Fifth-week releases from DC Comics are always an interesting mixed bag but lately they've been surprising us with their DC Meets Hanna-Barbera crossover specials, like Black Lighting / Hong Kong Phooey Special #1. In general, DC's releases like The Flintstones and Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, both by Mark Russell, are evidence that it's best to keep an open mind. This Wednesday DC Comics will release four more DC Meets Hanna-Barbera specials including the odd couple of Superman / Top Cat Special #1 written by DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio and art by Shane Davis, Michelle Delecki and colors by Dean White, J. Nanjan and Hi-Fi.
SYFY WIRE has the exclusive first look at the first seven pages of the 40-page special.
In this wacky team-up, the Man of Steel meets Hoagy's alleycat leader, Top Cat, while working at the local Wholesome Goods grocery store. Known for his get-rich quick schemes, T.C. witnesses the arrival of the Kalien race who has a beef with the human race for eating his fellow countrymen who lived for generations undisturbed. But once kale was deemed a vital superfood, the rough, leafy green was harvested by the bushels, endangering the Kalien race. Is this a story of vitamin K source gone wild or just another misunderstood and mishandled vegetable green?
"It's a pretty crazy mash-up for sure," Davis told SYFY WIRE of his reaction in getting to draw this latest DC meets Hanna-Barbera team-up. "I've drawn Superman quite a few times so I was pretty comfortable with that, but I had a little trouble at first getting a handle on Top Cat though. At the beginning I saw him as being more animated and cartoony, then I pulled it back in with more realistic features, like his cat nose and fangs. In the end, I ended up with a pretty nifty amalgam."
Superman, Top Cat, and... kale? DiDio must have eaten his fair share of kale if he re-imagined it as an alien monster, but that's not to say the funny comparisons aren't warranted.
"I've eaten my share of kale dropping weight, part of a shake added with greek yogurt and oatmeal... It was a horrible breakfast shake!" Davis shared, wanting to render kale as a Jack Kirby-type monster. "I really think kale is this weird bitter leather-textured food, so that is what I drew! The eyes and mouth were key to nailing it down. Then I added nipple, which was super creepy to me, considering it's a plant."
There's also a surprise appearance of one of Superman's classic villains in the story but you'll have to check out the entire issue to find out. "Oh man I was psyched. It's a classic villain, but so hard to make him look cool. I have a love/hate for this guy. Luckily, I was able to do my own take on him."
It's Superman vs. superfood in this spastic Superman / Top Cat Special #1 on sale October 31 for $4.99 with a Secret Squirrel backup story written by J.M. DeMatteis and art by Tom Mandrake. Variant cover is by Emanuela Lupacchino. Check out the preview pages below.