Futurama Comic Review

Futurama Comics #1

Title: Episode 1: Monkey Sea, Monkey Doom!

Writer: Eric Rogers, with Bill Morrison

Art: James Lloyd, Steve Steere Jr.

Okay, with the release of Futurama Comics in New Zealand, I decided to pick up a copy. And since I already review Simpsons Comics for another site, The Springfield Files, I might as well review Futurama Comics for The Leela Zone, too. Roll review:

The basic premise is that, while digging a large hole to hide one of Professor Farnsworth's inventions that he's hiding from the police, Fry, Bender and Leela find a time capsule from the 20th Century. This capsule has loads of old junk in it, and Fry, seeing this, begins to miss all the things he used to have. While reading an old comic, he finds an ad for some sea monkeys, and purchases some from an old store that sells 20th Century stuff. Unfortunately, the sea monkeys don't impress his friends as much as he wanted them to; at least not until they come into contact with the professor's gamma radiation, and begin to grow, and grow, AND GROW!

Now, when compared to the Futurama television show, this issue is very much like it. The story is typical of Futurama's quirky style, and all the characters act exactly how they should. Simpsons Comics didn't quite hit its stride in its first issue, but Futurama Comics #1 does. The story is both interesting and funny, with some classic Bender lines and hilarious Zoidberg moments. Also, it doesn't just focus on laughs. While Bender and Zoidberg provide much of the humour, Fry provides a little bit of emotion. You can't help but feel sorry for him. It's not as emotional as episodes like Luck of the Fryish and Parasites Lost, but there's still a good amount in there. This story is primarily an action one though, particularly towards the end when we see the giant mutated sea monkeys attacking New New York in Godzilla fashion. All the while, humour doesn't wane either, with Zoidberg making the sea monkey's his new friends being a highlight.

Moving along, the art is very, very good, I must say. Apart from the fact that Fry and Amy's skin is toned a tad too dark, the colours are very well done, and they fit in nicely with the show. What's even more impressive is the detail, and amount of it. While Simpsons Comics tend to be a tad sparse most of the time, this issue has the panels and pages filled to the brim with action; you can almost see the scenes moving. I suppose the best word to describe it is "busy", which fits in well with the show. Let's face it, NNYC is a fast-paced, bustling metropolis, and to see a street scene or shot outside the Planet Express building filled with flying cars and spaceships, and aliens, robots and strange people is very fitting. Kudos to the artists, they've done an excellent job. Also, the sea monkeys ad in the comic Fry sees is a brilliantly reconstructed drawing of the real ad that appeared in '70s comics. I should know, I have some old comics that belonged to my older brother with that very ad in them. Overall, I think the art has impressed me the most.

To summarise, a brilliant start to the series, a series I hope lasts a long time, and I hope continues to put out quality stories. In fact, I can honestly say that I found this far better than most Simpsons Comics. It ties in excellently with the TV show, is funny, has a good story, portrays the characters brilliantly, and has fantastic art. Also included is a two-page piece called "The Fry That Time Forgot" that contains some character design drawings of Fry that Matt Groening and several artists did while designing Fry. This is a piece of literature that every Futurama fan should own, you won't regret purchasing it, trust me.

Most Memorable Moment: So hard to choose, it's all good stuff. Probably Zoidberg threatening to go on a hunger strike.

Worst Moment: None. Flawless issue!

Story: 4/5
Art: 5/5
Jokes: 4/5
Originality: 4/5
Character: 5/5

Overall: A

Kenneth White