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A KC COLUMN by KC Carlson
Future Quest volume 1
There was a extremely great — in addition to unforeseen — surprise in the just recently released DC Comics Future Quest volume 1 collection. as well as I’ll get to that surprise in just a couple of minutes, as soon as everybody’s remove on precisely what Future Quest is.
Part of the Hanna-Barbera world line of comics, Future Quest is one of the a lot more unique of the four preliminary releases, which likewise include The Flintstones, Scooby Apocalypse, as well as goofy Raceland. While the other three books in the line update single H-B properties for contemporary readers, Future Quest is special in that it draws from a lot of different original H-B cartoons. These traditional action-oriented animated series from the 1960s as well as ‘70s are updated (somewhat) for a a lot more discerning young (and old) audience.
Jeff Parker is the writer of Future Quest as well as artists include Evan “Doc” Shaner, Steve “The Dude” Rude, Ron Randall, Jonathan Case, Aaron Lopresti, Karl Kesel, Craig Rousseau, as well as even Parker himself. Future Quest is even crossing over with (or perhaps crossing into) the DC world in March in the upcoming Adam Strange/Future Quest annual #1.
THE CAST as well as (REAL) CHARACTERS
Team Quest (in the jeep) lead the fee on the cover to Future Quest #9
The stars of Future Quest include the cast of Jonny Quest (originally aired 1964-65):
the 11-year-old title character, who is proficient in judo, diving diving, as well as the handling of firearms — although you don’t truly see much of that these days…
his finest buddy Hadji, a streetwise orphan Indian mystic-in-training, embraced by the Quests, who may or may not have actual supernatural powers
Jonny’s widower father, Benton Quest, one of the top three scientists in the world, currently working for the U.S. Government
and Roger T. “Race” Bannon, a somewhat mysterious special agent, bodyguard, as well as pilot, whose main objective is to secure the Quest family.
The idea as well as characters were originally produced by comic book artist Doug Wildey.
In Future Quest, when Jonny as well as Hadji find something mysterious in the swamplands of Florida (where they live), they are drawn into an legendary struggle between the area Rangers as well as a hazardous (and mysterious) villain who threatens the galaxy. pertaining to their aid are lots of a lot more traditional H-B experience characters including:
Space Ghost by expense Sienkiewicz
Space Ghost! very first aired in 1966, area Ghost was created by Alex Toth, as well as the character is mainly credited for the popularity of superhero cartoons in that era. He had teen sidekicks (Jan as well as Jace) as well as a area monkey (Blip) as well as fought villains including Zorak, Brak, Moltar, Metallus, Black Widow, as well as creature King. The very first two unexplainably joined area Ghost in 1994 when he made a decision to ended up being a talk show hold on the extremely bizarre area Ghost coastline to Coast, aired on animation Network. guests included David Byrne, Penn as well as Teller, Jon Stewart, Elvira, Adam West, Timothy Leary, Joel Hodgson, “Weird Al” Yankovic, and, of course, Carrot Top. A spin-off, animation Planet, aired from 1995 to 1998 as well as made huge stars out of Zorak as well as Brak. Gary Owens (best understood as the announcer for Rowan as well as Martin’s Laugh-In) was the original voice of area Ghost.
Birdman by Steve Rude
Birdman was likewise produced by Alex Toth, as well as his show aired beginning in 1967. He was a winged superhero powered by the sun who was originally endowed by the sun god Ra, although this is swiftly forgotten, indicating he’s mainly depicted as an regular human. He was originally voiced by Keith Andes. as well as yes, originally there was a Birdboy… however nobody wishes to talk much about that. like area Ghost, Birdman had a secondary occupation later in life as Harvey Birdman, attorney at legislation on animation Network/Adult Swim beginning in 2000. The Galaxy Trio, his original show-mates from the 1960s, often appeared on this new show.
The Galaxy Trio are out in front on the back cover of Future Quest #1
The Galaxy Trio are three extraterrestrial superheroes — Vapor guy (voiced by Don Messick), Meteor guy (Ted Cassidy), as well as Gravity woman (Virginia Eiler) — who work for the Galactic Patrol legislation enforcement agency. They fly around area a great deal in their cruiser Condor One scoping out evildoers. They likewise obviously work for somebody named “Chief”. They originally appeared with Birdman on his 1967 show which was cleverly called Birdman as well as the Galaxy Trio.
The Mighty Mightor with Jonny, Hadji, as well as Bandit from the cover of Future Quest #6
Mighty Mightor originally appeared on a 1969 show titled Moby Dick as well as Mighty Mightor. Moby Dick was an strange series where young kids hung out with the legendary fantastic white whale. That’s most likely why it’s mainly forgotten today. (Although I’m quite sure that he popped up on one of those weird Scooby-Doo secret Incorporated episodes in the past few years. I most likely got confused since the Moby Dick kids’ pet seal was likewise called Scooby.) Anyway… the original Mightor was a teen caveman named Tor who had a winged pet dinosaur named Tog. (Ahhh! These names!) They rescue an old man, who provides Tor a wonderful club — which when directed skyward, transforms Tor into the masked (and mighty) Mightor. This wasn’t one of H-B’s strongest shows (and the characters were voiced by people only animation geeks like me would know). perhaps for that reason, the Mightor character was mainly revamped for Future Quest, where he is now a young black kid of contemporary times who finds the original Mightor’s club as well as is transformed into a new Mightor. (And his pet feline becomes a mighty saber-toothed tiger!) This new Mightor is mentored by Birdman in the Future Quest comic.
