Review: The Futurians by Dave Cockrum #1

The Futurians by Dave Cockrum #1 cover
Cover by Dave Cockrum

The Futurians by Dave Cockrum #1
Published by Lodestone and © Dave Cockrum, October 1985

Title: “Aftermath!”
Synopsis: Following a meteor bomb attack on Earth, the Futurians search for their missing loved ones – and find something terrible instead!

Writer: Dave Cockrum
Penciler: Cockrum
Inker: Ricardo Villagrán

Review: Despite the increased freedom offered by the expanding direct market, many publishers – and creators – seemed content publishing more of the same-ol’, same-ol’ superhero comics. Still, how cool is it to see Dave Cockrum – part of the creative team that basically set the template for the Bronze Age’s superhero offerings – take the helm of his own creator-owned series. While Cockrum’s art here is past its X-Men prime (and Ricardo Villagrán is not the best pairing as inker), this is an enjoyable, professionally crafted superteam tale. It’s also clearly a labor of love, which sets it above similar contemporary fare.

Grade: B

Second opinion: “Fairly satisfying superhero fare.” – John Parrish, Fantastic Fanzine #11, October 1985 … “Dave Cockrum (as writer) has put in a lot of imagination where it counts, making the comic a fresh read, with solid characters and plots.” – The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003

Cool factor: The Futurians all feel like they could join the X-Men or the Legion.
Not-so-cool factor: Doctor Zeus and Hammerhand – heroes revived from Dave Cockrum’s fandom days – don’t feel ready for the big leagues.

Notable: Also include a one-pager titled “The Harris Girls” by Mike Harris.

Character quotable: “For Channel Four News, this is Dickie Dinsdale, hoping that we’re all still here tomorrow. Good night.” – Dickie Dinsdale, news broadcaster, offering a pretty good summary of the mess on Earth-Cockrum

A word from the writer/artist/creator: “One becomes reluctant to give away characters to a company so they can get rich while you get a wart on your nose. Witness the new X-Men.” – Dave Cockrum, excited to be introducing characters in this creator-owned book, on the “Once and Future Fishmuffins” page in this issue

Editor’s note: This review was written July 28, 2021.

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