‘Impossible Incorporated’ Reminds Us Science Fiction Can Be Fun

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Impossible Incorporated, a New Sci-Fi Comic from IDW

Impossible Incorporated #1

Cover art from Impossible Incorporated #1, via IDW
Cover art from Impossible Incorporated #1, via IDW

J.M. DeMatteis – Author

Mike Cavallaro – Artist, Cover Artist

A Girl, Her Team, and an Infinite Spiral

52 dimensions. 61 Universes. Impossible. Yeah, I know, but that’s the family business in Impossible Incorporated, a new, family-friendly (at least so far), sci-fi comic straight from brains of J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Cavallaro. It’s the tale of a girl, a boy, a missing parent, and “Jiminy Cricket with a hundred doctorates.”

Impossible Incorporated #1 introduces us to 17-year-old Number, daughter of super-genius Dr. Goliath Horowitz. We learn that she inherited her father’s company, the titular Impossible Incorporated. Their mission is to explore the cosmos and, by the start of the comic, they’ve mapped out fifty-two dimensions and sixty-one universes. Number and her team, Buddy Genius and Elias Walter, use the Non-Local Express, a vehicle of her father’s creation, to traverse the quantum sea and into the Infinite Spiral that leads to other worlds. This is how they explore new dimensions, parallel universes, and travel through not only space but time itself.

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Impossible, Incorporated seeks the truth about the universe, but right now the biggest truth that Number and Buddy both seek is the truth about Dr. Goliath Horowitz—how he disappeared and why. Buddy, an orphan rescued by Dr. Horowitz, has grown up with Number, thus he too views Dr. Horowitz as a father. For eleven years they’ve wondered about his mysterious disappearance. In Impossible, Incorporated #1 they’ve determined to use the Non-Local Express to find out.

There is a fine line between stubborn and determined, Number walks this line like a tight-rope, self-aware enough to keep it from ruining relationships but not so much that she is willing to abort the mission when faced with a Time Whiteout. It is that stubbornness that lands her and her team smack in the middle of nothing they’ve ever seen, facing the one thing none of them expected to find.

Cover art from Impossible Incorporated #2, via IDW
Cover art from Impossible Incorporated #2, via IDW

Impossible Incorporated #2

Stranded in the mysterious city of Conundropilis, a place composed of pure imagination, Number faces the most difficult discovery of her young life in issue #2 of Impossible Incorporated. Goliath Horowitz—or more accurately, a piece of him—explains what it was that happened on that fateful voyage eleven years ago. Despite his being bound irrevocably to the strangely shifting world that he has been trapped in, Dr. Horowitz encourages Number to find her real father, whom he calls Goliath Prime. With his assistance, Number and her team make the necessary repairs to the Non-Local Express. Once they have a way home, Buddy and Number come up with a plan that they hope will free Goliath from the grasp of Conundropilis. In spite of his doubt, Dr. Horowitz agrees to accompany them on the Non-Local Express, hoping to be reunited with Goliath Prime and finally return home with his daughter.

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Hope turns to pain as father and daughter discuss plotting a course around the Time Whiteouts and are suddenly faced with the reality that there are some laws that are immutable, as a fading Goliath exhorts them to find Goliath Prime, yet another catastrophe lurks on the horizon—one that involves not only the fate of Number and her team but of Time as we know it. The self-same universe-devouring threat that caused Goliath to shatter into thousands of pieces now threatens the very order of Time itself. Can Number and her team stop it before time collapses and everything they know and love is destroyed?

The art in Impossible Incorporated is so perfect for the story itself. Both the story and the art remind me of Silver Age comics. There is so much innocent idealism facing down threats that are larger than even the known universe. It’s science fiction from a time of expansive imagination and rich world building. Woven throughout is a philosophical, cosmic perspective on reality which hearkens back to an early era of science fiction, but don’t misunderstand me, this is not an outdated story, nor does it lack the intricacy of modern comics. This is one of those rare gems that has the potential to explore the quantum corners of the universe and examine the foundations of the human soul while being a fun adventure. I’m looking forward to issue 3 and to seeing if Impossible Incorporated can pull this off.

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