In the 1960s, Saturday morning TV was dominated Hanna-Barbera’s animated adventure shows. Jonny Quest, The Impossibles, and The Herculoids delighted a generation of kids. The revivals of some of these shows kept me and my brothers entertained in the eighties. And in the nineties, Adult Swim revamped Space Ghost into a talk show host and Birdman into an attorney at law. Intended as assembly-line, throwaway entertainment, these character have somehow remained relevant, probably because their designers made them look so cool.
Now DC Comics has tasked writer Jeff Parker with creating a new comic book crossover universe for all of Hanna-Barbera’s action stars. The story starts with Jonny Quest and Hadji in the Everglades. Their father Dr. Quest is researching a series of mysterious vortexes appearing in the skies over Florida. It turns out these vortexes are portals between alternate universes allowing all of our favorite cosmic characters to work together to stop an evil galactic parasite from taking over the multiverse.
Along the way, we’re told quick backstories of the vast cast of characters, including the Quest family, Race Bannon, Jezebel Jade, Ray Randall AKA Birdman, Vapor Man, Meteor Man, and Gravity Girl, The Galaxy Trio, Zandor, Tara, Dorno, Tundro, Zok, Igoo, Gloop and Gleep, Space Ghost, Jan, Jace, Blip, Dino Boy and Ugh, Buzz Conroy and Frankenstein Jr. Multi Man, Fluid Man, and Coil Man, The Impossibles, and The Mighty Mightor all play major roles.
It’s hard for me to imagine who Future Quest is really made for. Its kid-friendly story line, although treated seriously, seems a little too simplistic for the adult readers old enough to be nostalgic for these characters. And I suspect that the character introductions go by too fast for newbies to truly understand who these people really are and why they’re hanging around with a big gorilla made out of stone.
Still this is just the first volume of a what appears to be an epic story line. So if you’ve been looking to relive your childhood Saturday mornings or if you’re willing to dive into an elaborate fictional world you might not fully comprehend, then I’d recommend giving Future Quest a shot.