After a bit of a dip in the series, The Flintstones returns as Fred discovers the cold word of unemployment in the newest issue. Can he deal with the sudden change in his life? Is it good?
The Flintstones #9 (DC Comics)
The Flintstones #9 opens with the introduction of Vorp, a religious counter to Gerald, the benevolent deity that has been referenced in past issues. One of Vorp’s newest worshipers is Mr. Slate, who is attracted to Vorp’s value of strength over everything else. The rest of the issue’s plot proceeds from there as Slate lays off a bunch of his employees, including Fred Flintstone, in pursuit of profit.
This firing leads Fred to mope on the couch, before Wilma gets him a new bowling ball and it is here that the issue picks up. One of the things that held the previous installment of the series back was its lack of thematic coherence, but that is no problem here. An overall theme of rejection fills the pages throughout each of the arcs, and the relationship built between Bowling Ball and the Vacuum Cleaner comes into play here as the reclusive mammoth leads the other appliances into action to rescue his discarded friend.
Russell’s satire isn’t quite as hard-hitting this issue as it has been in the past, but in its place he supplies a more absurdist humor with the appliances sneaking out of their home. This emphasis on the more cartoonish aspects of the franchise falls right into Steve Pugh’s strengths as an artist, as he is able to give these exaggerated characters an emotional weight that makes them feel real without diminishing their outlandish character design.
Chris Chuckry’s coloring helps greatly with the storytelling here, using deep blues to add an operatic feel to the issue. This heightened aesthetic allows the reader to more easily buy into the scenario, especially when these scenes are juxtaposed with the more realistic scenes of Fred and Slate dealing with their own personal lives.
Is It Good?
The versatility and synergy of its creators is what allows The Flintstones to tell such a varied amount of stories. In nine issues, the series has covered a variety of topics, and built arcs and side stories around even the most ridiculous sounding of characters. And while many of these stories have been centered around Fred Flintstone, the series isn’t afraid to take chances. Who would have guessed that readers could become invested to the bond between a pair of household appliances?