Future Quest Presents #8 – Jeff Parker, Writer; Steve Lieber, Artist; Ryan Hill, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Corrina: Sheer Fun
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Jeff Parker returns to Future Quest Presents, a series he kicked off after a three-issue Phil Hester-penned arc, and he doesn’t miss a beat with Future Quest Presents #8, a done-in-one story focusing on Mightor.
Not only is a great Future Quest story, but in an unconventional way, it’s the best Shazam story DC has put out in years. The character of Ty really captures everything that’s great about Billy Batson – the ordinary kid with a heart of gold and a powerful alter-ego. Unlike Billy, though, Ty has a big, loving, if over-involved family and they all know his secret identity. That makes Mightor almost like superheroics via crowdsourcing, in that everyone in his family has an opinion. He’s enjoying a cookout with his family when the latest crisis surfaces – in the form of an alien consortium that is here to induct Earth into its ranks – whether they want to be drafted into the group or not.
The Starpoint Collective, our villains, make for compelling foes because they’re not overtly evil – they’re basically interstellar bureaucrats who believe that everything will run more smoothly if it was under a single vision. What makes them villainous is the extents they’re willing to go to enforce their order. Artist Steve Lieber does a good job of maintaining a similar-enough style to main series artists Doc Shaner and Ron Randall, with with his own spin that serves Mightor well. It’s big, fun, cosmic action at its best as Mightor and his club go up against a giant alien battleship and a particular ruthless enforcer of the Collective, in a story that doesn’t really need any additional knowledge to enjoy. It sums up the joy of being a superhero perfectly, and would be a great introduction to the Future Quest world for kids and adults alike.
Corrina: Ah, this was great. If I were trying to get kids into comics, Future Quest and Future Quest Presents would be the first comics I’d hand to them. This revamp doesn’t rely on the nostalgia of the old cartoon characters but rather on the terrific updating of those characters for the modern day. (Though every once and a while, there is nostalgia that causes me to smile, like the quick panel of Jonny Quest, Hadji and Race fighting some sort of ice monster that could be right out of the original Jonny Quest.)
I thought of the Billy Batson/Shazam and Ty/Mightor connection as I was reading this story. It’s not for nothing that Parker would make the perfect writer for the Marvel family. His Ty is a delight, an easy-going and good kid who wants to do the right thing. He also possesses a terrific sense of humor, such as making jokes about how our villain views his club. Ty’s competence is also on display too, in his victory over the galactic bureaucrat. (Who has shades of Douglas Adams in his motive.)
I’ll never get tired of reading these.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.