21st Century Fox (no relation to the entertainment conglomerate or its parent company) by Scott Kellogg is a science-fiction Furry Comic that calls itself a "Romantic Comedy of the Future". Takes place in the year 2066, but every animal down to insects is sapient. Characters include Jack Black (no resemblance to the actor), a red fox and traveling robotics engineer; Cecil Stewart, a giraffe and Jack's partner in his travels; Jenny Curtis, a rocket scientist vixen who starts dating Jack (after getting over her abusive ex), and Barb Kendall and Beth Regina, giraffe programmers who are both enamored with Cecil (and now both married to him, see below). Has many, many shout outs. Also several cameos from other comics, most often Freefall, The Suburban Jungle, or Newshounds.
This comic provides examples of:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Robots using the Roykirk 2.0 operating system have... issues. From spontaneous singing to throwing horses out into space.
- The Alleged Car: Jenny's uncle Red has a homemade van made out of wood, which terrifies both Jack and Jenny's dads following a grocery run. And then Jack's uncles get hold of it.
- All Hail the Great God Mickey!:
- We're not told if the anthropomorphic animals have supplanted humanity (as the Ape religion teaches) or stand-in for them entirely (as most other religions teach), but Disney movies have a cult dedicated to them. Its tenants are that everyone is a god and therefore should act the way they think the capital-G God would act towards people, and that Ludd Was Right because Science Is Bad. This leads to a lot of terrorism from them, but just as many are decent folks, largely from how they interpret the "scriptures." Which are the Disney Animated Canon.
- It's unclear if the feline religion is an offshoot of Disneyism, but they have two major sects founded by the opposing prophets Kimba and Simba
- Primates (or at least the Ape Supremacists from the submarine salvage arc) worship nuclear bombs, thinking that the Pre Cursors wiped themselves out with them, and the resulting fallout of that nuclear war caused animals to evolve into people.
- Alt Text: It seems to have been dropped sometime around April 2008; before then, some comics had different alt text for each panel.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Jack is staggering into the kitchen when he discovers that not only his parents, but Jenny's parents as well as a crowd of relatives have arrived here.
- Amoral Attorney: Willy Nixon, as well as a thief and hacker.
- Animals Not to Scale: Generally averted, though Veronica the vampire bat was originally the same size as the foxes. Later revised to a more realistic mouse size.
- Art Evolution: Compare the ancient archaeology strips to a more recent one.
- Artificial Limbs: Tora Scobee's right eye, right arm, right shoulder, spinal column, pelvis, tail, and both legs.
- Artificial Meat: Scientifically Produced Animal Matter.
- As the Good Book Says...: On more than one occasion, a robot has been told, "Well done, good and faithful servant." This is a quotation from the Gospel according to St. Matthew.
- When Dr. Fayette Cavor is helping Dr. Carlson make up his mind about an unfaithful girlfriend, she quotes St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, and asks Dr. Carlson if he thinks his girlfriend is capable of such a thing. This convinces him to dump his girlfriend for good.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: The entire cast—but Jack still gets offered a Shoe Phone at one point.
- Big Eater: After his experience of Amazingly Embarrassing Parents (and hiding under the bed because of it!), Jack tells what both families are doing at that moment... eating like a large family would!Jack: We don't have relatives... we have LOCUSTS.
- Brain Uploading: Dr. Roykirk attempted to create a superintelligence based on his own brainscans, but it decided it knew better than his egomaniac self. While Kaledistan runs a 40-year old personality reconstruction of their "supreme leader" that was designed for celebrities.
- The Cameo: Too many to list here. Mostly cast members of the author's friends' comics.
- Camp Gay: A certain dog falls for Jenny while believing her to be Ace. He shows her a photo of himself "cosplaying" Pinkie Pie naked. But he must not be all gay, because when he learns she's female, he replies, "Nobody's perfect."
- Carnivore Confusion: It's perfectly acceptable to kill and eat another sentient being, but predation was temporarily banned in one arc due to the invention of a genetically modified organism without a nervous system called SPAM (Scientifically Produced Animal Matter).
- Catchphrase: Various animals have exclaimed, "Johnny Freakinouter!"
- Church of Happyology: The Disney Fundamentalists, especially John Walker Bambi's sect.
- Cloning Body Parts: Cloned replacement parts are available but Tora Scobee opted for bionics instead because he couldn't stand to be out of commission for several months, even though he later came to hate being a cyborg. After the Disneyist arc he was implied to at least start looking into cloning.
