We already know DC Comics is gearing up for yet another reboot, but the publisher is also eyeing an ambitious refresh of a few other classic franchises you might not have seen coming. Fans of Jonny Quest, Space Ghost, Scooby-Doo, Birdman and the Flintstones will have a whole lot to like (well, hopefully).
Yep, that’s right — it’s a full-on Hanna-Barbera revival over at DC, and the studio is taking some definite creative risks while reviving these classics. But, much as Archie Comics has found new blood with titles like Afterlife With Archie and the new Riverdale reboot, DC is hoping to breathe new life into these (very) vintage titles. Adapt or die, as they say. To kick off this project, the publisher is eyeing four new flagship series that give the cartoon classics a major kick.
“From a personal standpoint, I was always a fan of the old Hanna-Barbera characters, having grown up on them,” DC’s co-publisher Dan DiDio told Entertainment Weekly. “I think what you find right now is there’s so much material on pop culture, and these characters resonate with so much of our fanbase. It was so fun to go out and look at them, but not just bring back versions that existed 40, 50 years ago and really look at it the way of saying, if these characters were created and interpreted today, how would they exist? So we handed off our materials to a number of top creators, and what came back was an exciting look that felt very true to the existence of the characters.”
Here’s a full breakdown of all the new ‘books:
Scooby-Doo Apocalypse will be co-written by Keith Giffen and DC Entertainment co-publisher Jim Lee, with art by Howard Porter. The series will give the characters a major, modern reboot (seriously, the art looks more Guardians of the Galaxy than anything) as monsters start coming to life (for real) after a nanite virus turns the planet upside down. Basically, it looks like hard sci-fi Scooby-Doo, which is certainly a new spin on the old formula. Just don't try to pull the mask off any real monsters.
Future Quest, written by Jeff Parker with by Evan "Doc" Shaner, is a mashup of Jonny Quest, Space Ghost and Birdman (for real). Wacky crossovers have been a staple of the comics medium for decades, and DC believes these three adventure-ish properties share a similar vibe to the point where they might combine into one compelling series. The run will essentially follow these disparate characters as they try to make sense of their new, shared universe.
The Flintstones, written by Mark Russell with designs by Amanda Conner, is described as a satirical sitcom that “uses the stone age to parody and comment upon the modern world.” Which could be fun, if the writing is smart enough.
Last but not least, Wacky Raceland will be written by Ken Pontac, with art by Leonardo Manco (plus design work by Mad Max Fury Road's Mark Sexton). This might be the most weirdly ambitious of the bunch, taking the zany race concept and setting it in a post-apocalyptic setting where the cars literally have minds of their own (we did mention the Fury Road connection, right?). Yeah, this could be fun.
With approximately one-third of DC’s line-up comprised of Batman stories and spinoffs these days, fans have been clamoring for some fresh ideas. Well, if nothing else, this is definitely some outside the box thinking. Put simply: It might just be crazy enough to work.
All four new series are set to debut in May. What do you think of the plan?
Check out some concept art for the new series’ below and let us know what you think: