Dastardly and Muttley has been hit and miss with me from the first issue. I am disappointed to say that because I am a big fan of Garth Ennis and his stories, but this series has had me questioning if Ennis is right for these characters, or if the characters are right for Garth Ennis. I’ve gone back and forth and really wanted to like this series. Last issue things got better and they also got intense towards the end as Lt. “Zee” Zabarnowski and Lt. “Uncle” Longman closed in our heroes.
Did Zee blow Dastardly and Muttley out of the sky?
We still have two issues to go — of course not! Muttley at the last second saves the day and dodges sure death in the form of a sidewinder missile from the lovely Zee. Zee, much like Dastardly and Muttley has been infected, by the Unstabilium. She has been tasked with taking down Dastardly and Muttley and she is hellbent on her mission being a success. However, Uncle is her co-pilot, he isn’t infected by the radioactive sludge, and is doing his best to be Zee’s voice of reason as to why she should not eliminate the duo.
Meanwhile, things are heating up for General Harrier. He is being questioned by the Senate about what he knows about the current events taking place. This includes the Unstabilium, the agents sent to assassinate Dastardly and Muttley, and speaking of Unstabilium, what the hell is with all these weird names? And don’t forget King Ahuk-Ahuk-Harem! During the interrogation, a vital piece of the puzzle shows itself and will for sure lead to an interesting fifth issue as we are sure to learn the origin of the Unstabilium.
Is it better than the previous issues?
Yes! This is my favorite issue so far. And yeah, I said that about the last issue, which is a sure sign the series is getting better. Dastardly and Muttley #4 starts off the final half of the series. The story is picking up and getting more exciting. It did take four issues, but it finally feels like Ennis has added some substance to the story. The humor is very amusing. I’m from Virginia and when Senator Goober from Virginia had a question for General Harrier, I laughed out loud, because yes, we certainly have some goobers in Virginia.
This issue goes back and forth from the threat Dastardly and Muttley are dealing with in escaping Zee from hunting them down and the not-so-dramatic Senate inquiry. The transition from our hero’s action scenes to the Senate hearing is seamless and has an excellent flow to it.
In past issues, I’ve been enjoying the artwork more than the story. Mauricet continues to do a great job in that department this time around: the characters have the proper cartoony feel that you expect to see in an old Saturday morning cartoon. Plus I can’t deny a book that has a Panda karate kicking a zookeeper and two smirking meerkats that appear to be plotting something diabolical. John Kalisz adds in a colorful palette to complement Mauricet’s art.
It has been a slow burn but the payoff is finally coming around in Dastardly and Muttley #4. Ennis has gotten my attention again and I am ready for the final two issues. If you grew up with these Hanna Barbera cartoons like I did, then I suggest you check the book out. With two issues to go, I’m back on board. Don’t let me down Garth!