- Compound-Interest Time Travel Gambit: The crew of station "Tsing Tsingatsong" are planning this through the use of cryogenics.
- At least until Jack hacked into their bank accounts, emptied them, and donated it all.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Back in her school days, Dr. Cavor was a member of her school's orchestra. Artillery section. At least she was reasonably well suited to her instrument.
- An early story arc has Jack and Cecil hide from a hurricane under a bridge with Dover (a cheetah who can only talk in the BASIC or Hypertext Markup programming languages) from The Suburban Jungle
- Sabrina and Zig-Zag cameo at various points; albeit not always together.
- Sam, Florence, and Helix are seen separately at various points.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Averted, apparently any personality changes are due to post-traumatic stress disorder, though there is some prejudice against cyborgs.
- Designer Babies: Gamete screening has been commonplace in first world countries for a couple generations, though it wasn't available in Cecil's African homeland when he was conceived. Jack and Jenny have a bit of a debate on whether their gametes should be randomly or professionally mixed.
- Don't Try This at Home: When Jack, Cecil and some other stranded drivers hide from the tornado under an overpass, there is a disclaimer that this is actually a very, very bad idea.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Dr. Tangent, being a male French Poodle.Jack: (whispering) *PSST!* Cecil! All French Poodles have long eyelashes...!
- Electronic Eyes: In the Kaledistan arc Jack temporarily wears an eye patch that feeds data directly into his visual cortex after getting blinded in one eye by a Kaled laser.
- Exotic Extended Marriage: Cecil, Barb and Beth. Fairly normal for herd species like giraffes.
- Exploding Closet: Full of throwaway gags
- The "Predation is now Illegal" story arc starts out with the sexy bunny newscaster character drawn in several angles that show off her Cleavage Window.
- Not to be outdone, a rival network station has THREE extra-busty newscaster ladies!
- The Dr. Roykirk arc has a dancing naturist who's surprisingly good with computers; a Captain Ersatz of Fluttershy, and a pretty, scantily clad Cat Girl outright called "Skanky."
- Fantasy Conflict Counterpart: One arc is The War on Terror, but with technophobic Disney cultists.
- Fembot / Robot Girl: Starting here, we have examples of
gynoidsgo-go-bots on a ship headed for a Chinese-controlled location. Jack reprograms one of them into a bodyguard to help him escape.
- Fictional Disability: Pawtism and Asbarker's Syndrome are like a combination of autism spectrum disorders with behavioral atavism in that animals with said disorders have trouble fitting in with neurotypical society but are often very intelligent. Such as Jenny's aunt Liska, who cannot tolerate wearing clothes and lacks the manual dexterity to put them on anyways.
- Foreign-Looking Font: When Jack arrives in Kaledistan, one of the hangars has writing that's supposed to be Arabic. If you try to read it like the Arabic script, it says nothing. If you read it like the Latin script, it reads "total gibberish".
- Genial Giraffe: All the giraffes so far.
- Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: At one point, we learn that Dr. Cavor has been this in the past. Dr. Cavor's musical tastes were "most unladylike".
- God Guise: When the land-dwelling species made First Contact with the fish, they largely outgrew the worshiping but the Devonian (shark) God-Emperor is still said to "swim on land".
- Grey Goo: Denounced as actually kind of stupid here."You know, if the people who think that self replicating nanites will accidentally escape from ideal, sterile laboratory conditions and turn Earth , from the tropics to the Arctic, from the oceans to the deserts, into a glob of grey goo, ever read the instructions of a packet of seeds, they'd all sleep better at night."
- Hate Sink: If there are as many characters that fall into the [[Jerkass]] territory, then, they have this in spades.
- Ur-Example ... Tora Scobee.
- Another example? The bear who gives Jack a thrashing in the hurricane arc... but Cecil settles the bruin bully's hash with a stomp, posthaste!
- Heroic BSoD: Jack's realization of WHO is Jenny's previous boyfriend after she told Jack not to fight him ... even as Crazy Jealous Guy Tora Scobee verbally abuses her right in front of him!
- Complicated even more when Jack is trying to figure out how to defuse the situation.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Jack does this when he realizes that his injured friend needs immediate help, the helpless victims need to get out of the hurricane, and rescue plane would be too heavy to if he gets on board. But Jack gets better later on.
- Humongous Mecha: North Korea actually made AT-ATs capable of riverdancing; eventually they were redesigned as med-evac vehicles.
