Saturday, July 1, 2017

On Sale June 21, 2017: LOBO / ROAD RUNNER # 1 from DC Comics.



Bowl over anyone in your way, and get to your local comic book shop to pick up a copy of LOBO / ROAD RUNNER # 1 from DC Comics!

Get the “Road Runner Style” cover pictured above, or the “Lobo Style” cover pictured below, but for “maximum beeping / fragging enjoyment”, get ‘em both as I did! 


In the issue, you’ll find two brilliant stories… the 30-page lead rendered (with an emphasis on “Rend!”) in “Lobo Style”, and an 8-page backup illustrated in “Road Runner Style”, not unlike the dual covers.  Happily, both styles work well for the characters involved and, in particular, HOW they are portrayed in each story! 



“Fast and Fraggy-ous” (written by Bill Morrison of the Bongo SIMPSONS line of comics and drawn by arguably the best BATMAN artist of the nineties, Kelley Jones, who so exaggerated the Dark Knight’s “cowl ears” and cape to amazing proportions) begins in the Nevada Desert, 1949.  

…Not-so-coincidentally, the year of the first Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoon - “Fast and Furry-ous”, written by Michael Maltese and directed by Chuck Jones. 


Nice reference to Fred ("Tex") Avery, who set the whole “Bugs Bunny / Elmer Fudd Hunting Thing” in sublime motion in the 1940 cartoon, “A Wild Hare”. 


A random COYOTE is shot with tranquilizer, along with a desert bird, a rabbit, and others.  The unfortunate fauna are transported to a heretofore unknown early, “Area 52” version of “ACME LABS”, where they are injected with Alien DNA obtained from the legendary 1947 “Roswell Aliens” in a bizarre experiment that, by all rights, SHOULD have created Pinky and The Brain.  Alas, the gene-spliced lab mice are nowhere to be seen in this comic.  …Talk about an opportunity wasted.  ...Probably some licensing consideration, or sumpthin’.

"Pinky, are you LICENSING what I'm LICENSING?"
These experiments result in the creation of (what would be in “Our Comic Book Reality” – and from left to right) Bugs Bunny, The Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, The Tasmanian Devil (?), and Sylvester! 

I tawt I taw a PUDDY TAT!  

Meet Wile E. Coyote - DC Earth version!  All's well, for a while...

THEN THEY ALL ESCAPE! 



Don’t know what happens to the others, but our apparently immortal, DNA enhanced Coyote spends the next 67 (!) years fruitlessly trying to catch the equally immortal Road Runner!
 

Here’s a wonderful montage of their escapades by the decade!  (Click to Enlarge!)  Love the Batman reference in 1966!  ...Let alone "Health Care" for 2009! 


By 2017, the Coyote is finally recaptured, and returned to Area 52... 
Check out his White Flag! 
…Until he is freed by a most unexpected ally! 


Sam and Ralph!  Isn’t that MAGNIFICENT?! 


Moving things along, the Coyote escapes with Sam’s help and ends up encountering LOBO.  Lobo takes the job of fragging the Road Runner, while the Coyote reluctantly agrees to take Lobo’s current hit-man assignment. 



No further spoilers, but hilarity ensues.  HOW COULD IT NOT? 



In our second story, both written AND drawn by Bill Morrison, Lobo believes that he’s satisfied his contractual obligation for this book… until Bugs Bunny, as a Warner Bros. Entertainment Lawyer, informs him that he must still complete eight more pages! 



And so, in a reversal of the scenario that drives the Chuck Jones cartoon “Hare-Breadth Hurry” (1963),  Lobo must again catch the Road Runner… but, this time, in strict Looney Tunes fashion. 

Hilarity, once again, ensues!


LOBO / ROAD RUNNER is one of a series of June, 2016 releases that combines DC Comics characters with classic Looney Tunes, in some very inventive ways!  Those that I've read thus far are highly recommended!


