Ariel Olivetti's Retro Action Art Puts FUTURE QUEST #8 into High Adventure Gear

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Future Quest #8, art by Evan "Doc" Shaner

Of all the DC projects springing from the Hanna-Barbera universe, FUTURE QUEST was probably the one that excited me the most. Taking the world of Jonny Quest and finding a way to merge it with all the H-B action cartoons (and even some of the action-comedy cartoons like THE IMPOSSIBLES) seemed a daunting task, but the team somehow made it work, through the threat of a multi-dimensional planet killer called The Omnikron.

After a few issues, the series seemed to be meandering a bit, as it needed story space to bring in all these characters, including introducing the new Mightor to the universe and tying his energy club to that of Omnikron. And the artwork had become serviceable but not outstanding. In short, the series was starting to sputter toward boring.

From page one, panel one of the latest issue, that's not the case any longer.

Ariel Olivetti's approach to the internal illustrations for FUTURE QUEST #8, "Aliens & Alliances," draws upon the classic painted Dell covers of heroes like TUROK, SON OF STONE and MAGNUS: ROBOT FIGHTER. That approach alone gives this adventure series a much needed shot in the arm, and gives the whole series a cohesive, pulp-action feeling that draws the reader in. I can only hope the art continues in this direction for the duration of the story.

Jeff Parker's story is also starting to finally gel, as characters we have seen in separate vignettes start to get pulled together into interaction. As Birdman and Mightor chase the Omnikron, it brings them into contact with the Herculoids. And in Los Angeles, where the Omnikron has most recently emerged, The Impossibles have come upon the injured form of Space Ghost. Jonny Quest, Hadji, and Space Ghost's companion, Jan, are left behind while Race Bannon goes to investigate another sighting, where they will be on hand for Buzz to unveil to the world a new and improved Frankenstein Jr.

But the salvation of Earth may come from the most unlikely team-up of them all: Dr. Benton Quest and his arch-nemesis, Archimedes Zin!

With this issue, the art and story are firing on all cylinders, and the ride is only going to get more thrilling from here. If you haven't tuned in already, now would be a good time.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0