Thursday, July 28, 2016

Future Quest #3 - A Review

Future Quest #3 takes a break from its story-line to give us two introductory stories involving some of the cast we've seen so far. One story centers on Birdman and explains how he first teamed up with Inter-Nation agent Deva Sumadi. The other gives us an origin story for The Herculoids.

Jeff Parker writes both stories with the same sense of pulp fiction excitement that has dominated the series so far. The Birdman story is an excellent combination of both the spy thriller and superhero genres, that draws on Alex Toth's original notes for Birdman's origin story that never made it into the original cartoons.

The Herculoids story is something greater. As far as my research can determine, Alex Toth never wrote a formal background for The Herculoids as he did with Birdman. The show depicted the humanoid family fighting to keep their planet free from technology but never explained why.

Parker's story - whether based on his own ideas or Toth's - provides the explanation that Zandor and Tarra were escapees from a world destroyed by a robot uprising. The story also explains a discrepancy regarding the name of the Herculoid's homeworld, which had two different names in two different Herculoids cartoons. Don't worry, action fans - there's plenty of monsters fighting robots action amid the continuity porn for the trivia enthusiasts!

The entire book is beautifully illustrated. Steve Rude and Steve Buccellato give the Birdman story a suitably retro feel, that recalls the look of the original cartoons as well as the comics of Jim Steranko. The Herculoids story is more animated, if you'll pardon the pun. Aaron Lopresti perfectly captures the look of the various bestial Herculoids while crafting some uniquely 60s-style robots. Karl Kessel finds the right balance to the inks, keeping things light in depicting the futuristic society of Quasar but heavily shading the primordial jungle of Amzot. And the colors by Hi-Fi are nice and vivid.

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