He’s not just any winged hero, he’s… BIIIIIIIIIIIIIRRDDDMAAAAAN! Your Major Spoilers review of Future Quest Presents #6 awaits!
Writer: Phil Hester
Artist: Steve Rude
Colorist: John Kaliscz
Letterer: ALW’s Dave Lanphear
Editor: Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Future Quest Presents: “Strange twists and turns abound as we delve deeper into the secret life of Birdman, and explore the surprising origin of Birdman’s deadliest foe – Mentok the Mind-Taker!”
Sorry, couldn’t resist… ‘Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law’ is a lovely show, and I wish they still played the thing. Bygones. Aaaanyway, that’s not the Birdman on display in these pages, this is the original H-B hero, with the power of the sun, the eagle partner and the booming voice. This issue starts with a young man named Menton, getting a severe dressing down from his grade-school principal for a disturbing drawing he has created. Menton tells her that the monster killing and eating his schoolmates and teacher doesn’t WANT to hurt anybody, but he can’t help but hear everything, even the things people keep in their head. One psionic flash later, and Mentok the Mind-Taker walks the Earth for the first time. Years later, we find Mentok once again trying to call down a god (as he did with Ra, which apparently led to the original of Birdman) and failing, needing one more woman to power his mental machinery: A woman who is busy with Birdman himself, explaining to the former Ray Randall that they have something important in common. They have their son…
STEVE RUDE? YES, PLEASE!
This is a gorgeous issue to look at, featuring Steve Rude’s nigh-on perfect art style on every page, making Mentok’s nightmares terrifying, Birdman’s square-jawed heroics perfectly believable and showing the anguish that Jen feels trying to find her lost love in the vessel of Ra that was once Ray Randall. The story is up to the level of the art, giving us the untold story of Birdman and Mentok’s past, adding depth and character to these now fifty-year-old characters, and whether you believe Jen or not, you feel for her predicament and understand the shocking cliffhanger reveal. The best part of this issue is the meta-textual explanation that the flat character of Birdman from the original cartoons was NOT creators who just didn’t want to delve into (or never actually wrote any) background, but that his empowerment by Ra actually washed away much of what was Ray Randall in creating this hero. It’s a nice touch that really works here…
THE BOTTOM LINE: THIS IS WHAT I WANT THE BOOK TO BE
When this comic was announced, I hoped that it would give us more insight to the Hanna-Barbera action heroes, featuring talent creators like Rude and Hester giving the great visuals an equally great story. Future Quest Presents #6 delivers on this in spades, with amazing art and a compelling story that makes both Mentok and Birdman fascinating characters to read about, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. Now, I need a story of this quality for The Impossibles, and I’ll name this book an unqualified success…