EP0055: DC Meets Looney Tunes (Review)

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DC Superheroes crossover with Looney Tunes so get ready for Bugs Bunny meets the Legion of Superheroes, Lobo takes on the Road Runner, and get ready for the newest noir classic, Batman v. Elmer Fudd.

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Graham: Be very, very quiet. We’re reviewing comic crossovers. Join us as we take a look at D.C. meets Looney Tunes straight ahead.

[Intro Music]

Announcer: Welcome to the Classy Comics podcast where we search for the best comics in the universe. From Boise Idaho here is your host Adam Graham.

Graham: The idea of the D.C. meets Looney Tune series was pretty simple. Essentially, you would have a 30-page story that was told more in a typical D.C. comics style and then after that you’d have about an 8-page story that was much more Looney Tunes and cartoony. So, the trade paperback of D.C. meets Looney Tunes contains all 6 issues and so we start out. The first issue is Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny Special #1. This story really does seem like it is probably not set with the modern-day Legion of Superheroes but rather the counterpart from the 1980s. The plot is that Supergirl is dying and so they try to summon Clark Kent from Smallville to come and help. Now the reason I say this looks kind of like a Bronze Age issue is because Supergirl’s wearing her outfit. The outfit very much looks like something from the 1970s and instead of Clark Kent though, they get bugs bunny, who happens to have some carrots that give him temporary superpowers and I’ll be honest that this story is probably the weakest in the collection. It shows less thought and really doesn’t do a whole lot, particularly with Bugs Bunny. There are some funny bits but it’s not that funny and so oftentimes the humor in this first issue seems to be a bit one note mainly in allegiance of superheroes are angsty and there’s angstiness going around which again I think would probably fit more with a Bronze Age characterization. The art is nice but this one was pretty mediocre and not only that, but for the Looney Tunes comic they just repeated the D.C. Comics on a story in a more Looney Tune-ish fashion. Again, not a whole lot of imagination went into this.

Next up is Martian Manhunter and Marvin the Martian #1 and in this story, Marvin is actually from another dimension and travels to the D.C. Universe to destroy the earth. The art I like in this. They’ve made some small changes to his costume, made it a little bit more detailed than you see in the Looney Tunes cartoon. It’s a nice look. The story itself is OK. It’s better than the Bugs Bunny one but the essential point of this is that despite not being understood by people of earth, nevertheless the Martian Manhunter defends earth and there’s very little humor in this story and so I don’t think it has enough points to fill up its pages but I did like the second, The Looney Tunes story which was amusing. Essentially imagines Marvin discovering that he and the Martian Manhunter exist in the same world and wondering why don’t I have all these superpowers. It’s a cute story, not great, but I enjoyed it so this one was OK but nothing special.

The next one, and in this book it’s interesting that the story seemed to almost be arranged in order of quality. Next up we have Wonder Woman/Tasmanian Devil and this story actually does show some thought and manages to put Taz within the world of Amazonian myth and that at one time Taz met Wonder Woman but she tricked him and so he’s a little sore at her and then Wonder Woman comes to him and says that she really needs his help to save her people from Circe. Now why Taz said yes? I don’t know but I do like the story and the art is good. They do modify Taz just a bit so that he looks more like a real Tasmanian Devil. The little short Looney Tuneseque story, is a cute story where Wonder Woman retells Taz a myth in thanks for his help in the main story.

Then we have probably the first really great story in this book with Lobo the Road Runner and this actually takes the approach of putting Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner within the framework of the D.C. Universe and gives them an origin story that’s as convincing as anything you’ll get in the D.C. Universe and it explains a lot of things like the origin of the coyote’s intelligence and why buys all this stuff from Acme labs and it is hilarious the way that they build up this origin and they also address the point that Wile E. Coyote looks a lot like Sam the wolf from us a lesser known series of Looney Tunes cartoons where you had this wolf trying to get the sheeps from the sheep dog and at the end of the day, they would go home friends and come to work friends and spend the day enemies. It was a very hilarious and a little twisted idea for a cartoon but the wolf looked exactly like Wile E. Coyote and they address that in there and I appreciate it. The plot where Lobo comes in is that Wile E. Coyote decides that in order to solve this problem of not being able to get the Road Runner, he will go ahead and have Assassin do it and so he ends up trying to hire Lobo but Lobo already has a job so he swaps and it’s hilarious because the job that the coyote gets, is to kill Kilowog of the Green Lantern Corps which probably would be easier than the Road Runner which Lobo struggles with and it is just funny, it’s clever, it shows respect for source material and I like it a lot.

Then there is Jonah Hex/Yosemite Sam and the plot is that Yosemite Sam has struck it rich but he needs someone to protect his interest so he hires Jonah Hex who is between jobs waiting for payment on a case where he brought in his quarry without a head, which is the only somewhat gruesome part of the story. I really enjoyed this take on Yosemite Sam. He’s short, he’s pugnacious, particularly when compared to Jonah Hex. It’s great to have him in a situation where he’s with some taller folks. I also like the role they work in this story for Foghorn Leghorn where Foghorn Leghorn is a bit of a carnival freak and a fighting tall talking rooster who comes to warn Yosemite and Jonah Hex about what’s going on with the plot to kill Yosemite Sam. I don’t know how it compares to the typical Jonah Hex story but it’s a good western and it really was just a whole lot of fun to read this one.

Then we have Batman/Elmer Fudd. This is the one that is the classic. The best of in this book and the idea of the story is that Elmer Fudd is a guy who was raised in the country and became a hit man who went around with his shotgun taking care of various mob hits and he is actually setting out to kill a man named Bugs the bunny who he believes killed his girlfriend, Silver St Cloud but Bugs tells Elmer that the real person who killed Silver St Cloud is her other boyfriend Bruce Wayne. Elmer Fudd sets out to kill Bruce Wayne for killing his girlfriend and is in fact without knowing it a romantic rival of Batman. I mean this is a great concept and the story is told in this sort of noir narration style and they just absolutely go with it and Fudd is a convincing character but they have a lot of fun. They take all of the Looney Tunes characters, Tweety, Sylvester and they make them into human characters who use a lot of the same verbal texts and the result is fun and the meet up between Batman and Elmer Fudd, and particularly the end of the issue where they end up teaming up to find out what really happened with Silver St Cloud, is just superb. There’s so much that went into this. Tom King, who actually writes the regular Batman series, wrote this and it is something else. Also, I can’t say enough about the art by Lee Weeks on this. He just does a great job of conveying all the mood and atmosphere that you want with a story like this. This is just absolutely brilliant. Neal Adams, a great Batman artist of the past, actually went ahead and recorded a YouTube video where he did the voices, particularly the Elmer voice, over the seasons and so you can kind of watch that online but do yourself a favor and get the book yourself, either the original Elmer Fudd and Batman book or pick up the entire D.C. meets Looney Tunes book.

Really despite the first couple of stories being somewhat OK to lackluster. I really enjoyed this book and I think particularly the last three stories were just superb and so I’ll give this book a rating of classy.

Alright that’s it for now. If you do have a comment send it to me classycomicsguy@gmail.com. Be sure and rate the show on iTunes if you like it and follow us on Twitter at classycomicsguy. From Boise, Idaho, this is your host Adam Graham signing off.

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