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Comic Book / The New 52: Futures End

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To satisfy your John Stewart with two spines cravings.

A weekly comic series published by DC Comics that ran from 2014-15.

Thirty-odd years into the future, and Brother Eye and its relentless army of OMACs have taken over the entire world. The few superheroes left are being hunted down and turned by the satellite, one-by-one. But Batman has a plan: he's going to prevent this nightmare world from ever happening, by time-traveling to before Brother Eye began its conquest. However, due to events going out of control, his protégé Terry McGinnis has to take up the task instead.

He ends up a few years out, in a world already damaged by disaster, on the brink of collapse, but he's still determined to finish his mission. However, is it already too late?

During September 2014, several DC titles had Futures End one-shots. In addition to glimpses of the future this series presented, these one-shots also allowed for writers to write pseudo-epilogues to their respective series.

Another series, Earth 2: World's End, showed the fate of Earth 2, which features heavily in the backstory for this series.

The series also resulted in a Batman Beyond spinoff, following the aftermath of its events.

Please note: the title of this comic/crossover is "Futures End" (no apostrophe) and not "Future's End." There was even a tagline of "When Futures End... Blood Moon Shall Rise!"

This series (and the accompanying tie-ins) contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Abomination: Zig-Zagged. Brainiac has always been skirting the line between just an evil and powerful but ultimately normal AI and a more powerful Digital Abomination. However Futures End suggests that the Digital Abomination form we've seen of him is only a fraction of the real Brainiac, which is now an unambiguous Eldritch Abomination existing outside of time and space, akin to the true nature of the New Gods
  • Adaptational Villainy: King Faraday, normally a good guy, is now in league with Brother-Eye. Maybe.
  • All for Nothing: Terry McGinnis is sent back in time, but is unable to stop Brother Eye from going on his conquest, and the future is still left unchanged; even thought Tim Drake is sent back to the future in his place, Brother Eye is still in control. And aside from the involvement of Brainiac and the retcons related to him, Convergence, which this event ultimately led into, wound up ignoring the event.
  • All the Other Reindeer: Mister Terrific claims the Justice League shunned him because he refused to join. Whether this is true or not isn't clear.
  • An Arm and a Leg:
    • Frankenstein loses an arm to Black Adam, but he just shrugs it off.
    • Due the incident above Ray Palmer cuts one of Hawkman's arms off to give Frankenstein a new one. When Hawkman gets up a few minutes later, he's naturally angry about it. And then he grows a new arm a short while later, thanks to the Nth Metal in his system.
    • Swamp Thing lost one of his arms and replaced it with a wooden arm. It still moves (because it's a plant and he's made of plants), but it doesn't match with the other one.
    • Supergirl lost her arm when she became Cyborg Supergirl. Upon realizing herself, she cut off the cybernetic replacement herself.
  • Arc Welding: The Batman tie-in issue shows Bruce deciding to clone himself, as depicted in the previously released but chronologically later 75th anniversary issue for Detective Comics.
  • Badass Boast: In the first official issue, The Engineer is taken over by a malevolent entity, delivering this line when Jack notices something amiss, blowing up the ship immediately afterward.
    "No, Jack Hawksmoor. Angela Spica, codename: The Engineer, is gone... I am the storm you were created for. I am here".
  • Bad Future: Two of them. The first one is a Hopeless War with Brother Eye, who's pretty much won already. The other is roughly five years from "now", and it's already pretty bad even before Brother Eye gets involved.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Ray Palmer has a really dishevelled one.
  • Beware the Superman: The Masked Superman is threatening to a lot of people who are just trying to do good.
  • Big Bad Ensemble:
    • Brother Eye might be the main threat, but of all people, Mister Terrific is the one Terry's after.
    • Meanwhile, Cadmus and its OMACs are planning something serious, and abducting the survivors of Earth 2. This turns out to be something of a Red Herring, since they're being exploited by Brother EYE.
    • Also Brainiac is apparently using the disaster for its own purposes. He gets killed by Brother EYE.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Despite changing the past, Tim Drake finds that the future refused to change and Brother Eye still rules the world. Yet, some of the heroes previously under Eye's control never were converted, and save Tim and Mr. Terrific. Tim and an older Madison reunite and there still might be hope to change the future. Solicitations for a Batman Beyond future for the main DC universe imply that they just might. Unfortunately, the fact that Brother Eye continues to rule the world makes some believe this to be a case of No Ending leading into the Batman Beyond (Rebirth) series.
  • Body Horror:
    • What Brother Eye inflicts on the superbeings it takes over in the future, even when it really serves no purpose. One example that is sent back to 30 years prior is Joker, who is given a suit of Powered Armor... and Batman's head on the back of his.
    • Frankenstein attached the head and apparently the vocal chords of Black Canary to his torso, allowing him to utilize her Canary Cry at will.
