Spinning out of the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR this week is the newest incarnation of FUTURE FOUNDATION. There’s plenty of juicy sci-fi plotting in this debut issue, but not without some visual growing pains.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
Alex and Julie Powers (from Power Pack) join the Future Foundation in leadership roles. They, along with the usual suspects, are joined by Yondu to execute a prison break. The mission statement of Future Foundation is to scour the multiverse for pieces of their friend, Molecule Man.
Written by Jeremy Whitley, the plot of Future Foundation #1 has more in common with an issue of Guardians Of The Galaxy than the FF we’re used to–and not just because Yondu is hanging around. Not having the Richards kids along this time could’ve been a major detriment to the book but Whitley slots the Powers siblings in to soften the blow.
Bentley-23 stands out as the arrogant MVP of the group, carrying over from the time we spent with these characters before. Onome looks to be a match for Bentley in the area of scene stealing. Leech is adorable.
The Moloids and Dragon Man don’t get as much face time as the Powers siblings, which may not be appreciated by fans of the FF. Alex and Julie Powers are interesting characters, Whitley seems to have a handle on them both.
There’s a handful of fun sci-fi and engineering moments from this group of young geniuses, but not much on the action side. However, a case of mistaken identity leads the young heroes into the path of alternate dimension Reed Richards–which is a wonderful antagonist choice.
The Maker is one of Marvel’s most underrated villains. The evil Mr. Fantastic, leftover from the Ultimate Universe, elevates every story he’s used in. Facing off against a think tank handpicked by the 616’s Reed Richards is very exciting.
If a theme had to be plucked from Future Foundation #1, it would probably be that of growth. These are characters taking a step forward on their own. Both the new leadership and remaining undergrads from FF should be coming into their own without the Richards family holding their hands–further solidifying The Maker as the perfect adversary.
Will Robson is our illustrator (and 1/2 of ink duties), Greg Menzie our colorist, with Daniele Orlandini providing the other half of the inks.
While the cartoon approach to the art’s tone is accomplishing what it set out to, it definitely takes away any edge this sci-fi adventure could have. The light tone and bubble-gum appeal may work for some but also be a deterrent for those coming into Future Foundation from Fantastic Four.
The team’s costume designs are a bit busy. The sleek and simple design of the previous incarnation (Hickman’s FF), was iconic. Future Foundation‘s branding aesthetic takes a hit with the addition of the Powers siblings.
All of the aliens and creatures look stupendous, the art style suits them very well. Leech, the Moloids, and the Uhari are all both adorable and interesting. It’s the humans that readers may have a hard time adjusting to.
The Maker’s final page reveal doesn’t hit as hard as it should due to the art. The cartoon style sucks away the character’s menace and gives him too much of a youthful appearance.
All-in-all, Future Foundation #1 starts us off with a script worthy of exploration. Coming straight from Fantastic Four, readers will have some growing pains but should be able to enjoy themselves. The cliffhanger hook promises a showdown Fantastic Four fans aren’t going to want to miss.