Thursday, June 23, 2016

Who's the Best... Comic Book Future?




Martinex1: Whether dystopian or utopian, which comic book future world is the most fascinating, well thought out, and creative?   Which future is the best?









16 comments:

Eric said...

I love the overall optimism of the Legion, but the future where someone like Kang would arise seems more likely. So often conflict tends to move humanity forward in terms of technology if not in terms of universal acceptance and understanding.

Humanbelly said...

Early on, I really LOVED quite a number of Set-In-The-Future series/stories-- DEATHLOK, KILLRAVEN, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, KAMANDI, FUTURE IMPERFECT (The Maestro)-- but I have to confess that the convention lost its shine for me quite some time ago. Examples of Grim, Dystopian settings far, far outweigh utopian ones. . . but honestly, neither is particularly interesting to me as an overplot device anymore. Both are extreme settings that seem to generate a lot of the same basic conflicts: simple struggle for survival in the former, and (usually) the struggle to be free from the subtle shackles of a "benignly" conformist society in the latter (LOGAN'S RUN, for example, maybe--).

My favorite? And in retrospect, the one I think may've been The Best? (Which I suppose could also have been part of yesterday's guilty pleasure conversation-): Tom DeFalco's MC2 Universe. Yup. Spider-Girl; J2; A-Next, etc. Set in a more predictably "real" world about 15 years down the road from whatever "current" Marvel was at the time (which, huh, would be right about. . . now!). Y'know, I've never been a huge fan of DeFalco's writing in general-- but I think this whole enterprise truly nailed what was most endearing and enjoyable about a lot of Bronze Age fare (and late Silver Age), right at a time when that sensibility was being abandoned with Titanic-like fervor. Conceptually, it was doomed, I suppose, because it was a "sequel universe" that was made almost immediately obsolete by the on-going activities in the original universe. And yet-- threads of it managed to hang on and on and on due to a small, but STAUNCH, fan-base that simply wasn't going to accept the final demise of Mayday Parker's not-too-dark, not-so-gritty 'verse.

Yep-- I'm callin' it the Best One.

HB

Colin Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edo Bosnar said...

Well, there's two ways to answer this: which one would I want to live in, and which generated the best stories?
To the first question I'd answer the Legion's future, because like with the Star Trek future, there's peace on Earth, a high quality of life for everyone and most of humanity's social ills have been successfully dealt with.
As to the second question, some great stories were told in the grimmer Guardians of the Galaxy future and also in Killraven's timeline (mainly the stories by McGregor and Russell).
To be fair, though, there was also some great stories told in the LoSH future, so maybe I'll just say declare the Legion's future as the overall best.

I'd also give a big honorable mention to the future world inhabited by Kamandi. As usual, Kirby did some outstanding world-building here, creating a great setting and storytelling device for all kinds of pitched adventures - it was like Planet of the Apes jacked up to 11. The only problem is that, as usual, Kirby seemed to lose steam as the series continued. (Personally, I'd love it if someone like Walt Simonson would do a Kamandi story and just run wild in that world...)

dbutler16 said...

I prefer the optimistic future, because there are hardly any! It seems like 99% of the futures are dystopian, not just in comics, but in movies as well. Inf fact, Star Trek and the Legion of Super-Heroes are about the only optimistic futures I can think of off the top of my head.

dbutler16 said...

Oh, and I prefer the Legion's future, or at least the pre-Crisis Legion. I love the conglomeration of manifold planets and species all getting along and helping each other, and I love the far out technology, the "clean" look of most things (though the "used" look of the Star Wars universe is awesome) and the optimism of that future.

William said...

I find that DC has the better vision of possible futures. Overall they seem to be much more optimistic and hopeful. While all of Marvel's futures seem to be of the Terminator/Matrix apocalyptic variety.

In almost every Marvel based future (with the exception of MC2) humanity is pretty much wiped out and/or enslaved by either giant robots, aliens, or evil overlords, etc. It's almost always dark and depressing and pretty much without hope. And the only chance for humanity is to somehow change the past so the horrible future doesn't ever happen. (This has become an extremely overused plot device in all forms of Sci-Fi entertainment).

