You wouldn’t think it from the title, but The Flintstones is delivering some to the most poignant social commentary in the comic book industry. Maybe ever. Using the caveman era it proposes maybe they were advanced as we are in their own way and committed the same sort of blundering sins. We delve into issue #6 which scopes out prehistoric science–is it good?
The Flintstones #6 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The very short summary reads:
Bedrock is gripped by panic at the news that an asteroid is heading straight toward Earth! The Flintstones fight the hysteria, but even more dangerous than the end of the world are the people preparing for the end of the world.
Why does this book matter?
We’ve reviewed every issue of this series and loved nearly every installment. Not only is the comic thought provoking, but also stuffs cool background gags and references via Steve Pugh’s highly detailed art. That only adds value to this series and it’s one you should at least give a chance.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
“I’ll take two pandas please.”
The summary says it all: the world is ending and this issue explores how the people of Bedrock will respond. Writer Mark Russell opens this issue with a fantastic mall scene complete with caveman store references that’ll get a few chuckles out of you. The mall is significant to the story though as it’s more than just a few sight gags. As news reports come in and people start to panic, what is it that they rush to for solace? You guessed it, the stores that give them some sort of joy. Mix in key commentary on religion (in this case The First Church of Gerald) and some key philosophical underpinnings about how we deal with our emotions and you have yourself another compelling issue.
The latter element, which uses Fred’s bowling ball armadillo to convey his subconscious rage, is one of the highlights of the issue. After the armadillo smashes into pins, he gets to talk to an old elephant friend. Russell uses this moment to convey the sad truth behind how people stuff their emotions down and a deep truth about the meaning of life. Yeah, it’s heavy, but told in these somewhat preposterous conditions makes this a fantasy story that achieves greatness.
The art by Pugh continues to be exceptional. Sight gags work due to his ability to frame and lay out a scene, like in a scene where horny moths escape, or the ridiculous news programs.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Since this issue is a broad stroke sort of story that encompasses all of Bedrock and its people there isn’t much focus on the Flintstone family. Ultimately they feel like side characters as Russell shines a light on society, which takes some of the meaning out of the events and choices characters make. The events that kick off this issue’s premise are a bit hard to believe and while mass hysteria based on one news source is certainly plausible, Russell makes a specific character look like a buffoon. Given his science background it’s a surprise, though maybe that’s his character I’m not sure.
He loves you, okay!?
Is It Good?
The Flintstones continues to be a must-read thought provoking mirror of our society. If you like your fantasy stories to be packed with meaningful truths about ourselves you must read this.