Writer: Garth Ennis
Colors: John Kalisz
Letterer: Rob Steen
Publisher: DC Comics
DC Comics releases another classic cartoon reboot, focussing on the villains Dick Dastardly and Muttley…sort of.
The story picks up as the fictional Middle Eastern kingdom of Unliklistan is about to turn on their newly built nuclear reactor. This does not go well for them or the surrounding countryside. We meet our heroes, R. Atcherly (Dick Dastardly) and D. Muller (Muttley), fighter pilots in the U.S. Air Force, as their doing reconnaissance in the area days later, searching for a lost predator drone.
I went into this book sight unseen, so I was surprised, but pleased, to see Garth Ennis was the writer. It definitely has his brand of gruesome visuals and over-the-top characters, but the story plods along, never actually giving us a reason for the character’s journey. Honestly, the cover probably would have told me all I needed to know about this book without reading it. They took away the dynamic of what made the classic villains fun, opting for a confusing story about psychedelic nuclear waste instead.
The real story of this issue is Mauricet’s art. Incredible cartooning, and distinctly designed characters carries it further than the dialogue ever does. The page layouts show an amazing talent for storytelling, in particular. The visuals almost fight against the subject matter, keeping things light.
I have a hard time imagining who this book is for. If you’re old enough to understand the subject matter then the presentation will probably seem a bit juvenile, but I don’t think you would want your kids reading this either. Fans of the characters may not find much to cling onto, because they’ve been so fundamentally changed. DC could have done something with their resident pilot, Hal Jordan, using Dastardly & Muttley as villainous foils, drawing on the history of the characters. His Lantern ring could have allowed for some cartoony visuals, staying with the theme. I hate to turn anyone away from the book because Mauricet is doing some impressive work, but my optimism got the best of me this time.