Future Foundation #5 Review

by Charles Martin on December 18, 2019

Future Foundation #5 Review
Writer: Jeremy Whitley
Artist: Alti Firmansyah
Colourist: Tríona Farrell
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The Future Foundation's current adventure ends with a super-heroic version of an escape room. Everybody's trapped in a pocket dimension with no way out other than what they can cobble together with their smarts and superpowers.

They do the trick, of course. Bentley's tendency to swipe up unattended gadgets and artifacts gives the team the technological base it needs. 

Their other requirements are capably filled by their two newcomers, Rikki and Lyja. Though the Powers siblings get very concerned about the fact their escape trick has potentially-fatal consequences for at least three people, their fears don't really make the jump to us readers. 

Besides working through the escape room plot, Jeremy Whitley's script has three other jobs: A thorough re-introduction of Lyja, an explanation of Rikki's presence, and a hoo-rah rescue moment when Julie saves Rikki. 

The first stumbles a bit as the script grapples with condensing the complexities of her backstory. Even given a large share of this issue's attention, Lyja really is a little too complicated to explain succinctly.

The second job -- explaining Rikki -- is handled better thanks to Artie and Leech doing the heavy lifting. They make a solid, heartwarming point that reveals some wonderful stuff about the way Franklin went about rebuilding the multiverse.

The final job also scores well on the heartwarming front. If you were rooting for Julie and Rikki to get together, this issue will satisfy in a big way.

On the visual side, Alti Firmansyah and colourist Tríona Farrell hang onto their established tone, cartoony but polished. The palette inside the escape room (Bentley's pocket dimension) is heavy on greens, but flashbacks and Julie's powers provide some nicely-balanced peeks into other parts of the spectrum.

Ms. Firmansyah's style is well-suited to the issue's hefty serving of action, and she does a commendable job keeping the flow of the story clear. A significant chunk of this issue is set in zero gravity, which could be potentially confusing, but the artist makes it an asset rather than a drawback.

(The incredibly well-defined ab muscles were a bit distracting, though! Looks like the Future Foundation spends all its non-adventuring time doing zillions of crunches.)

As I mentioned above, this final issue comes with a life-or-death escape plot, but it doesn't convey any real sense of risk to the reader. Setting aside the fundamental unlikelihood of a Future Foundation miniseries racking up a body count, Lyja's sequence inevitably slows down the pace and defuses the issue's tension.

This is hardly a fatal problem, though. Lyja's scenes may not be completely satisfying, but they do more than enough to make her continued presence welcome. 

Future Foundation #5 takes a stab at injecting some last-minute tension into its story. It works better as a celebration of the characters involved, and while not every character gets equal attention, those in the spotlight are treated very well by the words and art.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
Mr. Whitley deserves hazard pay for diving into the Heroes Reborn mess and not losing his way.