The deeply thoughtful and complex satire that is The Flintstones continues this week, where a filmmaker is introduced to the narrative. We bear witness to the ideas of a prehistoric artist, but is it good?
The Flintstones #10 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
Bedrock is in ruins and its citizens believe their mayor, Clod the Destroyer, is to blame! Meanwhile, Bamm-Bamm develops his first crush. Can his best friend Pebbles help him get the girl?
Why does this book matter?
Mark Russell and Steve Pugh’s work on this series has been one we’ve talked about a lot here at AiPT! and for good reason. It’s deeply thoughtful comic books you don’t see every day. Picking up an issue means getting a dose of social commentary that’ll make you think. If that sounds interesting to you then this book is for you.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Interesting they had televised news already to introduce cinema.
Russell introduces a filmmaker named Werner Herzrock (get it?!) in this issue who is bringing cinema to Bedrock. This allows Russell to explore Wilma’s budding artist abilities which adds a bit of Werner Herzog humor to the comic. While that’s happening, the town mayor goes to war and some commentary on politics and war is thrown in for good measure. Tucked away among all of this is the concept of death–deep I know–which ends up bringing the animal appliances down to a sadder level.
All of the commentary adds up to some interesting ideas and on the nose humor. The mayor for instance, is too inept to really run things, so ends up getting shoved aside so that the government can actually function. The deeper meaning–that we can’t spend all our tax money on war–is brought in with jokes on how dumb the mayor is thrown in. Probably the strongest element in this issue is how Fred and Barney fall in love with movies. At first, Russell makes you think they’re going to see porno, but using a reoccurring shot of the cinema you quickly learn they’re going for a more touching and meaningful reason.
Pugh’s art continues to be strong with a beautiful full page splash of the mayor riding a T-Rex. The clothing of the Bedrock people is always eclectic and interesting (especially the mayor and his crazy mask) and the general sense of the world is fleshed out due to his art. The animal appliances continue to be rendered in a way that’s deeply meaningful. In the vacuum cleaner’s rendering for instance, his simplistic facial expressions and wing like ears imbue a sense of sensitivity that’s amazing considering how simple he is drawn.
Is it porno!?
It can’t be perfect can it?
There’s a lot going on in this issue and I’m not sure it gels perfectly well. As the story cuts between Fred, Wilma, the mayor and the people in general, you get a bit lost in it all. There are moments of clarity and meaningful ideas, but altogether it becomes a bit chaotic. Instead of making one strong point, this issue makes many mediocre points losing the emotional resonance (especially deserved for the vacuum cleaner).
Is It Good?
This is a good issue that’s dragged down by down by doing too much. There are meaningful moments, good ideas, and great art, but it all combines into a bit of a messy, less emotionally moving chapter.
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