Two stories comprise this issue of Futurama Comics. Neither intersect, but thanks to Ian Boothby's perfect balancing act, neither seems disconnected or disjointed. In the first interwoven tale, the Professor builds Bender Parent-Bots, and in the second, the Professor attempts to track down his stolen doomsday weapons.
Bender, it seems, always wanted parents, and while he has Mom, the harridan in charge of Mom-Corp Robotics among other subsidiaries, he must share her with other robots. The Professor builds Bender Parent-Bots, ostensibly to condition him into a less larcenous lifestyle.
Rosie in Disguise
Coincidentally, Bender's quality time with the very familiar looking Parent-Bots exonerates him of the crime he would logically be accused of. So, perhaps in a small way these two tales do touch base.
After Bender's exoneration, the Professor goes on a hilarious search for the true thief. He infiltrates Mom-Corps. In an absolutely perfect fusion of science fiction, pure comedy and characterization, he questions the Godfather Bot.
Meanwhile, the Parent-Bots fear that one Phillip J. Fry is a bad influence on their son. So they forbid him to see Bender and kick him out of his spacious closet-apartment at the Robot Arms.
For those not in the know, Fry lives in Bender's closet, which is roomier than Bender's actual abode. He's a robot. All he needs is a closet in which to sleep standing up with his eye-visor down. Fortunately, especially for Doctor Who fans, Fry gains another dimensionally transcendental residence. Another brilliant joke.
Back on the trail, the Professor recruits Leela to pilot the Planet Express Ship as he divines his hydo-based doomsday device; this will land a particularly wet punchiline in the conclusion. Boothby in the denouement pays off the reader's attention. The identity of the culprit makes sense and provides even more funny.
It's very difficult to review Futurama without giving away the jokes, but one thing that's easy to comment upon is the artwork. Lloyd unfolds a stunning visual narrative, perfectly paced and beautiful in Alan Hellard's colors, that also thanks to Andrew Pepoy follow the tight lines of the animated series. As well, Lloyd captures the personalities resulting in the illusion of hearing the cast's voices.
Sometimes Futurama is sweet. Sometimes it's adventurous. Other times it's both, but for these two intermeshed tales, the pure comedy knitted firmly to the narrative, the setting and the characters earns the book a perfect score.
Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups, where he reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.