Review: Adam Strange/ Future Quest Special #1

by Matthew Lloyd
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[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writers: Marc Andreyko and Jeff Parker
Artist: Steve Lieber
Colors: Veronica Gandini

An amnesiac Adam Strange is dropped into the prehistoric valley that Team Quest have been exploring.  They initially don’t know what to make of Adam, but after the usual “getting to know you” bits, Adam recovers his memory and they trust each other enough to team up in time to be attacked be F.E.A.R.

Birdman shows up in time to give an assist as well as Adam Strange a start, believing this winged wonder to be Hawkman at first.  The team manages to open a vortex that allows Adam to make contact with the Zeta Beam and provide him a ride back to Rann.

This issue pefectly captures the tone of the original Jonny Quest cartoon. Jonny’s exuberance is palpable! It truly feels like the cartoon crossing over with the current incarnation of Adam Strange. Addtionally, Adam Strange’s recent history with the events of The Death of Hawkman mini-series is referenced, clearing placing a context for the events of the crossover.

The issue also contains a second story featuring Top Cat, another Hanna-Barbera property.  This story by Dan DiDio and Phil Winslade introduces Top Cat to the DCU in another multiversal crossover.  Not surprisingly, this tale features Catwoman and, in a bizarre juxtaposition of genres, Batman.  Despite the obvious humour, there is a well-executed plot that addresses Top Cat’s character and finds a way to give him a Kingpin-esque backstory.

Both tales look extremely good as Winslade is able to draw a serious Dark Knight and the classic cartoon Top Cat with equal believability. Steve Lieber evokes Doug Wildey’s style as he delineates Wildey’s creations through a similar use of clean lines and resists overworking the page.

The only drawback to this crossover is the formulaic nature.  Clearly, this issue isn’t trying to fold these two concepts together for the long haul, so the characters have to meet, distrust each other and then work together.

This special is a fun romp that does everything it’s supposed to do.  For fans of Jonny Quest, seeing Jonny and Team Quest appear in such a classic approach is a real treat.  This book won’t set a new standard in comics, but it’s an enjoyable tale that evokes the right tone and mood.

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