Sunday, 13 December 2015

Future Imperfect #3 - Marvel Comics

FUTURE IMPERFECT No. 3, September 2015
Despite this twenty-page periodical containing both some palpable tension as Ruby Summers leads a “band of rebels” into Baron Maestro’s stronghold on a desperate rescue mission, as well as plenty of action when the heroes’ subsequent stealthy shenanigans go somewhat awry, Issue Three of “Future Imperfect” arguably proves to be a rather unremarkable reading experience. Indeed for some indescribable reason Peter David’s narrative somehow feels as if the Maryland-born writer was simply going through the motions and essentially ‘padded out’ the comic until its ‘climatic’ conclusion when the Thing’s allies joins forces with the despot of Dystopia in order “to defeat [the God Emperor] Doom and take his place.”; “Do I look like I’m joking?”

Quite possibly much of this sense of dissatisfaction stems from the fact that the vast majority of the Wizard Fan Award-winner’s storyline focus’ upon the exploits of Janis Jones, Layla Miller, and Skooter; three rather forgettable ‘C-list’ characters who seem to spend a disagreeable amount of time arguing with one another as to whether their assault on “Baron Maestro’s Keep” is a good idea or not. Only the resistance fighter Ruby manages to hold any lasting interest and that is probably due to the quartz-skinned adventurer’s earnestness in finding Major Thaddeus Ross. Something which many of this book’s 38,269 followers presumably echoed, hoping that the appearance of “the leader of the anti-Maestro revolt” might actually inject this “Secret Wars” tie-in title with some much needed pizzazz.

Just as disappointing is the lack of ‘screen time’ enjoyed by this comic’s principal villain, Robert Bruce Banner. A formidable force to be reckoned with and undoubtedly this magazine’s biggest draw, the enthralling presence of the Castle of Green’s “lord and master” is much missed during this particular publication. Though admittedly David’s decision to have the bearded maniac replaced by the baron’s impotent Gravity Police makes perfect sense from a plot perspective. For Summers and her friends understandably required an opponent which their powers could best if the American author’s tale was going to proceed much further…

Equally as lack-lustre as the writing is Greg Land’s competent yet unremarkable pencilling. “Best known for his work on books such as Uncanny X-Men, Birds Of Prey and Fantastic Four”, the artist’s rather bold style gives his panels a rather cartoony-feel which can prove somewhat distracting during the book’s more action-packed sequences. Indeed it isn’t until the Thing’s companions stumble upon the Maestro and Thaddeus’ “repast” that the illustrator seemingly finally starts to provide his figures with a little more detail, especially around their faces.
The variant cover art of "FUTURE IMPERFECT" No. 3 by Mike Deodato


  1. Simon, I admit to knowing absolutely nothing about this comic series. But what I would like to comment on is Greg Land's artwork. I love it and I love all his artwork. I was blown away by his art on "Ultimate Fantastic Four" in my Marvel Zombies Collection volume 1. His take on Sue Storm was the best I've ever seen. From the few pages you've shown here, I certainly wouldn't describe his work as "competent yet unremarkable." I know we have different tastes but Greg is an artist I have a lot of respect for.

    1. Bryan, I'm not sure if you've read my reviews of the other two issues. But his work is a lot better in those particular comics (imho), and indeed his Maestro and take on the Thing (as a lumpy orange mutate as opposed to the usual rocky modern-day interpretation) are superb. Sadly, I didn't feel the same way about his drawing for #3. Maybe I was spoilt by the first two, and he can certainly pencil. But I simply didn't take to work on this occasion until towards the end of the book. I do have "Ultimate Fantastic Four" somewhere so I'll have a look at his artwork for that next time I dig them out. If you do enjoy Land's work then I'd certainly recommend this mini-series - for the conclusion of #1 and subsequent battle in #2 if nothing else :-)

    2. Simon, I always take note of your recommendations so I will look out for this series. I didn't take too much notice of your reviews of the first two issues, but I have gone back and re-read them. Now I am very much interested in them. "Ultimate Fantastic Four" was the first time I truly appreciated Greg Land's artwork, even though I was aware of him. He certainly can pencil!

    3. This is certainly one of the better "Secret Wars" tie-in mini-series "Marvel Worldwide" have published this year, Bryan, so hopefully you'll enjoy it. I'll try and get #4 posted up just as soon as I get the chance to read it.