Friday, June 2, 2017



[This review was originally posted of Patreon.]

STORY: Jeff Parker – @JeffParker
ARTIST: Steve Rude
COLORS: Steve Buccellato
LETTERS: ALW Studios' Dave Lanphear
COVER: Steve Rude
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (September 2016)

Rated “T” for “Teen”

“Vortex Tales: Birdman in: The Deadly Distance”

Future Quest is a comic book series produced by DC Comics that re-imagines and re-interprets the classic sci-fi and superhero television series created by American animation studio, Hanna-Barbera.  Future Quest brings together the stars of the TV programs “Jonny Quest,” “Space Ghost,” “The Herculoids,” “Birdman,” “Frankenstein Jr.,” “The Galaxy Trio,” “The Impossibles,” and “Mightor.”

Future Quest is written by Jeff Parker; primarily drawn by Evan “Doc” Shaner; colored by Jordie Bellaire; and lettered by Dave Lanphear.  So far, the main focus of Future Quest is the cast of “Jonny Quest” (referred to as “Team Quest”):  Jonny Quest; his adopted brother, Hadji; his father, Dr. Benton Quest; family bodyguard, Race Bannon; and, of course, Jonny's dog, Bandit.

Future Quest #3 offers two “Vortex Tales.”  “The Deadly Distance” is written by Jeff Parker; drawn by Steve Rude; colored by Steve Buccellato; and lettered by Dave Lanphear.  The story takes place just before the events depicted in Future Quest #1.  It finds Birdman in Southwest Utah where he joins Inter-Nation Security agent, Deva Sumadi, to battle what they call a “xenomass.”  This creature is really part of the alien Omnikron, which seeks to absorb everything.

The second of the “Vortex Tales” is “Mine-Crash!” and stars The Herculoids.  It is written by Parker; drawn by Aaron Lopresti (pencils) and Karl Kesel (inks); colored by Hi-Fi; and letterd by Dave Lanphear.  On the Herculoids home planet, Quasar, the strange heroes, Tundro, Zok, Igoo, and Gloop and Gleep, battle mining robots.  Now, it is time for Tarra and Zandor to the tell their son, Dorno, and the Herculoids the story of their previous life on Quasar's sister planet, Amzot.  They will reveal how the “Robot Uprising” affects them today.

Future Quest #3 is essentially a fill-in issue, but it gives readers a welcomed glimpse into the back story of the series' primary plot, while also providing what is essentially an origin story of “The Herculoids.”  Writer Jeff Parker is the chosen one, the storyteller who can take classic Hanna-Barbera sci-fi/superhero and bring them into the modern age.  That he has advanced these concepts in terms of character and drama is diamond icing on the golden cake.

Speaking on golden, Steve Rude, who was influenced by Hanna-Barbera, delivers wonderful storytelling in the Birdman tale.  There is a sense of dynamism that matches the classic Birdman cartoons, but the sense of drama Rude brings to the character is new.  Two decades as a comic book artist and Aaron Lopresti is still refining his art and craft.  With his work on this Herculoids short story, he may have made the case that if The Herculoids get their own comic book, he should be the artist.

Future Quest #3 delivers.  It is not an issue to set aside, and like the earlier two issues, it makes the case that this is the best comic book that DC Comics is currently publishing.


This comic book includes the story, “Vortex Tales: The Herculoids in Mine-Crash!” written by Jeff Parker; drawn by Aaron Lopresti (pencils) and Karl Kesel (inks); colored by Hi-Fi; and lettered by Dave Lanphear.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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