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Futurama #21

Posted: Saturday, October 15, 2005
By: Ray Tate



"More Than a Filling!"

Writer: Eric Rogers
Artists: John DeLaney(p), Andrew Pepoy(i), Joey Mason(c)
Publisher: Bongo

“Good news, everyone! Futurama’s back!”

At least in comic book form.

Writer Eric Rogers provides the feel of a big Futurama episode that starts out small from a quirk involving Fry. This time, it’s not his “special, special brain” provides the trigger. Instead, the catalyst can be found in his teeth.

This is really just an astounding story that’s so fitting of the series, that you hear all the cast speaking the dialogue. Rogers touches upon every little titbit of Futurama continuity.

Bender still can’t cook worth a damn. His larcenous impulses—the robots of Futurama lack positronic brains—become a running joke. His body cavity holds more things than the Doctor’s voluminous pockets and provides the completely contrived climax. Contrived and Convoluted are actually good words with regard to the Matt Groening cosmos.

Professor Farnsworth often builds useless inventions. These inventions often involve pain because at heart the Professor is a completely mad scientist. His senility often adds to the problem and generates hilarious procrastination that sets up the second act.

Captain Zap Brannigan is like Hal Jordan raised to twenty-eigth power. He’s a bellicose complete horn dog that is completely incompetent at his job. Though there’s plenty of incompetence to be doled out at DOOP headquarters. Kif is the only member of DOOP that possesses a single gray cell, and Rogers gives him the peace that he deserves. Rogers trades Kif’s position with that of a more obscure Futurama cast member.

Rogers basically ticks off a list of everything that makes a massive Futurama episode seem like a small movie. Amy being “Splawtastic?” Check. Fry and Leela coming ever so close to consummating their relationship. Check. Ludicrous aliens invading earth. Check. At the same time, this doesn’t seem mechanical because Rogers takes in account the continuity of Futurama and mines jokes based on that continuity.

For instance, anybody who has seen an episode of the series knows that celebrities and historical figures have been cloned; their normally friendly bodiless heads float in jars. Rogers takes a different approach. Faithful fans of the series know Morbo’s personality, and Rogers adds a little unexpected something to the Paul Blaisdale inspired alien’s repertoire.

John DeLaney and Andrew Pepoy easily transport the characters from screen to the two dimensional pages, and DeLaney doesn’t shy away from unusual perspectives of the characters. For example, in one scene we see Fry not in profile or off center but straight on. They in addition create characters that suit the Futurama universe. As far as I know, the robot dentist has never appeared on the show, but Delaney makes it seem as if he stepped off of Mom’s Friendly Robot Company’s assembly line. The invading aliens are another novelty, yet they easily take into consideration the whacked out designs of the Groening future.

Futurama was not always about comedy, but sometimes the artists and writers would throw in dramatic bits that absolutely shouldn’t have been placed in the scene. This would mutate a merely amusing scene into a gut-busting scene. Andrew Pepoy enhances the comedy of the comic book by creating dramatic shadows and effects in the inks that simply have no reason to exist given the tone. One must also not forget the colors of Joey Mason. Futurama was one of the most colorful shows on television, and the comic book does a great job in following its footsteps. Mason like his fellow artists does not merely pick and choose what colors match. He sometimes has to consider what will work on an original character or object to blend with the candy coats of Matt Groening’s best series.



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