DC’s got me scratching my head again, not that this should come as a surprise to anyone at this point. The latest news to come from them is in regard to some Hanna-Barbera properties, as first reported by Entertainment Weekly. They’re bringing back a slew of the old cartoon characters in comic-book form, only most of them are being massively revamped. (It should be noted that AV Club also had its own funny take on the news.)
Only one of these titles has any chance of being good, imo. A quick glance through them all should make the one potential success pretty obvious.
Now see, this take on The Flintstones serves as a perfect example of everything that’s wrong with the approach they’re taking. Honestly, who gives a shit about the friggin’ Flintstones at this point? Straight answer: Nostalgic thirty- and forty-somethings that grew up watching them on Saturday mornings. (And I don’t think that’s a very big group, but regardless of size, they’re the only group that’s going to care.) And do these Flintstones resemble those Flintstones? No.
So I fully expect this one to bomb hard.
Relaunches/reboots are usually necessitated by a property becoming stale—is such the case with Scooby Doo? While I admit I haven’t done in-depth market research on this, I still feel I can safely say no. The old cartoon still runs quite often on Cartoon Network & Boomerang and the kids in the family still watch.
These properties became a success because somebody got it right the first time. Thus updating them for a “new generation” of readers/viewers is really a fool’s errand—especially when the property in question still seems to be going strong as is, which appears to be the case with Scooby Doo. And even if this wasn’t the case, this reboot looks pretty shitty. Is Scooby wearing Google-goggles or something? It looks like they have him “speaking” in emoji. Somebody please just shoot me now.
We don’t get a clear look at Dastardly, Muttley, Penelope Pitstop, et al., but this looks to be off-model also, which is not good. And the Wacky Racers are drawing from an even smaller fan pool than The Flintstones. Another waste of time.
This is the only one that offers any hope—wanna know why? Because it’s on model, it looks like Toth, looks like the characters we know and love. Fans of the old Toth H-B toons (and there are certainly more than a fair number of us—a lot more than the Flintstones fans) are going to seek this one out and tell their friends about them. Jonny Quest + Space Ghost + Herculoids = Heaven for yours truly.
…Wait. There’s more?
You mean we’re also getting the Galaxy Trio and The Impossibles, too? NERDGASM!
Can Birdman be far behind? Damn, just gimme ALL THE TOTH already!
In unrelated news, DC is starting with new number ones again this summer. Could this be a relaunch? Probably not, as they haven’t fired anybody currently in charge, and relaunches across a line are usually precipitated by a new regime taking over.
But I could be wrong—let’s not abandon all hope, here!
In any case, comic store owners are less than thrilled by this.
Animation & Live Action News
DC’s got a new Justice League cartoon titled Justice League Action, which looks like it might be fun. It’s got the crappy redesigns of Supes and Wonder Woman, but the eps are only eleven minutes long (a la Teen Titans Go!) so they can only be so offensive, right? (Fingers crossed!) The bigger news here is Kevin Conroy returning to voice Batman and Mark Hamill returning to voice the Joker.
Additional news on the animation front is the announcement of Justice League vs. Teen Titans, an upcoming DC Universe original movie. Again, I would prefer to see something like this with the original, classic character designs, but these movies are usually entertaining, so I’m still likely to give it a look.
And finally, on Legends of Tomorrow—a fun if slight series—they’re going to travel to an alternate future and give us a glimpse of the original Dark Knight version of the one-armed Green Arrow, played by regular series star, Stephen Amell. Should be fun.