Brilliantly Inane: Futurama Issue 55

If there’s one thing Futurama is great at, it’s kooky plot twists. For proof of that, just watch the Futurama movie Bender’s Big Score. As it turns out, the comic book spin-offs can come up with some real humdingers too.

Futurama issue fifty-five seems familiar at first. It’s three separate vignettes tied together by a framing sequence. It starts out with the Planet Express ship being destroyed for the umpteenth time. Fry, Bender and Leela escape at the last minute in separate pods.  Each character then has their own adventure, all based on popular movies.

Fry’s tale is essentially the Gary Cooper classic western High Noon, except inverted. Instead of being a courageous sheriff, Fry winds up a cowardly deputy who has to protect the town from an outlaw gang, which he does in the most ridiculous way imaginable.

Bender is jettisoned off to a world that’s an obvious parody of the Mad Max franchise, complete with a Mel Gibson look-alike.

Finally, Leela lands on a planet closely resembling Pandora in Avatar, where the blue-skinned aliens are called “the Naive.”

Here’s where the brilliantly inane science-fiction twist comes in (spoiler). They’re all on the same planet! As it turns out, each character landed on the same planet, just a few days apart. Fry’s actions in the western town catalyzed civilization to turn into a post-apocalyptic world, which then, thanks to Bender, returned to nature prior to Leela’s arrival.

Nerdlingers like myself will notice in this plot twist an example of entropy, the physics theory that any foreign element added to a closed system will lead to chaos and eventually to a heat-death. Fry, Leela, and Bender are the foreign elements, and the people of the planet are wise to boot them out before they cause huge damage.

People who aren’t nerdlingers will at least enjoy the movie references.

Overall, a fun issue!

New episodes of Futurama air Wednesdays at 10pm on Comedy Central. The Futuarama comic is published bi-monthly.

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