The Futurists #1
Written by Patrick Stiles
Illustrated by Butch Guice
Allegiance Arts & Entertainment
Separated by War. United by a Curse.
India, 1866. Stricken by an insidious curse, three desperate and dangerous foes race to unearth the secrets of the lost land of Shambhala. In their way is Teddy Gunn, a treasure-hunting rogue with a dark secret who must save the family he left behind. To rescue his daughter from a dark magic, Teddy must forge an unlikely alliance with Harij, a beguiling young shaman who is much more than he seems. Together, they will navigate a war-torn landscape and face terrifying monsters, murderous cults, macabre plots, and the exotic mysteries of an ancient land.
I kinda hate to say this, but The Futurists is my least favorite comic from Allegiance so far. I guess one of them HAD to claim that title, but I didn’t expect it to be this one. And just let me say right away, that I didn’t hate it at all. I just felt a little let down by the company’s excellent track record, and the book’s rad cover.
But sadly, there’s very little similarity to either of those things in the pages of premier issue of The Futurists. The art within is darker in color and tone, and has none of the familiar cartoonish feel that I enjoyed so much in their previous series. The level of detail is still high, the action is still clear, and the characters are still consistent and solid. It’s not bad, at all. I simply don’t like the style as much.
The story isn’t exactly bad either, just less focused than their other books, and somewhat less interesting. There’s a fantastic set up in the first few pages, and then the story trails off to be something completely different. And neither of those are about the future! The story it does tell is fine, but it’s nothing like what I expected from the title, or the cover. Very little swashbuckling action, hardly any butt kicking heroines, and no robot cat. I’m sure it will all tie together at some point, but in the mean time, I’m left wandering what happened.
Lately, I’ve seen some excellent work from Allegiance. The Futurists fails to achieve that. Had I read it first, I would probably say this is a perfectly average comic, maybe a little better than most. But I know this company is capable of so much more, and that’s a huge let down. I’ll keep an eye on future issues, but I’m not nearly as excited for it as I am for Norah’s Saga or Red Rooster.
Whole Lotta Past for a Comic Called The Futurists
And I know that may seem nitpicky, but I really feel it's exactly where this issue misses the mark. It's not bad by any means, but it doesn't deliver on the promise the premise makes. Maybe we'll get there later in the series, but the debut is stuck in the past.