Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Flintstones #3 Review and **SPOILERS**

How the Town of Bedrock Got Tough On Immigration

Written By: Mark Russell
Art By: Steve Pugh, Chris Chuckry
Lettered By: Dave Sharpe
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: September 7, 2016


Now that the Flintstones is an accepted part of DC Comics continuity because I said so, I wonder what Bizarro Flintstones would be like? I mean, the characters in the Flintstones are basically unusually-articulate and advanced cave people, so would Bizarro Flintstones just be regular, heavy-browed Cro-Magnons? Or would they just be like the regular Flintstones, but with everything reversed? You keep following that line of thought, eventually you have Fred playing Stone Age records on his face while pterodactyls sip soft drinks and relax on a couch made of granite. And that’s when you’d have lost the plot, for while I can entertain a civilization of prehistoric human beings that watched a television hewn from rock and rode around in cars powered by running, I can’t abide by the thought that dinosaurs did the same. That’s just the height of ridiculousness. Luckily, the Flintstones comic never gets that silly, as you’ll learn if you read my review of issue #3! Not the mama.

Explain It!

A Carl Sagan analogue is giving a lecture before a class from Bedrock Middle School, visiting the Bedrock Cave of Science and Technology, about astronomy. He says that science has settled on the theory that the Earth is settled on the back of a giant turtle, a belief held by several ancient cultures through Asia and North America (well, just one culture in North America, really.) Science now endeavors to find other worlds supported by other World Turtles, so they will begin testing by launching a chimpanzee in a nice-looking spacesuit. Like oddly nice-looking coming from people that wear frayed rags for clothing. And Carl Sagan has one of those star projectors you see in modern planetariums, but their rocket is on a see-saw with a brontosaurus held perilously over the opposing side. The bronto drops, the rocket takes off, and fairly well burns into cinders immediately. Progress!

This test, however, alerted planet Earth to some aliens, who came down to peacefully catalog the planet and reiterate their harmlessness a suspicious number of times. At the clubhouse for the Veterans of Paleolithic Wars, aka the Water Buffalo Lodge, the fellas are discussing the aliens over some billiards and beer. Barney’s pretty sure they’re planning to colonize Bedrock, despite Fred’s insistence that their thousands would easily overpower an invading alien force. I guess he’s never read a Jack Kirby comic book. Another fellow says that maybe an alien armada would make them useful again, since so many soldiers are neglected and left homeless after their service. So this is a problem that has persisted since caveman times! Speaking of soldiers with PTSD, someone asks if anyone’s seen Joe recently, and we do see him: sitting at home, on hold with the Veteran’s Suicide Prevention Hotline. Hey, wasn’t this a humor book a couple of pages ago?

The next day, I think, aliens return in a much larger ship—for Galactic Break! This is, if you didn’t figure it out already, the space alien equivalent of Spring Break. This brings hordes of drunken space aliens, who litter everywhere and harass people—even puking into the Flintstones’ house!—and generally make nuisances of themselves. A Bedrock cop tries to arrest one of them, but he uses a Disintegr8 app on his smart phone to, well, disintegrate him. Then it becomes a free-for-all, aliens just going around drunkenly disintegrating everyone, which is a pretty crummy thing to do. Rightfully, Fred panics and rushes home to find Wilma just watching the flat screen television made of rock. That is broadcasting in black and white. Don’t think about it too long or you’ll get a nosebleed. Wilma plays a message on their answering machine—which is a parrot—to find they’ve gone back to the museum because they figured no one would look for them there. We cut to the museum, where Pebbles and Bam Bam find the fake Carl Sagan and make him spill coffee on himself. Pebbles gets the idea to use the museum’s satellite dish, which is a pteradon with a dish around his neck of course, to tattle on the marauding aliens and get their parents involved. And that’s what happens: while the aliens try to swarm the transmission and totally not disintegrate any core characters, the Paleolithic Veterans show up and start slinging rocks at the little green guys. Just as things start getting lethal, the aliens’ parents show up and haul off their bad kids, leaving one of their own behind to ensure this doesn’t occur again—a green, helmeted alien known as the Great Gazoo!

Another slam dunk for the series that is merely a modernized version of the original cartoon. This one brings the Great Gazoo into the proceedings, which I must admit tickled me quite a bit. This could have been an episode on the Flintstones television show, but it wasn’t, and works just fine here. The art is great, the gags are pretty funny, and the shifting sense of technological advancements are all here. If more Flintstones stories are what is missing from your life, well you’ll find them in this well-made comic book.

Bits and Pieces:

The town of Bedrock is beset by little green men, and I don't mean leprechauns. This is a pretty entertaining story with a little bit of pathos to keep things interesting. The artwork is fantastic, I'm fully used to the character designs now and recognize everyone pretty easily. If you enjoyed the Flintstones cartoon (or still enjoy it), then you could do worse than to give this comic book a look-see.


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