A while back when DC announced their new line of comics based on classic Warner Bros.-owned comics, I was intrigued. You’ve got Scooby Apocalypse, Wacky Race Land, The Flinstones and, the one I was most excited about, Future Quest! Frankly, I was completely sold by the art above which features characters from Jonny Quest, The Herculoids, Space Ghost, Frankenstein Jr., The Impossibles, Birdman, Mightor and more. Even thought they all debuted and were cancelled decades before I was born, these shows meant a lot to me because of reruns hitting when I was a kid. I’m such a devoted fan that I didn’t allow myself to watch Space Ghost Coast To Coast or Harvey Birdman for a while because I didn’t know if they were being disrespectful or not! So, how did the first half of Future Quest hit me? Hit the jump and find out! I LOVED it. You know when you’re a kid and you have all your toys spread out all over the living room and you develop these amazing, epic adventures with everyone ranging from the Masters of the Universe to G.I. Joe to the Ninja Turtles and all the other randos you have lying around? That’s what the Jeff Parker-written Future Quest feels like to me in all the best ways.
Drawn by the likes of Evan Shaner, Steve Rude, Ron Randall, Parker himself, Jonathan Chase, Aaron Lopresti, Karl Kesel and Craig Rousseau, this series brings together all of these disparate characters and themes into one big huge action series. We’re anchored by Jonny Quest and his crew as they investigate these mysterious portals all over the world that drop in crazy elements from another world, including Space Ghost’s pals Jan and Jace. They’re joined by Birdman and an agent of Inter-Nation Deva Sumadi plus a kid named Ty who winds up taking up a cool mantle later on.
Meanwhile, we see the Herculoids, Space Ghost and the Galaxy Trio fighting an epic bad guy elsewhere in space. We’re not exactly told how all of this will come together in the pages of this first volume, but I’m confident it will all come together by the end. Other side stories and back-ups introduce the likes of The Impossibles (a band with super-powers), Frankenstein Jr. (a kid and his giant robot), Dino Boy (another kid and his caveman pal Ug) and Mightor (a Thor-like character who turns into a super hero after grabbing a mystical staff).
As a gigantic fan of these characters and the shows they came from, I not only want to go back and watch all of the original episodes, but also CAN NOT WAIT to read the second volume and then move on to Future Quest Showcase as well as Adam Strange Future Quest! I don’t know if Parker perfectly captured these characters as they were, but he did exactly that for how I remember them and the artwork is all perfectly retro and modern at the same time which leads to all kinds of smiles and thumbs up from this guy!
I was also pretty curious when DC announced plans to do all of these crossover books with various WB cartoon characters. About a month ago I found myself in New Hampshire with nothing to do and a new comic book shop to check out called Midgard. I’d heard that the Batman/Elmer Fudd book was pretty darn good and asked about it, but they were sold out. I hadn’t actually heard anything about Lobo/Road Runner, but after seeing the Kelley Jones art, I was easily sold.
I’m nowhere near a big Lobo fan, but I do enjoy him in small doses, so the one-shot format fits him perfectly. In this issue — written by Bill Morrison and drawn by Jones — a late 40s Acme Labs experiment created the unkillable Wile E. Coyote and his nemesis the Road Runner. After decades of torment, Wile turned himself in, but did so in order to get on board a spaceship and hire Lobo to kill the Road Runner for him.
I won’t get into the details too much because it’s just one issue, but I had a great time as this story brought up familiar elements from both worlds — including an appearance by Kilowog and the Green Lantern Corps! — while also telling a fun, funny and even dramatically sad story about repeated failure. I have no idea how this issue compares to the others, but I’ll definitely keep an eye out for some kind of collection when it becomes available.
More over, I’m happy to see that these concepts I grew up with get attention from creators with unique ideas that propel them further while also maintaining a semblance of their roots. Sure, these were old cartoons, oftentimes churned out to make deadlines, but kids loved them, let them into their heads and have allowed them to remain their ever since. It’s nice to return to them as an adult with material that aims to entertain adults on a different level.