[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciller: Brett Booth
Inkers: Norm Rapmund, Mark Irwin, Marc Deering, Matt Banning, John Livesay
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse and Pete Pantazis
I have to confess, while I remember Speed Buggy, I can’t recall many details about the show. However, while this mash up promises a heavy dose of fun, it delivers more on the serious developments in the life of post-Rebirth Wally West. Hey, DC- Does this take place after Flash War or what? You better not be teasing us…..
The Flash (Wally West) is in a desperate battle with Kilg%re. Remember, him? He suddenly finds he has a helper in an orange beach buggy driven by a middle-aged, dark haired bearded scientist. After stopping Kilg%re, Wally learns that this scientist is one of the founders of S.T.A.R. Labs who left after some concerns???
This scientist, M. Blanc (Mel Blanc, voice actor for many classic cartoons – Bugs Bunny, anyone?) needs some help in testing a special upgrade to his buggy which involves utilizing the Speed Force. Well, things don’t exactly go as planned. The Doc ends up merging with the buggy and ends up creating the anthropomorphic talking buggy we all know and love from the cartoon. To make matters worse they are set upon by Savitar and Demon Buggy. Savitar has apparently gone back in to the past to create a timeline in which Demon Buggy is created instead of Speed Buggy, the Reverse-Flash in Hanna-Barbera land of a sort. In order to stop anything else from going sideways, Speed Buggy goes back ever further in time to stop Demon Buggy at the cost of losing any chance of separating the Doc from the buggy.
This results in the status quo of the Speed Buggy cartoon that we know- talking car and group of teenage friends who solve crimes and mysteries. Along the way we learn a little bit about the team, but the issue is 99% about the Flash and Speed Buggy’s origin. The issue ends with a charity race between the two with cameos by all your DC favorites, see if you can spot Booster Gold and Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) hanging out in a background. But, this is all a pittance compared to what we learn about Wally and Linda Park!
There’s no shortage of fun in this special issue as it manages to corral not only the excitement of classic Saturday Morning Cartoon, but present present Speed Buggy in a classic pseudo-scientific tale reminiscent of DC’s Silver Age with just the right dose of contemporary characterization for Wally West.
The M. Blanc character is quickly made into a real person not only with ties to the DC Universe as a founder of S.T.A.R. Labs, but fleshed out with a troubled relationship with his daughter- Debbie, as in Debbie from the Speed Buggy cartoon.
The most poignant, exciting and interesting part of the issue is the portrayal of Wally and Linda Park. Wally is in his current “other” Flash uniform and yet Linda professes her eternal love for him. This doesn’t fit in with current continuity, but could be the near future once “Flash War” is over and Wally and everyone else regain their stolen memories. If it can happen to Iris then why not the rest of the DC Universe. (see current issues of The Flash.)
This issue is fun, exciting and emotionally charged, no negatives here. Who knew!?!?
For any fan of Wally West, this issue is a must. The Speed Buggy aspect of the story is fun and well done, but it holds so much hope for Wally and Linda’s future that it transcends the special nature of these DC/Hanna-Barbera team up issues.