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.

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§ 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.

 

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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.
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§ 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.)

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§ 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).

 

 

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§ 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.

Comments

  1. Spike says

    As long as Keith Griffen has a hand in it, I’m sure it will be hilarious and well worked.

  2. Seth Hollander (aging white guy) says

    Hey Spike!:
    But Giffen is an old white guy trying to make money,..
    Ruh-oh!

  3. Doc Arkham says

    “But Giffen is an old white guy trying to make money,..”

    Working in comics? Talk about your screwball plans…

  4. comicsatemybrain says

    If these comics sell poorly, will they blame those meddling kids?

  5. Charlie Ryan says

    I understand the cold business aspect of trying to mine some new money out of old properties, and I’m sure it was fun for those involved to do their ‘What If?’ takes on these iconic characters — but in the end, isn’t it all rather creepy looking? Sort of like when aging stars have too much plastic surgery. Or that time when 63 year-old Pat Boone dressed up in a studded leather collar, bared his chest and did that album of heavy metal songs.

    Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.

  6. Torsten Adair says

    It’s always an angry old white guy with some crazy real estate scheme.
    (Rut Roh…better send those meddling kids to Cleveland!)

    As for the Scoobiverse movie franchise… well, they did cross-over with Batman quite a few times!
    (I’ll let others figure out the Six-Degress-of-Scooby-Doo chart…start with Laff-A-Lympics… )
    Meanwhile, you all might get a kick out of this:
    http://scoobydoo.wikia.com/wiki/Scooby-Doo!_Mask_of_the_Blue_Falcon
    WATCH THE BACKGROUND CHARACTERS!

    For the record, DC is reprinting the Joe Kelly Space Ghost miniseries.

  7. Roto13 says

    Shaggy needs to shave that hipster moustache.

    I’m totally on board for Wacky Racers: Beyond Thunderdome

  8. Ben says

    Will there be a second wave which includes Captain Caveman, Jabberjaw and Huckleberry Hound?

  9. Ben says

    But seriously, this all looks so strange. Why try to update some of these but not all(Future Quest.) Why not create a new Scooby Gang that is diverse like Heidi mentions here? Having grown up watching the original Scooby as a kid and having recently watched all of Scooby Doo: Mystery, Inc with my daughter…it can and could be done. I’m referring to the various Mystery Inc teams that existed throughout history within the show. I will try all of these titles out just to see what flies and what doesn’t. I’m very curious.

  10. George says

    So DC is trying to sell children’s characters to jaded, twenty-something hipsters. Pass.

  11. says

    “… 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.”

    Well, what specific sins did the all-male family commit in adopting Hadji?

    Force him to dress like them? Change his religion? Change his name? (Although I don’t imagine the name by itself is ideologically correct these days…)

    I suspect one can find more incorrect things back in the day than JONNY QUEST. Hey, the Herculoids got top billing in their cartoon, but always had to defer to the white guy with the Tarzan-like name. Species-ism!

  12. Jay says

    I have to admit I like the idea of updating some of these characters. Herculoids could be an awesome fantasy-style story. Space Ghost and the Galaxy Trio could be a Guardians-like epic. And there’s nothing wrong with four kids and their big dog solving murder mysteries. There’s something appealing about many of these vintage characters.

    But how can the Archie revamp be met with such fan and critical acclaim while everything we’ve seen about DC/HB feels so hollow?

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