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Futurama Comics #26

Posted: Saturday, July 29, 2006
By: Ray Tate



"A Whole Lot of Leela"

Writer: Ian Boothby
Artists: Mike Kazaleh(p), Phyllis Novin(i), Nathan Hamill(c)
Publisher: Bongo

When Futurama returns to television, one hopes, that the powers that be offer Ian Boothby a chance to script. As this issue displays, he's fluent in the mythology of the show; all the attributes of the characters, the sci-fi aspects and of course the smart and funny attitude.

Boothby first turns a metaphor into futuristic reality. This kicks off a hilarious series of events, which also plays havoc with one of Superman's rogues, brilliantly reimagined by Mike Kazaleh.

The sequence foreshadows a Benderific blunder that in a hilarious take-off on the Hulk uses Leela as a prism to unwittingly pull her incarnations from different points of time. Thus, Leela, Baby Leela, Old Leela and the Teenaged Leela all occupy the future, with respect to Fry. Let the mayhem begin.

Most shows and comics that lack a time machine disguised as a police box inevitably fall on their metaphorical faces when trying to make time travel coherent. Even the various Star Trek series fail more often than they succeed. Futurama despite being essentially a humor series is one of the few shows that got time travel right, and the comic book continues the tradition.

We see in this book that if Baby Leela learns something, Leela becomes proficient. Teenaged Leela develops a crush on Fry, but Fry is gentlemanly enough to gently rebuff her advances, perhaps explaining Leela's feelings for Fry and she rebuffing his obvious attempts to move their friendship beyond.

While Boothby's ending lacks science fiction panache, it does make sense within the context of the story. The ending also very slyly makes use of a classic schlock technique, doubly so when one considers Bender.

Mike Kazaleh opens the story with a beautifully imagined non sequitur, in which the Planetary Express crew becomes something other while still maintining certain facets of their physical personalities. Kazaleh's job becomes increasingly difficult in the panels due to the choices of angles. Leela being a cyclops presents unusual challenges in perspective that Kazaleh meets. Novin's ink more than enhances Kazaleh's pencils, they also allow the future setting to gel. Hamill's colors make use of every ray of the rainbow and all the blends. Of particular note is the moment Leela becomes the prism for a split in time. Here all the creators' talents pull together.



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