Dastardly and Muttley #1
Writer: Garth Ennis
Colorist: John Kalisz
Letterer: Rob Steen
Publisher: DC Comics
A review by Greg Brothers
If someone would have told me a year ago, or even six months ago, I would be looking forward to Dastardly & Muttley #1, I would have laughed at them. But, that was before comic books like The Flintstones, Elmer Fudd/Batman, and the upcoming Snagglepuss were a thing. Now these re-imagined Looney Tunes and Hanna Barbara characters have become all the rage and for good reason. They have been entertaining, funny, and in some cases poignant.
Dastardly and Muttley #1 begins as Unliklistan starts up their first Atomic Reactor. Unfortunately, the wrong button is pushed, and the unstable chemical called unstabilium is released into the world. Lt Richard “Dick” Atcherly and Captain Dudley “Mutt” Muller are sent in to collect a drone and save the day. What could possibly go wrong?
First off, Ennis finds the perfect balance between the ridiculous and the realistic. The realistic comes into play as Atcherly and Muller head out on a simple mission. The search for the drone seems simple enough. It is Ennis’s experience writing military-themed stories that allows the realism to really stick. But, that is where the realism ends.
From there, a cloud filled with cartoon skulls and ejection that results in floating eyeballs sets the expectations for the rest of Dastardly and Muttley #1. The lines that Ellis draws allow for the cartoonish elements to slowly slip in, and, if not read carefully, it’s possible to miss some of the references.
Mauricet’s art throughout Dastardly and Muttley #1 also rides that line between reality and cartoonish. The plane and drone are drawn with sharper lines that would be found in most serialized war stories. Meanwhile, the introduction of the radioactive cloud allows Mauricet to turn up the ridiculousness. It is truly a perfect marriage between cartoon and realism.
Verdict: Buy it!
Dastardly and Muttley #1 is a truly fun read. It has a little bit of realism built in as a typical government conspiracy is the base of the story. That said, there is more going on here than a simple story: a possible new universe is being born. What happens as the cloud moves its way across the globe? Will it bring on a cartoon world? Only one way to find out, and that is to grab issue number one and enjoy the ride.