This is a GREAT comic, folks!  If you’re a Road Runner fan.  If you’re a Lobo fan.  A fan of both.  Or, even if you’re a fan of neither… it’s a fraggin’ barrel of beepin’ laughs!  


12 comments:

Comicbookrehab said...

I enjoyed this book very much..and perhaps THE BEST installment in this series of crossovers is thecone they saved for last - Batman/Elmer Fudd. I wasn't expecting a Will Eisner/Frank Miller riff, but they made the best new Batman comic book I've read in a LONG time. Weally!

Thad Komorowski said...

I was going to buy a stack of these today, until I looked inside them. I opted only for the Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian by our friends (cover by Stephen DeStefano, and the backup by Jim Fanning and John Loter). You know, because they actually look like the characters. Save for that hideous lead.

Everything on display here looks fucking poor. What is it with these reprisals in comic books lately? Warners, H-B, and Harvey... they all take away what was great about the character designs and turn it into bleak "realistic" bullshit.

FFS, they could do better if they're charging $4.99 an issue of this crap.

Joe Torcivia said...

‘Rehab:

I must confess that I haven’t read them all yet, as my reply to Thad (below) details. But, I have greatly enjoyed what I’ve read so far.

I did not yet open Batman / Elmer Fudd but, for some reason, my mind flashed to the title: “There is No Hope in CWIME Alley!”

Indeed, if it is the best new Batman comic in a WONG, WONG time, I may pwomote that to, say... NEXT!

Joe Torcivia said...

I get what you’re saying, Thad. …And, I’ve certainly not read them all yet. Only Lobo / Road Runner and Legion of Superheroes / Bugs Bunny. Martian Manhunter / Marvin Martian is the only one my shop did not have, and they will have it for me this coming week.

I can see how some might be turned off by the art style in the lead stories, but the aim of the books, as I understand it, is to do combination DCU and LT issues. And, even if you don’t care for the art style in the lead stories (…and, again, I can understand why you and others might feel that way), the result is actually funny!

I had hoped to make that point clear with the illustrations I used from the first story in Lobo / Road Runner. Some of the character bits, like Sam Sheepdog for instance, are almost right out Scooby-Doo Team-Up. Though, yes, SDTU depicts the characters in their classic style – and, when DC characters are involved they appear to be the DCU Animated Series or Batman: The Brave and the Bold versions, like Harley Quinn and Plastic Man, respectively.

Indeed, the back-up in Lobo / Road Runner IS CLEARLY the “Lobo” of Superman The Animated Series, and Road Runner looks like he should in contemporary Looney Tunes mode. And, if the look was not to your taste in Legion of Superheroes / Bugs Bunny, it was very much the “Chuck Jones version” of Bugs that was written – especially in the lead.

But, that’s what makes “comics talk” so interesting… and so much fun. As for Stephen DeStefano, somebody’s GOTTA do a POPEYE comic, and give it to him! I’m still impressed with his DVD packaging illustrations for the Warner Popeye sets!

Back to topic: I hope to read the other issues in the series very soon (…Who knows, you might even see another such post, now that this Blog is hitting on all its former cylinders once again! Though a certain issue of Scooby-Doo Team-Up is beckoning… rather strongly!) but, for today, my comics reading consisted of one each of a Dell and a Gold Key Harvey Eisenberg Tom and Jerry!

That older stuff rules… then, now, and forever!

Sergio Goncalves said...

The Batman/Elmer Fudd one sounds very interesting. I was afraid they were gonna go with yet another Batman/Daffy Duck pairing, even though that is now well-trod ground, having been done on 2000's "Superman and Bugs Bunny" miniseries and, more recently, on "The Looney Tunes Show." (And on Tiny Toon Adventures, if you're willing to consider Plucky Duck a reasonable stand-in for Daffy). Not that there is anything wrong with pairing Daffy Duck with Batman, but I'm glad they did something different this time!

