The Hanna-Barbera Action Heroes return to take on a threat that will require all their skill, cleverness and power. It’s the story we’ve all been waiting for! Your Major Spoilers review of Future Quest #1 awaits!
FUTURE QUEST #1
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Evan “Doc” Shaner and Steve “The Dude” Rude
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire/Steve Rude with Steve Buccellato
Letterer: ALW Studios’ Dave Lanphear
Editor: Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Future Quest: In the 1960s, Hanna-Barbera Studios was already the primary name in TV animation thanks to a slew of funny animals (Quick-Draw McGraw, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound and more) as well as the prime time animated sitcom ‘The Flintstones.’ Then, one of the periodic superhero-interest surges led them to branch out in a new direction, with ‘Jonny Quest’, an action-adventure show unlike anything the studio had done before. Jonny was soon followed by the likes of Space Ghost, The Herculoids and other action oriented cartoons, and a legend (or, indeed, a number of ’em) was born.
AN UNSEEN FORCE
Our story begins some years ago, in space, with the final moments of a desperate battle, as the Space Force wages war against the mysterious Omnikron. A young Captain takes his General’s power band and rallies the surviving forces against the monstrous being, with only one survivor… A ghost, if you will, in space. Some years later, on Earth, Jonny Quest, Race Bannon and Hadji are investigating a strange series of anomalies, threats so big that Dr. Quest is working with Inter-Nation Security and their premier agent, Ray Randall. Jeff Parker’s plot works perfectly here, even if you don’t have the entire H-B adventure catalog in your head, with just enough skillful expository dialogue that nothing feels forced. As the anomalies increase, a stunned Jonny and Hadji find themselves able to see through the strange portals opened, each one an Easter Egg for various Hanna-Barbera properties (including a couple that I don’t recall being part of the preview material, which is both surprising and pleasing.)
EASTER EGGS ON EVERY PAGE
There are many “Oh, HECK YES!” moments in this book for me, but the two that stand out are the final page reveal (which I’m not going to spoil) and Ray Randall exposing himself to the sun’s rays and becoming his alter ego, BIIRRRDMAN! (Doctor Quest at one point remarks that Randall’s voice carries, a laugh-out-loud in-joke for me.) Though this book has two different art teams, the changeover from Shaner to Rude is barely noticeable, and both halves of the book are just gorgeous to look at. When you’re dealing with so many different worlds and properties, it can be difficult to balance them, but this creative team clearly loves all the characters in the story, and gives each some screen-time (though I hope Tundro’s appearance isn’t what it seems to be.) The entire issue should be read carefully (I actually went to my references several times, and still haven’t gotten all the easter eggs and cameos yet), but the first read-through will undoubtedly go fast, as this comic is an exciting, page-turning adventure.
THE BOTTOM LINE: YES!
I can’t recall looking forward to any recent comics quite as much as this one, and admittedly, I am the target audience, being a fan of the writer, both artists AND the H-B adventure heroes, but this is a truly excellent comic book. Future Quest #1 starts the series off strong, hitting all the right notes with care and creativity respectful of these classic properties and their creators, earning a dead-solid perfect 5 out of 5 stars overall. It’s rare that a comic can be everything you hoped it would be, but this one absolutely hits the mark…
Future Quest #1 goes on sale 5/18/16.