Comics are for kids of all ages, especially now that Marvel and DC have record-breaking movies coming out left and right every summer and winter.
That makes this a great time for publishers and writers to go back to the drawing board, literally, and revamp some oldies but goodies for a new generation.
“I can’t think of anyone that doesn’t look back at these characters with anything but fond memories,” said Dan DiDio, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher in a statement announcing the new releases. “With this initial lineup of titles and talent, we’re excited for fans to experience the reimagining of these Saturday morning classics with a more modern and contemporary look and feel.”
For example, sometime this spring, your Friendly Neighbourhood Comic Shop will carry updated Hanna-Barbera titles including Scooby Apocalypse, Future Quest, Wacky Raceland and, yes, The Flintstones.
Let’s begin with Scooby Apocalypse, shall we?
So that’s a tatted-up Shaggy on the right sporting a hipster mustache, just above a Velma who looks very similar to Batman’s sidekick Robin. I might be mistaken, but it looks like Scooby’s gone at least partly RoboPooch–does he have a bionic eye? Daphne’s toting what looks to be a laser gun or rocket-propelled grenade launcher, while Gamer Ken Deluxe, Freddy, carries a super thermal hair dryer. Gotcha.
Explains DCComics.com: “Featuring character designs by veteran artist Jim Lee and an origin story by Jim Lee and Keith Giffen (JUSTICE LEAGUE 3001), artist Howard Porter (SUPERMAN) will provide his own unique take on Freddie, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo. “Those meddling kids” and their Mystery Machine are at the center of a well-meaning experiment gone wrong and they’ll need to bring all of their mystery solving skills to bear (along with plenty of Scooby Snacks), to find a cure for a world full of mutated creatures infected by a nanite virus that enhances their fears, terrors and baser instincts. This time, the horrors are real in this apocalyptic near-future badland!”
Next, we’ve got Future Quest.
Hey, Space Ghost, what’s up? We’ve missed you.
According to DC Comics, Future Quest is the creation of writer Jeff Parker and artist Evan “Doc” Shaner, who “join forces to bring fans new tales of adventure’s most iconic teenager, Jonny Quest, along with his sidekick Hadji. This series combines Team QUEST (Hadji, Race Bannon, Dr. Benton Quest and Jezebel Jade) with some of the most well-known action and adventure heroes ever created by Hanna-Barbera, including SPACE GHOST, THE HERCULOIDS, BIRDMAN, MIGHTOR and FRANKENSTEIN Jr., among others.”
And of course we’ve got Wacky Raceland.
I’ve got nothing, so I’ll let DC Comics explain:
“Take The Ant Hill Mob, Penelope Pitstop and Dick Dastardly, mix in a healthy dose of ‘Mad Max’ and you get this dark and gritty take on Hanna-Barbera’s ‘Wacky Races,’ courtesy of writer Ken Pontac (REBOOT, HAPPY TREE FRIENDS) and artist Leonardo Manco (HELLBLAZER), with vehicle designs by Mark Sexton (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD),” the website says. “A time of hope and innocence with Utopia at the finish line has given way to planetary Armageddon and a desert wasteland full of radioactive lakes, nanotech dust storms, and cannibalistic mutants. Against this backdrop, the Wacky Racers and their sentient vehicles continue their contest, but now the competition is for survival, and there can only be one winner when the checkered flag falls.”
And last, but not least, everyone’s favourite stone-age family, The Flintstones, with their omnipresent neighbours, the Rubbles.
The new series features characters designed by Amanda Conner and writer Mark Russell. “Russell will use Bedrock’s most popular family to shine a light on humanity’s ancient customs and institutions in a funny origin story of human civilization. Fred is still the simple man, striving to be the king of his castle, Wilma is still the tolerant but not-indulging wife and Barney (with his wife Betty and infant son Bamm-Bamm) is still the original wingman, whose loyalty to Fred often outweighs his common sense,” DC says.
Look for these reboots to hit stores in May, right in time for Comic Book Day.
Of course, some fans are already crinkling their noses at the sight of the comics they loved as kids being revamped.
On DC’s site, poster LadyJ052119 writes: “Nooooooooooooooooooooo. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. My kids love the old cartoon network reruns of the ones I grew up on. Why are you tatting Fred and Shaggy up?Why are you making Fred and Barney look like scuzzy cave men? Please put them back to being just the innocent lovable characters that we love. Another thing, why do the MONSTERS in Scooby doo have to be real? The charm of Scooby doo is that it ALWAYS was a person behind the spooky stuff. NOT REALLY SCARY STUFF. I don’t know about any one else but dc is just ruining it.
Adds Tim Ruiz from Facebook: “Now I can pinpoint the exact moment I stopped buying DC Comics. Thanks for the extra money in my pocket, guys! Who am I kidding? I’m probably going to spend it on new Image books. Or on Archie. Now there’s a company that knows how to update characters without insulting its fan base…”
On the other hand, The Scared Shadow is a little more enthusiastic. “I’m pretty excited for most of these, except for The Flintstones. Mostly because I’ve never really seen any of it or been a fan. The Wacky Races & Scooby Doo ones look pretty damn fun though.”
What do you think? Are there titles you’d like to see get updated, or others that should just be left alone, fer cryin’ out loud? Tell us in the comments.