60 years of Jonny Quest history will all come into play in this summer's comic reboot of the classic cartoon

Jonny Quest #1 interior art
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Jonny Quest will be the next comic revival of a classic cartoon to debut at Dynamite Entertainment, following the success of the publisher's ThunderCats and Space Ghost comics. And like Space Ghost, Jonny Quest brings back a beloved Hanna-Barbera action property in a new, modern comic book context. 

At the helm is writer Joe Casey, who is joined by rising star artist Sebastián Píriz for an adventure that Casey promises will put a new spin on the fan-favorite Quest family while also digging into all the classic concepts, villains, and supporting characters of the original cartoon.

Newsarama caught up with Casey ahead of Jonny Quest #1's August 14 release, digging into what fans can expect from the new story, which led off with a cliffhanger set up in Dynamite's Free Comic Book Day 2024 anthology. We've also got some interior pages from Jonny Quest #1.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Newsarama: Joe, I've been a fan of your work for years now, and to me, you've got a knack for embracing classic stories and characters in a way that defies the nostalgia of them while still adding to them. How does your new Jonny Quest comic play into that idea?

Joe Casey: Well, I certainly appreciate the compliment, but I think that all I'm ever trying to do is a combination of staying true to the characters, making sure they're recognizable to folks who might've been reading (or watching) them for years, and maybe digging in and peeling back a layer or two of characterization that might not have been previously considered. 

It's never just about nostalgia. With Jonny Quest, these characters occupy an archetypal space that doesn't seem affected by the passage of time. The relationships are still dramatically potent, their mission still has genuine relevance, so leaning into those things - in this case, for sure - is relatively easy.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Was Jonny Quest a character you sought out? What's your history with the character and cartoon?

I didn't seek it out, I was simply offered the gig. Of course, I knew the original 1964 TV show from my childhood... but equally as impactful on me personally was the 1980's  comic book series published by Comico, written by the great William Messner-Loebs and drawn by a wide array of killer artists.

The concept of Jonny Quest has lent itself to its share of parodies and satirical takes that are now beloved stories of their own. How do you approach the expectation of some level of self-awareness in a modern take on these characters while also acknowledging the legacy that Jonny Quest has had?

We're basically playing it straight, taking the characters and the concept pretty much at face value. Having said that, there is a certain brand of self-awareness that we're exploring in this series. Considering the specifics of our first story arc, it's kind of unavoidable. 

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

You hinted at the larger story of your upcoming Jonny Quest run in the FCBD story. What can you tell us about what we're seeing in that cliffhanger ending?

Not much, to be honest. That would probably spoil the fun. But that final page is really the first big twist in the opening story arc. But don't worry... all is revealed in issue #1. After that, the real adventure begins.

Sebastián Píriz is one of my favorite artists right now, and he feels like the exact right fit for Jonny Quest. How has it been working with him? What does having an artist like him on board allow you to do as a writer?

At this point, I couldn't imagine working on this book with anyone but Sebastian. He's bringing so much to each page, each panel... It's almost like he was born to draw these characters. 

From the very first page, we both seemed to know exactly the right tone to strike in order to evoke the spirit of the show but still give it the energy of kinetic, modern comic book storytelling. 

Not to mention, Sebastian's style is right in line with the work that Doug Wildey and Alex Toth did on the original series... while still maintaining his own look. 

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Jonny Quest is a property with tons of well known villains and supporting characters, even outside the core Quest family. How many of those old villains and allies will we be seeing going forward?

Again, without giving anything away, we're touching on all of it, in one way or another. 

What do you want to say both to fans of the classic Jonny Quest who are happy to see the return of an old favorite, and to readers who may be looking at this as their first introduction to the character?

For any true blue fans out there... We've worked really hard to honor the original material and give them everything they could possibly want out of a Jonny Quest comic. 

For any new readers - and I hope there'll be a few out there - we hope to deliver something that really gets them hooked on the characters and the concept.

Read all about the best non-Marvel/DC superhero universes.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)