Review & Spoilers:
FUTURE PROOF #7
By Paul Miranda
FUTURE PROOF #7
“Like an Invisible Hand, Singing” (22 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
As with pretty much every other comic reviewed on this site, I’m delving without any previous knowledge. Nevertheless, I’m really intrigued and want to dig through the back issues to process everything.
Four heavily moustachioed lawmen in black prepare for a shoot-out at the O.K. Corral. Yes, that infamous locale. Opposite them are five outlaws. The best of the West [Virgil Earp, his brothers Morgan and Wyatt, along with Doc Holiday] vs. the worst of the dirt [sibs Billy and Ike Clanton, brethren Frank and Tom McLaury, and Billy Clairbourne]. The bad guys have a one-man advantage. Grab, draw, click, shoot!!! The ballet of bullets lasts thirty seconds. Four wounded, three dead, two escapees.
Wait!! The quartet of justice are frauds!! Off come the false faces! They are time jumpers James Rison and Simon Magus joined by newbies Andy Lee and Bruce Buttons. The real McCoys [wrong reference ;-)] are sound asleep and tightly bound. To prevent further tampering of the timeline, they are deliberately wounded in the exact same places the others were. Their memories will remain intact. They’ll never perceive that they weren’t really in on the action. Luckily, the futurians quickly heal and go their separate ways.
The second story has the future Umbrella Man meeting his past self. He has crossed the space-time continuum so many times his true identity is lost to him. Don’t bother fretting about two versions of the same individual being side-by-side. It can’t get more surreal and metaphysical than this! The convo gets quite heady. That is to be expected since he/they has/have traversed the tunnels of time on numerous occasions. The older version wants to educate the young. Some things never change!! Questions are half-answered or redirected. In the end, the wiser of the two kills the inexperienced one. The lack of a scar from the slash inflicted on the junior not appearing on the senior is proof enough that they are not one and the same. Or are they???
Third snippet: Sitting Bull and his war council sit under the stars. The constellations are askew. The flashes of light produce Simon and James. The Natives converge on them. Wrong place. Definitely wrong time!
OMG!!! I’m really floored by this production!! I bought the first issue over one year ago but never even opened it up!! Ain’t it funny? I’m extremely grateful that Mr. Phillipson has identified all the players. Admittedly, I would never be able to determine the four men on the cover, let alone within the pages. Once I would have spotted the O.K. Corral, I would take to the world wide web. Even more gratifying is my introduction to the cast thanks to the identification. The Umbrella Man makes me think of X-FILES’ Cigarette Smoking Man since the main feature is what matters to establish a moniker. This book has an FBI-esque feel since Simon and James are special agents tasked with trying to make the world a better place various years at a time. The laws of sci-fi dictate that one can never alter events from the past to improve the present or to prevent an unpleasant future.
1963 seems to be the focal point. After digging around, I realize that the very first issue goes straight in media res to the ‘prevention’ of JFK’s assassination. Each issue presents two or three quick trips. The addition of the Umbrella Man adds mystery to the larger arc. Is he a rogue agent? An enemy? A saboteur to James and Simon’s efforts? This book is the best way to recap historical events in an entertaining way!! This should be the new curriculum in History classrooms.
Speaking of the Umbrella Man, he is a cog that has been loosened from the big wheel. His erratic lifestyle has unhinged him quite a bit. He admits to being chaos to the machine. He tells his de-aged self that he is an unseen presence gently pushing him along and subtly guiding him through his unheard voice. Excellent allusion to the title U.M. deliberately mentions the paradox and wants to entertain the notion that it may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
The official Bliss On Tap site provides informative bios on the creators. Brian Phillipson is president and co-founder of the company. His passion is alternative fiction. This sure applies here. I really enjoyed the dialogue between the two U.M.s The word “proof” is emphasized in their action. Plus, the elder Man is keeping true to his mantra.
Alex Cormack relishes in the bloodshed. I’m no prude nor am I squeamish but DDDAAAMMMNNN!!! I was taken aback a bit by the gore. Mankind’s history is rife with violence. The moustaches on the lawmen! The moustaches!! That takes the cake. Aside from definite distinctions, they might as well as be quadruplets.
Ashley Cormack is Alex’s wife. She kicks up a storm with the frenetic gunfire fight. The pained faces on each character’s face is most authentic!! The art is cartoony but it complements the absurd situation. U.M. has the crazed lunatic look down pat. Each explosion has more finesse than fireworks.
Alex Murillo is executive vice-prez of BOT. He accurately drops the sound effects and creates one that reflects its action. They range from BANG to ZZZ making them hilarious or horrific. The credits indicate that he is responsible for the book design. I am unsure if this refers to the simplistic logo and/or cover page.
Bliss On Tap has been doing the indie thing for the last eleven years. They are critically acclaimed for their first ever title: GOD the DYSLEXIC DOG. Gotta get my hands on that! Had I simply looked at the cover, I wouldn’t really be able to determine their symbol. I see the small pyramid that evokes the Illuminati but I would never imagine that the bigger shape is a cute canine with its paws on the food bowl. Their bibliography is extremely tiny (eight works) with FUTURE PROOF being the only on-going series albeit bi-monthly. I PLAY the BAD GUY just concluded its six-issue run.
In light of the chronological coordinating (or lack thereof), I leave with this: 1881, 1963, 1933, 1876, hut!! I give this book 9 out of 10. My head hurts -_-