DC Future State Week Four - Mostly Stellar Batch Of Comics
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DC Future State Week Four Is A Mostly Stellar Batch Of Comics

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BY February 23, 2021

Though the first two weeks of DC Future State were a bit rocky, week three jumped up a lot in quality, and, thankfully, week four continues that momentum. This is also the first week that the non-Gotham books (or what I’ve decided to divide into Gotham’s articles to manage this behemoth event) are just regular comics and not anthologies. 1 comic, 1 story. Even better, two of the comics were surprisingly good, given that their covers were a little dull. So, put on your spoiler hats, and let’s dive in.

Superman Vs Imperious Lex #1 is a Good Start to DC Future State Week Four

DC Future State Week Four, Superman Vs Imperious Lex, Aquaman, Brandon Easton, Brian Michael Bendis, Riley Rossmo, Legion of Super-Heroes, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, You Brought Me the Ocean, Mark Russell Come on; he just wants to impose his will and domination over an entire planet, Superman! Free Brittany! I mean Luthor! (Image: Future State: Superman Vs Imperious Lex #1, DC Comics)

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

All his life, Lex Luthor only wanted one small thing: to be the dictator of an entire world. Just the small dreams of a small town (or Smallville) boy. Well, in the DC Future State week four comic Superman Vs Imperious Lexi #1, he’s finally realized that dream. Finally, he’s the ruler of his own planet, which he named, what else, Luxor. Furthermore, to drive this planet’s economy and keep his subjects happily obedient, he manufactures killer robots, which he sends to other planets to pillage their resources and enslave their people. Overall, it’s all on the up-and-up.

So, imagine his frustration when Superman shows up for no reason, having destroyed his robots and burns down the entire factory. As a result, Clark dooms this planet to economic ruin, thereby forcing Lex to play the only card he has left: Ask for admission into the United Planets. What’s more is that, thankfully, he has someone supporting him: Superman, the guy who just wrecked his planet.

Of course, Lex is still a demagogue, And all Superman wants to do is help the Luxorians. When the United Planets moves to reject Luxor immediately, Superman appeals to Earth’s ambassador, his wife, Lois Lane. Eventually, he ends up changing her mind, and she endorses Luxor’s addition to the Federation…but she has to lead the transition team.

When Does Superman Vs Imperious Lex Take Place

DC Future State Week Four Superman Vs Imperious Lex, Aquaman, Brandon Easton, Brian Michael Bendis, Riley Rossmo, Legion of Super-Heroes, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, You Brought Me the Ocean, Mark Russell So, they have the best architects in the galaxy, and that’s the best they could do? (Image: Future State: Superman Vs Imperious Lex #1, DC Comics)

Once again, we’re looking at the timeline of events trying to figure out where this story fits. Firstly, Lois is alive, well, and old (in a totally Hellen Mirren way). We know that Superman was on War World not long after his son snowglobe’d Metropolis, but Metropolis is here, and so is Superman, with white-haired temples. The technology here is also far more advanced, and extraterrestrials are at home on Earth, part of the council.

This seems to take place quite a bit after Superman of Metropolis and long before Swamp Thing. That also means that the new Justice League is either still active, disbanded, or dead. At this point, we’re at week four of DC Future State, and there are a lot of puzzle pieces on the table—hopefully, they release a timeline at some point.

Future State: Aquaman #1 Brings A New Aquaman to DC Future State Week Four

DC Future State Week Four Superman Vs Imperious Lex, Aquaman, Brandon Easton, Brian Michael Bendis, Riley Rossmo, Legion of Super-Heroes, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, You Brought Me the Ocean, Mark Russell Damn. Even his six-packs have six-packs. (Image: Future State: Aquaman #1, DC Comics)

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

So, the cover of Future State: Aquaman #1 would have you believe it’s more of a YA book. Basically, we see Aqualass, the daughter of Aquaman and Mera, and Jackson Hyde—the son-turned-hero of Black Manta, off on a fun adventure. However, having Jackson in this book makes it more interesting since he was such a great character in You Brought Me the Ocean. All in all, the cover looks like it’s going to be an adorable comic.

