Future Foundation #1
Written by Jeremy Whitley
Art by Will Robson, Daniele Orlandini and Greg Menzie
Lettering by Joe Caramagna
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by Kat Calamia
‘Rama Rating: 7 out of 10
On the heels of Jeremy Whitley’s The Unstoppable Wasp , the writer tackles a new set of teen scientists – the Future Foundation. The premiere throws you right into the action as the team puts their newest member, Julie Power, into a hostage situation to go on an intergalactic heist to save a prisoner. If you are already a fan of Fantastic Four’s B-team then you are going to be in for a fun ride, but putting the reader straight into the action also makes the narrative feel a bit jumbled, as Whitley and Robson struggle to juggle their large cast, making this debut a little less than new reader friendly.
Future Foundation’s strongest cast members are the series’ leaders, Julie and Alex Power. They receive the most panel time as Julie plays a damsel in distress to save a female prisoner. Whitley does a good job at showcasing her character’s personality, all while landing some entertaining exposition about her time in the Avengers Academy and her breakup with Runaway’s Karolina Dean. Julie’s a bookworm who is tired of avoiding her superhero instincts, and her actions in this issue showcase that well. Alex Power, meanwhile, is the man in the chair as he guides his team members to victory, even if he doesn’t feel fully confident about his leadership skills, something that goes back to his Power Pack days. I’m really excited to see more of the Power sibling dynamic as they are the heart of the book in both this premiere, and the Fantastic Four backup story from last week.
The next Future Foundation member that radiates personality is Bentley-23, the know-it-all teenage clone of the Wizard. Whitley gives the character a good amount of panel time to allow the audience to know that he’ll be taking the role of the annoying but lovable little brother in this team/family. Whitley tries to give a spotlight to other members like Onome, but there just isn’t enough room in this issue for her narration to feel organic. Most of the team members’ inner monologues come later in the story, so it doesn’t fit the overall structure that was set from the beginning of the issue.
On artwork, Robson gives a cartoony flavor to the series that fits nicely with the book’s teen/young adult cast. It worked well with Whitley’s kinetic style of storytelling and Greg Menzie’s vibrant color work. That said, there are some proportion issues, especially with the character’s faces that I hope to see improve, especially if the series’ taps into Whitley’s more emotional storytelling that was prominent with his work on The Unstoppable Wasp.
Future Foundation doesn’t introduce the team perfectly, but does a good job at showcasing what threats they will be going up against, and how they will be working as a unit to fight these encounters. The cliffhanger of the issue presents a very promising place to explore not just for the Fantastic Four, but the Marvel universe as a whole. Future Foundation #1 is a fun, high-energy premiere that has a lot of promise if it figures out what elements to focus upon.