Weekly series are a crapshoot. Infinite Crisis may have been a, to put it kindly, “polarizing” event, the weekly series that followed it – 52 – is considered one of the DC Comics’ greatest achievements in the modern era. Conversely, the series that was build as a lead-in to Final Crisis – Countdown – is universally derided by fans. Basically, a weekly series can either be magnificent, atrocious, or fall somewhere in between. Somehow, The New 52: Futures End managed to weave in and out of each of those before falling into a wholly new category with its conclusion: hollow.
The biggest problem with Futures End #48 is that the series had a perfect conclusion the prior week in issue #47. With an additional issue and all of the major storylines wrapped up, it seems that the writing team of Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens, and Jeff Lemire – quite an assemblage of talent – were clueless as to how to handle the series’ final twenty pages.
Rather than giving readers a final look at the characters that made this series an enjoyable (if at times messy) experience, the finale sets up the Batman Beyond title that will be launching in June. There’s no dysfunctional family dynamics with Grifter, Earth 2 Lana Lang, and Fifty Sue. There’s no Batman/Joker/Brother Eye hybrid monster. There’s no Hobo-Superman or Amethyst cosplaying as Two-Face. Instead, The New 52 Futures End concludes with healthy dose of disappointment.