DC Comics gave us another double page spread teaser image the back of this week’s books for The New 52: Futures End, entitled “When futures end, the blood moon shall rise.” I love these things sometimes more than the stories they are inspired by. Let’s look this over. We’ll start with the overall picture, the text, and then the characters.
This piece of art by Mikel Janin is clearly inspired by M.C. Escher’s Relativity. In Escher’s piece there are three sources of gravity and realities interacting in the painting which creates a sense of confusion.
Relativity, also inspired the interior architecture of Doctor Fate’s Tower. I believe this started in the 1990’s JSA series (I could be wrong about that). The new Tower of Fate shown in Earth 2 is also inspired by this painting.
The headline reads, “When futures end, the blood moon shall rise!” “Futures end,” refers to the series DC is publishing, The New 52: Futures End. Futures is plural here so it is pretty obvious that we are talking about more than one timeline’s future.
This image was released April 14, 2014 just before the blood moon. A blood moon is when the moon is completely covered by the earth’s umbral shadow for four eclipses in a row, as opposed to only partial eclipses. Rather than succumbing to complete darkness, the moon will glow red as it receives the refracted light that spills over the Earth’s circumference.
When you deal with eclipses in the DC Universe one character comes to mind and that is Eclipso. Amethyst is in the center of the image and she was last seen defeating Eclipso in the pages of Sword of Sorcery.
Bloodmoon is also the name of a character in the Wildstorm Universe who has yet to appear in the DC Universe. He was an enemy of Grifter and Team 7. Grifter is hanging out on this poster as well.
Now, outside of the Superman and Batman characters, almost every one of the elements to this piece is from a canceled New 52 comic. Booster Gold was the leader in Justice League International, which lasted 12 issues and an annual. O.M.A.C. was canceled with issue #8. Mister Terrific was canceled with issue #8. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. was cancelled with issue #18. Amethyst was the lead story in Sword of Sorcery which lasted nine issues. Stormwatch was just recently canceled with #30. The Savage Hawkman ran 21 issues. Grifter ran 17, and The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men, ran 21. I don’t know if this series should be called Futures End or Series Ended. Maybe DC should revive Canceled Comics Cavalcade.
Alright now lets get to characters and elements of the picture starting from the upper left and working in a general direction of across and down.
Cave with a clock in it: Most versions of the Batcave have their entrances through a grandfather clock in Wayne Manor. It looks like Robin is entering the scene from this cave. This element could also be a reference to Vanishing Point. Located at the end of time Vanishing Point has served as the headquarters of the Linear Men. It’s origins began on planet earth as the mountain headquarters of Booster Gold who also looks to be exiting this structure. Vanishing Point and the Linear Men were created by Dan Jurgens, one of the writers of Futures End.
Booster Gold: Booster played a big roll in Flashpoint. It has been theorized that he may remember the Pre-Flashpoint Universe. He was recently seen in Justice League International Annual #1 being visited by his future self right before disappearing. He then mysteriously appeared in the 19th Century in Gotham City, where he meets Jonah Hex. I’m sure he is going to be a big player in this story. Dan Jurgens also created Booster Gold.
Robin: This appears to be the Robin costume originally worn by Tim Drake pre-Flashpoint. Does this mean that the Pre-New 52 DCU still exists? Did Booster find it? Is that a different character in that outfit?
O.M.A.C.: Next up we have the O.M.A.C. symbol, which in the New 52 stands for One-Machine Attack Construct. Kevin Kho was a scientist working at Cadmus in genetic research. He was first changed into O.M.A.C. by science satellite, Brother Eye using New Genesis technology as a weapon against Project Cadmus. Kevin Kho and Brother Eye are in a constant battle for control of O.M.A.C. While Kevin was in control joined Justice League International until he was taken over by Brother Eye. He was recently seen in Suicide Squad where many people including the Crime Syndicate tried to controlled him.
Batman Beyond: This Batman, Terry McGinnis, first appeared in the Batman Beyond cartoon. He is the predecessor to Bruce Wayne and Batman. He is now appearing in the web series Batman Beyond 2.0 and Justice League Beyond 2.0. Weather this Batman is from the Batman Beyond Universe (Timm/Dini Universe) or an alternate version set in the future of the New 52 waits to be seen.
