The Flintstones #2 sees a new craze hit the town of Bedrock and not even the Flintstone family is immune to its draw. And suddenly, the denizens of this prehistoric town must ask the same question we ask every day at Adventures in Poor Taste: is this “crap” any good?
The Flintstones #2 (DC Comics)
Make no mistake about it, writer Mark Russell and artist Steve Pugh have tapped into the same humor that made the Hanna-Barbera cartoon such a classic. The second outing in the new series sees Bedrock’s first news broadcast, which covers the new craze of buying “crap.” What follows is an extended sequence of the Flintstone and Rubble families buying more and more to their heart’s desire. Eventually Fred gets brought into a vitamin-selling scam, much to his eventual dismay. Mark Russell has a great feel for these characters, capturing Fred’s desire to strike it big in order to provide for his family, as well as Barney’s uncanny ability to outdo Fred at everything.
One of the nice things about this issue is that it includes cast members that were absent in the debut. While the opening chapter used this narrower focus to highlight the relationship between Fred and Wilma, the larger cast of The Flintstones #2 will probably feel more familiar to readers. While Bam Bam and Pebbles still have relatively small roles, Russell and Pugh have come up with fitting adaptations for the kids, both instantly recognizable but with clear signs of growth (literally and figuratively). The “crap” that the Flintstones are prompted to buy will also be recognizable to fans of the show as more of their animal house appliances show up here.
Steve Pugh’s artwork throughout the issue is fantastic, blending in the designs of the classic cartoon while giving it his own distinct aesthetic. Pugh’s characters are lifelike in their behavior and expressions. When Fred seeks consolation from Wilma after a long day trying to sell vitamins, you can see the exasperation in his face. Pugh’s artwork also shows a lot of inventive design. A subplot in the issue involves a church trying to create a god that will keep up with the popularity of the crap craze. Pugh’s has a bit of fun with the idea as he works in more appliances, some from the show, and some of his own creation, to play god. Pugh’s ability to merge in elements of the show into his own version of Bedrock is part of what makes The Flintstones #2 great and gives Bedrock its own sort of logic. This may be a zany world filled with octopus dishwashers and pet tyrannosaurs, but it feels like an actual place.
Chris Chuckry’s colors work really well with Pugh’s artwork. The palette is just as broad and colorful as one might expect, this adaptation isn’t a dour one. At the same time, Chuckry’s colors aren’t so vibrant as to take away from the mood that Pugh’s detailed artwork has. The end result is that The Flintstones #2 is a gorgeous book.
Is It Good?
Mark Russell and Steve Pugh improve in their second outing, as The Flintstones #2 continues to build and expand on what the series debut put forth. Russell’s humor here is great, and he makes sure that the issue has a bit of heart as well. The artwork by Pugh and Chris Chuckry is stellar, and works well to make Bedrock feel real. Like the original cartoon, The Flintstones #2 is a great satire of modern life, the prehistoric world is only as crazy as our real one.