- Later we see some old "murgadroids" owned by Kaledistan, Hyena Centurion 47 dismisses them as militarily useless, only good for terrorizing unarmed civilians, and she could take them out with her gyrojet. Jack uses them for a diversion while escaping the country.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Way back in the ancient archaeology of strips, Cecil (giraffe) and Veronica (bat) dated briefly, but broke up because the size difference made things a bit, difficult. And Jenny (vixen) was previously engaged to Tora (wolf), her parents mention she dated a whale once too.
- Became more noticeable when Veronica was made even smaller to be more species-accurate.
- Hurricane of Puns: The stars are not generally punsters, but it's just shy of World of Pun. But a systems optimization test whips up a pretty decent, not to mention lampshaded pun cloud burst for this strip.
- Insufferable Genius: Dr. Roykirk is rude, egotistical, and, even worse, not nearly as competent as he thinks he is, but capable of programming a level 3 AI (smart as a toddler) by himself, a project that usually takes a team of 1,000 people.
- Interspecies Adoption: A mixup at the fertility clinic results in Jack and Jenny being given a maned wolf pup in addition to their two kits, they name him Thomas.
- Interspecies Romance: There are some examples, such as Johann (mouse) and Veronica (vampire bat), but overall it's not as big a part of the story as many other furry comics.
- Also, there are no hybrids, though there is a genetic procedure that allows interspecies couples to have kids.
- Jerkass: Too many to point out.
- In one arc, Jack and Jenny have to deal with Dr. Roykirk, who fired a tech all because said tech used a different OS in his qualifications!
- Jukebox Musical: A few strips have the characters just singing whatever song pops into their head.
- Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Small arms in the 2060s tend towards a mix of sedative paintball markers, recoilless rifles, gyrojets, and old-fashioned cartridges. While vehicle-mounted lasers are in common use the only handheld laser seen was intended to blind animals instead of burn holes in them.
- Ludd Was Right: The philosophy of the Disney Fundamentalists.
- Magical Native American: Subverted by Jenny's grandmother Ravenwing, she dresses the part and was trained as a medicine woman, but then she went to university and achieved a doctorate in ethnobotany. She now sits on the boards of three separate pharmaceutical companies and has a Nobel prize in Medicine.
- Makes Sense In Context: Even though Barb wanted to kick Tora into orbit, Cecil pointed out that Jenny would be feeling sorry for her abusive boyfriend, not Jack.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: Jenny has 6 brothers from three litters. Jack's implied to have a similar number of siblings but no numbers are given.
- Mobile-Suit Human: Veronica, a realistically-sized bat, uses something like that to assist in a rescue operation on the Moon. More conventional powered exoskeletons are also used in several emergencies.
- Murder, Arson, and Jaywalking: http://www.hirezfox.com/21cf/d/20230102.html "Police aren't certain which charges to bring against the hijacker but we believe there will be charges of murder, hijacking and double parking"
- My Beloved Smother: Both Jenny and Jack's mothers have their own ideas for the wedding that they keep trying to push on them, especially Jenny's.
- Nanomachines: Yes, but they're delicate, usually used for medical purposes.
- Nuclear Torch Rocket: In one arc Jenny has to present a proposal for a fusion scramjet-propelled Jupiter probe to a Congressional committee. One senator (a sheep) freaks out whenever he hears the word "nuclear" and tries to fillibuster, which leads Jenny to resort to repeating "nuclear" until he runs bleating from the room in abject terror. In a later arc, a people-safe version is shown taking a shipment to the off-world colonies while the crew make nuclear physics puns.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: Jack gets the wrong end of this when medals are handed out after a Kaledistanian official is rescued.
- Noodle Incident: Mentioned by name in this strip... with an additional warning to avoid a possible spit-take!
- The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Top-level government artificial intelligence access codes (ex. "Define the word 'is'" and "I am not a crook") are so easily guessed that kids use them to access R-rated movies. After the Disney cultists show everyone what a huge problem this is, the government still refuses to fix the problem because some senator's wife won't be able to remember them if they're changed.
- Pocket Rocket Launcher: Arms dealer Dr. Shere Kaos has his Bodyguard Babes armed with fire-and-forget gyro-jet pistols.
- Polyamory: Apparently the norm with some species, most notably giraffes and other herd animals.
- The Precious, Precious Car: Jack's Thunderbird that later gets hit by a hurricane... it, like its owner, survive.
