As we arrive at Tuesday, February 2nd, we begin the second and final month of DC Comics’ Future State direction. The first month of Future State comics has delivered all sorts of reading experiences. We have been able to get a good look into a possible future for the DC Universe with every character challenged in new ways. We’ve also been introduced to new heroes like Tim Fox/Jace Fox and Yara Flor who have taken on the iconic legacies of Batman and Wonder Woman, among others. Now after the first month of Future State comic books let’s take a look at how things turned out and where the second month of DC Comics big direction will go.
FUTURE STATE 1ST MONTH REVIEW ROUND-UP
Having read the majority of DC Comics’ Future State issues that released in January has been a quite the reading experience. Even though not all Future State comic books have been a home run it has been fun to the entire DC Universe getting a chance to explore their unknown futures together. Every title taking place in the future has given way for iconic and new characters to be challenged in new ways.
What’s been even better is that as fans we are all entering all of these comic books at a similar level. There is a sense of unknown as to where every character has ended up when we pick up the first issues. That opens things up to embrace these new comics in ways that would normally be hard with characters that have so much history even going into new #1 issues. Freeing up the DC Universe to have a fresh start has worked out better for some series than others. That said, DC Comics’ Future State reminds me a lot of how it felt like we were experiencing something new, fun, and different like when Marvel launched the Ultimate Universe.
While I haven’t been able to review all of the Future State comic books I was able to tackle a number of them. You can click on all the link below to check out all of the reviews:
STANDOUTS OF FUTURE STATE
When it comes to DC Comics’ Future State what has stood out the most is all the Batman Family titles. What I’ve found most surprising about reading the Batman Family titles is that the main stories in The Next Batman and Dark Detective haven’t been the standouts. Instead, it has been the back-ups for The Next Batman and Dark Detective along with the Harley Quinn, Robin Eternal, and Nightwing Future State titles that have been among my favorite.
A big reason for that is that they’ve gone more into exploring the greater Magistrate regime that has taken over Gotham City. That is not to say that the main stories of The Next Batman and Dark Detective haven’ incorporated the Magistrate into their plot. Its more that all the other Batman Family stories have gone more into how restrictive the Magistrate regime is rather than just analyzing where the main characters are at. That’s likely thanks to having Harley Quinn, Tim Drake, Dick Grayson, Stephanie Brown, Jason Todd, and other Batman Family members still active in the identities we know them to have. That gives them a bit of an advantage over Tim Fox/Jace Fox and Bruce Wayne who we pick up on their new status quos rather than them already being active for a while.
The two other titles that have most stood out in Future State have been Justice League and Future State: Wonder Woman. Joshua Williamson and Joelle Jones do the best job tapping into how the Justice League and Wonder Woman, respectively, are jumping on points for all readers. They both present us with enough details to understand where we are picking up on the adventures of the entire Justice League and Yara Flor’s solo adventures. So even if these characters have been established prior to Justice League #1 and Wonder Woman #1 we get the chance to learn about the series leads as the story progresses.
DARK FUTURE FOREVER DC UNIVERSE FATE
A running theme throughout DC Comics’ Future State has been that no matter where we are in the timeline for this possible future the fate of the DC Universe also ends in a dark path. The only titles in Future State that really avoid a dark future are Justice League, Wonder Woman, and Superman/Wonder Woman. But even then things are vague as to how the state of the DC Universe as a whole is at that point.
That is best shown in Future State: Teen Titans #1 and Shazam! #1. Once you get past the shock value of where the team is at and the different forms Nightwing, Cyborg, and Beast Boy take on in this time period there is not much to the story. We are placed right in the middle of a major time period where magic has become chaotic with no explanation. The lack of explanation really hurts the story that Future State: Teen Titans #1 and Shazam! #1 are trying to tell. Because what we see could make for a cool event. But without any build to the event a lot of the story and character beats just fall flat.
CONFUSION AROUND FUTURE STATE TIMELINE
That leads into what has become the biggest problem for DC Comics’ Future State. And that is the lack of clear timeline for when books take place. Sure, DC Comics released a timeline for each series before Future State began. But that is just get out of jail free card since none of the Future State comic books ever make clear when the books are taking place. Things are kept vague in every series with “Then,” “Now,” and “In The Future” as the only things used to differentiate when things take place in the past and present in these comic books.
Being so vague within the comic books has led to some confusion into why certain characters that appear in multiple Future State comics act the way they do. Characters act so differently from title to title that it is actually shocking why certain lines of dialogue or actions are taken by them. It all gives a feeling that DC Comics expects anyone reading more than one series to have the timeline readily available next to them while reading all their comics. It makes it feel a little less rewarding to pick up all the Future State comics to see what is going on in this possible future for the DC Universe.
NEW TALENT RISING TO OCCASION
All of that said I will give DC Comics a lot of credit for having so many new creative talents working alongside well-established names for Future State. While we have names like Brian Bendis, Joshua Williamson, and Paul Jenkins on certain titles we are getting a look at the future of the industry. Creators like Stephanie Phillips, Tim Sheridan, Andrew Constant, Meghan Fitzmartin, and Geoffrey Thorne aren’t names that most DC Comics fans know. Thanks to Future State we are seeing all this new talent get a chance to establish themselves with fans while getting to write DC Comics most iconic characters. And thus far they’ve all knocked it out of the park. These names along with other rising talents such as John Ridley, Joelle Jones, Becky Cloonan, Ram V, and Gene Luen Yang show that DC Comics has a bright future as long as they show a strong commitment like they have with Future State.
The same goes for talented artists that DC Comics has tapped to draw all of these comic books. There is so much great artwork being done from Nicola Scott, Dan Mora, Jen Bartel, Joelle Jones, Nick Derington, Simone DiMeo, and countless artists. Every artist has given each series a style that has helped them all standout with how the DC Universe is presented. Having so many talented artists working on Future State makes the entire direction look like a big event.
As we begin the second month of Future State I can’t remember a time when I was this invested in the direction of a whole universe, both as a fan and monetarily. Sure, not every comic book has been a home run but the direction has been consistent. Overall, there have been more winners in the direction that has lived up to the promise of being something new and older fans can enjoy. From the overall editorial vision to all of the incredible talent working on this direction, DC Comics has created something that is truly special for fans to enjoy. I can’t wait to see how all of the Future State stories I’ve read thus far conclude this month. LET’S GO!!!!
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