A few months back, DC started its rebirth by announcing they were revamping some classic Hanna Barbera characters for the new millennium. I’ll just be honest here and say that I didn’t think this was the best of DC’s recent revamping efforts–do we really need a gritty Scooby Doo?–but this thing exists, or will soon, and it’s going to be pretty funny either way. I believe there have been some artist announcements and more so here’s where this is all at.
§ Scooby Apocalypse comes out on May 25th and will be written by Keith Giffen (Sugar & Spike, Legends of Tomorrow anthology) and JM DeMatteis with art by Howard Porter. There are plenty of variant covers by Jim Lee, Howard Porter, Neal Adams, Dan Panosian and Ben Caldwell.
But HARK!!! At the recent “CinemaCon in Las Vegas, a kind of Hall H just for theater owners that serves as the kick off for the lucrative summer movie slate, WB made a presentation and revealed that they are looking to revamp the entire Hanna-Barbera universe for the movies. That sort of backed up my feeling this this whole DC HB revamp was a possible pilot season for that. However Scooby is getting an animated theatrical movie reboot, meant to leave the Matthew Lillard live action version far behind.
The new movie version will be called S.C.O.O.B.
Be afraid. Be very very afraid.
BTW, I’ll throw this out there, once again, if you’re really going to do it, don’t make it about four white kids. Fred can be Asian and Daphne can be African-American. Velma can still be gay. And Shaggy….well, he should just be Shaggy, because that’s way ahead of the curve already. Beatniks become hippies, and hipsters become bankers, but Shaggy is the edible-loving layabout we all tolerate with a sigh.
And finally, this should never be forgotten, as it is the very core of the concept.
§ Future Quest is a retro-revivalist look at manly boy adventures of Jonny Quest by Jeff Parker (Batman ’66, Justice League United) with art by Evan “Doc” Shaner (Justice League: Darkseid War:Green Lantern), so it will be awesome. This is a kind of “Toth-i-verse” of the HB revival, with covers spotlighting, the Herculoids by Aaron Lopresti and various Action Heroes by Joe Quinones.
For those who do not know, Alex Toth, one of the all time great cartoonists/animators spent most of his life in Hollywood designing shows like Space Ghost, Herculoids, Birdman and the Galaxy Trio, and Dino Boy in the Lost Valley. Some of these cartoons were very, very bad and this is what forms the tragedy of Toth’s life. But we celebrate him today with this stylish revamp of a colonialist concept that finds an all-male family of white men adopting a South Asian boy. (Toth didn’t design Johnny Quest btw; that was Doug Wildey.)
§ The Flintstones artist has been revealed and it’s Steve Pugh, a very fine artist I would never have thought of for the Flintstones. A surprise. The character designs are by Amanda Conner so that’s all win; Mark Russell (Prex) is the writer. Really this is so goofy.
In this 40-page extra-sized premiere issue, fans will be introduced to the town of Bedrock, where Paleolithic humans dine on artisanal prepared mammoth after shopping at the Neandertall & Big Men’s Clothing stores, get the latest news via cave painting, and folks drive foot-powered cars. Join Fred and Barney as Mr. Slate sends them on a mission to show some Neanderthals a night on the town in hopes of luring them into this new system of “working for a living” – in his quarry, of course! Find out what happens to Fred and the gang when they finally get to learn how Bedrock’s “one percent” lives in this satirical take on life in the world’s first civilization this summer!
Here are the variant covers by Ivan Reis (DC Universe: Rebirth Special), Walt Simonson (Batman: Black and White Vol. 2), and Dustin Nguyen (Batman Eternal, Batman: Li’l Gotham).
§ Wacky Raceland is a chance to get the guy who designed all those cool cars for Mad Max: Fury Road to design more cars. Nothing wrong with that. The creative team announced thus far includes Mark Sexton (the Fury Road guy) and writer Ken Pontac of Happy Tree Friends.
I should note here that I loved Wacky Races, and the idea of these stereotyped misfits involved in a never ending series of races with no winners but lots of violence appealed to my sense of the essential meaninglessness of existence at an early age. And as you can see, they’ve gone totally doom metal on us, which works for this whole concept. Maybe THIS is the movie they need to make? (I know they already did and it was called Fury Road and Death Race 2000, but a sturdy proven concept, right?)
I predict that future generations will look at these comics and marvel.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.