DC’s Hanna-Barbera comics have been a fascinating experiment in reimagining pre-existing intellectual properties. The best reinterpretations (Future Quest and The Flintstones) maintain the defining elements of the originals, while others (Scooby Apocalypse and Wacky Raceland) lose sight of the basics in favor of high concepts, offering stories that feel superficially connected to the cartoons they’re based on. Of these four titles, The Flintstones has quickly risen to the top with its clever social commentary, bold imagination, and meticulously detailed artwork, bringing a modern storytelling sensibility to Bedrock while working within the general narrative framework of the TV series.
Writer Mark Russell showed off his sharp sense of humor in the sadly short-lived Prez, and The Flintstones allows him to continue poking fun at the world, tackling heady topics like consumerism and religion with a tongue-in-cheek attitude. As silly as the book gets, Russell keeps it grounded in meaningful character relationships, and artist Steve Pugh handles both the humor and drama with care. These preview pages of next week’s The Flintstones #3 put the emphasis on humor as the creative team tackles the topic of outer space, beginning with a chimp-murdering prehistoric shuttle launch and ending with a quick visit from some aliens. The detail in Pugh and colorist Chris Chuckry’s visuals helps sell moments like the doomed launch, and the realism of the artwork works with the cartoonish humor to give the book a unique perspective.