Monday, June 14, 2010

Futura - Chapter 18

Planet Comics #60 (May 1949) brings the eighteenth chapter of Futura. With only four more issues to go until the end of the Futura Saga this issue continues the final story arc that began in issue #59. In this installment Futura is still stranded on the planet Oceania and is once again briefly considered to be the play toy of a hoodlum. Her character is much more haughty and Futura initially acts as if she expects to be treated with a certain deference and respect.

This trait may or may not be a bluff on the part of Futura, who, finding herself the captive of a tyrannical hoodlum, begins to act more like her nemesis Yrina the Space Pirate. This real or effected persona meets with negative results and the former office secretary is forced to revert back to her tried and true method of beating the living crap out of everyone around her.

Futura's sometimes unintentional collateral damage to civilians aside for the most part she is trying to survive as a lawful person in an area of lawless space. Constantly attacked or targeted Futura nonetheless tries not to give back in kind. The universe, however, doesn't particularly care about the best of intentions. Through no real fault of her own Futura has been enslaved, hailed as a rebel leader and worshiped as the savior of an oppressed people. It is her fight to be free, regardless of the path the creators have taken, that is most interesting.

Futura's creative team never really addressed her motivations because in the disposable format of comic books of the era action was preferred over lengthy characterization. Particularly with Futura since the story features a strong, capable though dubiously ethical, female character who usually does not rely on Space-Rangers or love interests to save her. One of the real pleasures in reading Futura is gleaning the deeper story from the sometimes admittedly wandering storyline. What I've taken away from reading Futura is that what has been expressed earlier; it is a fact that often messiahs are hazardous to the health. Yet even more dangerous are those in the process of empire building.

2 comments:

  1. Thanx for more Futura! The sea dragon on the lower left panel of page 4 looks very familiar. I seem to recall an almost identical pose (tho flopped) for a sea monster in a Saturday Evening Post story of the mid-to-late 1950s (not "The Foghorn"). I assume if there was any influence, it was either the Sat Ev artist basing his critter on this, or perhaps both have a common artistic ancestor.

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  2. No telling without major research. The interpretive dance while blasting sea creatures panels from the previous issue certainly seems to have used photographs or other drawings not as a swipe, but rather art and model reference.

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