As for Lobo/Road Runner, when I first saw it, my reaction was something like "WTF?" But then I figured, "If Joe likes it, then there must be more there than meets the eye." And, based on this review, it does seem very imaginative! I like the idea of the Looney Tunes characters being the product of the crossing of alien and earth-animal DNA. That's a very original way of explaining the Looney Tunes characters' presence in the "real world." I'm glad they went that route as opposed to the "fusion of worlds" route of "Space Jam" and "Superman and Bugs Bunny." Again, not that there is anything inherently wrong with the "Space Jam" approach. It was a very original idea back in 1996, but having been done at least twice now, it need not be done again.

Regarding character redesigns, I tend to agree with Thad. I hate it when they redesign characters solely for the sake of redesigning them (e.g. Looney Tunes Show, Wabbit, Be Cool Scooby-Doo, the recent Flintstones comic book series, the upcoming Ducktales reboot, etc). But when the redesign has a clear purpose, as is the case here (e.g. rendering the characters in Lobo style because the characters exist in Lobo's world), then I don't mind it. Indeed, I like how the Lobo-style Looney Tunes characters still look very much like their normal versions, if one momentarily ignores the Lobo theme of the story. Indeed, they basically *are* the original designs, only rendered in Lobo style. In other words, in the issue at hand, I don't mind the redesigns because they are both done with a purpose and done with very clear respect for the classic versions. Neither stipulation applies to the unadulterated hogwash that is "Be Cool Scooby-Doo" or "Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue."

Since we're on the subject of Looney Tunes/DC crossovers, has anyone here read Mark Evanier's "Superman and Bugs Bunny?" I did, when I was a kid back in the early 2000s. It was the first modern comic book (i.e. comic book made during my lifetime) that I ever read. I loved it then, and still enjoy it today.

Elaine said...

Haven't seen the Lobo/Road Runner comic, but I enjoyed the LSH/Bugs one quite a bit. I certainly wouldn't have bought it on the basis of the art of the lead story (not to mention the hideous LSH-style cover), but the writing was delightful, and as you say, it was the Chuck Jones Bugs for sure.

Re: Stephen DeStefano--his cover for WDC 577, of the truant nephews fishing
https://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=KJS+119
is one of my top 30 Disney comics covers. (I just made that list a couple weeks ago, since list-making is one of the ways I deal with the anxiety that comes from the national news these days. Well, it beats drinking!)

Comicbookrehab said...

I'm surprised that they haven't done a "Scooby-Doo Team-up" where the Scooby Gang meets the Looney Tunes ensemble.

I think this "trend" started with Archie Comics doing "Afterlife With Archie", which paved the way for the "Riverdale" TV series and the relaunch.

It's not as miserable as the Hanna-Barbera line, but putting anthropomorphic cartoon animals in a realistic setting is not original either. There was Howard the Duck, the issue of She-Hulk where John Byrne drew the Flintstones as realistic cavemen, then there's the issue of Kurt Busiek's "Astro City" with Loony Leo.

Thad Komorowski said...

The back-ups do seem to be better than the lead, but the fact that these artists can't even bother to draw the cartoon characters in some approximation of the original designs says more about [most] superhero artists' lack of imagination than I ever could.

Unfortunately that fucking awful Flintstones comic has sold insanely well, so we'll see more of the same.

Joe Torcivia said...

Wow! Take two days off to catch up on chores, and looky-looky at all the comments! Thank you, all! Let’s take ‘em in order!

Sergio:

I’m glad they stayed away from Batman / Daffy Duck, too. It seemed too obvious a thing to do, for all the reasons you mentioned. And, now that I HAVE read Batman / Elmer Fudd, I LOVE that they decided to go the “Film Noir Parody” route!

As you already know, I also LOVE the premise of Lobo / Road Runner… and we get plenty of great "fusion of worlds" stuff in each issue of SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP, where it works very well!

No question, I agree with you and Thad on unnecessary character redesigns! All the shows you mention, and those new “Mickey Mouse Shorts”, as well. Why do studios insist on taking some of the best designed characters in the history of animation, and devolving them into something much lesser than they are!

