The Flintstones #3
Written by: Mark Russell
Art by: Steve Pugh
Colors: Chris Chuckry
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Assistant Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Group Editor: Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
Review by Robert Coffil
The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and The Simpsons, what do they all have in common? They all, to a varying degree, ply their trade using satire. According to this article from the BBC, the purpose of satire is, ‘to prick people’s consciences and challenge the powerful’. The Flintstones #3 by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh does just that.
In the series so far, each issue has been a ‘one and done’. Meaning, you don’t have to pick up the previous issues to be able to read and understand issue three. Sure, if you have read the previous issue it helps, but each issue can be read standalone.
Steve Pugh does a great job telling the story in the comic. His establishing shots, the panel or splash page which lays out the unfolding events in next series of panels does a fine job letting the reader know exactly what is going on and where. This prevents the reader from being confused about which panel to go to next. It’s nothing that will blow you away, but the art works for this type of book and story. His character models are good. Never does the reader become confused by which character is which.
The Flintstones #3 at $3.99 and 22 pages of content does feel like you’re getting a lot for your money. In an era where you can read a comic in almost 5 minutes and the ‘decompressed’ storytelling of your standard superhero story, this comic gives you a lot of meat to work with.
The issue begins with a Carl Sagan analogue who is pitch perfect for the Flintstones’ world (That means suitably goofy). He espouses the popular scientific belief of his world and its quite hilarious, with the world being carried by a turtle. Next they try to launch a monkey into space using a dinosaur. And then the dinosaur and the monkey have a very brief conversation. The monkey says to the dinosaur, “tell my wife I love her very much”. The Dinosaur replies with, “She knows.” Instead of the pithy remarks the background creatures say in the show the comic reader gets some poignant moments.
I do want to comment on one of the background gags in this issue. The middle school Pebbles and Bam Bam attend is “Bedrock middle school home of the Fighting Tree people”. The school’s mascot is the indigenous people whom Fred and his compatriots defeated in the war for bedrock. This seems to me a direct indictment of a lot of American schools, which do the same thing.
Speaking of war, a compatriot of Fred’s, Joe, spends almost 3/4ths of the issue on the phone with the bedrock equivalent of the VA. This seems to be a comment on the way most modern nations abandon their veterans after they come back from war and provide them with little to no support when they get back.
Buy it! If you think that I discuss everything that happens in this issue and you don’t need to read it, you would be wrong. What I discuss here are on the peripheral to the main story. This issue packs a lot in it. If you enjoy satire as a form of social commentary, this is the book for you.