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 Review: The Flintstones #1
Ted, Tedd, and Teddy
 Posted: Oct 10 2016, 11:36 PM
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Posts: 4887




I wrote a review for the Flintstones #1 awhile back, so I thought I would cross-post it here as well for others to see and chime in on with their thoughts on the first issue.

Originally posted: July 7th, 2016 - AVN Today

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The Flinstones #1 – A Clean Slate: Review
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Steve Pugh and Chris Chuckry
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: July 6, 2016


This was great stuff! Mark Russell’s typical social commentary in terms of the Neanderthals and the overall life in Bedrock was pretty on-point without being overblown. It skillfully hides “Dark Satire” underneath the “Stone age Honeymooners” concept with a tone that’s a bit closer to Jim Henson’s “Dinosaurs” than the original Flintstones cartoon. There were even some solid moments of world building by exploring the civilization and history of Bedrock. This can easily be one of the best DC titles if it continues this way.

Fred Flintstone with dreams of moving on and up, yet he is trapped in a world where the greatest he can achieve is Employee of the Month. But instead of relying on the typical masculine, “caveman” buffoon archetype that plagued male sitcom leads from the 60s well into the 00s, we’re getting a more self-aware and intelligent Fred then in the cartoon. Someone who wants to get ahead and do right by everyone around him. Fred and Barney are also veterans of the Paleolithic Wars and attend a meeting where we get the briefest glimpses of what the war was like.

This issue has Fred meet and schmooze three Neanderthals who are to be joining not only the workforce but also the civilization known as Slate’s Quarry (Bedrock from the television show). While the majority of Mark Russell’s script focuses on Fred’s attempts to show the new employees at Slate’s Quarry a good time (with Mr. Slate hounding him, of course), Russell is able to channel some emotional depth out of the subplot of Wilma displaying her artwork.

Wilma is a burgeoning artist, doing hand paintings that land her in a local art show. Due to some good old fashion art community snobbery, Wilma, who tries to fill her life with artistic meaning, ends up isolating herself even more. However, this also gives Wilma a great character defining flashback and most likely the best scene in the first issue.

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The best part, for me, was the relationship between Fred and Wilma. The original Fred was always a kind of worthless as a husband but here he’s much more supportive and caring to Wilma and so, you can actually buy that these two are in love. The scenes where they show how much they appreciate each other are the most beautiful, sweetest moments the two characters have had in any incarnation.

The tight focus on Fred and Wilma does come at a price, much of the cartoon’s supporting cast is missing from the issue. Barney and Betty are glorified cameos, and Dino, Pebbles, and Bam-Bam are nowhere to be seen. Obviously, the cast will expand in future issues but it’s hard not to take notice of the absences.

One of the great things about The Flintstones was the charm of a “modern” stone age family. The numerous celebrity parody characters, and the stores and businesses with rock-themed puns for names, and the “everyman” tale of Fred & Wilma Flintstone trying to make a happy life are the things that made the original cartoon so fun and endearing to us as children and adults.

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Russell could have easily done the lazy thing and used the same old, tired family gags, with kids using stone tablets instead of iPads. But it tries to tap into a time closer to when the Flintstones was made; a smart move when a huge part of the everlasting success of The Flintstones is due to the simplicity of the era in which the cartoon was made itself, the 60s.

The artwork by Steve Pugh and colorist Chris Chuckry is top-notch. Pugh’s design work captures the colorful silliness of the world of Bedrock. Pugh never shies away from the goofiness of the cartoon, and while there are stylistic differences, this book feels appropriately Hanna-Barbera.

Final Thoughts
The Flintstones #1 is a great debut, backed by a creative team that seems to understand the property and what made it endearing to so many. The characters are the same but different at the same time. They’re more well-rounded and enjoyable than they were previously. Fred, in particular, has had a rather amazing personality upgrade. Mark Russell, Steve Pugh, and Chris Chuckry all use their talents to bring the Flintstone family into a modern era without becoming cynical and lazy. The Flintstones #1 is an expose of the underbelly that is the American Dream. It is a well written, well-characterized comic. It’s definitely a comic I’ll be keeping an eye on.

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Supernature
 Posted: Oct 11 2016, 12:15 AM
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Superior Homo
Posts: 2065




I really like this book!

(Shouldn't this be in the DC forum though ?)
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