DC Future State Week Seven Has Too Many Cliffhangers, But Beautiful Storytelling
Week seven of DC Future State. The penultimate week for one of the most ambitious comics events since…okay, X of Swords wasn’t that long ago, but before that, it’s been a while. And really, Future State is even more ambitious. Marvel didn’t shut down their entire line just to tell X of Swords, after all. But now that we’re in the last two weeks (covering this, that is), we’re seeing how it all comes together – or how wrong I’ve been for the past fourteen articles. Could go either way.
Superman: Worlds of War #2 Offers Several Unfinished Stories in DC Future State Week Seven
Anyone else getting strong Anakin vs Kenobi on Mustafar vibes here? (Image: DC Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2, DC Comics)
So, in DC Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2, we have four threads that should come together. Firstly, Superman breaking the chains of the slaves in the arena. Secondly, Mister Miracle turning the communications back on. Thirdly, Midnighter taking the fake kryptonite. And fourthly, Black Racer leading free slaves from beneath the arena. However, we never see how all these threads come together; hopefully, that will happen next week. For now, let’s take a look at how they got to these points – because the comic, even if unfinished, was still really damn good.
The Many Deaths of Superman Part 2 Starts DC Future State Week Seven With Powerful Emotion
This is what we get when great art and great writing collide into something incredibly touching. (Image: DC Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2, DC Comics)
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Mikel J́anín
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Last issue, the first part of this story blindsided me. Though billed as a Planet Hulk story, what Johnson gave us instead was a beautiful story about Clark Kent’s importance – not just Superman. A young woman attending a Superman vigil storms off in frustration because all anyone wants to talk about is Superman. She wants to talk about Clark Kent. In DC Future State week seven, we find out just what she means when she says Clark saved her.
As we see Superman in the gladiator ring, we also get one of Clark’s articles. Specifically, an obituary about a Metropolis citizen who died homeless, but had an amazing life nonetheless. However, not “amazing” in the sense of “great,” but real amazement. Edgar Watters was a musician, a war hero, a civil rights activist, a politician, a philanthropist, and more. He may have died anonymous and alone, but he had more of an impact on Metropolis than anyone realizes. Sadie, the young woman, was ready to jump off of a ledge, but Clark’s article inspired her to keep living. There is no wasted life.
And we see Superman on Warworld, in the fighting pits, slowly breaking the chains of all of Mongul’s slaves. We also find out the Mongul routinely kills Superman and resurrects him just to fight and die again. Additionally, we get a great cliffhanger as Warworld slaves hold up their broken chains. Mongul might want to start running now.
Time and Effect Part Two Has a Classic Sci-Fi Explanation for What Happened to Mister Miracle
Okay, it’s a lot of evil-looking alien ships approaching, but you got magic disc things, you’ll be fine. (Image: DC Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2, DC Comics)
Writer: Brandon Easton
Artist: Valentine De Landro
Colorist: Marissa Louise
Mister Miracle is one of the few characters (possibly the only one) who got four chapters in the backup stories. But there’s a conceit here. Easton was actually telling two different stories. In the first story, Jonathan Kent had just shrunk Metropolis and put it into a snow globe. Almost immediately, these strange robots showed up and started attacking people for no reason. But then the next time we saw Shiloh, he resurrected on Warworld. So…we know he died. It wasn’t until the following week, going back to the first story, that we find out how. After he uses all the power of his Mother Box to kill the robots, one of them has just enough left to zap him out of existence. Yet there’s still that lingering question: who sent the robots, to begin with.
It was Mister Miracle. Yep! Time loop physics time. Shiloh sent a message to Earth, but it was intercepted by Jonathan Kent, who, not knowing the context, thought it was coming from his miniature Metropolis. It deployed the robots to neutralize what he thought was a threat. That threat? Mister Miracle, who they killed and sent to Warworld, where he sent a message to Earth that Jonathan Kent intercepted, but didn’t – see? A bit loop. It’s kind of amazing that we didn’t get such a classic sci-fi trope until DC Future State week seven. However, even if it is a classic headscratcher, Easton uses it wonderfully. Also, the back and forth between the two stories made the narrative even better.
In DC Future State Week Seven, Mister Miracle Fixes a Plot Hole from Superman of Metropolis.
Can you explain that one more time? (Image: DC Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2, DC Comics)
At the same time, it answers the question of how long Metropolis was in the dome. Well, kind of. Even though to Jonathan, it was just a long day, the space travel they encountered thanks to Brain Cells warped the time around the dome. We actually knew that already, from Superman of Metropolis #2. However, that time variance also affects the time distance between Earth and wherever Brain Cells took the city. So, while Johnathan Kent and Kara Zor-El can fly to that point in the universe in a day, the actual difference in time for Earth was several months—maybe even years, considering the sentiment around Jonathan in Superman: Worlds of War #1. Time variation via space travel, always a headache, right?
