Every year Free Comic Book Day rolls around, offering us a host of preview material for various upcoming and already established comic series from many big name publisher. This week, we take a look at the first issue of new sci-Fi series Future, which writer Tom Woodman released for free online to coincide with all the other free titles being released.
Publisher: Tom Woodman
Writer: Tom Woodman
Artist: Rupert Smissen
Price: Free at http://online.fliphtml5.com/sjsrz/djaa/
Future tells the story of Murray ‘Mur’ Mielniczuks, a grounded astronaut whose already troubled world comes crashing down around her when she discovers she has a terminal illness with little time left. However, Mur’s engineer wife Kay refuses to give up hope, allowing the pair to be recruited for an unusual and potentially dangerous mission to travel into the future in an effort to save the present, as well as their own lives together.
Tom Woodman’s story is a very Interesting one, with the concept for the series as a whole (as described in the synopsis) is seriously intriguing. However, this first issue does suffer from case of ‘set-up-itis’, as the narrative doesn’t seem to take great strides as we are introduced to the world and its characters. Of course, that doesn’t make this a bad issue as the leads of Mur and Kay, along with their entwined dynamic are very compelling. Woodman has done a good job of portraying a seemingly ‘real’ relationship between the two, one which shows genuine care by one of the other. That said, more backstory on the two and why they love each other would have been welcome to really invest in both characters. Meanwhile, the events of the world, which almost act as a mcguffin to help push things along, could have had more focus as it does feel what’s going on is rather vague. That said, these are not flaws which are detrimental to the issues enjoyment and the final page cliffhanger is able to generate excitement for what is to come.
The art, meanwhile, is gorgeous, with Rupert Smissen’s style offering some clean, almost futuristic visuals. Smissen’s almost Mike Choi-esque art feels truly fitting for this tale, with the art having a very ‘Alex + Ada’ (another sci fi love story) look to it. Meanwhile the colours are incredibly striking, predominantly in the night scenes where the contrast of darks and lights gives the whole thing a ‘Deus Ex’ neo-noir type look. There is no better example of how wonderful Smissen’s art is than the beautifully poignant full page shot of the Mielniczuks’ hugging on the balcony, with the city glowing in the rain behind them. Of course, the issue isn’t flawless here as the double page spread of the scientific exposition scene was rather confusing, possibly needing to have been broken down into separate panels. However, this has little bearing on an otherwise gorgeous issue.
Future issue #1 is a good issue, even though it simply feels like setup for something greater to come. But, with Woodman having created interesting likeable heroines as leads and Smissen providing visually stunning work from one page to the next, this first instalment provides a solid foundation for this pair to create a truly compelling and memorable series.