- Quicksand Sucks: Averted. In a flashback, Jack recounts how he got stuck up to his chest in a pool of quicksand as a cub, and some kindly turtles dragged him out quite easily. His enthusiasm for a certain megastructure project is entirely to pay them back.
- Reference Overdosed: Has cameos and shout outs from eveything from 50s radio dramas to 90s tv to other sci-fi and furry webcomics to current events.
- Relationship Upgrade: After about 18 years of buildup, Jack and Jenny marry.
- Ridiculous Future Inflation: In one early strip, it's remarked that $70 for one gallon of gas is the lowest they've seen in a while, and apparently a can of Coca-Cola costs $20.
- Though to be fair, that's not too ridiculous — (very) roughly 6% inflation per year, on average, would give prices close to that.
- Scooby-Dooby Doors: Complete with Lampshade Hanging as Jack is running from tigers with guns on the Scooby Deck.
- Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Cavor Is About To Roundhouse-Kick You.
- Shout-Out: Far too many to count, mostly to various sci-fi.
- The Singularity: Roykirk claims that he's started it with his level 5 AI, meanwhile the background slideshow to his speech Bluescreens.
- Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: In-universe there is a scale, most A.I.s are level 2 (small child) or almost level 3 (person-level). Roykirk is trying to create a level five (borderline Deus Est Machina) but he and his team seem incapable of building even a level four.
- Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: Usually towards the silly end.
- Smart Gun: Shere Kaos' bodyguards use gyrojet guns with iMudd AI systems that can recognize unauthorized users and self-destruct, and the usual override codes don't work on them.
- Squee: When Jenny's mother learns that there was even a little bit of the romantic in Jack, she "went ultrasonic" and lets out a squee that can be heard on Maui (presumably the other end of the Hawaiian archipelago from parents' location) or possibly on Mars.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Jenny briefly disguises herself as "Ace" Curtis to retrieve Jack from a Chinese space station.
- Sweet on Polly Oliver: A chinese cosmonaut gets a man-crush on the star pilot personna Jenny assumes to rescue Jack from a space station he'd been shanghai'd to (sorry).
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Tommy Khan (Pomeranian) and Fuschia (Husky).
- Three Laws-Compliant: All robots, though their safeties can be bypassed using certain government-mandated code phrases (such as "define the word 'is'", and "I am not a crook") that lock AIs out of their own systems. With the possible exception of the iMudd software in smart weapons (and Chinese "Go-Go-Bots").
- Tron Lines: Color-changing fibre-optic piping is sometimes seen on ladies's fashions.
- 20 Minutes into the Future: Circa 2066.
- Unfortunate Names: One strip details how the boffins give weapons elegant names, and the significantly cruder Poor Bloody Infantryman will give it a much coarser one. Therefore, an x-ray laser antimissile system with a name made up of several $200 words (adjusted for inflation) gets renamed the "X-Lax" by the common soldiery
- Unsound Effect: What kind of sound does an idler pulley make when a tracked robot takes damage from some falling rocks? Apparently, it makes a "sprocket" noise, among others. Not to mention all the noises in the background caused by an earlier Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
- Unusual Euphemism: Word of God has it that "Johnny Freakinouter" was coined by a friend.
- Unusual User Interface: The standard personal computer is a pair of heads-up-display glasses that seem to respond to brainwaves, though characters are often seen giving voice commands. These glasses are frequently used for full VR, but some claim that a true virtual experience requires a neural jack.
- Uterine Replicator: Jack and Jenny's kits are transferred to a pair of artificial gestators that look like lava lamps for prenatal gene therapy. And due to a mixup at the clinic they end up taking home a third lamp containing a maned wolf fetus.
- Wacky Cravings: Some time after dismissing the results of an improvised pregnancy test, Jenny clears the fridge of pickles and mice cream, then she starts demanding fresh-caught wild Alaskan salmon, and changes her mind to Vienna sausages en route to Juneau.
- Wave-Motion Gun: Parodied with some firefighters and their Wave Water Gun.
- Webcomic Time: Lampshaded in one strip where a few months feel more like 14 years.
- We Can Rebuild Him: Tora as part of his backstory, with a parody of the Trope Namer in this guest strip◊.
- You Keep Using That Word: Bit character Fuscia is quite fond of using "unmitigated" inappropriately.
- Zero-G Spot:
- Apparently one of the reasons why Cecil, Barb, and Beth had their honeymoon in space.
- Jack and Jenny got in on that action after escaping the Chinese space station.