Wilma visits her mother and Fred and Barney must deal with the absence of their wives in The Flintstones #8. Meanwhile, Mayor Clod devises a plan to increase support for the destruction of the Lizard People. Is it good?
The Flintstones #8 (DC Comics)
Titled “The Leisure Class,” The Flintstones #8 is perhaps the series’ most jampacked issue yet, as artist Steve Pugh and writer Mark Russell explore everything from generational differences, gender equality, the powers of the executive office, and even economics. As with previous issues, each of these seemingly disparate ideas contributes heavily to the overall story.
The issue begins in flashback as the sexism in a hunter-gatherer society is exposed – the men doing all the hunting bring back a tiny boar that hardly compares to the bounty of food gathered by the women, and yet they get the credit. Artist Steve Pugh highlights the disparity in several ways, from Thrak’s bravado posture, to the way the boar becomes the centerpiece on the table. Colorist Chris Chuckry adds another layer by making the boar an unappetizing blue.
The Flintstones as a series has become known for these details, and Pugh doesn’t disappoint in either the storytelling or the humor (Slothwest Airlines takes its name very seriously). But with so much going on, the newest issue stumbles a bit in the pacing. The scenes between Wilma and her mother, which form the emotional core of the issue, feel a bit cramped in their telling. Moments between the two aren’t given much time to breathe, and one gets the sense that The Flintstones #8 might have been better off with a couple more pages added, or some of the secondary plots trimmed.
It’s hard to know where that might have been done, though. Mark Russell’s script isn’t satisfied with tackling misogyny and sexism from a singular angle, instead opting for a complex look at society. Whether it’s Fred’s inability to do the housework, to the way that a guest teacher overstays his welcome and intrudes upon his coworker’s classroom, to even how the government works to satisfy the needs of the men in power, The Flintstones #8 provides a nuanced look into how gender perceptions intersects with class privileges. And while Russell doesn’t let the weight of these subjects keep the humor away, it never feels like the issues are being handled recklessly.
Is It Good?
The Flintstones #8 is ambitious in scope, attempting to tie together overarching social issues with personal drama. And while much of it succeeds – the artwork is gorgeous, the dialogue nimble and clever, some of the best scenes feel like they’re competing to get enough room on the page. The issue is held back because of it, giving the series its weakest chapter. That being said, this is still high quality stuff and makes for a fun, if flawed, read.