Dastardly & Muttley #1
When Lt. Col. R. Atcherly “Dick” and Capt. D. Muller “Mutt” are tasked with a recon mission over the nation of Unliklistan, something wacky and extraordinary happens that will change their lives forever.
And I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues
Part of the Hanna-Barbera Productions revival from DC Comics, Dastardly & Muttley is based (loosely) on the villains from Wacky Races and later in their own series Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. The latter series of just 17 episodes ran from September 1969 to January 1970.
Now writer Garth Ennis has reimagined the duo into a semi-real life six issue mini-series. Ennis’ story is silly and fun, as you might expect, but this is in on way an all-ages comic. There is some questionable language and some mild violence that might be inappropriate for small kids. That being said, this is just one out of control story. It’s funny and a little weird and if you’ve enjoyed some of the other Hanna-Barbera reboots, then you should find this entertaining.
It is a rather unconventional story, hilarious as it may be, is just what you would expect from Garth Ennis. The (totally) made up names like Unliklistan and Unstabilium 239 are just the kind of laughs that remind you that you’re reading a real comic book. It’s funny, timely and if you were a fan of HBO’s short-lived comedy series The Brink, you WILL enjoy this book.
The artwork by Mauricet is wonderfully detailed. Along with amazing colors by John Kalisz, this is reminiscent of the Heavy Metal movie from 1981. Mauricet definitely took care with these characters and keeps the overall look less cartoony than you’d expect. In a time when most comics are dark with complex story lines, it is nice to have some mindless fun with a book you don’t have to take too seriously.
So far, I haven’t been impressed with many of DC’s Hanna-Barbera reboots, but Dastardly & Muttley might be the best so far. Just one issue in, it is hard to determine how well this series may work out.