Cartoon Alley: Reviews and commentary #12… Gordon Campbell

My Favourite ( Recent) Comic : Futura

How a girl with just a norm-plus intelligence quota, energo-efficiency and mating potential came to rule the universe
Review by Gordon Campbell

For me the re-emergence of this series has been a comics highlight of the past year. Futura was a Planet Comics saga that ran from 1946-1956. It told of how ordinary working girl Marcia Reynolds got snatched by aliens and then gradually – by force of circumstance and the untapped depths of her own feisty personality – became a sort of underdog warrior queen of the entire universe. I first became aware of Futura about 12 months ago on the terrific Lady.That’s My Skull website – which has now compiled all the links for Futura onto one invaluable page, which you can access here .

As the brain overlord who runs the LTMS site says, the Futura comic starts out in fairly conventional terms :

Marcia Reynolds, as Futura, was gorgeous, scantily clad, threatened by amorous bug-eyed monsters and tied up a lot. In fact, the story could easily be interpreted as both a dream by the character and a power-fantasy for the reader, the caveat being that the typical audience for the book was male and Futura usually extricated herself from difficult situations and often lead the charge into battle herself.

Boy, did she ever. Down the years, buccaneering space pirates and inbred, hyperbrained aliens alike never did come to realize that all Futura needed – from chapter one onwards – was the slightest glimmer of a chance of escape and blammo, she’d have the bad guys or girls on the deck, in an instant. (Much like the way Linda Hamilton escaped from custody in Terminator 2 armed with only a paper clip and an iron will.) The fearlessly impulsive side of Futura gradually – as the story evolved – helped transform her into an absolutely kick-ass feminine action hero. Once you’re into the story, it is compulsive stuff. Good writing and great art work too – not always, but consistently enough, especially during the last half as the story really kicks into stride.

So….all praise to Lady, That’s My Skull for bringing this gem back into daylight. Right now, the site is just starting to give the same treatment to another great Planet Comics series from the Golden Age : Mysta of the Moon. You can read the 1945 origin sequence that kicks off Mysta’s story right here :

But for now, its back to Futura. Here’s a few panels from chapter one to get you started, and then just follow the links on the LTMS meta-page cited above for the subsequent ten years of the story :