  • Bury Your Gays: Midnighter and Apollo are still part of Stormwatch, and Midnighter is killed off by Brainiac.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Booster Gold finally reappears, after a brief stint in All-Star Western. And so does his sister. And the original Booster.
    • Donna Troy returns for a brief appearance in Superman's tie-in issue.
    • The League of Batgirls includes Cassandra Cain.
  • Call-Back: Lex Luthor is still trying to recreate Bizarro.
  • Canon Immigrant: Terry McGinnis as the future Batman, now interacting with the heroes of the near-future.
  • Chekhov's Gun / Chekhov's Skill / Meaningful Echo: Nearly every page of the chronologically Back to Front Grayson tie-in has one of these. They're used to show how Grayson's apparent death on the first page was faked.
  • Clark Kenting: Big Barda, one of the few heroes of Earth-2 not imprisoned, has managed to hide herself as a hostel worker named Jane Kirby.
  • The Collector: Brainiac, as usual, though this version collects specimens from multiple realities, apparently.
  • Creepy Child: Fifty Sue, who's currently working with Slade Wilson. She likes violence and has several superpowers she likes to use with impunity.
    • Her appearance in the World's Finest issue, set some years before the series, makes her even creepier.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: As befits a bad future, a whole ton of 'em.
  • Cyborg: The OMACs.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Brother Eye-future, to ludicrous extremes. And the earlier one isn't much better.
  • Death Faked for You: Green Arrow's death is faked by the immortal, shapeshifting Magus.
  • Downer Ending: The World's Finest tie-in issue; Kara ends up getting captured by Cadmus and taken over by OMAC.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Captain Steel was vivisected and tortured off-panel by Cadmus' scientists. Power Girl discovered they just dumped his remains in a bin for future experimentation.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: John Constantine's response to everything that's happened.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The Red Lantern tie-in. Guy, Bleez and Rancor manage to finally get rid of every last Red Lantern ring out there, with Bleeze's wings being restored in the process.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Brainiac is revealed to be a lovecraftian god dwelling outside of space and time; all his incarnations therefore were just probes sent to collect knowledge.
  • Enemy Mine: In order to fight Krona and the Black Lantern Corps, Hal Jordan has teamed up with Relic.
  • Enigmatic Empowering Entity: The Sand Superman inexplicably returns in "Action Comics: Futures End", living up to Superman's legacy by gifting endangered humans one of Superman's powers so they can save themselves from harm. He gives them some advice going forward before taking these abilities back. At the end he meets the real Superman and gives cryptic advice on living to his potential again before dispersing himself to make the barren topsoil he's been working on fertile again.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
  • Fake Arm Disarm: Upon regaining her consciousness, Kara became horrified at the things she's done so far as the Cyborg Supergirl after being robotized by her father and Brainiac, and angrily rips out her cybernetic implants, including her arm and faceplate.
  • Fantastic Racism: People from Earth-2 aren't given basic rights, and even get arrested just for being from another universe.
  • From Bad to Worse: The future's situation, in a nutshell. The war between Prime-Earth and Apokolips has left hundreds of thousands dead, with the effects still being felt years later, most of society's barely holding together, and now Brother-Eye is starting its plan to kill off all super-powered beings.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Plastique is naturally disturbed at the sight of her cyborg future-self missing both of her legs, her eyes, and some of her face.
  • Gaia's Lament: The environment was badly damaged by the war. The oceans are poisoned, and fish have vanished.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, has a massive scar on the left side of her face.
  • Great Offscreen War: The war between Earth and Apokolips. Since regular Earth is still around, that doesn't bode well for Earth 2. However, a lot of people died anyway.
    • Later clarified that the war was between Prime-Earth and Darkseid's troops chasing the survivors of Earth-2. We've seen snippets of the war on Prime-Earth, but for now the Earth-2 portion still qualifies.
  • Heaven Versus Hell: In the Phantom Stranger tie-in, the new Council of Eternity, formed of the worst of magic users and led by Trigon, plans on assaulting Heaven. The Presence accounts for this, and is prepared for an oncoming war between the two forces.
  • Hidden Depths: Guy Gardner having the capacity to not only be a Blue Lantern, but one capable of creating constructs and healing Red Lantern's without a Green Lantern around.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Steel from Earth-2 was vivisected by Cadmus.
    • Indigo-1 is killed by John Stewart.
    • Hal Jordan sacrifices his life to stop Krona.
    • Nabu's essence is destroyed by a nameless Ifrit on account of Constantine's manipulations.
    • Skallox died at some point during the Time Skip, which is revealed in the main Red Lanterns book to be during the "Atrocities".
  • Last of His Kind: Amethyst is the last survivor of Gemworld, which was destroyed at some point.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Black Adam tries to use the lightning-bolt on Frankenstein. Who is powered by electricity.
  • The Man Behind the Man:
    • The Shadow Council, the people behind Stormwatch. They don't really give a damn about which members live or die, though.
