Neal Adams goes full Orson Welles with Batman vs. Elmer Fudd radio play

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After you’ve seen Elmer Fudd turned into a noir antihero who resembles a cross between Edward G. Robinson and Sydney Greenstreet, you’ve officially seen everything. DC thought it would be a good idea to release one-shot Justice League/Looney Tunes crossover comics, and you know what? It’s actually pretty freakin’ genius, the best collision of two worlds since Space Jam.

Artist Neal Adams thought so too and decided to make a radio play for his self-proclaimed new favorite comic, Batman vs. Elmer Fudd by Tom King and Lee Weeks.

                  

 

The concept is as wonky as they come: Elmer Fudd is a lisping shotgun-for-hire in a shadow-filled, rain-soaked Gotham with a vendetta against the man who killed the love of his life and prone to "Murder, My Sweet"-esque monologues full of his special brand of speech impediment. The assailant? A buck-toothed, carrot-munching fella by the name of (you guessed it) Bugs who misleads him as usual, pointing the finger of blame at Bruce Wayne.

Somehow, against all odds, this story works, from the transformation of Merrie Melodies favorites into humans (Yosemite Sam is a biker type, Porky Pig is a bartender, and Marvin the Martian is a crackpot in a flapped woolen hat) to the darkened art style to the eventual team-up of Fudd and Batman.

                         

 

Adams pulls out all the stops, assuming every voice role (doing a spot-on Fudd impression) except that of Fudd’s paramour, which he delegated to his wife, Marilyn. Not only that, but Adams also includes famous musical cues and sound effects from the old Warner Brothers cartoons to add more realism to the play that could have come out of a radio in the 1930s. It's the uh, stuff dweams are made of. 

               

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