Future Quest Presents #2

Future Quest Presents #2

Future Quest Presents (2017-) #2

At the conclusion of Future Quest Presents #1, Space Ghost, his young protéges, and Igoo of the Herculoids were descending into the mine where the Space Force extracted the rare element that controls their power bands. The issue closed with the revelation of people living in the mine, and their leader Metallus. Now setting aside the fact that Metallus is a ridiculously cheesy name, even for Hanna-Barbera, I really hope they try to explain it. I’m sure they won’t but, by the end of issue #2, the name is a bigger stretch than it already was.
Meanwhile, back in the mine, Space Ghost and company work their way deeper into the caverns, encountering glowing carnivorous plants and a giant crystal monster. When they arrive at a massive pit, the group is forced to leave Igoo on the other side to fly across to the extraction site.
Upon arrival, they discover a statue, but the fallen Space Force officer at the base turns out not to be stone, but a corpse covered in years of dust. The rest of the statue then opens it’s eyes and manages to electrocute the group.
When they regain consciousness, Metallus treats them (and us) to a story, because that’s what supervillains do. We learn the details of what happened when the Space Force officers that were tasked with protecting the mine’s retrieval team were forced to abandon them to fight Omikron (which lead to the previous Future Quest storyline). The fact that Metallus and his followers are the abandoned workers isn’t a huge surprise, but the final page reveal is pretty cool.
As silly as the name Metallus is, and as much as he seemed like he would be a very clichéd villain, Jeff Parker seems to be growing him into a much deeper and more sympathetic character.  It’s a bit of a coin toss in my mind if I want to get my hopes up about him, but Parker’s writing has been consistently amazing with his treatment of the Future Quest universe, so who knows. Similarly, Ariel Olivetti’s art is wonderful. I mentioned in my review of issue #1 that the traditional heavy speech balloons were a blight on the very soft texture of Olivetti’s work. I still feel the same about that but I am, at least, starting to get used to it.
Future Quest Presents has so much potential. I’m loving the current Space Ghost storyline, but I’m concerned about what will happen after this arc.  Will they just cancel the series? Will they re-launch with a new #1 and a new storyline with different characters? The series is officially billed as Future Quest Presents, not Future Quest Presents: Space Ghost, so I hope they just keep running as a continuous series, even if they jump around to the other Future Quest characters.
This one is still sitting at 4 out of 5 for me. As much as I worry about the future of the series, I am also enjoying the here and now.
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