Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Futura - Chapter 16

If the previous installment of the Futura Saga recommended safety glasses when reading then full-body armor is required for this one!

In the earlier chapter that introduced the Space Pirate Queen Yrina, I maintained that Futura and the pirate are not all that different and may have easily followed different paths in their respective struggles to survive in the wild and woolly space lanes. Planet Comics #58 (January 1949) is a good example of Futura making the kind of decision that would realistically land her on a Most Wanted Criminal list for a reason other than the current case of mistaken identity.

On the run and trapped within the black market arms bazaar Futura offers as a distraction to her pursuers the kind of destruction one would expect from the criminal Yrina and not a displaced executive secretary. In the 1994 film Clerks some of the characters discussed the film Star Wars. They posited the idea that it was doubtful that everyone who was killed on the Death Star was an enemy combatant and that thousands of poor, working schmoes also met their deaths when the ship exploded. A lot of the staff that died were just contracted techs and pump-jockeys who just wanted jobs and to feed their families.

A similar sitation occurs in Chapter 16 of the Futura Saga. In her desperation to escape from the bazaar Futura purposely razes the market to the ground and causes massive chaos on both the ground and in the sky. Her actions undoubtedly caused the death of scores of people, some of whom being slaves and captives like herself, were not evil death-merchants and undeservedly perished. Futura is no stranger to wide-scale annihilation though. In a bid for freedom she destroyed a planet and the native population upon it on a previous occasion. When the people of Pan-Cosmos were wiped out she was at best acting with good intentions that went awry. At worst Futura was using the rebellion for her own selfish means, sacrificing two races of sentient beings just to gain access to a space ship. It is interesting that the events leading up to her escape from Pan-Cosmos and the bazaar reaped similar results and that two of the most evil characters in the strip, Omma and Yrina, have in common enough traits with Futura that they all chose the same path for escape.

Futura may have crossed a moral line in this installment but this kind of characterization is a positive one and gives Futura more depth and motivation, something that was sorely missing in all but a few early comic book serials. Futura's decisions make her a bit less two-dimensional and far more interesting as her character evolves from the simple kidnapped secretary she once was into a person of resolute means. If Futura still has designs on returning home to Earth then they are undeclared and she may have changed too much to ever go back to being the sexily-clad girl in the Compu-Steno pool. A career in spaceship piracy seems ever more likely for Futura.

Click to...Look out! Run!

4 comments:

  1. Thanx for the FUTURA update. I really enjoy your commentaries.

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  2. The cheesecake factor aside, the artwork in these Futura comics is just beautiful.

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  3. Thhe 'dizzy dame' look on Futura in the last panel kind of bugged me but I agree. For the most part very nice.

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