"Rotten to the Core"
Writer: Eric Rogers
Artists: John Delaney(p), Andrew Pepoy(i), Nathan Hamill(c)
I can't tell whether Futurama Comics is a send-up or a respectful nod to the underrated sci-fi flick The Core. I'm going to go with a very cool, mostly straight-faced adventure, which neatly takes Fry, Leela and Bender to the center of the earth to avert a disaster.
Eric Rogers story takes the secret premise of Futurama and The Simpsons. Each character in each tier of each show are not jokes. They tell jokes, but they are characters who can in the right hands exhibit depth, dimension or in this case act as true heroes who save the world.
The risks in Eric Rogers story bear weight. The way in which Fry and Leela combat these hazards makes sense within the framework of the story. The dialogue is just basically good dialogue that could have been supplanted to any good adventure story. Certainly the cast create comedy, but its of a kind that arises from the characterization rather than simple gags.
The artwork while keeping in line with Matt Groening goes far beyond the simple funny fests. Like Futurama, Futurama Comics looks like it spent money from a big budget. The crystal cavern--imagined The Core--and the piping hot inner works of the earth look magnificent, thanks in no small part to colorist Nathan Hamill, and retain the inherent cartoon lattice on which the jokes and appearance of the series hangs. Delaney and Pepoy pose and shadow Fry and Leela heroically in the action sequences to give their scenes more substance and resonance.
You can call "Rotten to the Core" a witty spoof of a strong science fiction action adventure story, but Eric Rogers tale of torrid terrors also can be taken as quirky sci-fi with heroes and villains and miscreants that fall somewhere in between. Impressive.
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