Wednesday, May 9, 2018


Saturday mornings were all about binge watching cartoons when I was a kid. It was the heyday of cartoons and an animation company called Hanna-Barbera was king of this time-slot's ratings with shows like Captain Caveman, Jabber Jaw, Johnny Quest, Hong Kong Phooey, Dynomut, Scooby Doo, Super Friends (with DC Comics superheroes), Space Stars (with the Herculoids & Space Ghost), Smurfs and Yogi Bear to name just a few of their productions.  I have a lot of warm memories about watching these cartoons during my childhood and have been enjoying reading some new comic books that are bring characters from these shows back to life.

DC Comics is publishing comic titles based upon classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters with a modern tone to their stories.  These comics that have more mature plots and edgier settings than the children's cartoons they are based upon to provide a reading experience that is equally enjoyable to peruse for today's teens and young adults as for nostalgic people like myself who grew up watching Hanna-Barbera shows on Saturday mornings.  Current series include Scooby Apocalypse, The Flintstones, Exit, Stage Left!: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, The Ruff and Reddy Show, Dastardly and Muttley, The Jetsons, and Future Quest.

Scooby Apocalypse is a Walking Dead style story that has Scooby Doo and the kids of Mystery Inc. making their way through a world where monsters are suddenly real. The Flintstones' stories parody current events and societal topics in a prehistoric setting. The Snagglepuss Chronicles, similar to the Flintstones, parodies cultural and political hot button topics featuring this character who had a regular segment in the Yogi Bear Show dealing with being a different kind of cat during the 1950's McCarthy era of American history. The main characters of The Ruff and Reddy Show cartoon are looking to make a comeback in their new comic book series but the entertainment industry is a lot different now then it was during the Golden Age of television when their show was a hit. The Jetsons updates a futuristic look of our world based upon an evolution of where technology is currently at rather than the perspective of how the future may look in the 1960 and '70s when the television show was produced.

My favorite of these new DC Comics though is Future Quest. This comic book series places Hanna-Barbera heroes such as Jonny Quest, Space Ghost, The Herculoids, Birdman, Frankenstein Jr. and Mighty Mightor within their own unique universe of adventures. It is like watching these characters in Saturday morning cartoons again but with a modern vibe to their appearances and adventures within the pages of these comics. Each story arc features a different character from this group with the most recent stories featuring the Herculoids. All of these comics combine the nostalgia of featuring classic cartoon characters with plots and imagery which provide a fresh approach to story-telling.

 Up until now, the Hanna-Barbera Beyond initiative from DC Comics hasn't merged the cartoon characters with the publishers primary superhero universe that includes characters such as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Based upon the popularity of these new Hanna-Barbera comic books though that is changing on May 30, 2018. Four one shot issues are being released that team up figures from Hanna-Barbara cartoons with DC Comics superheroes. Available in print and digital, look for THE FLASH/SPEED BUGGY SPECIAL #1, SUPER SONS/DYNOMUTT SPECIAL #1, BLACK LIGHTNING/HONG KONG PHOOEY SPECIAL #1 and AQUAMAN/JABBERJAW SPECIAL #1. Each one-shot will be 48 pages long and cost $4.99.


In a story written by Aquaman writer Dan Abnett with art and by Paul Pelletier and Andrew Hennessey, the town of Amnesty Island is besieged by a series of shark attacks, and the authorities call Aquaman for help! What’s unusual about this case is that the shark isn’t trying to kill people—he just wants to talk to them. All Jabberjaw wants is to get back to Aqualand, the future undersea utopia where he came from. But that peaceful city where man and sentient sea life have been living in harmony has been turned into a dystopian nightmare created by a new Ocean Master! Now the King of Atlantis and his friendly shark ally must team up to set things right.

This one-shot also includes a bonus short story by Jeff Parker and Scott Kolins that tells the tale of the first-ever meeting between Captain Caveman, The Spectre and the wizard Shazam.


Back from Vietnam, kung-fu master Hong Kong Phooey has set up his own detective agency in the inner city. Meanwhile, Jefferson Pierce (a.k.a. Black Lightning) has uncovered a plot by three assassins to collect the components of a sacred text revealing the darkest secrets of martial arts magic, and they’ll kill anyone who owns them—including the dog who holds the last chapter of the book, Hong Kong Phooey. MICHAEL CRAY Bryan Hill, Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz team up to deliver a story with all the power of a roundhouse kick to the chops!

Plus, Jeff Parker and Scott Kolins team up once again in a bonus story featuring a pre-DEMON Jason Blood and Hanna-Barbera’s own “Spirit of ’76,” The Funky Phantom.


RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS scribe Scott Lobdell, along with Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund, is gearing up to deliver a rubber-burning story that pushes all the way into the redline! When Wally West tries to take down the villain Kilg%re, he’s surprised to find he has an unknown ally who can move just as fast as he can. Dr. Pernell, a brilliant S.T.A.R. Labs scientist, has found a way to power his dune buggy using the Speed Force. When the Flash agrees to help test the limits of the vehicle in a race, something unexpected sends them spiraling out of the Speed Force and into the unknown. They land in a post-apocalyptic future, but Dr. Pernell is missing, leaving a now-sentient Speed Buggy to help the Fastest Man Alive repair the time stream and stop the triple threat of Savitar, Speed Demon Buggy and… Reverse Speed Buggy?


 It’s no fun for Jon Kent to be visiting Big City with his parents for the funeral of an old friend, so his best pal Damian Wayne decides to follow along and give him the inside scoop on the city. But when they go to meet Robin’s local friend, Dynomutt, they find him injured and in need of help. And Dynomutt’s human superhero companion, Blue Falcon, has seemingly turned evil. What’s the reason for this betrayal between once-loyal companions, and what role might the evil Red Vulture play in this scenario? Fan-favorite SUPER SONS writer Peter J. Tomasi teams up with Fernando Pasarin and Oclair Albert to tell this story featuring the first encounter of the Dog Wonder with the sons of the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight.

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