Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday Comics: Annotations on Future Quest

My on-going look at Don Lawrence's Storm will take a break so that we can dive into Future Quest, the first of DC's re-imagining of classic Hana-Barbera characters. This will contain spoilers.

"Part One: Lights in the Sky"
Future Quest #1 (2016), Written by Jeff Parker; Art by Eric "Doc" Shaner & Steve Rude

"A Distance World." The story opens with what appears to be the origin of Space Ghost as the last survivor of a Green Lantern-esque group of space peacekeepers. They they all wear uniforms resembling those worn by Jace and Jan (and Gleep) in the Space Ghost cartoon. The opening caption ("years before") suggests Space Ghost's adventures do not take place in the future,  point that was unclear in the various cartoon series.

Looking for Strange Phenomena. Next, we're introduced to the members of the Quest team: Jonny, Hadj, Benton Quest, "Race" Bannon, and their dog, Bandit. They seem pretty similar to the original versions from the 1964 series, though Jonny and Hadj are older than they were when they were first introduced.

Birdman. Two characters are introduced as government agents visiting Dr. Quest: Ray Randall and Deva Sumadi. We're given a couple of clues to Ray Randall's other identity: He has a pet bird named Avenger and we're told his superior is named Falcon 7. He is (as confirmed later) Birdman, solar-powered secret agent superhero, who worked for Inter-Nation Security in his 1967 cartoon series. He was never given a secret identity in those adventures.

One of the Other Three Great Minds. Dr. Quest is still contending with his arch-nemesis, Dr. Zin. Zin appeared in 4 episodes of the original 1964 Jonny Quest cartoon and on episodes in the 80s and 90s revivals. Here, he is working with F.E.A.R., the villainous organization that opposed Birdman in his series. Zin's spider-eye robots that appear later in this issue first appeared in the 1964 episode "The Robot Spy."

"Where do you think it came from?" Hadj and Jonny come across the body of a creature from a dimensional rift that resembles Tundro, a member of The Herculoids. In another rift they peer into they see Space Ghost, Jan, Jace and Gleep, Shazzan, Mightor, and the Herculoids. Space Ghost had crossovers with all of these other characters in the six part "Council of Doom" arc in 1967.

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