[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Steve Pugh
Inker: Chris Chuckry
In Mark Russell, Steve Pugh and Chris Chuckry’s final Flintstones, we find out why the Great Gazoo decided to save humanity and thus, allow us, to read this brilliant comic and (hopefully) this final Flintstones review. Every major and minor character gets some face time. Fred, as is to be expected, takes center stage with a bowling tournament and Pebbles, as is to be expected, says smart things and questions reality.
Steve Pugh and Chris Chuckry take us on another triumphant trip through every nook and cranny of Bedrock. We see the inside of Barney’s garage where some of the most touching moments happen between Bowling Ball and his new elephant pal Shop-Vac. We see the inside of Pebbles’ room where we see her love for new wave music live on with a poster of the band the Shrinking Heads. We see the bowling alley and a new fun chain restaurant called Wammoth Bammoth Thank You Mammouth. Every single panel is full to the brim with the perfect image and the perfect color. These gentlemen find a way to make this world their own (especially their take on the Great Gazoo), while still giving a giant hug to the original cartoon. I find zero flaws in their work. Let us gaze upon it.
Mark Russell was not nominated for an Eisner and I have to say, that is a crime against comic book humanity. Seriously, I have handed this book to people in my life who do not read comics and they love it so much they run out to buy more. There is nothing better than his thoughtful insight and his whip smart social commentary. He left nothing off the table in these 12 episodes. In this issue, as the reader learns humans exist simply because Gazoo allows it, Pebbles wonders if they are alive because of Gerald or because of science. While most people would dislike that she does not get any solid answers, avid readers of this book knew going in that answers were not coming. Pebbles, as the voice of reason and ultimately Russell himself, searches and searches but has to end unfulfilled and that is absolutely perfect and true. Bravo sir.
Other than this book being over, I have nothing to report here. I have not seen a run like this in a long time. 12 damn near perfect issues of satirical writing and expert art.
It is not a secret; I love this book. Seriously. It is the best thing that came out of the DC/Hanna-Barbera crossover event. In this issue, every aspect of why this title is so brilliant comes out to play. I feel like I really got to know these characters in a whole new way. It is funny, touching and wonderful. I will admit that I got a bit choked up at that final page. Unless you are a Gearldless heathen, you will too.