Rating: 4.5/5 – The Hanna-Barbera Action Universe Hits Comics!
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall
Future Quest brings the Hanna-Barbera action heroes to comics in a fairly straight translation of their comic book personas, as a counterpoint to Scooby Apocalypse (that Shawn reviewed yesterday) where they did a complete reboot/reworking of the classic characters. This issue primarily focuses on Jonny Quest (with Hadji, Doctor Quest, Race Bannon & Bandit thrown in) and Birdman as well as a soupçon of Space Ghost. We’re also teased with Herculoids, the Impossibles, the Galaxy Trio, Frankenstein Jr., and Shazzan!
I watched most of these cartoons when I was growing up so must admit that I was giddy with excitement while reading this issue. I thought writer Jeff Parker really captured the feel of Jonny Quest and his supporting cast, who get most of the air time in this issue. Evan “Doc” Shaner captured a really classic feel to the art that looks like it stepped right off an Alex Toth character model sheet. I didn’t really watch Birdman, but seeing Steve Rude (who excels at this kind of retro art) step in for pages 20-27 was also a visual treat. The splash page of Birdman taking wing was as exciting as it gets, to my eyes.
There are a lot of characters to cover and focusing on a core set this issue was a smart move on Jeff Parker’s part. Not too overwhelming and though I cannot take an unbiased view, being already familiar with the characters, it felt like something a new fan could step into and follow along with having no previous exposure to them. A new fan would not get the visceral thrill from the panel where Jonny & Hadji get glimpses of the Herculoids, Shazzan, and others through the portals that open in the sky, but that’s an Easter Egg for existing fans and should not be a detriment to new readers.
If you’re looking for a straight action take on a classic universe of heroes you may or may not be familiar with, Future Quest #1 is the perfect comic to jump in with. New fans and old will hopefully be in for a treat as this series unfolds. I’m really looking forward to seeing where they go with this. Based on the strength of this issue, I’d personally be on board for a straight-up Jonny Quest comic by Parker/Shaner. I’m hoping that I’ll be loving the rest of the heroes as much when they get their turns in the spotlight in upcoming issues.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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