Group Review: Future Quest #1

You know you couldn’t stay away from another Comic Bastards group review! Find out what each participating writer thought of DC’s rebooted Hanna-Barbera comic Future Quest #1! Comic Bastards Synopsis: Learn Space Ghost’s thrilling backstory while taking on a villain that assimilates everything and can’t be stopped! It’s like the Wolverine of space villains! Wait this is DC… it’s like the Lobo of space villains! The rest of the issue is spent with Birdman and the Quest family figuring out vortexes that are ripping earth a new one!


FutureQuest_cv1_SpaceGhostvarThe reason things like this exist and why licensed comics continue to strive in the industry is because things like Future Quest will resonate with a percentage of readers. This story resonated with me. There’s four big reasons why:

  1. Jeff Parker
  2. Evan “Doc” Shaner
  3. Steve “The Dude” Rude
  4. Jordie Bellaire

If you want to do a successful licensed comic that gets people that hate licensed comics to like the comic (lots of comics in that last part), then follow his outline because he respects the property and didn’t just go for the low hanging fruit of “what does a wiki say this is known for?” That’s the biggest failure of every IDW, Dynamite and BOOM! licensed comic, they go for the gimmicks rather than using the characters in any useful way.

Shaner and Rude on art is a dream fucking team. The art kills it. It’s modern and yet classic looking. I wouldn’t say that their art is interchangeable, but they vibe quite well together. Loved the art, loved the design.

Bellaire’s coloring is what brings it all home. It gives it a modern cartoon feel to it. It looks Hanna-Barbera esc while still feeling modern. The coloring is warm and youthful feeling. It’s far from tired and dated. She brings Shaner and Rude’s pages to life.

I loved the fuck out of this book. I can’t wait to read more and I liked that it was a serious, but fun and entertaining take on the properties. Frankly this is the best thing to happen to them since Adult Swim.

ASA: 3/5

There was a moment, early on in Future Quest #1 where I was fully onboard. Doc Shaner was doing his best Darwyn Cooke (RIP) by way of Hanna-Barbara, the world building was in full swing, and I got a little taste of nostalgia for the volume of Johnny Quest cartoons I watched growing up. But by the end of the issue, everything has fallen into place as a pretty typical DC crossover event. Giant multidimensional villain, magic artifacts, lots of fan-service references, a random switch of artists--it's all there. And somewhere along the lines any heart and energy the book had just sort of drops away.

I find myself wishing Parker and Shaner were simply telling new Johnny Quest stories since that world is surprisingly vibrant and dark in places despite being mainly associated with Venture Bros. I think there's a potential to tell old fashioned, pulpy adventure stories with top-notch in a way that's engaging and fresh. Instead, we have a somewhat middling crossover book with eye-popping art.

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Writer: Jeff Parker Artists: Evan “Doc” Shaner, Steve “The Dude” Rude Colorist: Jordie Bellaire Publisher: DC Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/18/16 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital