Forever Forward #1 Advance Review: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Forever Forward takes the concept of time travel and turns it on its head, by having its main cast of characters simply continue to jump further into the future with each leap, rather than ever venturing into the past. As an opening salvo for the series, this introductory issue does well at setting the stakes and introducing us to the world of this time-traveling science fiction journey but does hit a stumbling block from time to time in chronicling the adventure of Dr. Lewis Moody and company.

The main character of this comic, the aforementioned Dr. Moody, has discovered time travel, though relatively speaking, he has simply been able to chronologically move mice for the briefest of moments into the future. Of course, like quite a few sci-fi stories, the best-laid plans go terribly wrong, as the scientist and a number of his friends find themselves being dragged into future timelines that seem to only grow worse. On its face, Forever Forward does an adequate enough job of laying out the premise, and getting the story moving at a breakneck pace, though the characterization of most everyone outside of Moody seems to suffer for it. There isn't a lot of meat on the bone when it comes to the supporting characters here, though that will most likely be addressed in future issues.

Moody himself feels like a combination of Reed Richards and The Doctor, attempting to make sure that his name is remembered in the annals of history while clearly suffering when it comes to his human connections as a result. Moody's design works here in its simplicity, with his long red scarf and unkempt appearance working to sell the time-traveling aesthetic of the mad scientist. 

The mystery laid out is a good one luckily, which works to keep readers guessing. The first locale that Moody and company find themselves is in the year 2055, wherein America has gone to war with itself and Russia has invaded the West. An interesting premise to be sure, though the gang doesn't linger long enough to really have it take hold and give the readers more of an emotional impact.

The artwork by Arjuna Susini is also something of a mixed bag as the penciler is able to convey a truly breathtaking double-page spread early on in the story, documenting Moody simply walking down a path in grandiose fashion, but will sometimes stumble when it comes to fully portraying the facial features of the story's characters. There are times when the art can really hit but when you look back at the characters and their lack of detail, they can throw a reader off. 

Forever Forward ends on a cliffhanger, but it ends so abruptly that you might find yourself questioning if the conclusion was intended to be the final page. The series needs to give both its characters and environments (or timelines) space to breathe and immerse the readers, though there are still some shining moments along the way. Moody makes for an interesting protagonist, especially in his shaky relationship with Natalie, but there simply isn't enough time given to lay out what makes the rest of the gang stand on their own.

While Forever Forward gives readers an interesting hook in its premise of flinging its heroes ever forward, there are more than a few rough edges that stop the Scout comic from hitting grander heights. The series has an interesting hook, but it's the sea around it that might stop it from reeling in bigger fish. 

Published by Scout Comics

On August 31, 2022

Written by Zack Kaplan

Art by Arjuna Susini

Colors by Brad Simpson

Letters by Jim Campbell

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Cover by Jacob Phillips