This week, DC Comics has released a new set of Looney Tunes mash-up comics featuring iconic DC villains and classic cartoon characters. Priced at $4.99 a pop, there are four books available, each 48-pages in length and each including one main story and one back-up strip.
Are they worth a read?
- First up is Lex Luthor/Porky Pig Special #1 by Mark Russell and artists Brad Walker and Andrew Hennessy. This story sees Porky become a valued employee at Lexcorp and when I say “valued employee” I really mean a fall guy.
The premise of this book is that Porky works for Lex developing a new social media platform. However, the platform is just a front so that Lex can gain access to passwords and information.
Lex Luthor/Porky Pig Special #1 casts its eye over recent real-life news stories (data misuse, immigration etc) but does so in the way that only writer, Mark Russell is capable of doing – with a satirical glance. As such, fans of Russell’s recent(ish) Flintstones comics should pick this book up as it is very much an exercise in presenting great social commentary through an engaging tale.
The back-up story in this comic is by Jim Fanning and John Loter and is fun, if not essential. The art and tone is very much planted within the Looney universe, so it’s light and unoffensive, but is nothing more than an added extra.
Overall, Lex Luthor/Porky Pig Special #1 is a good read.
- Next up is The Joker/Daffy Duck Special #1 by Scott Lobdell, Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund. This story sees Daffy Duck become a member of the Joker’s gang and of course discover it is exactly what it’s not cracked up to be.
I love this book. Really love this book – from the story and characterisation to the artwork and the references to an iconic Looney Tunes short, everything works so well.
Daffy Duck fits into Gotham so perfectly (and hilariously) I now want to see him as a permanent addition, in the same way I still want Elma Fudd to be included in Batman comics, following his star turn in last year’s Batman/Elma Fudd #1. Come on, DC make it happen!
The back-up story for The Joker/Daffy Duck Special #1 is from Joey Cavalieri and Luciano Vechhio and is also a heck of a lot of fun. It’s daft, it’s wacky, it’s self-referential and it’s certainly worth the inclusion.
The Joker/Daffy Duck Special #1 is great and I’d highly recommend it.
- Next is Harley Quinn/Gossamer Special #1, which is written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, with art by Pier Brito. For this one-shot, Harley Quinn discovers Gossamer (washed up in a crate on a beach) and finds herself seemingly the target of some wacky robots.
I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of Harley Quinn/Gossamer Special #1 – it simply feels like a very pedestrian book. The artwork is fine, but the story lacks any punch and comes across as a rather uninteresting Harley adventure, with Gossamer thrown in.
Of all the characters featured in this series of one-shots, Gossamer has the most potential, simply because he’s less well known amongst the crowd. For that reason, I feel to a certain point Palmiotti and Conner have carte blanche to craft a stand-out story, but instead Gossamer comes across as more of an afterthought than a co-star, which is such a shame.
The back-up story this time around is by Sholly Fisch and Dave Alvarez and, in my opinion, is mildly better than the main strip – but only mildly better. The story is closer in tone to a Looney Tunes short and for that reason it brings a touch more comedy.
Harley Quinn/Gossamer Special #1 isn’t terrible, it’s just nothing worth getting excited about. A bit of a miss.
- And finally, Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester Special #1 is written by Gail Simone, with art by Inaki Miranda. The story pits Catwoman against Black Canary in a battle of cat vs bird – oh and Tweety and Sylvester appear too.
The main story in this book is very action orientated, with Catwoman and Black Canary going toe-to-toe as they get involved in a plot centred around Tweety and Sylvester. The reason behind the plot is pretty much an excuse to throw the characters against one another, but the real pay off is what happens next.
Throughout the course of the book more and more cat and bird-themed DC characters show up until the story becomes a cameo-filled adventure. As such, a paper thin tale gets elevated thanks to a revolving door of guest stars.
The back-up story for Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester Special #1 is by Shea Fontana and Walter Carzon. It’s OK, nothing special, but nothing bad – I can’t say it really added anything to the book, but it didn’t take anything away either.
Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester Special #1 is not quite up there with Lex Luthor/Porky Pig Special #1 or The Joker/Daffy Duck Special #1, but it’s more enjoyable than Harley Quinn/Gossamer Special #1.
So there you have it. For my money, Lex Luthor/Porky Pig Special #1 and The Joker/Daffy Duck Special #1 are the stand out books – the other two, not so much.
The DC/Looney Tunes one-shots are available in comic shops and digital stores now.