Despite that cover, the comic is far from cute. In fact, this is a pretty intense and even brutal comic. We meet Jackson as an adult, after Arthur Curry gives him the Aquaman title. He’s not the shy kid afraid to come out to his friends and family any more. Also, he was training Aqualass—the Aquawoman of Future State: Justice League. During their training, they’re pulled into something called the Confluence. As Jackson’s imprisoner describes it, the Confluence is the one great ocean connecting all of time and space. But maybe it’s just better to admire Adriano Lucas’s color art:

DC Future State Week Four, Superman Vs Imperious Lex, Aquaman, Brandon Easton, Brian Michael Bendis, Riley Rossmo, Legion of Super-Heroes, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, You Brought Me the Ocean, Mark Russell Another reason to appreciate what colorists bring to comics. (Image: Future State: Aquaman #1, DC Comics)

Oh, right—there’s a great beast protecting the Confluence, and while running from it, Jackson and Aqualass are separated. Jackson has spent years searching for her until an alien race on Neptune captures him in their ocean. That’s the Aquaman of this series—a badass, grownup Jackson ready to fight an entire alien race to get back to his friend and protégé. But that teenage boy we loved from You Brought Me the Ocean? He has indeed grown up.

Also, it’s great that Arthur Curry is just retried. Nothing tragic. He’s just chilling with his wife somewhere in Atlantis.

Legion of Super-Heroes #1 Has Great Action and Art…But a Confusing Story

DC Future State Week Four Superman Vs Imperious Lex, Aquaman, Brandon Easton, Brian Michael Bendis, Riley Rossmo, Legion of Super-Heroes, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, You Brought Me the Ocean, Mark Russell Rossmo’s Bouncing Boy makes me proud to be a fat guy. (Image: Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1, DC Comics)

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

Our last DC Future State comic for Week Four is Legion of Superheroes #1. Generally, Brian Michael Bendis is great for jumping-on points. However, this issue felt like it was overly steeped in Legion lore. It’s hard to care about characters without giving us something to start with, and so far, each Future State comic has done that pretty well. Even the bad ones, like The Flash and Superman/Wonder Woman, gave us enough to start caring about these heroes.

With Legion, there’s a ton of dialogue and politics and blame being passed back and forth, but I have no idea why. Maybe I’m experiencing event burnout between this and King in Black, but there’s either no plot, or it’s too convoluted for a first issue. But let’s move on because the art is awesome.

I’ll admit that I love Rossmo’s art, but I can’t tell you why. It just has this quirkiness to it that works. The biggest problem with Legion #1 is that there are too many word bubbles cluttering the pages. The action sequences are erratic and some of the most fun we’ve seen in Future State. Sure, Rossmo’s art could be an acquired taste, but it’s definitely unique. Likewise, it’s what makes Legion a good book instead of a mess—and yes, I’m still bitter about Future State: The Flash #1

What’s Come Before and What Comes Next

As usual, here is our handy checklist. Because when it comes to events, it’s easy to get confused, but also to fall behind.

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

Gotham Week Three

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

DC Future State Week Four

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

Gotham Future State Week Four

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

DC Week Five

  • Superman of Metropolis #2
  • Wonder Woman #2
  • Swamp Thing #2
  • The Flash #2

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 Week Seven

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

Gotham Future State Week Seven

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

DC Week Eight

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

Gotham Week Eight

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

DC Future State Epilogues

  • Generations Forged #1
  • Infinite Frontier #0

 

(Featured Image: Future State: Superman Vs Imperious Lex #1, 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.

AquamanBrandon EastonBrian Michael BendisDC Future StateLegion of Super-HeroesLex LuthorRiley Rossmosuperman

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