Review: Booster Gold/The Flintstones Special #1

Welcome to the 25th century, where the Earth is a polluted post-industrial nightmare, most animals are extinct, and reptilian aliens are invading cities across the planet! In their time of need, the world’s citizens turn to the time-traveling Booster Gold to save the day. To learn why these aliens are seeking revenge, Booster dives deep into the prehistoric past to see what happened the last time they hit the planet. In this bygone era, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble must help Booster learn the truth and return to his own time armed with the information that will bring down the invaders – if Booster can convince them to help him. No problem – we all know how persuasive Booster can be, right? Right?!

And in the backup feature starring The Jetsons, in a new twist on an old twist about our future, The Jetsons live in a world of robotics and gadgetry. But how does dying change when grandma’s brain can be digitally imprinted onto a housecleaning robot?

I haven’t read a whole lot of Booster Gold over the yeas, but Mark Russell‘s The Flintstones is some of the smartest writing in comics today. So, to see what Russell had in store for this superhero Hanna-Barbera mash-up was something I was really looking forward to when this series was announced. And, as expected, the delivery is subversive, smart, and really subtle. Part of the fun of Russell’s writing is that it’s packed with social commentary and interesting winks and nods without it being super overt. To discuss one topic, Russell at times will distract with another, or a different angle that the main discussion is obfuscated a bit.

Here, a load of issues are packed in with the most in your face being mankind’s destruction of the planet. There’s also exploiting religion, dating, gentrification, and some white savior moments all thrown in for a comic that’s packed with crazy. And that crazy is what makes it fun because as Russell packs all of that into a single issue, he also does so in a way that you can read the story and just enjoy it as a story and nothing else.

The art by Rick Leonardi is solid mixing the futuristic world of Booster Gold with the Flintstones setting and making it all work. The art style somehow works with both settings and it’s fun. Leonardi’s art is interesting because it not only works for the two time periods but it also enhances the comedic beats of Russell’s writing. Russell’s delivery often plays to visual jokes and that relies on the art and Leonardi delivers that and some. Through every step of the comic the visuals are part of the joke and entertainment and beg you to linger to catch everything.

The Jetsons also are present with a backup feature from writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner with art by Pier Brito. Crazy is the best way to describe this with a ending that I didn’t see coming (seriously, was this ever a part of the cartoon series?). The issue is kind of melancholy in some ways and then there’s this punch at the end that turns it all into either horror or a statement on technology or this really sweet thing. Days after reading it, I’m still debating which of those it is. Brito’s art is a solid depiction of the classic world. The style isn’t an exact replica of the cartoon, but it’s a solid homage and new artistic take on the characters. With the little we got, I know I definitely want to read more.

This is a solid issue with the crazy humor of Russell mixed in with an interesting take on the Jetsons. Together, this is one to pick up and has a lot of depth mixed in with the humor.

Booster Gold/The Flintstones

Story: Mark Russell Art: Rick Leonardi
Story: 8.45 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.45 Recommendation: Buy

The Jetsons

Story: Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner Art: Pier Brito
Story: 7.85 Art: 8.05 Overall: 7.90 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review