Future Quest Presents #5 – Phil Hester, Writer; Steve Rude, Artist; John Kalisz, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Corrina: Birdman Spotlight
Ray: For the first time, someone other than Jeff Parker steps on board the Future Quest franchise for an arc, as Phil Hester turns the focus to Egyptian-powered winged hero Birdman. The character hasn’t been given all that much focus prior in the series, mainly relegated to fight scenes, and he’s pretty obscure, so the first part of this two-part story does a lot of catching us up with him. He’s a human archaeologist who gained his powers from a link to an ancient Egyptian artifact, so he’s very similar to Hawkman that way – but he also has a psychic link to birds, so there’s a similarity to Falcon too. He only talks to one bird, via a specially designed collar, but Avenger is quite the sarcastic falcon. He works for a top-secret government agency, run by the mysterious Falcon 7- now reinvented as a woman who uses the classic Falcon 7 avatar as a digital disguise.
There’s a lot of setup here, complete with an origin flashback, but soon enough the battle is joined as a mysterious mud monster starts attacking a New Zealand village, with the tribe believing it to be the manifestation of one of their Gods. Birdman fights it, getting sucked inside briefly and discovering an ancient mask that may be the key to everything. But by the end of the issue, it’s clear there’s a bigger conspiracy at work – and it may have to do with Birdman’s son, which he didn’t know he had.
It’s much more of a straight-forward spy comic than the more offbeat Future Quest – kind of likely a surreal, superpowered James Bond – but it’s still an entertaining read, even if the writing can be a bit forced in places. Birdman doesn’t have quite the same hook to him that someone like Space Ghost does.
Corrina: This issue is entertaining and introduced me to a character whose show I had never seen. It’s not quite as compelling as the first arc featuring Space Ghost’s quest to reconstruct the Space Corps, at least not yet, but it may get there.
Birdman, being a white archeologist given powers from exploring non-white cultures, runs the risk of being a white savior except for the reinvention of Falcon 7. I found her to be a terrific character who almost has quite enough snappy dialogue to rival Avenger.
But no one can do sarcastic like Avenger in this issue and he basically steals the show from his human sidekick. Not that I’m complaining.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.