On the other hand, I DO approve of what’s being done in this DC Comics / Looney Tunes series because, whatever redesigns exist, are employed to “put-over” a single, particular story. Of course, I don’t want “Sam Sheepdog” to look like a monster, but it so perfectly fits THIS story to do so – and provides its share of laughs as well. I’ll address the new FLINTSTONES, when I respond to Thad.

Of course I read "Superman and Bugs Bunny"! The then-unheard-of combination of Looney Tunes and DC characters – and Mark Evanier, who was my “comics-writing mentor” without ever knowing it, thanks to our regular mail correspondence in the early eighties – was irresistible!

Nice way for you to begin comics! THIS ONE was MY first! …And I still have it, too, after all these years!

Joe Torcivia said...

Elaine:

You write: “I certainly wouldn't have bought it on the basis of the art of the lead story (not to mention the hideous LSH-style cover), but the writing was delightful, and as you say, it was the Chuck Jones Bugs for sure.”

That’s exactly what I hope to communicate to those not enamored of the art style of the various lead stories. For instance, the “Film Noir” style of the Batman / Elmer Fudd lead could not have worked as effectively any other way… even if Chuck Jones and Maurice Noble in their prime had laid it out personally, as a sort of Urban American version of “Deduce, You Say!”

Oh, and if the choice is between drinking and list-making, hand me a pencil and paper!

HERE is Elaine’s link for easy access. IIRC, that’s a mega-favorite story of yours as well.

Joe Torcivia said...

‘Rehab:

You write: “I think this "trend" started with Archie Comics doing "Afterlife With Archie", which paved the way for the "Riverdale" TV series and the relaunch.”

I’d say it goes back further still, to at least “The Punisher Meets Archie”! But, who can say…

If SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP has just done Quick Draw McGraw and Hong Kong Phooey, and with Top Cat coming up, I imagine it’s just a matter of time before we see Bugs, Daffy, etc. In a way, I hope it’s NOT “the whole gang” because there have been too many contrivances to cram them all in together. Keep it focused more on Bugs and Daffy - plenty of material there! Of course, I’ll never give up hoping for Freakazoid!

I loved “Looney Leo”! And, now that Disney owns Howard the Duck, couldn’t they change him back to his original appearance. I have not liked any of the more modern looks created for Howard, so that he doesn’t closely resemble Donald… which, IMHO, he never did!

Joe Torcivia said...

Thad:

Though I think far more highly of the leads than you do, I also think the backups are often the pride of the book. Certainly, the Lobo / Road Runner backup, especially if you enjoyed the Superman Animated Series version of Lobo as much as I did.

The Jonah Hex / Yosemite Sam backup, which I looked-at but did not yet read, gives Sam a “John K.” look (which, oddly WORKS for him!), Jonah Hex a DCU Animated look (which is what he SHOULD have!), and the most amazing Bob Clampett-style Bugs Bunny I have ever seen outside of a 1940s cartoon! Utterly amazing that these three styles exist so nicely together on a page!

After all that praise, I’m disappointed to report that Batman, in the Batman / Elmer Fudd backup, looks as if he were lifted from MAD Magazine! Of all the looks Batman can have (including humorous ones), that’s one that simply never worked for me.

As for the new FLINTSTONES, I also bristled when I first saw the look. Oh, no… Not that “John Goodman-thing” again! But, once I began reading it – and, thus far, I’m only through the first three issues, with the others stacked and waiting (the lingering effects of my more recent "Horrifically Busy Period") - I can understand why.

I suspect many FLINTSTONES fans will not agree – and one person in particular whom I both like and respect *does* differ with me on this – but, as a more “mature” book, with death, consumerism, politics, and religion as subject matter, it HAD to take on a different form from the character designs we know and love. For what it’s worth, I like this approach for the stories being told, and I’m a die-hard Early-Hanna-Barbera-Fan!

…Though, maybe there should be a “regular” FLINTSTONES book published alongside this one, just as there is for SCOOBY APOCALYPSE! I’d also like THAT approach!