[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Steve Pugh
Inker: Chris Chuckry
Clod the Destroyer is doing so well in the polls. It turns out that getting elected is actually harder than governing. Hmmm. Who knew? Oh wait…everyone knew that. The citizens of Bedrock are getting a bit angry. Cinema has been invented and now people (and vacuum cleaners) can go to the movies. Fred and Barney become regulars. Wilma finally turns the tables on those giant douche nozzles who work at the art gallery and she gets hired to be an art director for Werner Herzog…Um I mean, Herzrock.
Well, Mark Russell, no one ever claimed you did not call balls and strikes. Clod and the current President of the USA have a lot in common, and it would be easy just to bash him and let it go at that. Russell decided to make sure that he let every President who was elected as a cult of personality type to have a good kick in the crotch. Obama’s drone strikes, Bush’s endless, fruitless war and Trump’s empty promises are all on display for us all to see. I am not alone in saying this, but the best work of social commentary today is The Flintstones. I know that Seth Meyers has the market cornered on quick turnaround jokes because he has a show every single night. What makes this book stand out is the long view. In a year, go back and watch Seth Meyers’ “A closer look” segments. Yes, they will be funny and spot on, but they will be dated. What Russell and Pugh are doing with The Flintstones is timely, but timeless.
Speaking of Steve Pugh, he gets to have a lot of fun in this issue too. As is often the case, the big panels get the attention (deservedly so as seen above), but the small work, the puns in the background and the facial expressions are worth the cost of the book. When Fred and Barney decide to sneak out to see a movie about “women who bare themselves,” the looks on their faces are guilty and anxious and wanting. It is masterful. Here. Look:
Also, when tragedy strikes the broom closet, Pugh brings the humanity as Bowling Ball realizes that life is fleeting. Only a true artist can make us feel the pain that an armadillo feels. Russell rubs salt in the wound by having Fred utter to Wilma about the death of Vacuum Cleaner, “It was just a thing,” while the inhabitants of the broom closet look on in the back of the panel. Gut punch.
No Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm. I miss them. Still, Wilma gets a lot of time to shine and she totally deserves it so, it works out.
Honestly, I could go on an on about this book, but I am going to save some of my musing for the final issue. There are only two left and I feel that my final review will go on and on. Brace yourself. Until then, laugh at the master of funny, Mark Russell.