Review: Adam Strange/Future Quest Special #1

After the events of the Death of Hawkman miniseries, Adam Strange is blasted through multiple dimensions only to land on Earth! There, instead of super-powered beings and legendary crime fighters, he encounters a boy adventurer and his scientist father – and they’re the only ones who can help him return home. Jonny Quest, Hadji, Dr. Quest and Race Bannon have a plan, but it’s going to involve a dangerous trek through Dino Boy’s Lost Valley of prehistoric threats! And in the backup feature starring Top Cat, breaking out of prison is challenging enough for a cat, but sometimes it means stumbling through a cosmic portal to planet Earth… and right into the hands of Batman!

And in the backup feature starring Top Cat, breaking out of prison is challenging enough for a cat, but sometimes it means stumbling through a cosmic portal to planet Earth… and right into the hands of Batman!

Two stories with very different styles and characters, the first brings Adam Strange to the world of Future Quest in a cute and simple tale that feels like strange epilogues to both the Future Quest series and The Death of Hawkman. The comic is fun with a good mix of the vibe built in Future Quest and a little bit of flavor of the main steam DC Comics universe. Writers Marc Andreyko and Jeff Parker blend the two and it works, though the story a feels a bit paint by numbers (heroes fight due to misunderstanding type of thing). But, Andreyko and Parker spin it into some fun, especially watching Strange trying to figure out what’s going on and seeing this DC Character set in Hanna-Barbera world.

The art by Steve Lieber is pretty good, though I admit I miss Evan “Doc” Shaner’s art from Future Quest. Things aren’t bad at all and Lieber’s style for this plays off of the fun action packed aspect of the issue. It’s a departure of that classic Hanna-Barbera style, though close to it. It’s good though and fits really well to the story.

The issue has a back-up story featuring Top Cat and it’s really interesting. It’s very short and is a prologue in so many ways, but what’s done with the few pages is entertaining and somehow works.

Written by Dan DiDio the story brings Top Cat to Gotham and is just a straight up origin tale as Top Cat tells Batman how he got to the city. It’s entertaining and is a solid lead in to further stories, but that’s the thing, if there’s nothing else, you wonder if something else could have been done. And, whatever is to come, will it be in Gotham!? It’s an interesting choice and the story is decent though nothing amazing. What is entertaining is reading DiDio’s take on the Batwoman/Catwoman relationship as there’s some solid digs.

While I wasn’t blown away by the story, the art is pretty solid at points. I really enjoy Phil Winslade‘s style for this which has an almost New Yorker-ish look to it. Top Cat’s world is what really stands out to me, but Batman and Catwoman don’t work as well. It’s interesting because the art style works so well in Top Cat’s world, but when in Gotam, things aren’t quite as visually interesting.

Overall, this is a mixed issue and sets up some interesting things for the future. It’s really cool that the Adam Strange Future Quest aspect of the issue takes place post both of their stories. That’s really smart and makes this one shot feel that much more important. But, the story itself doesn’t bring a lot that’s new or different, like their series before did. It also feels like it sets up something for the future, which Top Cat does as well. It’s an interesting concept overall with these two mash-ups, but neither quite feels like it lets loose in the ways I expected.

Adam Stange/Future Quest

Story: Marc Andreyko and Jeff Parker Art: Steve Lieber
Story: 7.45 Art: 7.65 Overall: 7.50 Recommendation: Read

Top Cat

Story: Dan DiDio Art: Phil Winslade
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.15 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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