FUTURE PROOF #8
“Tomorrow is Already Here” (24 pages) [no ads]
Created by: Brian Phillipson & Alex Murillo
Written by: Brian Phillipson
Art by: Alex Cormack
Colors by: Ashley Cormack & Alex Cormack
Lettering & Book Design by: Alex Murillo
Cover by: Alex Cormack
Publisher: Bliss On Tap
Cover Price: $3.99
Soldiers and Indians don’t mix. Well, the exception applies if you’re two travellers who play fast and loose with the space-time continuum. Immediately after the events of last issue, James and Simon land exactly where they’re supposed to: the eve of Custer’s Last Stand.
To save their own hides, they affirm Sitting Bull’s vision. An attractive woman (Bull’s daughter?) approaches the duo. They’re not the skywalkers he was expecting but if they convincingly come across as firewalkers, their lives as spared. The test is misinterpreted when pretty boy James thinks he has to bust a move.
The trial is over. Several peace pipes are smoked. ALERT!! ALERT!! Synchronization of the timeline is askew with Simon’s overenthusiastic gesture of high-fiving the Lakota. Shaking off his high, he is approached by the drop dead gorgeous native and two become one!! Blonds do have more fun!
Simon might be a tad jelly over what happened but the mission needs to be carried out. Predictably, General George Armstrong Custer sounds the bugle and charges forward with his troops. Simon and James have faint face paint and feathers around their head. Cheapest costumes ever. At any rate, Custer is in for a rude awakening. He is oblivious to the massive ambush awaiting him and his men.
It isn’t long before the severely lopsided army engages the enemy. Gore galore!! The sheer numbers of the tribe grants them a bloody victory. James and Simon surround the General. The silhouette depicts them as Natives. They aver their homegrown status. Custer is beyond confused but that point is moot as he’s blown to bits.
The celebration is cut short. The nomadic twosome must move forward backward. James’ main squeeze longingly looks at him before they vanish. Little does he know that he made his mark on her – she pats her belly. Baby bump imminent!! Once they rematerialize, they are strangers on a train.
Epilogue: the Umbrella Man comes across Jim Morrison (yes, that Jim Morrison) at a cocktail bar in L.A. They clink bottles of beer as the casual conversation leads to an eye-opening understanding. Duh duh duh!!!
Having only been exposed to this series with the previous issue, I was hooked! As I stated in the preceding review, time travel is a concept that grabs me by the throat!! The possibilities are infinite. Literally!! One minor change creates a completely different canvas. What I really relish is the historical accuracy tweaked to the masterminds’ liking. That in itself is an obvious statement but it is what provides the appeal to this genre of sci-fi. I have yet to read the other six issues but there’s a motif here with the focus on cowboys and the original settlers of the USA.
I’m scratching my head as to why the futurians directly involved themselves in Custer’s demise. The man was fated to lose either way. Aside from avoiding being scalped (Easy! I know that’s not entirely accurate), I surmise that they had to bide their time before the next jump. Thus, they proved themselves the Lakota’s saviours. What a slap in the face for Simon!! He got a piece of the action but not a piece of [censored!] Natch
Claim to shame: Historical records indicate that Custer only had 208 troops versus the varying number of 2000-3000 warriors. The crushing defeat and gruesome demise overshadow all of his other accomplishments.
Neglecting one’s duty: It is reported that Frederick Benteen did not respond quickly enough to Custer’s orders to provide extra ammunition. This may have contributed to the infamous Last Stand. He provides narration during the bloodbath. The fact that he comments on disobedience among the soldiers is highly ironic.
Pocahontas she is not! Who is this alluring Amerindian?
Running Man: Definitely not James’ native appellation.
Brian Phillipson must be a history buff! Why else produce a series rich in possibilities?? I myself have a mild fascination with the subject and am excellent at recalling specific dates. It is unfair to Mr. Phillipson to providing my second critique without having read his six stepping stones. Nevertheless, I see the mischievous nature prevalent in the two protagonists. They may work for a serious organization and have the most paramount responsibility but why not let your hair down while at it?? The situations themselves are outrageous. Therefore, the coping mechanism should equate that.
I enjoy the meta-textual context in the main story and the epilogue. James broke the number one rule (or whatever number it is): he told Custer point blank [pun intended!] that he and James are timewalkers. My eyebrows almost hit my hair when Jimbo realizes that the Umbrella Man is a time traveller :0 Was the lead singer on drugs or completely sober?? There has to be a follow-up to this!!
Alex Cormack killed it. Literally! He provides five glorious gory-ous pages of ultra-violence!! Sixty blood-soaked panels in all. He must have gone to the O.R. for severe hand cramping. I cringed. I squirmed. I convulsed. Both sides received their due. Custer’s look of fear and confusion is the ultimate antithesis for an established veteran. A parade of prizes for illustrating 10,000 Little Indians!!
Ashley Cormack assists her husband most skillfully. She still must be seeing red after splattering those sixty panels. Custer’s blondness stands out. His smirk is short-lived.
Alex Murillo gets to relive his childhood with the progressive POW!s The dialogue and narration boxes leave much wiggle room. I find the font a bit too small and wonder about the enormous space within the thought bubbles.
What comes next? The time and place indicate Baltimore, MD, 1849. Without looking up anything, I already know that they will pay a visit to Edgar Allan Poe four days before he departs this plane of existence. SPOILER!! Having an English degree comes in handy >_^ Here’s to more time out of joint. I give this tale another 9.5 bullets.
This review was made possible thanks to my abso fave local comic shop: