Future: A story about a love as vast and unending as space

Future Graphic Novel Review

Writer: Tom Woodman

Art: Rupert Smissen

Letters: Aditya Bidikar

Editor: Lizzie Kaye

Published through Cast Iron Books

You may remember a little while back we reviewed the first chapter of Future and had a chat with the lovely Tom Woodman on the podcast. Now we are revisiting our favourite science couple and looking at the full, finished Future graphic novel. It’s a sight to behold.

So what is Future all about you may ask? A dying astronaut and her wife are shot forward through time to find her a cure, rewrite the future, and prevent humanity’s imminent self-destruction. However, the strongest thing I took from Future, is the love between Kay and Murray, and the lengths they go through to save each other. 

Kay and Murray hug in the rain,
This panel still, remains one of my absolute all time favourites

Saving a planet, and Kay’s whole world.

Kay and Murray Mielncizuk are absolutely dedicated to one another. In chapter one we we’re introduced to the characters but it isn’t until later that we learn more about them and see their time together. It makes Murray’s terminal diagnoses hit all that harder. The world around them is crumbling, it falls to Kay and Murray and an almost impossible mission to try and save everyone. However, whilst the time travel itself may have been a success, they time they arrive in is not what they had hoped. Time is running out, both for the world and for Kay and Murray. 

Writer, Tom Woodman, has crafted an impeccably complex storyline that weaves science fiction and love in a way that blends seamlessly. Both Kay and Murray are complex and complicated. These are not caricatures of women, but well fleshed out and flawed women. Kay has a filthy mouth, always swearing and desperately making jokes to try and relieve some of the strain. We feel her desperation. The nuances and complexities make us really feel for Kay and Murray. We WANT them to succeed and against all odds, survive. 

Through memories and flashbacks we see the life these two love birds created. They are perfectly paralleled with the action happening around them. At no point are we lost, the panels compliment one another in a way that keeps the pace of the story and reminds us how much is at stake. 

Timey-wimey space stuff

I will admit to have gotten a little lost amongst some of the more technical aspects within some panels and dialogue at first glance. Likely due to my total lack of science fiction knowledge. However, at no point did I feel “too dumb”, this is a complicated mission and these two? They are the best at what they do. Following along with them as a passenger, I was happy to let the scientific jargon flow and trust they would keep me safe. 

A visual triumph

As I said repeatedly in my earlier review of chapter one, artist Rupert Smissen is a genius. Future is absolutely gorgeous. The realistic, stylised art work compliments both Tom’s writing and Aditya Bidikar’s lettering. There is so much detail in every panel, we can only imagine how much time and dedication went into each panel. Smissen, imbues his characters of Murray and Kay with such strong expressions and personality. Even down to the differences in Murray as her illness worsens to when we see her in the flashbacks. No opportunity is missed. 

The success of the Future graphic novel comes as no surprise

Having launched onto Kickstarter at the beginning of October, under the watchful eye of editor Lizze Kaye and with new publisher Cast Iron Books behind them, they funded in a matter of days. Backers will not be disappointed when their copy of Future arrives. Not only is it a solid 128 pages, none of these pages are wasted. The level of quality from every member of the creative team is second to none. 

Future is complex and heartfelt, it is a graphic novel that will have you torn. Should you read it all in one sitting? Or should you, try, and savour it? I doubt, once you get started, you’ll be able to put it down. 

Go and back Future today!

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