Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Flintstones #6 Review and **SPOILERS**



And I Feel Fine

Writer: Mark Russell 
Artist: Steve Pugh 
Colorist: Chris Chuckry 
Letterer: Dave Sharpe 
Cover Artist: Bill Sinekewicz 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: December 7, 2016

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Flintstones! 
Meet the Flintstones! 
They’re the modern Stone Age family! 
They’re dark! 
And depressing! 
A reflection of our society! 
You’ll guffaw 
At the stupid ‘toonish biz 
Then sob softly 
At how damn true it is 
Come on 
Down to Bedrock 
We’ll have a gloom time 
A coupla brews time 
We’ll have anxiety time!

Explain It!

Just to get this out of the way: this is the last issue of the Flintstones that I will be reviewing. This is not because I don’t like the series (as you will come to learn) but because I committed to the first six issues—indeed, I thought it was a six-issue miniseries at first—and I’ve got other books to review on the horizon. I believe the Flintstones reviews will be handled by another member of the Get Fresh Crew, I’m not sure. But I will be sure to get the word out when I find out!
As we now know very well, the town of Bedrock is a superficial, easily-duped society of comfort-obsesses xenophobes. Well, all of that is coming to an end, according to Professor Carl Sargon of the Cave of Science and Technology, whose newly-created Applecus computer (an abacus) has determined that an asteroid is on a collision course with planet Earth. At the same time, Pebbles and Bamm Bamm are interning at the Cave of Technology, breeding moths in the—get this—Mothadone Clinic, which will figure into the story later on, trust me. This comic book features some very detailed images of copulating moths, which is either awesome or disgusting, depending on your worldview. I’m thinking that if you’ve stuck with this comic for six issues, then you’re probably not disgusted by moth sex.
Now that all life in Bedrock will end as they know it, the town is in chaos, everyone sowing their wild oats and having their last hurrahs and what-have-you. Slate from the quarry finds out how isolated and lonely he is when he invites any of his co-workers back to his mansion for soda and pie, and all of them decline. At the First Church of Gerald, the congregation breaks into a brawl because desperate people either cling to or reject their god(s), depending on their makeup. Everywhere is mayhem: a guy running around on fire, someone releasing snakes, even the local police are just farting around, roasting lizards and lighting things ablaze. The family Flinstones looks for the only institution they can trust at the end of the world: the Bedrock Mall. Haven’t they ever seen Dawn of the Dead? Inside the mall, unsurprisingly, it’s not all peaceful, and people are rioting and fighting with tremendous panda bears from the Panda Excess restaurant. Which of course is a satire on the Panda Express chain of Chinese food spots. If Panda Express had actual pandas, I might actually try it. Might.
Pebbles figures only Carl Sargon can get them out of this mess, so the Flintstones run back to the Cave of Science and Technology and Pebbles tries to convince him to tell people there’s no asteroid coming so they’ll take a chill pill. He refuses to lie to the public, and reiterates that the findings of his Applecus are exacting, as can be proven right here when…whaaaa??? One of the abacus beats turned out to be a roly-poly of screwing moths! Sargon was all wrong, the asteroid misses the Earth entirely and…people have to face each other the next day. This is not what you would see in the regular Flintstones cartoon: the awkward reaction to having engaged in a human frenzy and not actually died as planned. It’s pretty stark, and I wonder if things in the town of Bedrock will ever be the same again.
So this was not an amazing issue—nor was it the issue solicited, which promised aliens and the Great Gazoo in some capacity—but it was good. And it exemplifies how this series has gone from a fairly whimsical look at modern society through the lens of phony prehistoric life to a searing examination of the very human soul, exposing our deepest insecurities and fears in a way that…well, you just don’t expect from a Hanna-Barbera comic book. The art has always been stellar, and now that the tone of the book has gone decidedly dark, I see how its expressiveness is vital to the storytelling. This is a good comic book, and worth a look if you’re interested at all in some kind of satire and comedy regarding modern life. Or if you’re a huge fan of the Flintstones. But those coming from the cartoon should be warned: the animal appliances in the comic book do not just sigh at their jobs and say “it’s a living!”

Bits and Pieces:

This book continues to hold a mirror up to society, but it's a weird mirror because everything in it is prehistoric. But it's like fake prehistoric. Like it's 20,000 BCE or whatever but they have televisions. It's sort of hard to explain. But this is a funny, well-made book that's also holds some stark truths for the reader. I think that's probably worth four bucks.

8/10
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2 comments:

  1. How come only 3 people have scores up on comicbookroundup?

    ReplyDelete
  2. By the way that 3rd page of the Preview within this review is on the same level of a Calvin & Hobbes strip

    ReplyDelete

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