to live happily ever after.

Week Eight is Not Quite the End of DC Future State

DC Future State Week Eight House of El, Superman, Aquaman, Imperious Lex, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Aqualass, Legion of Super-Heroes, Brandon Easton, Brian Michael Bendis, Riley Rossmo, Phillip Kennedy Johnson Thanks, Superman! Tomorrow, we will have fun annihilating everything together! (Image: DC Future State: Superman Vs Imperious Lex #2, DC Comics)

As we said before, there’s actually one more issue of DC Future State: Superman Vs Imperious Lex, despite the event ending in week eight. But there are also two comics that deeply connect to the event. Firstly, Generations Forged, the follow-up to Generations Shattered, which ignited all of this. And the other is Infinite Frontier #0, picking up almost immediately after Dark Nights: Death Metal #7. So, while the main DC Future State stories all ended in week eight, we actually have one more left to go. Also, as always, here’s our now nearly-complete checklist.

Road to DC Future State

  • Dark Nights: Death Metal #7
  • Generations Shattered #1

DC Week One

  • Superman of Metropolis #1
  • Wonder Woman #1
  • The Flash #1
  • Swamp Thing #1

Gotham Week One

  • The Next Batman #1
  • Harley Quinn #1

DC Week Two

  • Justice League #1
  • Green Lantern #1
  • Super-Man/Wonder Woman #1
  • Kara Zoe-El: Superwoman #1

Gotham Week Two

  • The Dark Detective #1
  • Robin: Eternal #1
  • Teen Titans #1

DC Week Three

  • Immortal Wonder Woman #1
  • Superman: Worlds at War #1
  • Shazam! #1

Week Three

  • The Next Batman #2
  • Nightwing #1
  • Catwoman #1

DC Week Four

  • Superman Vs. Imperious Lex #1
  • Aquaman #1
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #1

Gotham Week Four

  • The Dark Detective #2
  • Batman/Superman #1
  • Suicide Squad #1

DC Week Five

Gotham Week Five

  • The Next Batman #3
  • Harley Quinn #2

DC Week Six

  • Justice League #2
  • Green Lantern #2
  • Superman/Wonder Woman #2
  • Kara Zor-El: Superwoman #2

Gotham Week Six

  • The Dark Detective #3
  • Teen Titans #2
  • Robin: Eternal #2

DC Future State Week Seven

  • Immortal Wonder Woman #2
  • Superman: Worlds at War #2
  • Shazam! #2

Gotham Future State Week Seven

  • The Next Batman #4
  • Nightwing #2
  • Catwoman #2

DC Future State Week Eight

  • Superman Vs. Imperious Lex #2
  • Superman: House of El #1
  • Aquaman #2
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #2

Gotham Future State Week Eight

  • The Dark Detective #4
  • Batman/Superman #2
  • Suicide Squad #2

DC Future State Epilogues

  • Superman Vs Imperious Lex #3
  • Generations Forged #1
  • Infinite Frontier #0

(Featured Image: DC Future State: Aquaman #2, DC Comics)

COMICSDC Comics

Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.

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