This week, DC Comics has published a collection of DC/Hanna-Barbera mash-up comics, which team classic DC characters with colourful – and kinda goofy – Hanna-Barbera ‘toons. Each book is priced at $4.99, includes 48 pages and is available to buy now from comic shops and digital stores.
In this post, I’m offering a round-up of the entire set, including a rundown of each book, to give you my thoughts on what’s hot and what’s not.
Written by Dan Abnett, with artwork by Andrew Hennessy and Paul Pelletier, Aquaman/Jabberjaw #1 teams up DC’s King of Atlantis with Hanna-Barbera’s talking shark. A perfect combination, right? Well actually, it’s not bad! In fact there’s much to like about Aquaman/Jabberjaw, which sees the duo unite for some underwater adventures – in the future!
With nods to Jaws and references to Aquaman’s oft-joked about reputation for talking to sea creatures, Aquaman/Jabberjaw is a fun book which offers enough super heroics to round out the page count. Is it life-altering stuff? No, but if you just fancy seeing these two classic characters sharing a book then you’ll be pleased to know it’s worth the price of admission.
And now for the bonus:
Two of these DC/Hanna-Barbera books include back-up strips. Aquaman/Jabberjaw is one of them, with a short tale focusing on Captain Caveman and the wizard, Shazam. Sadly, this back-up strip is not great and is a poor addition to an otherwise good book. Try not to let that put you off.
Black Lightning/Hong Kong Phooey #1
Kung-fu is the order of the day in Black Lightning/Honk Kong Phooey, which sees the two characters working together in a mystical-themed plot which offers a fair bit of action, but not much else. Written by Bryan Hill, with art by Bill Sienkiewicz and Denys Cowan, Black Lightning/Hong Kong Phooey isn’t bad, it’s just not great either.
As much as I loved seeing an up-to-date Phooey, I kind of felt that Lighting faded into the background far too much for my liking, creating a bit of an uneven book. That said, if DC were to use this as a springboard to give Hong Kong Phooey a solo book then it wouldn’t be a bad thing.
This book has a back-up strip, which focuses on the Funky Phantom and the subject of gun control! Yep, you read that correctly – gun control!
The back-up strip is short, but focuses on a subject I didn’t expect to see in a Hanna-Barbera book. The strip elevates the overall value of the book and makes this a book to pick up, if you already fancied dipping into it.
The Flash/Speed Buggy #1
Written by Scott Lobdell, with art by Nora Rapmund and Brett Booth, Flash/Speed Buggy #1 is my least favourite of the four books. Sorry to all you Flash and/or Speed Buggy fans, but this book did nothing for me.
The story sees the Flash team with Speed Buggy for an adventure in the Speed Force and this includes the involvement of Savitar and two variations on evil Speed Buggies. If that sounds appealing then you might be interested in this book, but for me the execution was a little bland and I just couldn’t seem to get involved with the story.
There’s no back-up strip with The Flash/Speed Buggy either and I think this is a shame on this occasion as it could have helped. Overall, not terrible just nothing out of this world.
Super Sons/Dynomutt #1
The final book in this set and easily my favourite. Super Sons is a great title in general; adding Dynomutt into the mix is just the silver lining.
Action-packed, but loaded with heart, Super Sons/Dynomutt #1 sees DC’S other dynamic duo teamed with Dynomutt in a tale of friendship, family and funerals. Unlike the other books, there feels like some character development – specifically with Superboy – and the story has a degree of poignancy.
There’s no back-up strip in Super Sons/Dynomutt, but it doesn’t matter, this comic is strong enough without it. Good stuff and recommended.
So, there you go – most of the books offer a fun read, with Super Sons/Dynomutt being the standout title. If you’re a fan of DC’s previous Hanna-Barbera comics as long as you expect more of the same, you’ll be happy with what’s on offer.
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