[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Rob Williams
Artist: Aaron Lopresti
Inker: Matt Ryan
In this installment of Future Quest Presents, The Herculoids take center stage. They fight robots. They fall from the sky. They throw rocks. They shoot arrows. They bicker with one another. They meet Animan, a being who can create anything out of thin air and who can, and just might, destroy Amzot, home of the Herculoids.
Rob Williams is writing this book. Rob Freaking Williams everyone. Seriously. Who saw that coming? I didn’t. While it is a departure for Rob, the tone is still pure Williams. He has the knack for showing us just what we need to see. In this story, Dorno is torn between hating his family and running away and loving them. As is the case with angsty teenagers, they forget there are other options. Not everything is black and white.
The clever thing that Williams does here, is drop a nugget that the villain, Animan, is most likely not a man at all but a runaway kid just like Dorno. He says, “They wouldn’t let me do this sort of thing, that is why I ran away.” Later, he acts like a spoiled kid himself. I am sure that will come back around in the finale next month.
Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan and Hi-Fi are the art team here. They, like many of the folks who have taken on this world, really make it pop. Bright colors, crazy landscapes and in this book, literal world building are everywhere. It keeps the nostalgia flowing for the Xers, while keeping the appeal to the Millennials.
As is often the case with Future Quest and Future Quest Presents, there is almost too much nostalgia. I get why this book has not followed the lead of the other Hanna-Barbera books and gone edgy, but some of that might be nice. Also, this book is either too long or too short. I know that seems like a paradox, but I think Williams and company could have fleshed this story out and told a full 4-6 issue arc or, they could have cut some things and made it a stand alone. I think, because they have to fill two issues, there is just enough fluff to get them there and fluff is not always what readers want.
This is clearly the ABC after school special version of Future Quest Presents. The focus on Dorno is smart. He is a teenager, trying to figure himself out. He gets exactly what he wants and, like a teenager, he is not sure what to do with it. There is a lot of truth to this issue and is always the case with anything written by Rob Williams, the truth is always evident. Not sure if this needs to be a two parter, but Rob Williams rarely leads us astray.