DC Comics and Hanna-Barbera are back this summer with a new smattering of team up issue — two of which come out today, including the Flash/Speed Buggy Special which really explains itself given the names of the characters. Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth team up to deliver some heavy sci-fi storytelling and a big reveal for those who deem themselves Speed Buggy fans.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
When Wally West tries to take down Kilg%re, he’s stunned to find he has an unknown ally who can move just as fast as he can. Dr. Pernell, a brilliant S.T.A.R. Labs scientist, has found a way to power his buggy using the Speed Force. When The Flash agrees to help test the limits of the vehicle in a race, something sends them spiraling out of the Speed Force and into the unknown. They land in a post-apocalyptic future, but Dr. Pernell is gone, leaving only the buggy, which is now sentient. Together with his new anthropomorphic ally, The Flash must find a way to repair the time stream and stop the triple threat of Savitar, Speed Demon Buggy and…Reverse Speed Buggy!
Why does this matter?
Last years team up offerings were inspired and at times truly remarkable. The Elmer Fudd team-up with Batman is truth to that. This series also offers a fun little adventure that can make for an interesting story as it explains Hanna-Barbera characters in a realistic way.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is a fun issue that’s at times light, but can also get dark with its storytelling. Lobdell does a good job plotting the issue, mixing up the team-up so they not only have something worth fighting for, but actual change occurs that makes it all matter. Speed Buggy ends up with the real transformation by the end which is slightly tragic, but in its own way somehow a happy ending. The narrative involves other evil buggy characters as well as a direct tie into the Speed Force. That gives the issue additional weight and keeps things interesting. I also dug some of the dialogue, like the line above, which is totally true!
Booth does an excellent job with the issue, utilizing his kinetic layout style and electric energy effects throughout. There are quite a few impressive double page layouts that keep things interesting and pleasing to the eye. Given how static a vehicle can look I think Booth knocked this issue out of the park. Not once do the cars look boring or static but always moving and practically bending with their turns and speed.
I was too young to watch Speed Buggy on TV, but it’s a simple enough character to dig into. This issue offers an explanation as to how the car talks and it’s actually quite satisfying.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The last three pages are cute and certainly pay off on the cover, but act as if the story ran out and they had to get the page count up. It’s a nice cartoony way to end the issue, but it doesn’t add much. Beyond that this is a lighter sort of comic, but given the title you probably already knew that.
Is it good?
This is a good issue that I was surprised to find highly entertaining. The story is light, but that’s perfect for the summer movie fare we’ve all come to expect. Booth and Lobdell have made a comic well worth speeding through.
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