Born and raised in NYC, I moved to Baltimore, Maryland to make a change. I'm an illustrator, writer, blogger, substitute teacher, former optician and lab technician with a Bachelors Degree in Illustration from Maryland Institute College of Art and a Associates Degree in Digital illustration.
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Future Quest brings back the characters you love in a new series by DC Comics. Here, our own Yul Espinosa reviews Future Quest issues one through five in his first critique for ComiConverse.
Review: Future Quest
The kid in me came back in the form of Future Quest, using revamped heroes for Hanna Barbara’s line of action heroes for a series released back in June of this year. In 1978, it consisted of weekday and Saturday morning cartoons, comics and toys. There were always those few standouts that made me excited. One of the standouts were repeats of Hanna-Barbera’s World of Super Adventure with smatterings of Jonny Quest. It was amazing how they could mix comedy with adventure. I found myself reliving those days when reading the story of Future Quest. The amazing writing of Jeff Parker, ties everything quite nicely. Parker manages to bring danger into the mix without making it seem dark and twisted.
The first issue of Future Quest covers the Quest family, the legend of Birdman and the Inter-Nation agency and their dealings with Dr. Zin and the forces of F.E.A.R., who want to use Dr. Quest’s discoveries to conquer the world. Dr. Quest, in the meantime is investigating breaches into our world while Jonny and his adopted brother Hadji, make a discovery in the swamplands of Florida which will change their life. The inclusion of Space Ghost, Frankenstein Jr., Mightor (a new version), the Herculoids and their dealings with the villain Omnikron adds multiple layers of mystery and intrigue. As I have even reading these past 5 issues I wondered if the Impossibles would even fit in a series like this but Parker manages to pull it off smoothly without making it seem hokey and dated. Their ties to Inter-Nation Agency and how their powers are explained took away part of the camp silliness associated with the original cartoons.
The artwork, while slick in very few areas, manages to remain consistent thanks to Evan Shaner, Steve Rude, Jonathan Case, and Aaron Lopresti is great although Lopresti doesn’t seem like a perfect fit to the team,and while Shaner, Rude and Case seem to adopt more of simplified animated style, Lopresti tends to use his regular style of drawing for this book. Steve Rude does some great work on the interiors for issue #1 and a few of the alternate covers showing that his love for Hanna Barbara characters and while his work is a bit more complex, it doesn’t take away for Evan Shaner’s work and keeps the consistency.
Jordie Bellaire and Steve Buccellato do fantastic work with the colors. The use of animated color style keeps it simple and is not overdone. It’s very complimentary to the book overall matching the optimism and lightness of the writing and artwork. The colouring on issues #4 and 5 were colored by Hi-Fi and while the vibrancy remains consistent, you can tell the overall difference. The cuts and special effects used in Photoshop shows up a lot on the pages which looks like samples of Hi-FI’s how to color book. There were at times very little consistency to the color work provided by Bellaire and Buccellato in previous issues which makes you wonder what kind of communication they had with the editor before releasing those color files. Jeremy Lawson, who did the colouring on the Impossibles back up on issue 5 had more of that animated style of coring that I was looking for and it made me wonder that if Bellaire couldn’t finish the work, then why couldn’t the rest of the work have been given to Lawson or Jose Villarrubia who has matched colorists’ styles in the past.
When I first learned that DC was about to revive Hanna Barbera and do all new books along with their Rebirth line, I was somewhat skeptical about the direction they were going to go in. There are still a couple of questions that still need to be answered as far as the story and direction of the series. Are they going to introduce Shazzan and the Galaxy Trio?
I can understand as far as the Galaxy Trio are concerned how they would fit but then if they introduce Shazzan then how will he be introduced if he’s a creature of magic?
Is there a smidgen of a chance I’ll see a revamped version of Blue Falcon and Dog Wonder?
Is there a plan to spin off the characters into their own book or will an anthology series be introduced?
So far Jeff Parker and the rest of the artists have kept me in suspense ever since I watched those shows for the first time. It makes me feel almost young again when I read those stories.
Yup Espinosa is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @YulREspinosa
Source: DC Comics
Jeff Parker, Evan Shaner, Steve Rude and friends take readers on a roller coaster ride of fun and adventure that no one should hop off of.