Midnighter Part II Offers More Time Loops – and a Baby Midnighter!
Awwwwwwwwwww! (Image: DC Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2, DC Comics)
Writers: Becky Cloonan and Michael W Conrad
Artist: Michael Avon Oeming
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
When we last saw Midnighter, he was facing his husband, Apollo, in a lab on Warworld. But did Apollo really go evil? Of course not, and no one is fooling Midnighter. He doesn’t need the supercomputer in his brain to know that this is a Trojan Horse. Actually, it’s the CEO of Trojan Solutions, Andrej Trojan. A bit on the nose. But hey, Marvel has a character named Victor Von Doom, so this isn’t even that bluntly literal. Trojan wants humankind to “ascend” by getting rid of the body and replacing it with wires and mechanics. Yet his explanation is actually kind of profound. He tells Midnighter, “Suffering is brought upon by the very meat we mistake as the self.” Sure, it’s a villain speaking, but it’s also the best argument against America’s toxic diet culture. But instead of becoming robots, we can be content with the bodies we have.
More Time Travel Shennanigans in DC Future State Week Seven
We’ve already some crazy time travel in DC Future State week seven, with Mister Miracle’s experience. But get ready for some bizarre scenes. Actually, remember that scene in Avengers: Endgame when Ant-Man keeps trying to travel through time, but time traveled through him? Ad we got baby Ant-Man, old man Ant-Man, and teenage Ant-Man? Midnighter gets that treatment. When Trojan turns on a time nexus machine, we get the baby Midnighter seen above, and then he’s sped forward into old man Midnighter. Yet, while he’s old, another Midnighter shows up through the Nexus to help him.
It turns out he was helping all along and was from the past. How is that possible? Because the old man version goes through the Nexus, becomes the proper age again, and figures out a way to get to War World in the future to help his older self do exactly that. What does the younger Midnighter do after he tosses his older self through the Nexus? Not quite sure. He says he’s stuck in a paradox, but he also seems free from it too. Like I said before, time travel – amirite?
Now, moving on to the last Superman: Worlds of War story in DC Future State week seven.
Black Racer Part II Exemplifies the Biggest Fault in DC Future State Week Seven: Fun Stories, No Real Resolutions
Her dating profile said “kind of tall,” not “monolith tall.” (Image: DC Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2, DC Comics)
Writer: Jeremy Adams
Artist: Sia Oum
So, this story is a bit hard to critique. On the one hand, the Black Racer’s character development was wonderful. However, there’s no resolution to the story. We get the continually recurring “The End” with a question mark. And the same happened in every story of DC Future State: Superman: Worlds of War and other week seven titles. But for now, let’s focus on Black Racer, because she’s an excellent character.
Her backstory isn’t clear, but her motivation is. Someone killed her, and she wants revenge. Yet, while blasting her way through the lower rings of Warworld, she accidentally starts leading a rebellion. And while she’s not there to lead freed slaves, she still lets them join her. I don’t know where this character will pop up next, but I hope we will see more of her soon. Also, hopefully, we’ll see what happens to Warworld in DC Future State week eight since we only got “to be continued” in week seven.
Immortal Wonder Woman #2 Features Two of the Best Stories in DC Future State Week Seven
About the same chances of me getting a date with Gal Gadot. (Image: DC Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2, DC Comics)
Wonder Woman is having a great few years, but not just because she’s had a hit movie and a big (yet divisive) sequel. She’s risen to such prominence in DC Comics, both as a franchise and as a character. As we saw at the end of Dark Nights: Death Metal, she literally ascends to a godhood above the pantheons – to one who can shape the universe. However, along with Diana, the rest of the Amazonian warriors are also doing well. Sure, Yara got her own series for DC Future State. But Nubia gets a great conclusion in week seven, even if it’s the backup story of Immortal Wonder Woman. So, let’s take a look!
Diana Prince Part 2 Might Be the Most Beautiful Story of This Entire Event
Writers: Becky Cloonan and Michael W Conrad
Artist: Jen Bartel
Okay – how to review and recap this without crying. Cloonan and Conrad wrote what really should have been the last story of DC Future State, not in week seven. Why? Because it’s literally about the end – and beginning – of everything. Wonder Woman is alone at the end of time, one of just two souls left in the universe. She keeps looking for signs of life, but after eons, she nearly gives up hope. But, finally, she runs into one last living soul, the Spectre. It’s a deeply emotional exchange. Spectre was just waiting for Wonder Woman to find him so that he could finally die. And then there’s this exchange:
At least with writing, no one can see me crying. (Image: DC Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2, DC Comics)
When Spectre dies (which, just writing that, the metaphor is a bit of a smack in the face, but not a bad one), Wonder Woman finally succumbs to the darkness destroying the universe. But then something expected and yet still incredible happens. She outlasts the darkness and sparks a new universe. But, let’s just let Jen Bartel show us because her artwork in this comic is amazing. Plus, it means I don’t have to keep trying to avoid getting weepy.
