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Shining Some Light on DC Comics' Dark Futures and Complicated Pasts

Shining Some Light on DC Comics' Dark Futures and...

By Kevin Mahadeo Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Last Saturday marked not only Free Comic Book Day—a day comic book fans put away their wallets, storm the stores for free books, and immediately whip out their wallets again to splurge on amazing FCBD deals—but also the launch of the all-new weekly series The New 52: Futures End.

The story follows the Dark Knight of the future—Batman Beyond himself, Terry McGuiness—who travels back in time from a dark future (where Brother Eye has taken over the world's population) in order to prevent the AI from ever being created in the first place. It's a pretty sound plan... except for the part where he misses his mark and arrives too late, five years into our future.

Written by Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens, and Jeff Lemire, Futures End provides a look into one possible future of the DCU should Terry fail to make right what once went wrong.

From The Terminator and Back to the Future to Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and Continuum, the idea of a hero traveling through time hoping to change the past to preserve the future has long been a staple of storytelling—especially in comics.

With The New 52: Futures End underway, here's a look at some other wibbly wobbly timey wimey DC Comics tales.


Zero Hour

Written by Jurgens (one of the writers behind Futures End), a grief-stricken Hal Jordan embraces the dark side and becomes Parallax, seeking to right the present by altering the past—and by altering, we mean wiping out all of existence and remaking the entire Universe as he sees fit. Seems a bit like overkill, but to be fair, Hal was insane at the time.


Rock of Ages

No, not the Def Leppard song or the 2006 musical. We're talking about the JLA story arc written by Grant Morrison in which Darkseid learns the Anti-Life Equation and enslaves both Earth and New Genesis. It's full of great art and insanely awesome moments, including a trip inside the Joker's head and Batman going full badass on Darkseid.


Titans Tomorrow

On a jaunt into the World of Tomorrow, the Teen Titans discover future versions of themselves—versions that apply far more aggressive methods to crime fighting. The Titans must both find a way to return home and what exactly caused them to become these twisted reflections of themselves.



The precursor, crossover event that led to birth of DC Comics—The New 52. Barry Allen awakens to a world vastly different than the one he remembers. There's a war raging between Atlanteans and Amazonians, a much deadlier Dark Knight protects Gotham City, and Barry is no longer—and never has been—the hero known as the Flash. Filled with twists and turns, tremendous action and fantastic art, Flashpoint was even adapted into a full-length animated film.


Booster Gold

Spinning out of the 52 weekly series, Booster Gold follows the titular hero as he Scott Bakulas throughout the time stream, fixing events from the past that are having drastic consequences in the present. Geoff Johns' run on the title is a definite must for fans of the character.


JSA: Stealing Thunder

Just one stop on the train of non-stop greatness that is JSA, the Ultra-Humanite has taken complete control over the world, leaving a handful of JSAers to battle against the simian overlord and a police force comprised of some of the world's greatest heroes.


What are some of your favorite DC Comics time-travel stories? Let us know in the comments below... and then we'll make sure to travel back in time and include them in this article so you'll never know we forgot them in the first place! Now all we have to do is invent time travel...