    • Brainiac is said to be working for something worse. And given its previous comments in prior appearances in the New 52, Brother-Eye has one as well.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • As the Earth-2 tie-in issue reveals, Terry Sloane was still trying this even as two universes were falling apart. Michael Holt manages to solve that one, though.
    • Constantine's still got it, managing to outwit and destroy Nabu. Apparently he's been after the helmet of Doctor Fate since the war, sacrificing several friends to get to it.
  • Neck Snap: How Grayson kills KGBeast.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Allowing for the deaths of the Yellow Lantern Corps directly leads to the resurrection of the group as a new "Sinestro Corps"... as Black Lanterns.
    • Many of the heroes stopping Brainiac and his Blood Moon from abducting New York City in this timeline leads to him failing to return to his base on Telos, where he has his other worlds stored. This, as well as inadvertent goading from a post Doomed Superman leads to Telos itself deciding which of his master's worlds is most fit to survive...
  • No Ending: The "conclusion" shows that in the end, the heroes did not stop Brother Eye at all, with Tim Drake coming into the future in a cliffhanger to lead into his series.
  • Noodle Incident: Guy Gardner spent a few months as a Star Sapphire. All he says on the matter is that it was "weird".
  • Not His Sled: Tim Drake, not Terry McGinnis, ends up being Batman Beyond in the future at the end of the series.
  • Parody Sue: Fifty Sue is a Portmanteau of 52 and the term itself.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: The main series, by its conclusion, confirms that the event was one for Tim Drake's then-upcoming book.
  • Production Foreshadowing: The war with Earth-2 is elaborated on in Earth-2: World's End, which hadn't been published when this series began.
  • The Purge: Brother Eye's plan is to kill all the superheroes. It's already begun that part of the plan, successfully killing Stormwatch. Or not, as it turns out. That was Brainiac.
  • Putting on the Reich: KGBeast, who has become more Stalin-like, even calling himself "the Beast from the East." Until Grayson kills him.
  • Refusal of the Call: Clark Kent is working on a farm in Ethiopia, and refuses to use his powers to help anyone anymore as a result of some great tragedy that broke him.
  • Required Secondary Powers: The powers that Sand Superman grants are only one aspect of Superman's powers, so a man granted super strength shatters his hand it upon trying to punch down a brick wall and a little boy can't feel his mother's touch with invulnerability but no super senses.
  • The Reveal:
    • The "Masked Superman" is actually Shazam.
    • Terry Sloane isn't from Earth-2, and might not actually be human.
  • Sanity Slippage: Black Adam has lost his mind after too long spent in the Phantom Zone.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Terry McGinnis's aim.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Tim Drake suspects Terry's identity when he uses a technique Batman invented.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Countdown to Final Crisis, being another event focusing on a group of heroes focusing on preventing a major disaster in the futurenote , and while they fail to do so, the disaster they attempt to prevent does not occur in the present and main DC earthspoilers  featuring large amounts of characters getting killed off (or in the case of End, Unwilling Roboticization against their will), and both events were largely treated as Canon Discontinuity by the event they were created to tie intonote .
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: What Cadmus is doing to the surviving heroes of Earth-2.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Guy Gardner. Even though he's up against what's left of the Red Lanterns, he refuses to kill any of them.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Michael Holt, aka Mister Terrific, has become incredibly arrogant and smug for some reason. Considering he's in part responsible for what Brother Eye will do, this makes Terry's mission more complicated than it needs to be.
  • Two-Faced: A disturbingly literal example. The Bad Future Joker is given a Powered Armor body that has Batman (Bruce Wayne)'s head on the back of his, giving him literally two faces.
  • Unnecessarily Creepy Robot: Brother EYE mutilates heroes into cybernetic monstrosities for the shock value of it, rather than any efficiency (i.e. sewing Batgirl to the bat signal, making both useless).
  • Unwilling Roboticization:
    • The victims of Brother Eye suffer this.
    • In Supergirl's tie-in, she suffered from this as well, at the hands of Brainiac and her father, the Cyborg Superman. After some counter-brainwashed behavior from the latter (known as Herald One then), she served him, and, five years after this whole process, learned what was done to her, went briefly insane, and tore out all of her implants, including severing her own cybernetic arm.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Issue 20; Brother-Eye from thirty-five years from now reveals it knows about Terry's time-traveling, and has sent the Joker after him.
    • The Booster Gold tie-in: Booster Gold from New Earth shows up to aid Prime Earth Booster, and Brainiac/Brother-Eye knows about Vanishing Point.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Of the heroes of Earth-2, four of them are conspicuous by their absence; Flash, Green Lantern, the second Batman and the second Superman.
    • Green Lantern and Flash, at least, apparently covered the rest of the heroes as they escaped with as many civilians as possible, so those two at least are still stuck on Earth-2 or worse.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The Black Lanterns have returned, this time led by Krona.
    • Sinestro is shown also leading Black Lanterns made up of his former Corps.