It’s the end of the race and this isn’t a photo finish. There are no girls in bikinis with an enormous trophy and a bucket of champagne – this end reveals the beginning.
Wacky Raceland #6 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The full summary reads:
At last, the Racers storm the high-tech facility known as the Butcher Shop and confront the all-powerful Announcer! Secrets from the past are revealed, bullets fly and engines roar as our heroes contend against the entity that has put them through their torturous paces for months. Will the Racers get the answers they seek, or die in the attempt? Maybe both!
Why does this book matter?
It’s the finale of the Hanna-Barbera series that flipped the script on the cutesy original series it’s based on. It also offers a Mad Max style science fiction series that’s as crazy as it is unique.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Writer Ken Pontac cleverly wraps the race and each of the racers’ origin stories in this last issue. Many answers are within, but also an origin that makes you wish the series continued on. The latter is for an intriguing character that’s a cleverly weird science fiction creation who also ties into all the answers. Readers will feel satisfied by the efficient wrap-up of characters that have been languishing for several issues with nearly every hanging question answered. Pontac also fits in a fun nod to Hanna-Barbera icon Scooby-Doo.
There’s quite a lot of action in this issue, which looks gorgeous under Leonardo Manco’s lines. From the opening page the cars, characters, and weirdness all look great. There’s a number of gritty, dark and sometimes grotesque panels to ogle. Flashback scenes are efficient and easy to follow too. The final climactic battle is pure chaos and while it’s sometimes so chaotic it’s hard to tell what is happening you can parse it out with enough time spent on each panel. Colors by Mariana Sanzone do a good job establishing light, while delivering a disturbing sense of atmosphere depending on the scene. Together, Sanzone and Manco pull off poster worthy double page spreads you won’t want to miss either.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Even though the flashback scenes – and answers – are warranted and interesting, they also make this an exposition heavy issue. That problem is exacerbated when you consider the racers do not much more than stand around listening. Considering we’ve invested in the characters up until now it’s unfortunate they don’t get more time to shine.
Look who thinks they’re the big brain.
Is It Good?
Despite the heavy exposition and lack of racer involvment, you can’t avoid the fact that this is a satisfying conflusion. Wacky Raceland is the epitome of science fiction meets heavy metal music. It doesn’t stop or care if it’s jacked up to 11 and you shouldn’t either.