Story by: Ken Pontac Art by: Leonardo Marco Colours by: Mariana Sanzone Letters by: Sal Cipriano Published by: DC Comics
DC Comics are making a habit of taking nostalgic cartoons and giving them the Comic reboot. This time we have those wacky racers, with the likes of Dick Dastardly and Muttley jostling it out with Sergant Blast, Penelope Pitstop, The Ant Hill Mob, etc. As with other beloved cartoon franchises, such as Scooby-Doo, the comic version sees a complete redesign of the players, which is far removed from the originals. The setting for this book is a post-apocalyptic nightmare replete with mutants and killer nanites. The vibe is very much a kind of Mad Max mash-up, along with a hint of Tank Girl, with a few familiar names thrown into the mix. In truth this has very little to do with the original material, barring the fact that they are engaged in a race and they share a name with the originals. There isn’t anything particularly bad about the actual story for the book, the characters appear visually interesting – barring Muttley, who is far removed from his classic best – but the horrific elements are nicely achieved via the art of Leonardo Marco. Gripes about the cartoon version aside, the art is nicely done. The backgrounds and vehicles go well together, while the main players are sufficiently varied in their appearances.
The basis for the story, outside of the race, the encounter with killer mutants and the swarm of killer tiny robots, is all about a particularly traumatic back story for Dick Dastardly. The flashback scenes gel well with the main narrative and pop for the reader compared to the vibe of the present post-apocalyptic nightmare setting. Less emphasis is made on the race but that isn’t detrimental. It does feel like a one-man show, with the more interesting story elements all firmly wrapped around the dastardly Dick. The others get some time in the spotlight but they feel like the supporting cast compared to the maestro. One major gripe, other than the appearance of Muttley, is the complete lack of his attitude. Muttley was a defining characteristic of the show and he should be here too. The close out of the issue sees the culmination of the race, with some typically chaotic elements. As a story it’s entertaining enough, as a homage to the Wacky Racers it falls flat.