Dastardly and Muttley have aged well! The pair first graced our presence in their flying machines back in 1969. DC has since brought back some Hanna Barbara properties including Scooby Doo, who now must face the apocalypse, and the surprise hit remake of The Flintstones. They also brought back Dastardly and Muttley in Wacky Raceland, a series that re-imagines the cast of Wacky Races competing in a desert wasteland, similar to Mad Max. DC decided that they aren’t done with Dastardly and Muttley yet as they have given the cartoon characters another adventure to tackle!
So what is Dastardly and Muttley?
Dastardly and Muttley #1 is a big 180 from the two’s Wacky Races days! Lt. Col R. Atcherly (Dick) and Capt D. Miller (Mutt) are a couple of fighter pilots executing missions across an area in the Middle East that was destroyed by a nuclear explosion due to an accident with a reactor. They are scouring the radioactive wasteland for a drone that is carrying secrets that needs to be destroyed. Oh, I forgot to mention that Mutt has brought his dog on board the plane against specific instructions not to. But it’s OK! It is a low level recon operation, no oxygen needed!
Not everything is as cut and dry as it may seem. The drone makes an appearance, it is fully operational and is spewing radioactive garbage called Unstabilium everywhere it goes. The drone sprays the jet and a lot mysterious, cartoon shenanigans happen! Don’t forget the dog is in the cockpit, so you can guess what happens to Capt. Miller. Pssst…..it’s on the cover!
But Dave, is it good?
Dastardly and Muttley #1 is your typical first issue. There is a lot of setup going on with very little answers or hints to what is next. Ennis is known for creating decent war stories and this is a very different type of war story. It’s a light-hearted story so far filled with bunches of cartoon references. This isn’t your typical Ennis story, but that’s okay; he caught my attention and I am curious to see where this goes. Who know, the next issue could have the blood flying! I will have to wait and see!
The artwork by Mauricet is an interesting mix. It captures the comedic tone of the book but keeps a realistic tone the best way he can. From the hallucinations the pilots experience to the Saturday morning, Hanna Barbara look of the toxic mist, Mauricet hits on all marks. Kalisz’s colors are bright and visually appealing, also capturing that cartoonish vibe. Overall, the book is visually appealing.
A far cry from last year’s Wacky Raceland, Dastardly and Muttley #1 starts out good. I am surely going to pick up the second issue to see where Ennis carries these two. There are a lot of questions that need answering and I have a sneaking suspicion that Ennis will get a little darker as the story progresses. Check it out, it is definitely worth the read!