Frankenstein Jr. as well as The Impossibles from the cover of Future Quest #5
Frankenstein Jr. as well as The Impossibles originally shared a 1966 Saturday morning show on CBS. Historically, the series is seen as a shift show between H-B’s earlier directly comedy cartoons as well as the adventure-oriented science fiction/superhero series that they did a lot more of as the 1960s progressed (see above). Frankenstein Jr. (voiced by Ted Cassidy) was a gigantic robot (some state similar to Gigantor) who was “piloted” by young kid scientist Buzz Conroy (voiced by Dick Beals) as well as his daddy professor Conroy. (I hope his genuine name wasn’t truly Professor… I’d picture that would be some kind of trademark infringement with the character from Gilligan’s Island.) The professor was voiced by John Stephenson. Of course, they fight incredibly villains with the humans activating “Frankie” by means of an energy ring. The often utilized (and extremely compelling) picture that defines the series is of the gigantic robot flying around with a small young kid sitting on his shoulder. Of course, they don’t do that now, since some crazy youngster may develop his own gigantic robot pal as well as try that!
The Impossibles were my favorites at the time. They were not-so-serious superheroes with goofy powers, when they weren’t disguised as a not-so-serious rock band who only sang pop tunes that were less than 30 seconds long. Their genuine names are obviously Multi-Man (voiced by Don Messick), fluid guy (Paul Frees). as well as Coil guy (Hal Smith), considering that they obviously are truly superheroes just pretending to be rock stars (which makes them the animated version of their live-action contemporaries The Monkees, who were depicted on TV as being nearly animated). Trivia: Coil-Man plays guitar left-handed! a lot more trivia!: While the series was in pre-production, it was called The Incredibles! great thing Pixar wasn’t around back then!
The Herculoids by Aaron Lopresti
Saving the very best for last (IMHO), The Herculoids! Debuting in 1967, as well as produced as well as created by Alex Toth, this was a fantastic action-oriented household drama with gigantic monsters saving the humans from other gigantic monsters! What a lot more might a youngster want! The household was Zandor (“Dad”, voiced by Mike Road), Tara (“Mom”, Virginia Gregg) as well as Dorno (“Son”, Ted Eccles, in the original series). Interestingly, Dorno referred to his parents by their genuine names, rather than “mom” or “dad” in this original series. Their protectors were
Zok, the flying area dragon who emits lasers from his eyes as well as tail
Igoo, an very big as well as almost invulnerable ape constructed out of rock
Tundro, a ten-legged, four-horned rhino/triceratops hybrid who shoots energy rocks from his cannon-horn
and Gloop as well as Gleep, two protoplasmic creatures who are able to take in as well as deflect energy blasts as well as laser beams. They are likewise special shape-shifters, utilizing their bodies in lots of ways.
Mike road was the voice of Zok, Igoo, as well as Tundro, as well as Don Messick was the extremely entertaining voices of Gloop as well as Gleep.
It likewise must be noted that lots of of these original shows (most notably Frankenstein Jr. as well as the Impossibles, which was taken off the air in 1968) were the targets of parental complaints about violence on children’s television. That’s exactly how we understood they were fantastic shows back then!
Amazingly, all of these shows were released on DVD by Warner Bros. (who now own Hanna-Barbera) as well as Warner Archive. They may sometimes be out-of-print (and expensive!) or difficult to discover now, however it’s fantastic that they still exist as well as have been archived to disc!
BACK TO PRINT… as well as A story BEHIND THE STORY
Future Quest art by Darwyn Cooke
Future Quest volume 1 collects the very first six problems in the series, plus over 30 pages of cover reproductions, alternating covers, character designs, as well as more. as well as the extremely special thing I mentioned at the top of this column: a two-page essay by writer Jeff Parker about the behind-the-scenes beginning of this fantastic series — including the revelation that artist Darwyn Cooke was rather included with the pre-production. Titled On the origin of Comics: The theories of Darwyn, this text piece by Parker exposes that DC wished to bring together the heroes from the heyday of the H-B studio — “in essence a ‘new frontier’ of the H-B universe” according to Parker. DC co-publisher Dan DiDio reached out to Cooke, as well as before long Darwyn as well as Jeff were brainstorming (at the Baltimore Comic-Con, no less, which I personally understand is a location where both magic as well as weird things occur with some regularity).
I’m not going to expose all the beats as well as tricks of this text piece, however suffice it to state that with Parker as well as Cooke channeling both Doug Wildey as well as Alex Toth (all four former H-B/DC people in one capability or another) in their brainstorming, this series had one of the most serendipitous gestations possible, with the very best people possible to at first chain that lightning.
Sadly it was not totally to be. Darwyn Cooke passed away much as well soon last year, as well as so (by DC standards) did not get any type of credit score for his brain as well as pencil work on this series (beyond “special thanks”). great on Jeff to lastly hint us all in on the genuine story with this essay as well as accompanying marketing picture — likewise reproduced in this volume. I just understood I was seeing Darwyn’s fingerprints on this series from the beginning. Somehow…
I believed that a lot more people must understand that this essay exists. It is extremely crucial that people understand about this. You must be reading this Future Quest series anyway. particularly if you want to feel the enjoyment you felt about whatever when you were eight years old.
KC CARLSON originally enjoyed Jonny Quest on TV in a regional bar. When he was eight years old. Really. long story…
WESTFIELD COMICS is not accountable for the silly things that KC says. particularly that thing that truly irritated you. … as well as there will be a Future Quest volume 2 TPB at some point in the future as the series is currently arranged to run up until at least problem #12, later this year. So, something to look ahead to…
By the way, The Lego Batman motion picture really won finest photo at the Oscars last Sunday Night. true story… Ask Lego Warren Beatty…