However with DC, (if you don't count The Dark Knight Returns), most versions of the future are much more optimistic. Humanity is usually portrayed as more enlightened and advanced, as shown in such comics as Legion Of Superheroes.

My personal favorite DC future is probably Batman Beyond. In stark contrast to DKR, it portrays a much more hopeful outcome for an aging Bruce Wayne. He is still alive into his 80's and he finds a way to continue his fight against crime by enlisting a new apprentice to caring on the legacy of the Batman. I was prepared not to like the show when it was announced, but they did such a good job on it I ended up enjoying it very much.

Pat Henry said...

Gotta go with Judge Dredd and Mega City One. Even the all the Soviet era stuff still has a cool retro-wrong vibe to it.

Redartz said...

I'm joining Edo and the others in the Legion future. Science Police sound much more interesting, and less threatening, than the officers in more dystopian stories...

First real chhoice for a future would be the Jetsons (yes, I know, tv- but they were in comics too). After all this time, I'm still waiting for my flying car and automatic clothes-Putter-Onner...

Anonymous said...

I always had a hard time getting into future stories because they have no impact on the "mainstream" universe; that being said, I always loved the Legion, maybe because it was so detailed that it didn't need any mainstream connection since it was so self-contained.

@Colin Jones: I have relatives in England, but I haven't talked to them so I don't know how they're voting. Hopefully things work out well. By the way, I can't remember if you're a football fan or not, but congratulations on Wales getting through to the knockouts at Euro 2016! (And congrats to Edo too...Croatia's looking good!)

Mike Wilson

Edo Bosnar said...

Mike W., I don't get as worked up about the Euro and World Cups as much as I used to, but yeah, that last match against Spain was pretty exciting. Still a bit shocked that they took down the two-time defending European champions; we'll see if they can maintain that quality of play.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading Kamandi as a little kid and thinking, "Man, that would be a cool world to live in! Talking animals! No people! Weird wreckage all over the place. Intelligent alligators and wolves fighting over a swimming pool. It was a world similar to the one depicted it Thundar the Barbarian, which I believe Jack Kirby also worked on, and my favorite cartoon, next to Daffy Duck.
M.P.

Karen said...

I'll go with the Legion too. The future+ outer space+ teen-age super-heroes = awesome! Just loved that title in the 70s.

I will admit though that I really enjoyed the original Guardian of the Galaxy and their fight against the Badoon, as well as Deathlok, and Killraven too. but as I get older, dystopian futures lose their appeal to me. I want to be able to go down to the store and buy an ice cream sandwich -that's hard to do when the Martians have taken over.

Anonymous said...

Karen, I know how you feel. As I get older, I can't stand to watch horror movies anymore. When I see all the blood I keep picturing future knee and hip replacements.
M.P.

Rip Jagger said...

Always liked that in the debut Guardians of the Galaxy tale by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan that men from various planets in the solar system worked together to battle the Badoon invasion threat. There was something noble in men with such profound differences finding common ground, though admittedly they had a common foe. Not everyone these days is able to look beyond the differences of their fellow citizens to see that they have more in common that not.

Rip Off

Anonymous said...

Most of the Marvel 70’s writers, with the partial exception of RT, seemed to be trying to get as far away from Stan as possible, but I always thought GOTG had a Stan Lee feel to it. It seemed to make a similar point to Xmen, which is that we all fear change and that which is different, but that’s where our salvation ultimately lies. People who think in terms of racial ‘purity’ need to remember that evolution actually works the other way. I also like the fact that Vance Astro is not really the hero, just the viewpoint character.

I think I pick Killraven for one chilling plot point: right at the start there is a big secret which the Martians are desperate to keep quiet. It turns out to be that this is Earth and they are invaders, but because they have ruled for 100 years, no one remembers and humanity thinks it’s the Martians’ planet. They realise that if the truth were known, it would be the ultimate rallying cry. Which, of course, it becomes. Very Charlton Heston on the beach. I can’t think of any other future where no one remembers anything and no one even knows this world is ours. That’s really a long way from home.

Richard

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