Warning: This post contains spoilers
Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. Birddman, Johhny Quest, Space Ghost and all related characters are property of DC Comics/Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Publisher: DC Comics
Written By: Jeff Parker
Art by: Evan “Doc’’ Shaner, Steve Rude, Jordie Bellaire
Lettering by: ALW Studios, Dave Lanphaer
As mentioned in yesterday’s review 2016 was a busy year for DC Comics. They started the Rebirth initiative for their main line and launched a new imprint Young Animal with Gerard Way. However that is not all the company did that year, they also launched the Hanna-Barbera Universe line as well. This line finally gives writers and artists the ability to utilize the vast library of Hanna-Barbera characters that their parent company Warner Bros. Entertainment owns. The first three books to launch from this line were Future Quest, Scooby Apocalypse and Wacky Raceland, with a reimagined version of The Flintstones being released the following summer. So far the line has done fairly well and a series of crossover one-shots and a second wave of new titles is scheduled for 2017. Today though we are not here to just talk about the line in general, but to look at the first collected edition of one of the flagship titles Future Quest!
To give a breakdown of the series, Future Quest takes all the Hanna-Barbera action heroes and throws them together in one book. Everyone from Johnny Quest, Birdman, Space Ghost, The Herculoids and even The Impossibles and Frankenstein Jr. make an appearance in the book.
The story of the series goes like this, an evil beast named Omnikron is trying to engulf all of creation but Space ghost, The Galaxy Trio and The Herculoids do their best to hold it back. The beast is weakened but not defeated as it purposely shrinks itself and generates a vortex to send itself to Earth. Meanwhile back on Planet Earth Johhny and Hadji are having fun as Dr. Benton Quest researches the vortexes in question. He is not the only one however as the evil Dr. Zin and his agents of F.E.A.R. are also aware of the mysterious vortexes as well as Omnikron the creature responsible for them, Zin wants to harness Omnikron for his own nefarious means. Birdman is sent in as extra muscle to help protect Dr. Quest while Race Bannon watches the kids. Things begin to escalate when Johhny and Hadji find an unconscious Jan and her friend Gleek in their crashed ship in the jungle, soon they are attacked by Zin’s henchmen who somehow already have captured Jace and are after Jan to complete their set. Meanwhile getting back to the heroes, the vortexes which are rifts in time and space allow the prehistoric hero Mightor to end up in the modern day, elsewhere the Impossibles end up fighting a monster sent by F.E.A.R. and Omnikron continues to grow in power!
In terms of story, Future Quest delivers on an action-packed experience, every issue keeps you on the edge of your seat as we see all of the characters introduced over the course of the book. Despite the massive amount of action and characters though the book never feels rushed, the facing is works well for the book and between the main story and short back-ups that expand more on the history of these characters we get a good look at these various heroes and teams. It also helps that we get a good balance of panel time between all the characters, with a cast this large it would be easy to shove aside characters in favor of others, but the story does a good job of giving all of the Hanna-Barbera heroes their time to shine. The overall structure of the story is well done for the most part as well, the main narrative is coherent despite the chaos of the tale and as previously stated the back-up strips give us some much needed background on these characters. Overall Jeff Parker did a wonderful job crafting this series and you can tell he has a genuine love and respect for all the various characters in the book.
In terms of art Evan “Doc” Shaner’s work on the covers and interior is spot on and fits the feel of the classic Hanna-Barbera series perfectly! Steve Rude’s work while more modern in appearance is well done for the most part as well. Jordie Bellaire’s colors also compliment the story well and help make the book have that classic Hanna-Barbera feel, while also maintaining some modern spirit as well.
Overall Future Quest vol. 1 is an over the top, action packed adventure that is sure to please fans of Johnny Quest, Space Ghost and the like both young and old from start to finish!
Overall: 8 out of 10