Batman: If this Batman is working with Batman Beyond it could be an older Bruce, Dick, Tim, or Jason in more of an armor working with him. My bets are on Bruce. He’s been seen using armor in the future before (Kingdom Come, Dark Knight Returns).
Now lets go down the stairs.
Mister Terrific: The sign at the top of the stairs reads Terrifi T Tech(?) U-Spheres. Right below that I think we see Michael Holt and two other people. A Terrific Trio? Michael Holt is currently on Earth 2 and his company on the main Earth is being taken over by Desaad. I don’t think we’ve seen these other two people before. They could be previous employees but I don’t remember them from his series. They could be other Terrifics from other Universes. If Michael Holt is back on the main Earth, one of the futures ending could be Earth 2’s. Also it is interesting that they are making U-Spheres instead of T-Spheres. Could his T-Spheres been compromised by Brother Eye? I wonder what the U stands for.
Now lets flip to the other side of the stairs.
The Crimson Men and Resurrection Man?: These folks look like the people who appeared in Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. They are a mysterious team who aim to change the world. The long haired guy looks a little like Resurrection Man. This might not be a bad guess since his New 52 series lasted only 13 issues.
Now to the two members of Justice League Dark. It is worth noting that JLD’s headquarters is the House of Mystery which has doors that open to various places, somewhat similarly to this piece.
Frankenstein: He is the monster from the Mary Shelley novel and was an agent of S.H.A.D.E. but cut ties with them by the end of the book, which was written by a Futures End writer, Jeff Lemire. He currently is part of Justice League Dark (also written by Lemire for a period of time) and is guest starring for the next couple months in Red Hood and the Outlaws. Being comprised of undead body parts could be a key in fighting O.M.A.C.
Amethyst: Amy Winston spent her childhood moving around the U.S. until her 17th birthday when her mother revealed Amy’s true origin. Her true name was Princess Amaya of House Amethyst, from another Dimension called Gemworld. Amaya, was part of Justice League Dark for an adventure while Jeff Lemire was writing the book. However, her last interaction with John Constantine. He conned her into bringing Eclipso back to Gemworld with her.
Over to the Super characters
Lois Lane: One of the best reporters in the world and most of the time the true of of Clark Kent/Superman. She looks to be reporting. I am interested to see how she becomes a part of the story.
O.M.A.C. Superman?: This Superman looks like he has been O.M.A.C.ified and is working for Brother Eye. Superman being mind-controlled by a bad guy isn’t really new. Check out Earth 2. Or even the O.M.A.C. storyline leading into Infinite Crisis. This Superman’s costume does seem to resemble the Eradicator and Superboy’s costumes from “Reign of the Supermen” storyline. Maybe that is how Lois ties in. I believe Superboy is now a clone of Superman mixed with Lois’ DNA instead of Lex Luthor’s or Westfield’s.
Hawkman: The alien from Thanagar, Katar Hol was accidentally fused with the Nth Metal which created the ability to quickly grow a full body armor and wings. On Earth his identity is Carter Hall and is part of the cast of Justice League United written by Jeff Lemire.
The Authority Stormwatch: Was created by Merlin Adam One centuries ago during one of his adventures with The Demon Knights (pretty much the first Stormwatch group). Their members currently consist of Midnighter (pictured), Apollo (pictured), the Engineer, Jenny Quantum, the Projectionist, and Jack Hawksmoor. Their base of operations is an a ship called the Carrier which travels the Bleed (the space between parallel universes). This gives us more of a hint that we’re going to see the end of more than one timeline here.
Grifter: Cole Cash is a con man and former U.S. Army, and Team 7 member. During one of his adventures he was abducted by the alien race Daemonites. These aliens were infiltrating the Earth by abducting humans and taking their bodies as hosts. Cole was mysteriously revived prematurely during this process and he escaped. Since then he had the ability to as hosts an alien race secretly infiltrating Earth by taking human bodies as hosts. Since then he could sense the Daemonites and hear their telepathic communications.
Firestorm: Ronald Raymond and Jason Rusch are two high school students fused together to become Firestorm. As Firestorm they can transmute matter and shoot energy blasts. They were most recently seen in the Forever Evil crossover.
I have no idea who that guy in the lilac colored trenchcoat is.
What are your thoughts on this piece of teaser art? Did I miss anything? Who do you think the man in the lilac suit is?