Written by: Tom King
Art by: Lee Weeks, Byron Vaughns
Colour by: Lovern Kindzierski
Letters by: Deron Bennett
Cover by: Lee Weeks
Published by: DC Comics
When these DC Comics/ Looney Tunes specials were announced by DC, I didn’t know what to expect. One of the specials stood out though- Tom King’s Batman/Elmer Fudd. Frankly all of the pairings were bizarre, but this special was bizarre in a way that felt right. I had no idea how right until I read the story though.
King blends the world of Gotham and the Looney Tunes. Every character has a human counterpart, with Bugs “the Bunny” as a lowlife grifter, Porky as bartender, and Tweety a diminutive pervert. In the middle of all of that is Elmer Fudd, the preeminent shotgun-toting assassin in Gotham’s underworld. And also is Bruce Wayne’s rival for the affections for one Silver St. Cloud. After Cloud is murdered, Fudd goes after the only person who could be behind it- Wayne himself. After he’s successful in his attempt, Batman chases him down, and the duo discover they’ve been played. There’s a great twist, ending with the two befuddled and on decent terms.
The issues ends with a back-up story by King that riffs on the classic Bugs Bunny/ Daffy Duck/ Elmer Fudd cartoon Duck Season, with Batman in Daffy’s role. It’s a fun silly callback to the classic cartoons.
King clearly had so much fun writing this story. Fudd narrates all but a few pages, with his lisp in full display. It’s bizarre and overly serious, and because of that it’s absolutely hilarious. King also makes the wise choice to otherwise play the story completely straight. Yes, it’s weird to hear Tweety to tell dirty stories. It’s strange to see Taz as a muscle-bound bruiser. But it’s all completely straightforward, which makes the comedy of it land.
King also makes a smart choice. This is Fudd’s story, so Batman is used sparingly. This choice sells the story even more. It’s a smart move in all.
Lee Weeks and color artist Lovern Kindzierski are the perfect companion for this. A lesser artist would have leaned too far into homage, but Weeks’ designs are recognizable enough to make it clear who it is, without going too far and undermining King’s script. Kindzierski’s colors soak the story in atmosphere. It’s dour and gloomy, and that just makes it perfect.
As a full package, this is the weirdest must-read story that DC Comics has published in years. But the important part of that sentence is “MUST READ.” Seriously, go check it out.
Ewmer wiww thank you.