Just…beautiful. (Image: DC Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2, DC Comics)
Nubia Chapter 2 Brings Power and Legacy to DC Future State Week Seven
Villain problem: should they run or just cower(Image: DC Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2, DC Comics)
Writer: LL McKinney
Penciler: Alitha Martinez
Inker: Mark Morales
Colorist: Emilio Lopez
Where Diana Prince’s story was about the end of all things, Nubia’s story transcends past and, well, the present future state. Last issue, Nubia kicked the crap out of the goddess – or godling – Grail. Grail gathered various artifacts of power that do what all-powerful artifacts do: release some kind of evil dark thing. But that doesn’t matter. What does matter is what we learn about this Wonder Woman, Nubia. Or, should we call her the Guardian? Because, as it turns out, she’s critical when it comes to guarding such things as evil artifacts.
When Grail summons the goddess Circe, she thinks the goddess will easily remove Nubia’s tiara, which is actually another goddess’s crown. But the more Circe tries to get the crown off of Nubia, the more difficult it becomes. Finally, Circe breaks something – the shackles holding Nubia back. The “lost Amazonian” turned out to be the protected Amazonian. Oh, protected by whom? ALL OF THE GODDESSES. Mostly the Yoruba river goddess Oshun.
Nubia kicks both Circe and Grail’s asses and takes the artifacts back to her aunt’s for safekeeping. It also leaves Nubia in a place for an awesome solo series, which is probably the point. However, unlike all the stories in Superman: Worlds of War, Nubia’s story both concludes and leaves her story open. The way comics are supposed to work.
And that just leaves us with one more DC Future State week seven story.
Shazam #2 Confirms a Major Theory About the Unkindness and the Teen Titans
Anyone who can strike fear in Shazam should themselves be feared. (Image: DC Future State: Shazam! #2, DC Comics)
Writer: Tim Sheridan
Penciler: Eduardo Pansica
Inker: Júlio Ferreira
Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo
Isn’t it great when you read one comic, form a hypothesis, and it actually turns out right? Okay, sure, I was totally wrong about Red Hood being Peacekeeper-01 in the Gotham Future State stories, but I at least got this one right. At the end of Future State: Teen Titans #2, we see Shazam taking Raven, holding the riders of the apocalypse within her, to the rock of eternity. As he does, Neron watches from the shadows. All signs pointed to Raven becoming the Unkindness. And she does! In grand spectacular fashion:
The one that got away. (Image: DC Future State: Shazam! #2, DC Comics)
Now, it does say to be continued in Black Adam, but we do get a definitive ending to Shazam’s story. It’s just not a happy one. The Unkindness now has his power along with the Four Riders, the Seven Deadly Sins, Neron, and several other powerful forces. The Justice Society thought they were saving Shazam when Deadman possessed him and forced him to say his own name. All they did was send that power straight to Raven – straight to the Unkindness.
To make it worse, while Neron has Shazam possessed, he uses him to stab Spectre with the spear of destiny, killing this incarnation of the character. Of course, the Spectre is an astral being, so he comes back. At least, he comes back long enough to truly die in Immortal Wonder Woman #2.
But most of all? Out of all the cliffhangers in DC Future State week seven, this one is the best. We’ll take a look at Black Adam in week eight soon!
Before and After DC Future State Week Seven
One more week!
- Dark Nights: Death Metal #7
- Generations Shattered #1
- Superman of Metropolis #1
- Wonder Woman #1
- The Flash #1
- Swamp Thing #1
- The Next Batman #1
- Harley Quinn #1
- Justice League #1
- Green Lantern #1
- Super-Man/Wonder Woman #1
- Kara Zoe-El: Superwoman #1
- The Dark Detective #1
- Robin: Eternal #1
- Teen Titans #1
- Immortal Wonder Woman #1
- Superman: Worlds at War #1
- Shazam! #1
- The Next Batman #2
- Nightwing #1
- Catwoman #1
- Superman Vs. Imperious Lex #1
- Aquaman #1
- Legion of Super-Heroes #1
- The Dark Detective #2
- Batman/Superman #1
- Suicide Squad #1
- Superman of Metropolis #2
- Wonder Woman #2
- Swamp Thing #2
- The Flash #2
- The Next Batman #3
- Harley Quinn #2
- Justice League #2
- Green Lantern #2
- Superman/Wonder Woman #2
- Kara Zor-El: Superwoman #2
- 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
- The Next Batman #4
- Nightwing #2
- 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: DC Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2, DC 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.