|FUTURE IMPERFECT No. 4, October 2015|
Although Peter David’s rather simplistic storyline of the Maestro “wandering around… Norseheim” in order to discover the secret location of the Destroyer may not be award-winning material, and doubtless contributed to this particular edition of the “Secret Wars” tie-in title regrettably selling some three thousand less copies than its predecessor, Issue Four of “Future Imperfect” does contain enough bone-crunching punches to sate even the most blood thirsty of its 35,661 readers. In fact from the moment the blind Hoder directs the green-skinned Baron’s party into “the residence of Ulik” little else actually takes place within the narrative but fighting as the alternate future Hulk, Ruby Summers, Dystopia’s incarnation of the Thing and Layla Miller become embroiled in a true toe-to-toe slugfest with the troll who has “the strength of a Thor” and his numerous savage-looking minions.
Happily however, this non-stop action is interspersed with the Maryland-born writer’s inclusion of some rather humorous sarcastic interplay between the Maestro and his ‘friend’ Major Thaddeus Ross, and then later by Bruce Banner’s malevolent alter-ego and an increasingly battered Asgardian powerhouse. Such entertainingly pithy dialogue really is one of this twenty-page periodical’s highlights, and even additionally demonstrates just how dangerously unpleasant, disliked and determined the orange mutate’s long-time foe really is; “…If Ulik has you on the brink of death, I’m just gonna stand there and applaud.”
Far less successful is the Wizard Fan Award-winner’s attempt to craft the constant worrisome doubts of ‘companion’ Skooter into anything more than an increasingly annoying bore. The Rebel’s brutal death at the hands of one of Ulik’s “flarking creep[s]” later in the story actually appears to be a bibliophile’s blessing as opposed to the viciously abrupt murder of a beloved member of this title’s supporting cast and it’s arguably doubtful that few wouldn’t have actually cheered Ruby if she had ‘blown his head off’ earlier in the book when the Dystopian’s incessant whining, and suggestion that perhaps they no longer follow the orders of Ross, causes her to finally lose patience with his infuriating mutterings.
David’s script does though seemingly play to all of artist Greg Land’s strengths, with the penciller’s wonderfully dynamic energy-charged panels depicting the Maestro and Ulik literally punching one another for all their worth proving to be tremendously well-drawn. Indeed despite the lack of actual plot progression taking place during the lengthy sequence, the super-strong troll’s inevitable defeat at the Baron’s hands genuinely comes to fruition all too soon…
|Writer: Peter David, Artist: Greg Land, and Inker Jay Leisten|